Heavy Mettle Psychosurgery recently conducted an interview with Swedish drummer/songwriter Snowy Shaw (DREAM EVIL, KING DIAMOND, MERCYFUL FATE, MEMENTO MORI, NOTRE DAME). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Heavy Mettle Psychosurgery: So besides DREAM EVIL and the mysterious FIREGOD project what else are you working on? Are THEM SLUTS still around?
Snowy Shaw: We put THEM SLUTS! on ice about two years ag. It's likely I will use some of the material I wrote for it but that we never got to use but I doubt we'll ever pick it up as a unit again.
"A couple of months ago I started a brand new project together with singer Mats Leven (THERION, AT VANCE, ex-YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, ABSTRAKT ALGEBRA, TREAT, KRUX, SWEDISH EROTICA, etc.) that we're both very very excited about. So far it goes under the working title S&M.
"It turned out we share the same influences to such an extent that it’s almost scary and working with this team we both feel is so easy going and enjoyable. Prior to this, I haven't had that good experiences co-writing with people. With most people I've worked with in the past we share common ground with a certain music style or a few couple of bands that we both like, but with Mats it's so different, we understand each other completely and can easily refer to a quite varied repetoire with everything from THE SPARKS, PLASTIC BERTRAND, ABBA, AC/DC, MANOWAR, SWEET, U2, NAZARETH, RAMMSTEIN, BOWIE, URIAH HEEP, ACCEPT, DALBELLO, CANDLEMASS, QUEEN, LAIBACH, RAINBOW, JUDAS PRIEST, GARY GLITTER and KISS, of course, among many others.
"Before we met we both had our separate individual solo things in mind with tons of material more or less recorded, but will now use some of that stuff in S&M since we now have decided to join forces."
Heavy Mettle Psychosurgery: Last time we chatted you were still a hired gun for DREAM EVIL has that changed? I've heard some darker songs from them lately so I figured maybe you were doing some songwriting for them now, are you?
Snowy Shaw: "I wrote at least 80% of our latest album, 'The Book of Heavy Metal', and I guess my taste is a bit heavier and darker than theirs. But then again I like all sorts of music, super-soft and what-not, but some of the more AOR-sounding shit with DREAM EVIL is definitely not my bag, but it is DREAM EVIL's style and I have accepted that fact."
Heavy Mettle Psychosurgery: Does being a metal musician pay the bills for you? Do you still get royalties for anything you have worked on?
Snowy Shaw: "I get royalty checks every once in a while from stuff I've done in the past but mostly it's for DREAM EVIL and NOTRE DAME nowadays. I've been ripped off so much early on that I'm way more careful of what I sign these days. I don't think you can find a musician who's been around in the business and who hasn't been ripped off. It's almost like that's the only way you can learn, unless your father's a business lawyer or if you're in the music biz for other reasons than playing the music you love. You try to get by every way you can, earning a little here and a little there.
"Lately, I've been co-writing some potential hit songs for some popular artists. That is something new for me that I really enjoy because writing music is what gives me the most pleasure in life, so I guess I wanna keep doing that. Also some collegues from internationally well known metal acts from Gothenburg have asked me to join them doing cover gigs in the area to earn some extra cash while having fun, drinking beer and meeting people.
"In contrast [to] so many musician friends of mine I have somehow managed to stay away from that scene through all those years. I will be doing a few gigs shortly totally unrehearsed, as it is standard hard rock and metal classics, I assume, so if I enjoy it I might just keep doing that to alternate it with my own music rather than to being a slave at the Volvo factory."
Read the entire interview at Heavy Mettle Psychosurgery.