Snapcase is one of the bands that definitely started the whole new school movement and their live shows are just fantastic. So I was really happy when I had the possibilty to talk to their singer Daryl before their show in Schorndorf, Germany, that took place some time ago. Here we go...
I heard a rumour quite a while ago that after your split people just kept on asking when you would play in their town the next time and so you hadn't had the possibility to split up actually, is that true?
No, we split up and we decided that it had to be for real. I hate it when bands split up and then get back together right away. And we did that, haha. But we split up only for like six months and then we got offered this tour in Japan and that's where we always wanted to be. But it wasn't just to go to Japan, we also wanted to be a band again, we thought that we could write another good album and that it would be good for us to be together again. So we went and did the Japan tour and it went really well. So we came back and started working on new songs.
So why did you split up back then?
We split up because it was too much expectations of the band because 'Progression...' started doing really well, much better than we had thought it would, and people said 'You must tour for the next ten months' and this and that, we didn't appreciate that, it was not enough fun, it was more like a job.
So is it different now or is it still kind of job?
Now it's fun, now we do it for fun.
And are you able to live from the money you make with the band?
No, we all kind of work and stuff when we're at home. We make money but we're not getting rich or anything. We enjoy doing this and we wanna do a new album, we wanna tour and play live again, that's why we're doing it.
Did you ever think about signing to a major label?
Just last year before we recorded the new album we were in between labels and we talked to a couple of major labels, but they didn't really understand where we came from, they didn't understand the scene. Although there was a lot of money involved we wouldn't have had as much freedom I think to write the music we want to and do things the way we want to.
You released a split 7" with Boy Sets Fire and then you went on this tour through Europe last autumn. Was it surprising for you to see how many people showed up each night without you having a new album out but just that 7"?
I think that's more a European thing than an American thing. In America bands tour because they're bands, in Europe bands tour because they put out a new record. We just said 'Hey, we haven't been to Europe for a long time, people probably think we're still broken up. Maybe we should go tour and show people that we're still alive and working on a new album and let them know that there is a new album coming out in January so when it comes out it's no surprise' so that's why we're touring. The tour was kind of short notice, so there wasn't a lot of promotion and all the money is probably being spent on this tour bus, so we're not gonna make any money I think, but we're comfortable and the shows have been pretty good. I actually am quite surprised how many people have been on the shows.
The last Snapcase album 'Designs for automotion' was released a couple of months ago. What can you tell us about that record?
I think it's more interesting than the last record. It has more variety. The last record was like from start to finish very aggressive, full speed ahead, you know. This record has more breaks in it I think. The people who heard the record said that the guitars sound more melodic, but it's still a real heavy album, it's not like we do emo songs or something.
What came to my mind when I first heard the album was that there are no real brakes in between songs, they are all kinda connected...
'Progression...' was like that sort of, too. There's stuff going on in between songs. That kinda makes it more a complete album, it doesn't really stop. The album is released with a limited edition bonus CD. It's gonna have a b-side, we're gonna try and re-record 'Steps' and 'Cognition', it's gonna have some remixes I think, and it's gonna have some CD ROM stuff.
Didn't you like the sound of 'Steps' and 'Cognition'?
No, I think that recording has no energy.
Well, I think a lot of people would disagree, but ok... Did your lyrics also change in some way?
I think there's still a general message of personal awareness, but the focus is a little bit different. Before it was more like find yourself and find who you are. Find out who holds you down and find out who created major the person you are and find out if there are bad things about you that you don't like and see how you can improve yourself. Now it's more like 'Ok, now you're ready to face some challenges in life', things that you are afraid of, that stand in the way of you're dreams and goals. You're gonna chase after dreams and you're gonna face some challenges and you're ready for it. That's what the new album is about, getting the strength and courage to go after things that are special to you and noone else.
Do you still listen to any hardcore bands and what other kinds of music do you enjoy?
I listen to a lot of different kinds of music. I like hardcore bands that sound very original and creative. I think the last Refused album was really amazing, I love that record. I like bands that are a little bit more punk, like Avail, I love them a lot. I think the last Turmoil record is really good. It's more like metal but still very creative and good. Will Haven is cool.
You were talking about the lyrics and about trying to reach one's goals. What are the goals in your life besides being successful with the band?
I'm getting older, so I think about eventually having a family and stuff like that, maybe owning my own business so I can be my own boss and go on vacation when I like to. I have four classes to finish a four year degree that I've been working on for ten years, haha. So when I'm done with Snapcase I'm gonna finish this.
What exactly do you study?
It's kind of like counselling psychology, social work.
Does that mean that Snapcase will break up in the near future?
No, it's not immediate. Snapcase takes things one day at a time, you know. I'm not gonna be screaming on stage for the next five years, I tell you that much. I'm having damage to my throat and my ears. We start to enjoy being at home more than touring because we've been to the same places five or six times. But when you walk out on stage it hasn't hanged. You walk out on stage and a new person takes over and you're ready to have fun and go crazy out there.
Not only your music was very influential to other people also your attitude. Is everybody in Snapcase still straight edge?
Yeah, actually. Our bassplayer Bob wasn't straight edge at the end, but he left the band and we have a new bassplayer and he happens to be straight edge.
What do you think about the reunion of some old school bands like Youh of Today?
I saw Youth of Today a bunch of times when I was younger in the 80's so for me seeing Youth of Today is no big deal because I saw them when they were really sincere and a real band. I think for kids who've never seen them it's probably really cool and it's great for them. We're gonna tour with 7 Seconds, Kid Dynamite and Buried Alive for a month, and we have five or six shows with 7 Seconds on the west coast, and can't wait to see them. The last time I saw them was probably twelve years ago. But they're a band and they're touring and they put out a new record and that's different than get together and do three shows and make some money. With Snapcase, we have so many things going on in our lives outside of Snapcase so when it's over we're gonna be ok, 'cause we've been working in school and other jobs in our lives. Dands that don't, that just work on their band full time, 100 percent, when the band's over they have nothing else because one year later they have a new band. And then two years after that they do a reunion show with the other band. For me, I just wanna be in Snapcase. When it's done it's gonna be done.
Did you play in any other bands when you had split up for that short period of time?
Frank toured with Lifetime before they broke up, he was their guitarplayer for one tour. And when we were broken up he was gonna move to California and join AFI. But Snapcase decided to get back together and AFI replaced their guy anyway.
As you are one of the originators of the so calles new chool sound, what do you think about the 'new' new school bands that often sound like metal bands or something?
It depends. I think Cave In is a really cool band. They're like metal but they're really talented. They work real hard and they sound like an original band. A lot of kids seem to like the old school revival, like 88 school bands, but for me it's kinda boring, anybody could do it. I think it's cool if there's a couple of bands, but we don't need 30, 40 or 50 bands that are trying to sound like Bold or Youth of Today. Just listen to those CDs, they're good enough. I want to see bands that have something new. At least take those bands and add something completely different to them. Make it sound original.
I think we're at the end of the interview, do you want to add any final words?
Well I just want to thank you for doing the interview. I think fanzines are a crucial element to the scene. They're just as important as a band, because it's one of the things that makes the hardcore or punk scene special compared to the mainstream. The way you find out about new bands and different opinions is to read fanzines, not to read Rolling Stone and things like that. Visions isn't gonna tell you about Cave In and Fastbreak and all these bands. You're gonna hear about these bands through fanzines.