Following up their 2013’s “I’m Going To Kill Myself”, Boston grunge punk band SNEEZE is back with even more consistent and very enjoyable set of fuzzy tracks. It’s not that it’s so much unlike anything other modern post hardcore / grunge revival acts have ever done before, but the “Wilt” brings in a performance of stormy and passionate verve that shouldn’t be ignored. The melodic punch, sentimental feel and the intensity of each track from this record make for gratifying and addictive listen, no doubt. I decided to harass the band’s vocalist Derek Desharnais with a couple of questions about the band, the grunge revival, and a couple more. Scroll down to read the full interview.
SNEEZE leaves for tour in 1 week. They have a few pending dates that they can really use your help with (11/13 – New Orleans, LA, 11/19 – Chicago, IL, 11/20 – Bloomington, IN, 11/22 – Washington DC). Drop ’em a line via email@example.com.
Hey Derek! What’s up? How are you? How’s Boston?
Hey man, doing alright over here. Boston is turning into sweater weather. It’s fair season so its pretty fun.
Ok guys. It’s really nice to have you here. Please drop us a line or two about your backgrounds. Are you trained musicians or self-taught?
We are all self taught musicians. I learned guitar when i was kid playing screeching weasel songs. I slowly broke out of power chords randomly matching strings that sounded good. I still to this day no nothing of chords. We all are really good at matching stuff just by listening.
Which of them came first into your life? Grunge or punk?
First it was Grunge. I grew up listening to all the commercial grunge bands at the time. Mostly cause my parents did. around 7th grade i started to understand more of the independent seen and pretty much just listened to new england punk/hardcore/screamo bands at the time. My first 2 bands were punky bands where we did covers from THE QUEERS, RAMONES, THE DICKIES, etc…
How would you relate the concept of “90s revival” to your own style? Do you consider yourself a part of this pecific flood of young bands bringing back the good feel of grunge, raw rock and emotive punk born 20-25 years ago?
I would like to think we are a part of it. I think our music is heavily influenced in several genres that once flourished in the 90’s that kinda of got lost in the newer years. I feel people were still doing it but for some reason or another people started caring as of recently. Probably has something to do with PR and Internet crap.
Haha, by the way, forecasting actually means shaping, so let’s forecast some future rock trends. Do you have any idea what is going to be “in fashion” within alternative rock and punk scenes in 10 years?
It’s hard to say. I honestly don’t know whats in fashion now other than the 1 million 10 year anniversary album shows I have been seeing. I turned the radio on not to long ago cause my i pod died. My girlfriend and I didn’t recognize one song that came on nor did we like one.
However, it seems that more people are paying attention to the independent scene. But to say its in fashion. I dunno. It has potential to break through. But will it ever be commercial. Probably not.
Ok, back to SNEEZE, shall we? What inspired you to form this band?
My previous band broke up and at the end of that era we began writing songs that sound quite similar to SNEEZE. I was getting tired of writing screamo songs and began to venture more into 90’s bands that i missed when i was a kid. I took a couple years off from playing music and began extremely depressed. Which is what I needed. I wrote our entire EP within a couple weeks. and we played our first show about a month after.
Your recent album “Wilt” received a hell of a lot of amazing reviews and all of them are very well justified. What was the recording process like for this record?
Thanks a lot man! that means a lot. The recording process for this was very smooth but different. Instead of doing it in a bunch of random days we recorded it straight friday – sunday. 10 hour days. not to many breaks. It was a lot of work but once we got all the music down (which we did live) it was a breeze. I always have a hard time with vocals but Justin P. totally knew how to push me to get the best outcome. We all sat in on the sessions together and were able to all give input. It seemed more like a team effort and I feel it shows on the record. We had much more fun the previous recordings on this. Maybe because we have just been together for longer. Not sure. But it seemed like mostly fun instead of work. Justin made it number 1 priority to make sure we left with the best we could do and at the same time have a ton of fun. We definitely will be going back.
Who or what had the biggest impact on your writing process? Tell me more about your inspirations.
I would say a combination of drugs and alcohol abuse with the feeling of isolation mixed with general people I run into and honestly find myself constantly wondering how they made it this far in live. Some even dip into friendship problems I have had in the past. Most of our songs have a dark or negative lyric structure even the poppier songs. Its how I get my angst out and am able to function amongst others. I have severe problems discussing my feelings to others. Writing lyrics is really the only way for me.
What are some of the most difficult aspects of telling a story through music? Do you ever face problems with trying to convert some thoughts to specific form of art?
Not really. it comes most natural to me. Lyrics sort of just roll of the top of my tongue. I’m kinda an act first think later kinda guy and I always have something to say, so this is easy for me. It’s also very easy for me to get into arguments haha. Writing the actual music part is a little more time consuming. I get caught up in the little things and constantly try to make things different but at the same time seem the same I basically write the music in the mood I am in at the current time which is why we jump from poppy to dark to heavy all over the record. My current mood never last for more than a hour.
Ok guys. Let’s dicuss being on the road and taking your music where it belongs. Concert-wise, have you been busy earlier this year?
This year we actually laid low to finish up Wilt which same out in June of this year. After that we went on a mid west tour and actually will be leaving on November 7th for another 2 week tour. We pretty much play in the new england / new york area twice a month. Before this year and wilt we were constantly on the road.
How many shows are there already lined up and who else is on the bill of these upcoming shows?
Off the top of my head I’m not sure. I always love the mystery and suspense on going on tour and seeing these amazing local bands I have never heard of or you know…the complete opposite. Haha. I think we have about 20 shows up into the end of November that will be posted shortly. About half with our lovely friends and some a couple newbies! All east coast and Midwest will be posted shortly. We are however covering the vines for out Halloween cover set in Allston. That’s should be fun haha
So what’s in your music players right now?
Ok guys, what are you working on next?
We are writing and demoing some new songs in between touring for an EP we will be releasing through Glory Kid again. We don’t have a release date but the new tunes are sounding good so far.
Wow, cool! Thanks a lot! Is there anything you’d like to share before we wrap it up?
I am all set it was nice talking to you and thanks!
Thanks! Big up for your time, it’s hugely appreciated. Best of luck!