Bill & Sno’s Excellent Adventure!
It’s not everyday that you have the opportunity to walk around a neighbourhood with Bill Murray, stuffing stolen candy into pink backpacks, and making your escape from a bespectacled pensioner by blowing into magic straws… It didn’t happen. At least not during waking hours. These are ‘simply’ the dimmet hymns of a highly creative and restless mind; a dream souvenir, filched into this reality by our latest featured artist, Sno – or more commonly identified as ‘K1ngsbl3ndsno’, whom I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know quite well. Initially drawn in by his grunge-metal style of music and latterly, intrigued and inspired by his untethered thoughts on what ‘reality’ actually means, his theories regarding space and time, parallel existences and infinite alternate dimensions.
I’m a bit of a sucker for that kind of thing, so I’m game to entertain the possibility that Hobo Sno v2.0 may well be out there in a different dimension, strolling the streets with sugary treats, Bill Murray in toe… but we’ll never really know.
What we do know, is that these free thoughts and unshackled conceptualisations feed into the interestingly creative blending of styles that can be heard in Sno’s work. Not constrained by a particular genre, or reproducing sounds that have been done to death by countless other bands, Sno fuses grunge, metal and, to some extent, electronic music which results in something that feels vaguely familiar, yet like nothing you’ve heard before. Let’s get into what he has to say….
“I was at a comic book convention and an elderly woman was selling CDs and Comics and offered me my first Nirvana CD; Nevermind.”– K1ngsbl3ndsno
Let’s hear a bit about you. Who is ‘Sno’?
I am a licensed Tattoo Artist & Musician From New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; home of vampires, Marie Laveau, Mardi-gras, voodoo, spicy food, amazing live music scene, the French Quarter, beautiful women and many Louisiana myths and Legends. I am deeply into The Occult, novels, comics, myths, and history.. also interested in space, the number 3, coffee, playing guitar, Cajun food, all forms of art, fantasy, science fiction, anime, and collecting strange things. I don’t like racism, hypocrisy, draconianism, egotism, seafood, bullies, April 5th, monetary enslavement and being told what to do and how to feel.
‘Kingsbl3ndsno’ is an interesting name. Where does that come from?
Kingsblend is a play on the Kottonmouth Kings song of the same name, with the addition of the number 13. Historically the number 13 is thought to mean many things. Some representations signify a test, suffering and/or death. It can symbolize the death of oneself or a matter at hand, as well as the birth of a spiritual path; a passage to a higher level of existence. In Tarot, the 13th Arcana card is Death, which can represents the death of self- conflict and new beginnings. Sno comes from my last name.
How would you describe the type of music you create?
Metallic-Grunge? Too Heavy for grunge and too grungy for Metal… a blend of my favourite grunge tones, as well as vibes mixed into elements of Metal, Nu-Metal & Southern Metal. I also have a deep love for electronic and synth driven music, so there’s also a blend of that Industrial sound in there. A dash of blues and some shoegaze, and we’re somewhere in there, lost in it all. I make music for people like me, who are fighting depression, anxiety, and anger – those who wear a broken heart and need a fantasy to escape into. My music is escapism.
What first got you into music?
I would have to say my parents and television. Jamming through everything from Elvis Presley, ZZ-Top, Billy Idol, KC and the Sunshine Band to Glenn Miller and Hall, and Oates! Also childhood friends; growing up; trading out cassette tapes with each other in school… “I’ll swap you my Guns N Roses for your Queen!!”. I listened to classic rock and hiphop up until a fateful day back in the 90’s. In Astoria, Oregon, I was at a comic book convention and an elderly woman was selling CDs and Comics and offered me my first Nirvana CD; Nevermind. She told me it was her grandsons and that she didn’t like the lyrics very much and, if my father said it was cool, it was mine for free! Thanks, Dad! That started my love affair with Grunge and sparked my interest in heavier tones & vibes. From there I plunged heavily into a sea of grunge and metal music.
You’ve referenced Grunge and Metal as your ‘thing’ – Which bands inspire the most you from these genres?
My main musical influences include a vast and constantly evolving range of famous and indie musicians. I truly love all forms of music and musicians; from the unheard to the overplayed. My Most notable past and present influence would be Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain. From his guitars to his in your face, fuck the world lyrics. He used his music as a platform to make a statement, and the world definitely heard it. His ideals, catchy songwriting, and controversial character made his music stand the test of time and keeps him and his music relevant even now in 2021. Other influences lately include; music From Gojira, NIN, Ethan Burns & The Ragged Jubilee, Alice in Chains and Refused have been in circulation in my headphones, as well as my favourites from BandLab and YouTube, who have influenced me musically, and mentally aiming me in a more positive direction. Artists such as; Rick Tyrell , Dan Ripley, Coldcore, Skyward Apology, Antiphon, Holotype and my brothers in arms; Iain Wallace (aka WAL) and Matt Dunlap.
