Posted on by Oran

Curtis Don Vito of American Hard Rockers, SNEW took some time out of the bands ever hectic schedule to take part in our Overdrive Discover Series. 

Hard Rock four-piece SNEW recently took their brand of bone-crushing hard rock to the UK’s Hard Rock Hell Festival and kicked its ass!

Frontman Curtis Don Vito gives’ Overdrive some insight into the bands’ history as part of our Overdrive Discover series.

OD – Give us a brief background on the band and the particular sub-genre that best
describes who you are?

CDV – We started in late 2005 when Andy (Lux – Guitars) and I met through a friend. We both were into the same kinds of stuff and after we wrote our first song (that same night) which is “Stand Up High” – the first song on our first album, we knew we had to put this band together.

We named the band less than a week later. Wasn’t long after that that we started recording and touring. If you want a sub-genre it’s Hard Rock or maybe Lightning Rock.

OD – With reference to a discography, what exists already, and do you have anything coming out in the near future?

CDV – We put our first album “Snew You” out in 2008. It made it to a lot of top ten lists so it really established us. In 2010 we released “We Do What We Want”. We had a much bigger budget for this one and you can really hear the difference.

Our producer Bobby Owsinski brought in Ed Cherney to engineer and mix this one. Ed’s a Grammy winner who’s worked with bands like the Rolling Stones so he got us an incredible sound. Then in 2012, we put out “What’s It To Ya”. For this one, Bobby brought in Ken Scott who worked with The Beatles, David Bowie and so many of the most legendary albums in rock history. He took us to a new level as you can hear with our latest album which was released in September. We’re very excited about it. It may be the best work we’ve done yet.

OD – Was there any one particular band/musician that inspired you to get involved with
music and if so, who?

CDV – The description we’ve used for years, to sum up what we do is “Snew are the illegitimate stepchildren of Alice Cooper and The Ramones homeschooled by Motörhead.” That’s a brief outline of who’s inspired us to create our music.

OD – How supportive has the local underground scene been for you and has it helped the
band in any way?

CDV – The local scene in Los Angeles is only mildly supportive of anybody these days. It was probably always like that to some degree. If you really want to do something with your music you have to think globally. We’ve had tremendous support from the global underground scene. Fan forums, magazines, internet radio worldwide, these are the people who have always given us the most support and encouragement.

We learned right away that Los Angeles is only a state of mind and our local scene is Earth. If we want to go beyond that we’re going to have to start thinking about touring other planets.

OD – With the dramatic change in the way the music industry has evolved, how are you
experiencing the current climate and what would you like to see change moving forward?

CDV – The world is about to shift up and become something different, something amazing. This is a time of purging so when you see people acting all crazy don’t freak, it’s just them getting the crap that’s built up out of their system.

If you want to talk music, you ain’t seen nothing yet. There’s about to be a musical explosion like we’ve never seen ever before. All that crap you’ve been forced to listen to… history. You’ll see. The way music is created and distributed and discovered is about to change in dramatic ways.

The system we have now is not gonna go quietly but it’s about to be expunged. All the great music and musicians today are a part of that global underground scene we talked about. You know that it’s what you cover here at Overdrive. You, me, everyone reading this who follows the underground knows the system is about to flip. Get ready for the things you always dreamed about. We’re finally about to go above ground.

OD – With regards to the process of writing material, is there a particular method that
works, and if so, please let us know?

CDV – The only method is to let it happen when it happens. You can’t force a good idea it just hits you all of a sudden. When it does I’ll usually write it down or sing it into a recording device then I’ll call Andy and say “Dude I got this idea let’s work on it while it’s fresh”. Then he and I will work out the basic parts then get together with the rest of the band and jam it out until it sounds right. That’s it. Be open to the muse and never fake it because everybody will know when you do.

OD – If there was one band that you could tour with, who would it be and why?
It would have been Motörhead. We hit up their manager several times before Lemmy’s passing but could never hook it up. Our only regret is not having that wish fulfilled.

OD – Tell us your favourite album and why it’s so important to you?

CDV – Come on, only one? There is absolutely no possible way I could pick one favourite album. The most important album for me, that’s easy, our first album. It’s the one that put me here talking with you in the first place. Snew is the most perfect expression of all my favourite albums of all time rolled up with my love and gratitude for the music that means everything to me.

OD – What are the plans for the remainder of this year?

CDV – We were over in the UK for the Hard Rock Hell Festival in Wales which was awesome. It was our first time across the pond and were very excited about it. We have a stack of dates coming up soon, so keep your eyes on our social media for all the latest details as they happen.

SNEW are;

Curtis Don Vito – vocals
Andy Lux – guitar
Lenny Spickle – rhythm guitar
Mark Ohrenberger – drums

For more information about SNEW, please visit the links below;




Posted by Snew on Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Oran O’Beirne 

www.overdrive.ie 2019