An Interview with Snowy Shaw
of Swedish 70's & 80's influence Glam Band, XXX, in late July 2009 by Glenn Milligan
did you decide to call the band 'XXX' and what was the response from
people to the name?
did the cartoon of the idea of XXX come from and what made you decide
to go with this idea?
Towards the final stages we didn't yet have any album title or a real solid concept, So one day in the mixing studio I thought up the whole idea of using the song Heaven, Hell or Hollywood? as the album title and having us drawn superhero comicbook style. Each of these words in the title would be connected to a band member, enhancing ones personality and/or alter ego. Like pretty boy Rob being the superficial one as in Hollywood, X is very lowkey, innocent, pious and quiet so the Heaven part suited him well, while I'm more the angry hot tempered type and got the Hell part. In order to pull this whole concept together it was essential and necessary to have the real deal portraying us as these comicbook superheroes, rather than trying to save money bringing in a local amateur making it truly pathetic and who else would pull that off better than an artist from Marvel Comics who make Batman, Spiderman, the incredible Hulk and so forth. We got hold of the artist Al Rio from Marvel Comics and he was willing to do it.
did you decide to sign with Perris Records?
certain songs that I've always loved since the first time I heard
them and often by one hit wonder bands, and also there are songs with
favorite bands that I've always felt the band didn't quite execute
to its full potential and therefore always dreamt of getting the opportunity
to have a go at. I have several of those kind of covers up my sleeve
for future XXX releases, liveshows etc.
they heard it and what was their response to it?
were your favourite moments of writing and recording the album 'Heaven,
Hell Or Hollywood'?
(The Japanese always want or demand bonus tracks, so we put 2 extra tracks on the Japan version)
The bulk of
the material was based on my big passion and love for the 70s glam
and punk scene, but maybe also a little bit of contemporary american
skatepunk that I like too. The other guys contributed with a little
more 80s kind of style of glam/hair metal too.
even a bundle of swedish rock/pop bands from late 70s early 80s like Snowstorm, Noice and the singer/artist Magnus Uggla who had made his own wonderful hybrid by borrowing heavily from the british 70s glam and punkrock scene.
I wanna elaborate
and explain the reason we wanted just 10 songs.
I'm not by
any means saying those XXX outtakes weren't good songs, but we selected
and put together these 10 songs that fit and would make the perfect
combination in blend, moods and styles for a great homogenic record
in the end. So if you want to hear more, just listen to the album
Next time, I think we f*ck*ng skip releasing CDs altogether and put out vinyls and digital downloads.. the perfect combination. Call me conservative.
songs came together the quickest and why?
too deeply for meaning and messages here, when there actually is non,
I'm basically just writing in general terms based on a number of experiences
I've had so it's rarely about any particular person, incident or event.
To me it's always been more about putting the right words to a certain vibe and feeling I have about the song in question in an attempt to bring that vibe across to the listener, using associations and references I guess, it's also a wordplay and the challange of fitting the right words into the melody with the ight phrase at the right place. I can't really say because I haven't really analysed what or why I do like that. In a way it's like trash poetry if I may say so myself.
who's is the pink outbuilding that you are photographed in, where
is it and who came up with that idea?
Silly idea perhaps, but glam has always been about playing with sexual roles, gender bender and androgyne and pink is widely considered sissy or gay and a colour for little girls, and predictably dressing up all in black, looking fierce and pissed off which is always acceptable and the norm does hardly gel with XXX's happy glam music, so I just thought pink would upset and stir up emotion with some narrowmindead people who obviously wouldn't like XXX anyways, might as well get rid of them right away.
To be honest, as you know I've been with tons of different bands in different genres but with XXX I have for the first time ever experenced some resistance from my fans in the heavier departments saying stuff like "Snowy, What the f*ck is this XXX!? You are no longer my hero or idol, I hate it! "
Sad to admit this, but what the f*ck can I do? you can't please everyone all the time, I'm doing my music first and foremost to please myself... if people likes it, I consider it a bonus, and nothing could make me happier.
are the best gigs you have played so far and why?
your view of bands like 'Steel Panther' and such like who appear to
be taking the world by storm?
