Gear Talks: Snõõper

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Gear Talks: Snõõper

Snooper feature
Words by Lewis Noke Edwards

Having just wrapped up an Australian tour, Snõõper bought with them a melting pot of punk, new wave, garage and rock (that they define as “pressure rock”) to our shores.

Their brand of rock is fast, aggressive and brings a lot of percussive and electronic elements into a band setup that is more traditionally based on amplified electric instruments. Ahead of their new record Super Snõõper, we had a chinwag with lead guitarist Connor Cummins about their sound, their approach to making music and the new record.

Read up on all the latest features and columns here.

Where did the album Super Snõõper begin? How complete were the songs when you went into the studio? How does Snõõper usually write songs?

The album Super Snõõper began with Blair [Tramel, vocals] and I recording demos on a Tascam 488 Portastudio starting in 2020. The drums were recorded using various techniques on multiple drum kits, along with Roland TR707 and TR808 drum machines. All of the guitars and bass were sent directly into the 488 with minimal pedals (if any). The songs found their final form with a live band between shows and practices in late 2021 and 2022, which then became more of the sound that you hear on Super Snõõper as opposed to the 8-track demos.

The samples on Super Snõõper were created by Blair and I by the use of tape manipulation, 808 drum machine and copyright infringement.

While you’re vaguely grouped into ‘punk’, there’s a lot of other sounds happening. The sound of Super Snõõper sound is cleaner but equally uptempo as a lot of other punk. How do you define yourselves?

Pressure rock – high intensity, stressed out, electro-hardcore-post-punk.

Who are a few of the biggest influences personally and to Snõõper specifically?

Butthole Surfers, Ween, Suburban Lawns, XBXRX, Arab on Radar, Devo, Chrome, The Ramones (live), Big Stick, Snuff Puppets, Bread & Puppet Theater.

For guitar and bass, what kind of amps and pedals are you running to achieve your sound? 

Snooper uses two Fender Jaguars with Curtis Novak pickups and mastery bridges through two Roland Jazz Chorus 120 combos. All guitar and bass use the same pedal setup – [MXR] Microamp, [Boss] DD7 and Chromatic Tuner. The bass is a Rickenbacker 4003. We use D’Addario 1150 strings and cables. The use of 2 Roland SPDSX sample pads is essential to the live show as well.

Has the recording process for Super Snõõper informed the gear you’re playing live? Anything you’ve added to your rigs after recording?

Meshing homemade breakbeats into our tuning/water breaks has been a game changer. We used a ’70s Electro-Harmonix Space Drum during early studio sessions that we’ve incorporated heavily into the live show in the past year. We also use a samba whistle and cowbell for added touches.

Who recorded and produced the album?

Our longtime friend, supporter and former van driver Jack Tellmann recorded the album at The Bomb Shelter (Nashville, TN). Our buddy Erik Hart produced and mixed the album.

The Bomb Shelter Studio

What inspired the Jaguar? It really helps the guitar cut through a fast, busy mix – was this an intentional choice?

It’s a 1994 MIJ [Fender] Jaguar with Curtis Novak Jag-B pickups with mastery bridge/vibrato and Schaller locking tuners. The neck pickup has been totally removed from the guitar and the bridge pickup is on full blast at all times. We use the Jaguar specifically for the scale of the neck and the distance of the vibrato from the bridge. The Jaguar running through the JC120 slices through the noise of the rest of the band and hits the audience with treble, but not icepick level.

I can hear some vocal effects here and there in live videos – can you run us through a little bit of that vocal chain?

Start with duct tape, then add an XLR to 1/4” adapter, then plug into a Boss Bass Chorus with the singer’s monitors completely maxed out.

There’s some extra samples in your live sets, how are these triggered?

We trigger these manually with a Roland SPDSX.

Snõõper’s new album Super Snõõper is out now via Third Man Records.

Keep up with Snõõper here.