Written by Elise Olmstead
The Snozzberries are a four piece band out of Asheville, NC, and have been making waves at local venues with their tasty jams. They taste a little like jam, a little like rock, but The Snozzberries taste uniquely like Snozzberries when it comes down to it.
The members consist of Ethan Heller on vocals/guitar; Ian Taylor on keys, synth, and vocals; Asher Hill on bass; and Sean Mason on drums. The band is still young, having only started in 2017, but they are already expanding their tours from just NC, to playing show in Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio and beyond.
No Evil is The Snozzberries’ debut recording, and teases the tastebuds short and sweet at only two tracks. It does, however, give us a good taste of what The Snozzberries have to offer. It was recorded at The Eagle Room in Asheville, NC, with “The Wizard of Weaverville” Matt Williams as engineer. Guitarist Ethan Heller says “These tracks were recorded as full-band live studio cuts, with very minimal overdubs. We really wanted to stay true to the ‘live’ feel while keeping the arrangements super tight.” The tracks do in fact have a “live” feeling to them as far as the energy and the vibe, but with production and engineering, making for a beautiful listening experience.
I like that The Snozzberries define their song structure in the first and title track “No Evil” with lyrics and a chorus while still incorporating improvisational elements. They go to lengths to keep this improvisational spirit in this EP, “The guitar solo on ‘Snitchin’ Randy,’ for example, was completely improvised during that take,” says Ethan. “No Evil” sticks to a dynamic song structure of time changes, chorus, and bridges, that will have you soaring, and while the structure seems tight, it still lends for open joyful keyboard solos and energetic embellishments.
“Snitchin’ Randy” is a little bit more “jammy,” and reminds me of an Umphrey’s McGee song right out of the gate with hard hitting drums and basslines. This song really rips, increasing the tempo and the intensity until it reaches burning heights! When asked about their songwriting process, Ethan says, “Both ‘No Evil’ and ‘Snitchin’ Randy’ were written as full-band collaborations in the rehearsal room. Each band member’s unique flavor is present on the tracks. I (Ethan) wrote the lyrics to ‘No Evil’ after hashing out the basic structure at rehearsal. In general someone brings an idea to the rehearsal room and we just run with it. See what works, what doesn’t, and be open to changes. For these tracks we really focused on the arrangement and composition.”
Take a listen to No Evil now and learn more about The Snozzberries on their website (plus grab yourself a cool t-shirt!). They will be touring in 2019, including dates at Woodlands Tavern in Columbus, OH; Preservational Pub in Knoxville, TN; The Whiskey in Wilmington, NC and more. “We will also be performing at Sweetwater 420 Festival in Atlanta, GA,” says Ethan. We are ready!