banner ad
banner ad
banner ad

A Dirty Dozen with KEVIN SNELL of CHMCL STR8JCKT – August 2019

| 6 August 2019 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Working Class, Vintage Industrial Rock, dark and sinister with heavy synth/guitar sounds, drawing inspiration from early industrial and metal scenes. Blending metal guitar and late 80’s/early 90’s Industrial sounds. Signed to Cleopatra Records in June 2019 with their sophomore release, WRTCHD THNGS, coming out August 2019, produced by John Bechdel of Ministry.” We get Kevin to discuss new music, influences, and much 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?

With our first release we really wanted to make a clear statement that we are “bringing back an old-school industrial vibe”. We were hoping someone might listen and say “Shit, how did I miss this in ‘89?” Ha ha! Having established that…on our new release WRTCHD THNGS we wanted to really develop “our sound” within that old-school framework. Instead of “this reminds me of Ministry/Nitzer Ebb/etc” we want “Ahhh…this is the Str8jckt sound”. We hope that upon a listen or two the “album-ness” becomes apparent. We really wrote this to be a cohesive album that flows thru different moods until the crazy release and slamming down the mic/smashing the guitar in exhaustion at the end! Our mastering engineer, Maor Appelbaum, really helped us to create that flow. Not much in the way of hidden nuggets except that in one of the new tracks, I use a phrase  from “Silver Or Lead” which was on our debut.

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

Like most of us, I was obsessed with music from the age of 6 or so. Kiss’ first album, Black Sabbath’s Paranoid, etc…..then Depeche Mode and Ministry. It’s just in our blood. You love it so much that you want to create it!

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Although I love sooo many different artists and genres, I’d have to say Ministry. I loved synth-pop (still do) and I was really into “With Sympathy”. Then “Twitch” came out and I was a bit unsure of what was going on, ha ha! I missed the synth-pop vibe. I would listen to “Twitch” and shake my head and put it away for a few weeks. But, I kept going back to it…as if I knew something special was there, I just couldn’t get my head around it yet. “Stigmata” (from the next Ministry release, The Land Of Rape And Honey) was what made it all fall into place. I ‘got it’ and I loved it. Ministry led me to Skinny Puppy, RevCo and all of those amazing Wax Trax! projects. So, I morphed along side Uncle Al, ha ha! As he got darker, so did I. To this day, The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste is my favorite album.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Ministry, Kiss, Nick Cave, KMFDM, and Black Sabbath.

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

Well, our dream already came true on that one! My favorite industrial keyboardist is John Bechdel of Ministry (ex-Killing Joke, ex-Fear Factory, ex-Prong, False Icons, Ascension Of The Watchers). We did our whole album with him! He produced it, mixed it, and played on it along with us. A dream come true!

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Dark, yet a bit humorous and campy….harsh, yet melodic and structured……industrial music with strong rock, metal and punk influences. One DJ (now a good friend) described our debut as Jersey rock done with industrial equipment, Ha ha! Picturing “industrial Bon Jovi” or “industrial Springsteen”?? Ugh!

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

It’s different for everyone. For Mike, our guitarist, it’s playing live and killing it on stage. For me, it’s writing new material and watching it take shape.

8. 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?

Mike and Ian like to cook! (Ian makes an amazing Leek Soup!) We all drink too much except Frosty (Scott). Although we don’t even have an acoustic guitar at Str8jckt HQ, Mike (guitar) and Ian (percussion) DO love to play our songs without electronics, like a punk band! Frosty and I (the keyboardists/vocalists) sing the songs with them punk-style. I actually think we may do this for one song per set in future live shows!

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

Most recently is was when we met John Bechdel for the first time. Not only do we have a ton of admiration for him, but we were also hoping to work with him so we REALLY didn’t want to fuck it up! Previous to that, meeting Sting and sharing a drink at one of his daughter’s shows was really cool! Super nice guy!

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

Rescuing unwanted animals. My wife, Misha, and I do this as a hobby…but if it were a “job” and we could somehow make a healthy living doing it, that would be cool as hell.

11. 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”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Not yet! We have perhaps pissed off a person here and there…and it may have hurt our bookings, but standing up and doing the right thing is always the way to go.

12. 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?

Oh…so many! But to pick one…..Revolting Cock’s Beers, Steers and Qveers. Man, that must have been one hell of a party!!!



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.

Leave a Reply

Please verify you\'re a real person: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

banner ad
banner ad