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Interview: Snowy White

Thanks for the Questions goes to: Steve Braun
[ Editor Online Music Magazine

In the Autumn of 2008 Snowy formed The Snowy White Blues Project, with

Matt Taylor (guitar/vocals),

Ruud Weber jr (bass guitar/vocals), and Juan van Emmerloot (drums.


On 1st. April they started their very first tour together in Greece and in in addition at the end of April they published their debut album «In Our Time Of Living».

20. May 2009 Late in the afternoon in Berts House, after Lilian's delicious supper with Cecil from Rotterdam, Mick & Tixie from France and myself from Switzerland and after we'd had a glass of Champagne for celebrate Micks birthday, the stars were in the crystal sky and the other stars took the stage at the edge of Weert (NL) surrounded by a international public.

It is really interesting how many different kinds of music we can find under the name of «blues». The Snowy White Blues Project just like to play blues in their own way - as they can't get enough of the blues - with brilliant force in the guitar solos.

After the concert Mick interviewed Snowy. It was pure pleasure to talk with Snowy after two years. (interview in Paris 2006). Snowy was charming. His fine, warm personality came across to all and Mick was simply happy on his birthday to see his guitar hero from England again.


So first some questions about the tour...

So you're running the western european tour right now, how is it going?

Well, it's going really well, it's the first one we've done, so, in fact it's a try out really. We've put these shows together to see if the band can work together and put on a good show together.
And it's working really well right now, we're very happy with it. It's very positive.

And there are a lot of gigs...
Yeah, and people seem to like what we do, which is good.

Do you play only bluesy stuff or some rocky songs for your formely albums?
Well, mostly blues really. I am trying to keep away from the other stuff. We keep it fairly bluesy. But it's not straight 12 Bars things, you know, it's more interesting than that I hope.

How does it look in the crowd? More Blues or more Rock fans?
In the crowd? I don't know... Snowy White fans I suppose... I don't know the answer to that...

We have in Germany an enthusiastic blues scene, have you heard about that in England?
No, not really. Is there something good in Germany with the blues scene? I mean it seems to be a lot of people coming to see us, and they seem to like us. So I guess there's a good blues scene. I mean I just know that we play in clubs and people come and see us. I don't know what the big picture is there at all.

What do you like the most when you're in germany? Bier or Schnitzel?
(laugh) Are you talking about food? What is it about?

It's some kind of a joke question...
Well, what I like most? Getting in my hotel room, shutting the door and going to sleep, that's what I like most (laugh)!!:

Only in Germany?


Ok, this about the album now...
This is called «In Our Time Of Living», Why? Is there any political meaning?
No, well, Matt Taylor wrote a blues, which is on the album, called «In Our Time Of Living»; and I really like it. It's one of my favorite tracks, I like its lyrics, so it was my idea to call the album «In Our Time Of Living» after that track. I think it's a nice title.

You’ve published the album on a Indie Label.
Is it difficult in this times to get a Major Deal with a Blues album?
Oh I guess so, I don't know, I never even tried. I found it was easier to get a distribution for Germany, so we got a distribution deal.

And we don't have a record company, 'cause I act as a record company: I record the albums ,I pay for them and I manufacture them, give them to the distributor so I'm basically a record company.

Most bands do this now...?
Yeah, it's the best way now, really, and I'm happy with that.

There's a lot of traditional blues on the album, why didn't you put more Blues-Rock?
Well, 'cause I wanted to keep it bluesy, really. I didn't want to go to far to the rocky side because then it would sound like anybody else, you know. So I was hopefully trying to get a "Blues project" sound of our own.

Did you go with already composed songs or did work on the songs on the sudio together?
We each brought along 3 or 4 songs to do, and then we rehearsed one afternoon before we went in the studio. In fact that afternoon was the first time that all the four of us would be in the same room together. We emailed songs to each other, so we had learned everybody's song. So it came together really quickly. It was easy.

How long did it take to record the album?
Three days.

That's fast!
According to which criteria do you divide your guitar parts between you and Matt?
It's just how it turns out. We don't really think about it much. We just sort of say: " You play that bit, I play that, it's your song, you play the solo, I do the riff". We don't really plan it. It seems quite balanced on the record but we just did how it felt.

And you change those parts during the concerts... ?
Yeah, we change it every night, a little bit.

