|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
UK band gallops to success
By Mark Pytlik
Snowpony are likely the world's most inconspicuous supergroup.
Comprised mainly of ex-members of British shoegazer legends My Bloody Valentine and kitsch spacepop outfit Stereolab, their collective resumes speak for themselves. The release of their debut LP, The Slow-Motion World Of Snowpony, has been met with widespread critical acclaim.
The band, formed out of England in 1996 by lead singer Katherine Gifford, knew the other members through various random encounters within the UK music scene. "The whole sort of London scene is really quite cliquey," bassist Debbie Googe muses. "It's horribly, horribly incestuous."
With ex-Quickspace drummer Max Corradi rounding out the lineup, Snowpony recorded their debut record in Chicago, where indie veteran John McEntire contributed his production skills.
"What John did was actually quite subtle," Googe enthuses, "he's not a big over-producer. He's bizarrely sort of mellow and incredibly super-efficient at the same time."
With McEntire at the helm, the recording process came along easily and after only three weeks the album was complete. It was roughly around this time that Corradi decided to leave the band.
"It was quite unexpected when Max left," Googe says. "He became very interested in Buddhism and very frustrated with the band. [After recording the album] we came back and everything went sort of pear-shaped." The band filled the vacancy with another mutual friend, drummer Kevin Bass and by all accounts, things are going smoothly.
Snowpony has enjoyed a good audience response so far on this United States tour, which is likely due in no small part to their prior affiliations. Googe also cites a love for US indie music as a probable reason for their American college radio success.
"As a band, we've always had a big thing about American alternative music, especially as opposed to English alternative music at the moment. The whole English scene has gone very boy-pop in terms of guitar bands, there's a lot more interesting stuff coming out of the US."
Regardless of where their heart lies, Snowpony are finding success on both sides of the pond. In fact, it's probably only a matter of time before they gain a cult status of their own.