Toledoan Chris Snyder headed to SXSW, releasing new LPWritten by Matt Liasse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
After his last band started to crumble, Chris Snyder challenged himself to write and record a new song every day for a year.
“I spent the better part of a decade pouring myself into this band,” Snyder said. “When it was over, I sort of found myself with a day job and nothing else.”
Snyder said he took a step back and said to himself, “Wait a second, I’m a musician. What is going on here?
“I realized that I hadn’t actually written a song in over a year,” Snyder said. “I decided I would do something that was kind of radical [and something] I hadn’t heard anyone else ever do before.”
The goal of what he called the “threesixfive project” was to see if he still loved making music after a year of writing. Snyder said he knew halfway through the challenge that he wanted to continue being a musician.
Since then, he formed a four-piece band Ace Reporter. Ten songs he wrote during the challenge are found on the group’s debut album “Yearling,” which is available on iTunes and on vinyl at Culture Clash Records.
“It’s 10 tracks that I thought were really strong and I wanted to reinterpret,” Snyder said. “It really shifts from song to song and I think that’s because [with] the threesixfive project I got bored with just one kind of song. There are a few songs on the record that are really acoustic guitar driven … and there are other songs that are straight-up rock songs.”
Snyder said he looks up to bands like U2 and Radiohead, but their influence doesn’t really show up in the album’s sound. He said he didn’t wait for inspiration — just forced himself to write.
“I actually don’t believe in inspiration,” Snyder said. “It’s a good thing because I think if I had waited for inspiration, I would’ve failed.”
Snyder said being alone with no cellphone reception helped him to record every day.
Snyder and his wife moved to Toledo from New York in 2012. Soon after they moved, he heard from Ooh La La Records, a label in New York.
“It was in the first month or two of being here that I got the first interest from Ooh La La Records, which is now my label,” Snyder said. “It was funny; I had spent seven years in New York with the last band, trying to make it happen, then a month after I moved to Toledo, [Ooh La La called.] Well, jeez, maybe I should’ve moved to Toledo earlier.”
Snyder still goes to New York for work and music every other week.
“It’s been this weird one foot in New York, one foot in Toledo thing for me,” he said.
Snyder said the relocation was huge, but the town has been welcoming. He said he has plugged into the Toledo music scene and can’t wait to play his music in the area.
Ace Reporter will tour in 2013, and Snyder said there will be a Toledo show.
For now, Ace Reporter is gearing up for set at the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin, Texas, which runs through March 17.