It’s fairly common knowledge to the average die-hard Rock Band fan that there is a good portion of music that would be classified as “metal” on the Rock Band Network. And I’ll be honest, to my somewhat untrained ear, much of it bleeds together and doesn’t really stand out. Granted I have an admitted soft spot for female vocals backed up by rock/metal instrumentals (In This Moment, Arch Enemy, Lacuna Coil, Halestorm), this artist quickly stood out from much of what I have heard lately on the RBN. Not only did I instantly love Snovonne’s debut track (Sno Baby, It’s Not Sugar), but I’m already looking forward to the possibility of playing her first single, “The Difference,” from the in-process follow-up album, The Nightmare Bride. (Free MP3 download of The Difference!)
Even before you listen to her music, one immediately notices a video style reminiscent of Rob Zombie, and an overall aesthetic admittedly influenced by Marilyn Manson. Once you actually press play, Snovonne’s haunting vocals, which sound nearly identical to Siouxsie Sioux, mix well with the band’s instrumentals that bounce from a place that is creepingly playful with an almost child-like melody, to full-on in-your-face double-kick-pedal all-the-way metal. Her RBN debut has a beat that clearly draws from a more industrial influence, and mixes very well with a heavy guitar riff, gothic-style strings, and biting, provocative lyrics. This is an artist I hope to see much more of, both in Rock Band, as well as on my iPod.
I recently had a chance to ask Snovonne a few questions about herself, her band, and their involvement with Rock Band. Check it out!
RockBandAide: For those in the Rock Band community not familiar with Snovonne, please tell us a little bit about the band.
Snovonne: Well, Snovonne’s my name, most people call me Sno. I’ve been writing and recording my music since an early age. I’ve become pretty much determined to do music since I was about 12. My primal focus has always been the actual songwriting rather than singing. That just sort of came along the way naturally because, of course, I wanted to sing what I wrote. I put together a live band in 2004 to be able to play shows, the line-up changed a few times since then and keeps changing as I play with different guitar players, depending on the country we’re in. Pete on bass and Tuky on drums have been with me for a while now, they’re the stable part in the line-up.
RBA: How would you describe your music to people who have never heard it?
Snovonne: I’d recommend giving it a listen to create their own opinon. When I have to, I usually describe it as modern theatrical rock/metal. Very honest, expressive and with strong imagery, mostly in terms of psychology, elegancy and horror.
RBA: Who were your early musical influences? What album(s) do you remember listening to growing up that had the biggest impact on you?
Snovonne: I listened to almost everything I could when I was a kid. A lot of my dad’s favorites like Boston, Dire Straits, ELO, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Bon Jovi, etc. A lot of R&B – Mary J Blige is THE singer for me. Then of course the 90′s came with all the Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Bush, Silverchair. I was a huge Marilyn Manson fan too, I guess you could consider him my all time number one up to the last 2 albums. I also listened to a lot of Korn, NIN, Slipknot, Cradle Of Filth. On top of that I used to sing a lot of classical and sacral music. I also like Joss Sone, Jamie Cullum, Muse. And I’m in love with Sick of it All, Kingdom of Sorrow. I think all of this had and has impact on me and the main influence would be the actual mixture that I just described. I never cared about genres, even though I probably feel more at home in the heavier scene, because that’s where I stand with my music. I just love any song that really talks to me.
RBA: What is the most recent artist that you’ve added to your iPod?
Snovonne: Sick Of It All – “Based on a True Story.”
RBA: How many songs do you have in your catalog? Is there any one that stands out for any reason?
Snovonne: I have about 150 songs, maybe more, I’ve stopped counting. There’s 12 albums on my shelf I’ve recorded over the years, that I consider demos. And that’s only from about the age of 13-14, when it started sounding like music. Then I got a closet full of tapes that I’ve done before that age, they’re pretty funny to listen to. The thing is, I’ve really never been dedicated to anything as much as to writing and recording music. After school, other kids would run to the playground, I’d run home to record something I wrote earlier that day at math class. On a daily basis, my whole world has always been in music and things connected with it.
RBA: I noticed that you produce nearly all of the music, art, and videos for Snovonne, and it’s all quite impressive. Of the three, is there a clear favorite?
Snovonne: Well, not really. I mean, obviously the writing music is sort of on top, because if I didn’t write it, I wouldn’t do the video for it But for me it’s a complex creative process and I enjoy every minute and phase of it, from the first line I write to the final rendering of the video or printing of artwork.
RBA: I also saw that you have spent large parts of your life living in Slovakia, the US, the UK, and now Germany. What impact do you think this has had on your music?
Snovonne: Probably huge and not just on my music but on me. It wasn’t easy basically growing up in three countries very different from each other but it made me who I am and I’m very thankful for that. It made me learn to depend on myself and on my ideas. Also, as we mentioned the graphics and videos that I do along music, that’s all a result of having and open mind and not being afraid of hard work. I wasn’t born with knowledge about digital art or video editing, I didn’t go to schools that would teach me about it and I never read a single manual. I just rolled up my sleeves, sat down and started working on my ideas and over the years I’ve become capable of visually expressing pretty much anything that I set my mind to. And that is a great feeling.
RBA: You tour quite a bit in your homeland of the Slovak Republic and also the Czech Republic, and occasionally elsewhere across Europe. Any chance of a Snovonne concert in the US in the future?
Snovonne: Oh yes, definitely! I’ve had some positive feedback from the US, which I’m really happy about. We’re already looking for partners and booking agents, so hopefully we’ll get to see you soon. Also, I’m working with some people down in Florida on the new album The Nightmare Bride (currently recording in Slovakia), so I sort of feel like I got one foot over there.
RBA: If you could hit the road tomorrow with any musical artist, who could you see yourself?
Snovonne: Hmm, maybe Soilwork. They look like a good bunch to tour with.
RBA: How did the opportunity present itself for putting your music in the Rock Band Network?
Snovonne: In Germany I worked with a management company who mentioned me to one of the people that work for RBN and they liked it, so they offered to release It’s Sno, Baby – Not Sugar, which, of course, made us really happy.
RBA: I see that you are currently working on your next album, The Nightmare Bride. Any chance that we will see more content in game, particularly the first single “The Difference?”
Snovonne: Actually yes, we’re currently discussing it, either “The Difference” or the second single should make it into the game, I’m looking forward.
RBA: Is there anything that you would like the Rock Band community to know about you that we haven’t touched on yet?
Snovonne: Nothing I can think of right now but I hope we get to talk more in the future! All the best to Rock band fans, keep pushin’ ‘em buttons!
RBA: Thanks, Snovonne! For more info on Snovonne, you can find her on her site Snovonne.net, or on YouTube or Twitter. And head on over to her Facebook page to get a free download of the first single from her next album The Nightmare Bride, in additional to checking out her debut song on the Rock Band Network, It’s Sno, Baby – Not Sugar. Below is a preview of the song.