So obviously I don't have any idea. But the name sounds like that from the movie Rockstar.
I don't give a sh*t nor bother keeping updated just for the sake of
being up to date. But of course once in a while up pops some band
that attracts me, and it's rarely metal bands.
I definately do not suffer from any little brother complex but the older I get the more patriotic I tend to get.. but that won't stop me from eventually packing my bags and move my ass away from this rainy, cold, bleak fucking country one of these days.
up with labels in th UK and Europe - seems crazy that no one has signed
you up over here yet and what woud you be looking for to get signed
But well, we all know that the record industry as we know it is going straight to hell, and labels are going bankrupt every week and record stores are closing down every day. In fact more than half a dozen of the labels I was in negotiations with for XXX was already facing bankruptcy and eventually had to throw in the towel.
I guess kids don't want to go out and buy albums anymore obviously, so it's a big risk for labels to sign new bands, so they rather try to play it safe and sign up the flavour of the month copy cat bands if any.
So I started my own little humble label and have just signed up for digital downloading world wide, so within shortly XXX will be available on each and every digital platform on the planet, assuming that everything works according to the plan. For people who still wants the physical CD they can easily order it from firstname.lastname@example.org or otherwise www.myspace.com/xxxsweden or www.perrisrecords.com
In order to
stay healthy, sane, happy and somewhat content rather than to implode
of anger and bitterness I have chosen to take on the behavior of an
ostrich and put my head in the sand and pretend like nothing, otherwise
I might have become a serial killer.
Personally I have deliberatly avoided getting soaked into both Facebook and Twitter, and that goes for XXX as well,.. but hey, now that you brought it up, might be a good idea that XXX is presented on those too. I just don't have the time to do everything on my own.
band's albums do you like to play when not working on your own material
Why you ask,..
Hmm because I like listening to it I guess, I don't think I listen
for the purpose of studying a skilled technically advanced musician
or any crap like that, which I of course can be totally excited, flabbergasted
and impressed by, but that's not really what I'm after these days,
a great singer with an exceptional voice yes, but a lightning fast
shredding guitarist or blast speed drumming out of hell is not the
kind of thing I'm looking for.
giving a phone interview with some metalmag a few years ago and the
guy asked me about my influences and what bands I listened to, I said
"well i dunno, eh nothing in particular eh whatever basically..
ABBA maybe,.." and then he replied Oh ABBA really, do they have
good drums? -- To me it seemed like the most stupid thing ever to
say, do one actually think because that I'm originally a drummer that
I only listen to music that has good drums? It's so absurd, just proposterous.
In fact my favorite bands as I was growing up had some of lousiest
drummers in the world, but on the other band the best songs and singers
to my taste.
If you were
talking about the action movie... I haven't the slighest clue,.
Besides that I'm pretty excited to see how the digital download will turn out world wide in a few weeks time.
hobbies and interests do you have outside music?
Funny you would ask, but it suddenly dawned in me as I was sitting in business meetings for XXX in Los Angeles last year that what I was in fact mostly proud of with XXX was that I managed to turn a disasterous situation around and what I had accomplished. If the album or XXX for that matter was that good and had that great potential is a whole different subject. I was a little blinded by my own satisfaction of saving the ship from sinking,..
I don't make myself very clear here, but I really can't say anymore
After reading this interview, feel free to think I'm a blunt self centered idiot, but I always shoot straight and speak the truth.. and the truth is XXX- Heaven, Hell or Hollywood? is a great f*ck*ng album by a great new up-and-coming band,.. and you'll be sorry if you missed the train, and you won't be able to brag to your friends that you were right there when it all happened ..so jump aboard and join the XXX Army now!
Thanks for a great Interview Snowy !!! Big Thankyous Nicky Baldrian & Tom Mathers for Setting it up!!