There are lots of double runs, twins guitar riffs on the CD. That reminds me the old Thin Lizzy or early Fleetwood Mac, Peter Green and Danny Kirwan Stuff...?
Yeah, I just wanted to a little bit. I didn't want to do it very much. I don' t think there's a lot on the CD. Just one or two tasty bits. Just enough. It doesn't sound like Thin Lizzy, I hope... !

Why didn't you sing all the songs on the CD «In Our Time Of Living»?
Because I don't have a bluesy voice and I wanted other people to thing so I could just relax and play the guitar.
I wanted other singers in so I don't have to sing.

And how did you come on the Skip James Song «I’m So Glad»?
Matt said he could play that on the acoustic, he got a special tuning for it. We tried it out and I liked it, so we just put it on. It was Matt's idea.

The Blues Project is a very good band, how did you choose the members for it?
When I decided to put a blues band together with several singers, I thought of Rudy Weber, cause I jammed with him once in Italy, I liked his bass playing, and he gave me a cd of the songs of the songs he had written. I liked his voice so I asked him to join. For Matt Taylor, same thing really, I knew Matt from before, and I liked the way he sang and I was looking for another guitar player who can do the singing so I asked him. And Juan Van Emmerloot, he's from the "White Flames Band". He wanted to do it, very enthusiastic. So here we are!

What’s about the WHITE FLAMES?
Well about one month ago, I finished the White Flames album, finished the recordings. But I don't think I'll put it out until next year really. I don't want to confuse people. When people come and see me, I want them to know what they going to see. So I stay with the Blues Project for now and see how it goes. It's going really well and I'm enjoying it. So I'll continue with that. I mean nobody is telling to do anything, I just whatever I can, whatever I feel like. At the moment I fell like doing the Blues Project.


About you history now, you said that you heard blues for the first time around when you were 11...
No, I bought a guitar when I was 11, I heard blues in 1966, and I just thought: I want to be able to do that. I wanted to know what it feels like to play the guitar like that. So that's what I found interesting with it.

Who were the guitarist you then heard?
Eric Clapton, with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers in one of their first radio broadcast.

And in our days now, is there any guitarist that you like?
Yeah, quite a few, but I mean, I liked them playing in the old days, when they were young and on fire. But I'll tell you who I do like still, Jeff Beck, I think he is fantastic.

Naturally, Your guitar playing has changed over the years.... ?
Yes, a little bit.

Can you describe in which way?
No, I can't. It has just changed over the years, I don't know the answer to that.

You worked with Peter Green in the past, can you tell more about him?
I met Peter when I went to London, in about 1970, and we played together a little bit, jammed together in his house. And we became friendly. I used to see Peter quite a lot in the old days. I haven't seen him for about 3 or 4 years now.

Does it disturb you that your connection with Pink Floyd is mentionned a lot?

Did working with affect your way of playing music?
No! (blank) (laugh), that's the answer...

For many people your entrance in Thin Lizzy was a surprise..?
Yeah, for me too...

You were not really expected as a hard-rocker, what was the reason for you joining them?
I was doing anything and they asked me to join. I thought they were a great band, I liked their songs. You know, it was something I wanted to do at the time.

Phil Lynott is today, still clearly admired by a lot of people. Can you descibe what made him so unique as a band leader?
He was very strong. He had lots of really good ideas, a great stage presence. He was a good performer, a great showman. And he knew the direction where he was going and everything seemed to work until he got into drugs. When he got into drugs, it was all fucked-up... That's what happens...


Why do you prefer Gibson guitars?
I just like the sound..

What type of amplifiers do you use?
I use a Vox AC-30..

The inevitable question in the end: ;-))

Hand on the heart:
Do you read music reviews, concerts reports on magazine, website?
Not much, I don't really. I just have a look to see if it's good or bad. Most of them are in foreign langages, so... I don't really take notice of it, because they are really subjective reviews : something I really like, and they don't. Some people say, I played a great solo in a song when I know I didn't or they say my guitar wasn't sounding really good when I thought it sounded great. So why taking notice of it?

I'm the only one who knows if I am doing what I hear in my head. Noboby else knows if that's working or not. So they can't really judge me. I am the only one who knows about what I feel about when I have done a gig... Whether I think it's good or bad.

So whatever anybody says, it doesn't change what I think about it. So there's no point in me reading reviews, really...

Ok , Thank you very much Snowy!
Thank you, Well done!

Ok great. What for a fascinating Interview! ;-)
Well I wanted to thank you Snowy for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions and we wish you well for many more successful tours

| SB| MR | SW | RS ]

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