What is it that motivates you to create?
Fighting depression, firstly. It’s always been a form of therapy for me. The Occult as well as history and fantasy are also deeply woven into my lyrics and music with the goal of living on forever through the music I leave behind. It’s an immortal quest, fountain of youth, type thing!
Tell us a little bit about the instruments and equipment you’re using to produce your tracks.
I am a multi-instrumental artist; a vocalist and guitarist for 22 years now! I record my vocals with Shure SM57 & SM58 microphones and a Lexicon MPX 100 Processor. Some of the other equipment I’m using includes the Digitech Whammy DT, Dunlop Crybaby JP95 Wah, TC Electronics Sentry & Ditto pedals, Boss FX, Marshall JCM, Boss MkII Katana heads, Celestion Vintage 30’s and mostly Fastback guitars with a few oddballs I’ve picked up.
I also play Piano and Synth (Korg and MicroKorg ) which can be heard through my music in various degrees.
And I use LaunchPad pro to manipulate a lot of the sounds I record. I’ve played drums for about 15 years on and off and can play most instruments.
Describe your creative process when you write new music.
I am currently working on a gothic-doom-metal meets metallic-grunge project with my brother and resident Doom Lord, WAL and on Drums & Vocals, Matt Dunlap. We have released our first Track called NeverMore. With a follow up close at hand. I am also currently wrapping up my self titled album SnoCrash, which is Metallic-Grunge madness that embodies a lot of my Nirvana influences. The name SnoCrash is also a play on one of my favorite Cyberpunk Novels; Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. In the future have plans for visual collaborations with one of my favorite Appalachian based artists Erica Hill.
Where are you going next with your music… what’s yet to come?
I pull from past events and emotions, while also drawing from anything fantasy, the occult, history and films. Most of my songs are a blend of all of these things. I also like to hide references and sounds within my music.
I use specific numbers & intervals and my own strange rituals and superstitions to create my music. Every song has its own process. Sometimes taking me months to finish. From drums and guitars to lyrics and vocals.
We asked Sno for a selection of his tracks, and to talk a little bit about how they came about. Here’s what he said;
The lyrics for this song, NeverMore, have multiple references to vampires and are centered specifically on a 17th century pirate and his captured slave ship turned pirate ship (the Whydah & Samuel Bellamy), also known as “Black Sam Bellamy”, or the Robin Hood of the Sea. Bellamy turned to piracy to gain fortune so that he could marry a woman he was in love with, sadly he gained his fortune but sank with it off the coast of America before he could ever make it back to his Lover. A tragic tale sealed in history. Fun fact… the cover art for this song contains an image of Glynis Johns, from her 1948 Drama/Romance mermaid film titled “Miranda”. Most will recognize her as the mother of the children from the original Mary Poppins.
This one’s a love song I wrote about dealing with loss and the struggling feeling of never being able to manifest my own destiny.
Anti-Hero is clearly a song about loss and suicide. The feelings of being left behind, not accepted and feeling unheard. The ending for me symbolizes the rush you feel at the end, before moving on to something else. I used a digitech whammy pedal to get a kind of dying-whale pinch harmonic at the end to really drive the ending and bend it off at the last minute to create a kind of laughing mocking tone, (evil gnomes). I did this as a spiteful way of reflecting on the world’s disingenuous concern and mocking nature, for those who take their own lives. Paupers grave ending I call it. So there’s some weird insight into my thoughts behind some of my tracks.
The title (IF) stands for imaginary friend, and is also a play on the word IT from Stephen King’s novel by the same name. It is truly a song about how Boredom and Isolation can drive a person crazy.
This one is a deep song for me. It’s about dealing with family members with Bi-Polar disorder and being a child searching for an escape and acceptance.
This is a song about emotional loss and the hope for wishes that can never come true and also, hiding from others in your dark place (the upside down) which has hidden references and a nod to Stranger Things.
You can find more of Sno’s work on Bandlab if you’re a member. Following our discussions and the ‘getting-to-know-you’ shenanigans that typically occur when there’s common ground and many shared interests, we’re proud to announce also that Sno has since joined the IAMUR team… and we couldn’t be happier!