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SnowDial: Weather Report Weather Report as zombies? The remarkable world of Dublin's SnowDial

SnowDial: Weather Report

Weather Report as zombies? The remarkable world of Dublin's SnowDial

by Shane O'Reilly, Editor, Dublin
first published: December, 2007

approximate reading time: minutes

Anyone who says that musicians should only be musicians is missing the point of being an artist.

With their first single 'In Your Head' climbing all over Channel 6 late at night, this bright new three-piece (Eamonn Dial - vox and bass, Kathy Snowe - vox, piano and guitar and Paul Doyle - drums and percussion) are set to make waves here and abroad. Without any intended progression, they formed almost accidentally, releasing their music through their own label (Cool Day Recordings) and began touring all around Dublin. Here, Eamonn answers the biggest questions this small-time jack can conjure up.

SO'R: What was the main reason for forming a band?
Eamonn: I don't think I could say one clear reason for forming the band, we were just a bunch of kids who had some instruments who wanted to play music and find a good reason to hang out together and music was the best one we could think of. I suppose I could make something up and say that a brilliant beam of light shone down upon me and ordered me to gather one type of every musician and I should build a stage before the flood of musak washed over the wicked, but no, we just wanted to make great music and have a great time doing it and here we are!

SO'R: I like the basic minimalist drumming and constantly swinging guitar riff - any main influences that drove you to create such a sound?
Eamonn: We started off like a lot of bands do, trying to fill up the spaces with as many little tricks and riffs as we could but as we played more and more we realised that it's usually what you don't play in a song that counts. I think me, Kathy and Paul have all learned a lot in the last two years and now I can say that I feel like a bass player and not just someone who has a bass. As you probably already know a band usually sounds like the engineer or producer that they're working with so a major influence to our sound would definietly come from our producer Mike O' Dowd.

SO'R: Has the music industry been cruel or kind to you so far?
Eamonn: Music industry? In Ireland? Are ye mad? Well, what there is of a music industry in Ireland has been very good to us. Our single "In Your Head" that we released in march 2007 on Cool Day Records was a very easy process for us considering it was our debut single. We got loads of radio play and people bought the single so the industry at large seems to work but not on an international scale where Irish artists can hope to go abroad with help from the music industry or through grants and so on. I've been to many gigs in Ireland and not once have I heard a rumour running through the crowd of an A&R person lurking in the background hoping to spot some potential talent on the stage! The support just isn't there from record labels and independents. It's a shame really since there are so many great bands in Ireland like the Japanese toys, Blue syndrome and The Re-Offenderz but no ones looking at them or us from abroad cause no ones telling the larger international labels about them in the first place. Also the word industry is a bit of a dying notion nowadays since it's no more an industry since everything, like recording, promoting, design and whatever else can all be done at home and there's really no need for a large group of suits doing the job for you...but it would be nice.

SO'R: What is the idea behind the 'In Your Head' video?
Eamonn: The idea behind the video was a simple one, "Threat of danger". I wanted each scene to show someone or something in imminent danger to go along with how you can feel in a particularly bad relationship. The constant threat of pain, rejection and danger that goes along with every relationship whether it's good or bad is always there and I was hoping to create some sort of heightened state of concern for the characters in the video and also for the subject being dealt with in the songs lyrics.

SO'R: Do you think you will ever get rich and snobby and have no time for the little people like me? (I have met some already who have 'turned')
Eamonn: Shane, you're not little and you never will be, you're a massively tall human being of infinite proportions and I will always have time for the little and the excessively large, but, as a future celebrity I know it's my duty, if not my God given musical right to be an arrogant, shallow source of unashamed embarrassment and also a completely pointless drain on society. So yeah, there is every possibility that I may become a large, overweight drug fuelled cliche who spits on the working man but on the other hand I could just end up like Moby and become a class 5 vegan...

SO'R: What do you think of the present music scene washing over Ireland and the UK? (favourites and pet hates? Pete Doherty, Amy Winehouse - more sensationalism than talent?)
Eamonn: If everyone only concentrated on the music of an artist nowadays then this world would be a much duller place to live in. An act like Amy Winehouse and her constant tabloid splashes gives her career depth, colour and tone. Sadly we seem to be attracted to seeing our celebrities mess with the darker side since we ourselves don't have that freedom. Anyone who says that musicians should only be musicians is missing the point of being an artist. It's always been about the personalities and the cult of personality revolving around the artists and the legend they create that makes us love and hate them. You can trace your own reasons back yourself about how and what you feel about them but ultimately we love and hate someone who can go that little bit further than we would ever dare to because they show up our fears but also our potential for greatness.

SO'R: Have you been star struck yet?
Eamonn: No, never. It's too easy nowadays for celebrities to be brought down and made seem very human and delicate so that when you meet one you can only see the person standing there not the hype and PR spin surrounding them. I know that if I met someone like Jaco Pastorius (yeah I know he's dead) I'd be very quiet for a moment but once I got over the initial shock of zombie Jaco I'd be full of fan boy questions!

SO'R: What are your upcoming tour dates?
Eamonn: We've got lots of gigs lined up. December sees us playing with 79Cortinaz in McHugh's of Drogheda on the 1st of December and we'll be doing our bit for charity in Radio City on the 15th of February. You can find a full list of all our upcoming dates on our website or since we're adding new live dates everyday.

SO'R: When is the debut album released?
Eamonn: We tested the waters back in March with the release of our single and now we are ready to go one step further with a full album. We've been gigging now for about two years and our material has changed and grown so much in that time. Right now we have a very strong and solid setlist that I'm very proud of so I personally can't wait to get it recorded and let a greater number of people hear our music. So recording for our album should begin around February 2008 in PayDirt studios in Athlone which is owned and run by Mike O'Dowd from Alphastates. We've been working with Mike for the past year since he produced our single "In Your Head" and we felt that out of all the previous recordings he just seemed to capture our live sound and and how we hear SnowDial in our own heads when we play. A lot of bands can spend their entire careers searching for an engineer and producer that they feel comfortable with, one who can bring out the sound they want and if you're lucky enough to find that person early in your career then outcome and final recording can only be something you're very proud of. We all trust and value Mikes opinion when it comes to our music and whilst we do of course have our disagreements we ultimately come to the best decision for the songs.

SO'R: What are you getting for Christmas?
Eamonn: Well I don't think I've been a very good boy this year so probably a bag of coal and a summons but I guess we'll just have to wait and see won't we? (Hint: Itouch)

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