SNÖWHITE was first formed by Zach Salvini (lead guitar) and Jimmy Kilum (bass/additional vocals) in 2014 and at that time was known as ‘Snow White’, as in the fairy tale. The pair of musicians from Reading have been best mates since leaving school a few years before, and shared a love of music, having been in several bands together. This burning passion for all things hard and heavy, with a leaning towards the melodic ‘80s, led to the formation of SNÖWHITE. Salvini’s Dad even lent his support, not to mention his garden shed, which was transformed into a fully soundproofed permanent rehearsal space complete with all manner of musical equipment and functioning PA system! The fantastic space created, it was time for the duo to become a trio as fellow school friend Zak Dagger joined the band and took on the drummer’s mantle. The guys had already decided on the brand of anthemic rock they wanted to write and were keen to get out on the scene and gig, but were struggling to find the right vocalist to complete their line up. Towards the end of 2017, Kris Law, who had previously sung in Broken Device and Panikk Attakk auditioned for the band after hearing about them through a mutual friend. They recall, “We all got on like a house on fire and finally some of the songs were coming together; with Kris adding not only his vocals, but rhythm guitar where we wanted to thicken the sound”.
The band certainly didn’t let the grass grow under their feet once the line-up was complete. Just weeks later a meeting was held and a plan of action decided upon to include a debut three-track EP as the initial focus “to make sure we were taken seriously by potential promoters and show that we meant business”. To get themselves ready to record the EP, the band members “worked a tight schedule fitting several practises a week around our various jobs”. Research was conducted and it was decided that the EP would be recorded at Outhouse Studios in Reading and produced by John Mitchell, as he came highly recommended. Dates were set, and ‘Too Late to Stop’ was recorded over four days in January 2018, with a release date of 7th March 2018. Say the band, “The title ‘Too Late To Stop’ is a nod to the rolling thunder of the SNÖWHITE machine during this time as there were a lot of things on our agenda and in the space of just a few weeks upon completion of the band we had gone from bi-weekly practice sessions to an absorptive state of overdrive!”
SNÖWHITE say “There is a mixture of fiction and real life on our EP with some serious political and some purely decadent undertones to go with it”. By not spilling the beans on the whole story about the three tracks and the influences behind the music, the band keep an intriguing air of mystery about them.
‘Want it’ makes an impression from the outset with it’s driving, thwacking drums and punishing bass lines, frenetic singing lead and rhythm guitars, heavy riffs, accomplished solos, insanely catchy hooks and with more than a nod to the ‘80s rock much admired by the founding members. Law’s vocal is clean, easy to understand and the tune is a real ear worm.
The anthemic ‘Snöwhite’ offers more of the same; pounding drums, booming bass and frantic guitar solos. An instant sing-a-long style that has me banging my head to the beat and humming the tune for hours afterwards. It’s one of those songs where you know the tune almost before you hear it and it stays firmly wedged in your brain for days afterwards.
‘Dolls House’ has such a catchy, melodic chorus that really gets into your head, plus grungy riffs, crunchy walls of guitars, chuggy bass, and the vocals are fantastic and really propel the song along. It’s my favourite track on the EP.
This EP offers just a taste of what SNÖWHITE has to offer. Paying homage to the ‘80s is no bad thing, but this band have so much more to offer than merely that. They’re accomplished musicians with their heads screwed on. I’m just disappointed it’s only three tracks! I guess we’ll all have a long wait until the album comes out next year.
Thus far, reactions to ‘Too Late to Stop’ have been good. The band confess they are their own worst critics and their passion and enthusiasm for what they do is clear. These boys are looking to
take the SNÖWHITE rollercoaster all the way to the theme park to play with the big guys!
