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10 Quick Ones with SCOTT SNEDDON of EDGE OF FREE – June 2017

According to a recent press release: “Edge Of Free, the acoustic hard rock band from Nashville, TN, will release its debut self-titled studio album May 19th via Digitally Sound Records.  The album was produced by Toby Wright (Alice In Chains, Korn, Tantric, Metallica) and is an intimate collection of honest songs powered by guitarist John Hussey’s dynamic music and singer Scott Sneddon’s dark melodies, soaring choruses, and gut wrenching lyrics about depression, drug addiction and recovery.” We get singer Scott Sneddon to answer our 10 Quick Ones about the new disc, his influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

This release is deep – very much an “album” and meant to be experienced from beginning to end, preferably in-sequence.  As such, it was not meant to be a quick, catch-phrase-oh-I-get-it-in-one-listen set of tunes.  If you listen closely to the lyrics, you’ll pick up on references to Fleetwood Mac, The Doors (“No one here gets out alive!” From “Pushin’ The Needle”…?), scenes from classic movies… I love using phrases from works of art that inspired me in a way that give the real music fan a puzzle and a reason to listen long beyond the radio single. Also, you’ll hear various spatial effects that possibly could have been synthed, but John created this really cool palette of layered tones all using acoustic guitars, so what you think is a sample or keyboard isn’t – even the strings are real! There are many hidden lyric nuggets that may take a few passes…on “Edge of Free” (the song), there’s the chorus line “In the stillness of your memory, one heartbeat…” …if you can figure that one out I’ll send you a free T-shirt and CD, ha!

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

As far back as I can remember I was going to be a musician… my favorite song when I was six-years-old was Aerosmith’s “Dream On”… it was magical… that song had such a profound effect on me, like time would stand still…like dusk to dawn.  My dad was a professional, classical woodwind player, so it all just seemed normal to play an instrument, and music was always playing. As far as what to play and what style of music – there was a piano, a baby grand, in my home so that’s the one instrument I chose NOT to play, ha!  I wanted drums… what kid doesn’t want to hit stuff with sticks?!  But, I was not allowed to have a drum kit, so my drum years were limited and my real obsession started with guitar and singing, because you could noodle along to Iron Maiden, UFO, Metallica, Ozzy (Randy Rhoads), Van Halen (Eddie), etc., for hours while the grey frozen sky molded into nighttime in Michigan… and singing with a guitar allows you to hide a bit if you’re shy, which I certainly was. There was a point in my teen years where I saw a killer show at Joe Louis arena in Detroit and decided I’m going to do that or die trying… and it was all downward spiral from there… LOL!

3. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Led Zeppelin, Chris Cornell/Soundgarden, Black Sabbath, James Brown, Neil Young/CSN, Pink Floyd, Aerosmith (up to Rocks), Queen, Jack White… is that five?  I lost count… 🙂 A few new bands, maybe Rival Sons, seem to be carrying the torch and fall into our wheelhouse.  John leans more toward pop than I do, while I am a child of Black Sabbath…

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?

Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam… I think our voices would blend in a killer way, and his song writing is just beyond! He also gets the acoustic thing, so I’d love to hear how he would approach this music!  (Side note: I write vocals over John’s music somewhat independently; most of the time the music is complete, sans drums/bass, when I start it.)

5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?

We’ve actually heard people say we sound like Led Zeppelin with Chris Cornell singing… and I think that’s probably as good as any simplistic comparison… and damn if we could live up to that I’d be a happy camper on the Silk Road!  We’re not a straight-forward “hard rock” band… we don’t follow the “today’s rock” formula either. The vocals can get “heavy” as you might hear in Soundgarden or Alice In Chains, but we’re just as likely to be stripped down to a soft vocal with acoustic guitar only, as in Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here.” Many of our songs would fit nicely between Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman” and Neil Young’s “Old Man” – we don’t rely on electric guitars, but use acoustic guitars in a really aggressive style for a syncopated, whispy sound.  We are heavy in terms of emotion, but not in terms of the tools we use. Lately John’s been sending me some heavier rockin’ tunes… HEAVY ACOUSTIC if ya will!

6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Having an instrument to turn to… to be a companion… to always have a new gift any day you decide, this is what being able to play and sing do for me.  I can be in the most down situation and if I pick up and start playing, and a song comes along…. the sense of relief and accomplishment is huge and before you know it… that sense of hope creeps back in!

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

John is the organizer and often takes the lead for things like that… I’m very likely to grab the acoustics any time they are available and I’m not tied down, and we’ll break out a tune!

8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

Chief Mountain Bike guide… or whatever the hell ya might call it!  On a more realistic note, science is my other love, and Cosmology and Astrophysics are on my life’s itinerary – I would complete my PhD and move over to science, researching the beginning and end of the universe… ultimately my dream job is as a lifetime student, trying to understand what this all means.

9. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”?

Sure… I moved back to L.A. From Nashville, and John and I stopped working together for a period of time.  Not necessarily by choice, but we could have continued to work together even as we needed separate paths for that time.  I can imagine this amazing catalog of songs we’d have by now… but, I’ll take a few great songs over a catalog, if I can;)

10. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I’d choose Led Zeppelin’s IV to see “Stairway to Heaven” being recorded.  Every single sound that made it onto that recording adds to the vibe and it’s just so incredibly powerful!  And it does so without bullying its way into your ear – no wall of electric guitars in low D, just pure grace! I hope that song would stand a chance to be heard today …takes 4 minutes before you even hear drums, much less the chorus, and it’s no simple catch-phrase topic, but a deep song with more meaning every time you listen.  It is the pinnacle of free Rock songwriting IMO, no rules, just lost in the zone grooving and contemplating existence and purpose… Yep… Zep!





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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