Not too long ago, the Memphis psych-rock band, Snowglobe, was one of the most popular and prolific acts in town. Over the course of an eight-year span from 2002 to 2010, the group produced four excellent full-length albums, an EP, and two B-sides collections, toured regularly, and even dabbled in acting in Craig Brewer's $5 Cover series for MTV.
But not much has been heard from the group in recent years. 2010's Little More Lived In was Snowglobe's last official release, and the band hasn't played live since 2012. In that time, some members of Snowglobe pursued other projects — Tim Regan in his new Austin, TX-based group Texas Never Whispers, Jeff Hulett in Glorie and a solo act, Luke White with James and the Ultrasounds, and Nashon Benford with too many bands to mention.
Over five years ago, the band started working on what would become a new, self-titled album with producer/engineer Toby Vest at High/Low Recording. That record comes out this week on Regan's Super Sonic Sounds label, and Snowglobe is re-convening for a release show this Friday at the Levitt Shell. Brad Postlethwaite, the frontman and founding member of Snowglobe, spoke to the Flyer this week about the band's latest chapter. — JD Reager
The Memphis Flyer: Why did it take so long to make this record?
Postlethwaite: We've all had different things going on in our lives over the past five-plus years. There have been periods of intense effort and focus on this record, but we have also had to take a lot of extended breaks due to work, family, and other reasons. We had no deadlines, no interested labels, no one breathing down our neck. No expectations. It was beautiful. If it took 10 years to get things sounding right, so be it. We were making a record for the sake of doing it, not for any other reason.
What was it like working with Toby Vest and Pete Matthews at High/Low?
I had about 20 songs demoed when I brought the project to High/Low. Toby and the rest of the band helped to sort through them, decide what to try and record, etc. Of those 20, we ended up recording about 16 or 17 tracks, and then cut about five songs at the tail end of the project. At that point, we knew that mixing the remaining 10 or 11 songs was going to be a real challenge given the number of instrument and vocal tracks in each session. It also became clear, to me, that mixing would be a lot easier if I removed myself from the process.
Are you a perfectionist in the studio?
I am certainly a perfectionist and a little obsessive when it comes to finishing a record. There are often a handful of tracks that, to me, sound incomplete or just not representative of what I hear in my head.
For me, the final step in completing a record is reaching a state where I'm able to let that go. In this case, I was lucky, as Toby really understood the vision I had for all of these songs. In the end, once the record was ready to be mixed, I was very comfortable leaving things in his and Pete's capable hands.
Mortality is a topic you address frequently on the new album — where does that come from?
Many of the songs dealing with issues of death and mortality were inspired by events in my life or those close to me. A few were inspired by experiences I had as a medical student or resident. On a daily basis, you are being exposed to these really tragic situations and experiencing them with the patient's families. It's an overwhelming amount of emotions that are hard to put into words.
What do you see happening with the band from here?
More albums for sure. Between family and work, touring would certainly be difficult. I've always dreamed of getting back on the road again with my boys, but in the words of Michael Bluth, "Family first."