So, what’s next on the horizon? “There’s not too much to give away right now but we are working on a full length album which with some luck we’ll see early next year”. Writing sounds like it is a real collaborative process in the SNÖWHITE camp, usually beginning with a guitar or bass riff from Kilum, Salvini or Law and then developed further between the three of them together. This is then followed by some form of lyrical idea provided by one of the three, vocalised by Salvini and Law, that gets further developed and discussed as a group. Drummer Dagger tends to be quieter during this part of the writing process, “but the chemistry works and the overall feel is translated into his percussionary magic, of which the rest of us are hopeless. As a team we get the job done and sessions cooped up behind the computer in the bedroom of Zach’s flat discussing lyrics and ideas are always a sociable and bonding experience. That’s not to say we don’t have our disagreements at times; some of the most characterful parts of our songs are products of a heated disagreement between Zach and Jimmy who brotherly lock horns from time to time”.
The music the four band members listened to while they were growing up has definitely had an influence on the style of music they create in SNÖWHITE. Zach Salvini’s stepdad was a veteran of the ‘80s music scene and shared his love of rock & roll with his stepson, who loved his newly found music so much that his cast aside his childhood cello aged fourteen and learned to play the guitar.
Jimmy Kilum was an even later bloomer who grew up with Thin Lizzy and The Kinks thanks to his father, then he got taken to V Festival in 2006 and met Radiohead, then gradually progressed to much heavier bands prior to making friends with Salvini and got to know about bands like Mötley Crüe and Extreme that felt more balanced. From a young age, Zak Dagger was listening to rock like Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin, and then when he was a teenager he branched out into metal, listening to everything from soft rock to prog and when he was fourteen he started learning to play drums and also a bit of guitar. His enthusiasm for live music was born when he first went to Download in 2009 and saw Whitesnake, Def Leppard, Slipknot and Killswitch Engage. Kris Law listened to the Iron Maiden, Metallica and Guns N’ Roses records his school friends lent him when he was a teenager and after trying to decide whether to play drums or bass, he “concluded that good guitarist/singers were as rare as dinosaur shit so decided to start trying to sing the likes of Nirvana and Green Day with his friends after school”. Since then, he’s been playing in bands, session singing for EMI, he was almost signed to Universal records, but he's “always been looking for the right chemistry for a band, no holds barred with a dedication to quality… with SNÖWHITE there is every chance of realising his dreams and rocking out with a vengeance!”
These days, a lot of the same music sounds just as good as it did back then, so the guys in the bands have no reason not to continue to listen to it. “We love anything that has melody and delivered with heart so we always go back to the greats such as Metallica, Mötley Crüe, W.A.S.P. and Guns N’ Roses but we are also partial to a bit of pop music if it hits the right tones! A good tune is a good tune. We can all sit around and listen to Pantera, then something like Duran Duran straight after and not blink an eye. It's all about the melody and the power! We’re loving a lot of the Scandinavian bands at the moment. The implosion of Santa Cruz was a disappointing start to the year but hey it happens I guess”.
SNÖWHITE have been gigging in their local Reading, and have played at the Facebar a few times. They’ve also played shows in London and Oxford, with more due to be announced soon. Stay tuned to the Facebook page for more details. They’re a new band, so it’s unlikely we’ll see them on any festival stages this summer, though they had this to say, “We’ve already been to a couple this year to check out other bands and it’s great seeing some of our favourite acts getting to take on bigger stages as they grow”. If they could play on any stage, at any festival, there were a couple noteworthy mentions. “An obvious choice would be Download Festival at Donington Park, that festival holds a warm place in the hearts of rock fans across the UK including our own. Maybe Rock the Piste Festival will be one for us in the future. Is there a stage at Piz Gloria? We love Bond and would love to play in the Alps”.
We’re a curious bunch at DTFM, so thought we’d ask the band what they hope to achieve in 2018, what their goal is and this is what they said, “We want to spread the SNÖWHITE word and let the rock scene know we’re here, keep gigging and make ourselves known so that we can continue to do so. It was only the end of last year the lineup was truly cemented with Kris so 2018 has been a success any way we look at it already”.
‘Too Late to Stop’ track listing:-
Want it (A. D. S.)
Kris Law - Lead vocals and rhythm guitar
Zach Salvini - Lead guitar
Jimmy Kilum - Bass and additional vocals
Zak Dagger - Drums
Find out more about Snöwhite here:-