Available now for pre-sale, OPTIC is a 144-page, Smyth-sewn soft-cover book that tells the visual story of SNAPCASE, a band that personifies ’90s hardcore; the wave that propelled the scene forward from Youth of Today, Gorilla Biscuits and those that came before it. The book’s “Black” First Edition is hand-numbered out of 500 copies and includes an insert signed by the band.
From 1989, when they were known as Solid State, through 2005’s “final” show — SNAPCASE were leaders in the ’90s hardcore scene. They grew more powerful and evolved with every release, including 1997’s seminal Progression Through Unlearning album.
OPTIC shines a spotlight on this era of hardcore by chronologically featuring the band’s personal photography, professional photography, influential releases, show flyers, posters, backstage passes, personal ephemera, handwritten lyrics, and much more, culled largely from current and former members of the band.
“Snapcase were kind of the perfect vessel to bridge the early-’90s mosh-and-burn hardcore style into everything else that started going on. They weren’t afraid of the new styles that were gaining favor in the scene—post-hardcore, emo, pop punk—and, if anything, they both incorporated parts of those styles into their own music and supported bands in those styles by taking them on tour, regardless of stylistic differences.” —Norman Brannon (Texas Is The Reason, Shelter)
In addition the visual elements, the book features insights from current and former members, a foreword by Duncan Barlow (Endpoint, By the Grace of God) and written contributions from Walter Schreiffels (Quicksand), David Sandström (Refused), Norman Brannon (Texas Is The Reason), Scott Vogel (Terror), Andrew Kline (Strife), Dennis Merrick (Earth Crisis), Jon Gula (Turmoil), Mike McTernan (Damnation A.D.), Kate Reddy (108), and producer Steve Evetts (Progression Through Unlearning, Designs for Automotion).
Spanning the entire decade and beyond, the book shows how copy shop, paste-up flyers segued into digital compositions thanks to the advent of the computer while hardcore’s style evolved in both music and fashion. The one thing that remains true, regardless of societal or technological evolution, is that hardcore has been the driving force behind SNAPCASE since day one.
“Musical evolution is what you want when you’re in a band; to be able to grow musically while building your audience. Most bands that start in hardcore have a hard time progressing like that because the audience won’t go along with them. Snapcase is an exception to that.” —Walter Schreifels (Quicksand, Rival Schools)
To celebrate the book’s release in their hometown of Buffalo, the band are playing a SOLD-OUT show at the Rec Room on Friday, November 4 and inviting hardcore and SNAPCASE fans alike to join them for a free podcast recording and pop-up shop event at Other Half Brewing on Saturday, November 5.
At both events, while supplies last, SNAPCASE will be selling an exclusive edition of OPTIC as well as a completely new line of merchandise.
The “Buffalo” edition of the book features an alternate jacket that’s an homage to the band’s debut full-length, Lookinglasself, and is limited to 250 numbered copies, will never be reprinted and, like the “Black” edition, features an insert signed by the band. SNAPCASE have decided to donate all profits from this exclusive edition to the city’s Roswell Comprehensive Cancer Center to aid their world-renowned fight against cancer.
“When first approached about a SNAPCASE book, I was uneasy because I felt that there were so many other deserving bands for this type of project. In reflection, however, we truly worked hard on being a unique yet integral piece of the hardcore scene in the 1990s and to have that hard work compiled and documented in OPTIC has been quite rewarding. We were inspired by so many bands before us and, in turn, we would like to think we inspired others—so I feel that we have a place in hardcore history somewhere. Thank you to Tom B. for having the artistic and historical vision to bring this book together!” —Daryl Taberski (Snapcase, vocals)
From 2-4PM on Saturday, November 5, the band and author/designer/publisher Tom Bejgrowicz are hosting a free, open-to-the-public podcast recording and pop-up shop event at Other Half Brewing at 1 Seneca St. in Buffalo. For the podcast, the band —along with former members Bob Whiteside and Chris Galas, and special guests Scott Vogel (Terror, Buried Alive), Johny Chow (Zero Tolerance, Stone Sour), Steve Micciche (Every Time I Die), Dennis Merrick (Earth Crisis), and Larry Ransom (Snapcase road crew) — will be recording a 2-part podcast with Nickel City Soundtracks live at the brewery.
“I feel lucky to have not known exactly who Tom was when we first met to discuss his plans for the book. If I had known, I probably would have been nervous because Tom’s been a part of so many books and records that I’m a fan of. I feel really fortunate that he wanted to work with us and despite my expectations for the book, I was still blown away when he presented the finished work to us. As a member of the band in its Third Act, it’s so cool to visualize the past and finally see what I’ve only heard about in stories on the road.”— Dustin Perry (Snapcase, bass)