You’re not likely to find members of Red Snow dropping names at a Hollywood Hills pool party. Instead, over the years, and despite peronnel rotations, this Hollywood rock band has built a loyal fan base and avoided compromise of any kind. By harnessing the power of the internet this “Armenian Mythical Powerhouse” in-the-making has made no apologies for their Hard-Core Metal sound in a town that seldom celebrates originality.
Nominated for best rock album at The Armenian Music Awards in 2004, 2005, and 2006 Red Snow was awarded USA4real Radio’s “Best Live Performance” of 2007. Their much anticipated CD “The Fifth”, produced by Levon Sultanian, mixed & mastered by legendary Ulrich Wild, is due out in early 2010.
VOCALIST: Jezter Detroit was awarded the Rock Vocalist Award at the Detroit Music Awards in 2005, and has had NUMEROUS nominations including Blues Vocalist, Harmonica Instrumentalist, and a few Outstanding Recording nominations. As of August 2007, Jezter moved to Hollywood, CA to LIVE his musical dream! Immediately he found his way on to VH1 Reality TV Show “ROCK OF LOVE–Charm School” Episode One with Sharon Osbourne, and now has found a perfect match with RED SNOW.
LEAD GUITARIST: Vahe “V” Marzbetuny is often praised as a lyrical, soulful guitarist and is the heart and soul of the band. He has recorded with Serj Tankian and Arto Tuncboyadjian on the CD entitled “Serart” on a song called “Devils Wedding”. Vahe along with his brother Zareh, both were members of a successful rock band in the 90’s called “Mach 1”. Their debut Mach 1 CD is still selling worldwide.
BASSIST: Zareh “Big Daddy Z” Marzbetuny is a skilled bass player with a unique ability to play a wide range of styles. His crisp, round earth-shaking sound fills a room. His firm rhythm makes him one of the most in-demand bassists around. He’s a funny guy with funny things to say and plays some burnin bass riffs.
KEYBOARDIST: Jack “Mr. Jack” Kurdian shows his ability to mix his assorted keyboards and synths (strings, textures, piano) in songs that are accessible yet (at times) free-flowing enough to be quasi-ambient. He has brought a unique style of his own to RED SNOW. “Mr. Jack” is in tha House!
DRUMMER: Shant “Ruckus” Sarkissian adds an incredible rhythmic backbone. He has a knack for placing the right beat in the right places. His use of space and his energy is amazing. Another fine example of a drummer who’s playing is complete self expression.
RYTHM GUITARIST: Narek Stepanian played an important role in the making of the new E.P. His songwriting and rhythm guitar skills shaped the new sound for RED SNOW!
Chris Daniel is a rapidly growing drummer in the music scene. His versatility on both drum set and percussion have made him an in demand player for live and in the studio. Chris Daniel recorded all the drums for the upcoming RED SNOW release.
We asked Vahe “V” Marzbetuny: Founder and Guitarist, about the realities of the business and life on the Hollywood scene.
AAN: You all live and play in a town that is essentially the heart of an industry. An industry of entertainment that perpetuates a culture where celebrity takes a front seat and substance is secondary, if not an afterthought. Would you agree? How does Red Snow manage to ignore all of that and maintain integrity in your music?
V: Without a doubt, you hit right on the button. As an “unsigned band” you have to try to ignore the fact that “celebrity” takes precedent over EVERYTHING in this town. Unfortunately, we are all judged by how much money we have, or what kind of car we drive, how big our house is, OR “How many albums have you sold?” Making a mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everyone would do it right? I believe it takes a LOT of patience, commitment, failure, and a little bit of luck along the way. Focusing your life on solely making the almighty dollar shows a poverty of ambition and will ultimately leave you unfulfilled. When we signed up to be in a Rock band, we knew that there are no guarantees in Rock n Roll!!! Probably playing Super Lotto has better odds of success! So we do our best to stay true to the music, through our deep conviction/ passion for creating melodies mixed with story lines that everyone can relate to. We Love what we do. That’s why we are in this game. Actually, we wrote a song on our upcoming CD called “Starstruck” which describes how so many people are “Starstruck” over celebrity. It’s really silly if you think about it.
AAN: The track Sugar Daddy on your most recent EP caught my attention. On their own the lyrics stand as poetry, and as I understood, written from an intimate perspective. Can you tell us more about the song and the video? Who’s responsible for the video?
V: The music was written by Narek Stepanian , Chris Daniel & myself. The lyrics came afterwards; we didn’t have a vocalist at the time. Prior to finding our vocalist Jezter, We were frustrated with the search for a vocalist, so one night, Levon Sultanian (our producer) and I were talking on the phone, he challenged me to write whatever comes to mind without thought, and see what happens. He was like “You write some lyrics Man! Have it ready so when you find a vocalist you’re good to go.” Sugar Daddy is what happened, I had Chocolate on my mind I suppose, and it all came to life. To be called poetry is a tremendous compliment. Thank you.
The video was my creation as well, I decided to gather clips that describe the song and piece them together to create a visual to the music. It was experimental to say the least.
Red Snow is a team. A team of talented Individuals trying to create an interesting body of music. As I mentioned before, Narek Stepanian & Chris Daniel played monster roles in the making of our upcoming CD “The Fifth”. We have Levon Sultanian (Abloom, Onesidezero) producing us, we have Ulrich Wild (Incubus, Pantera, Deftones) to name just a few, mixing and mastering the songs. We are so very fortunate to have such amazing people who believe in us.
AAN: Any advice you would share with young Armenians who might want to start a band?
V: I have a two year old daughter, if she wants to start a band I would support her 100%. BUT, I would definitely advise her to not put all her eggs in one basket. Why limit herself to one thing? I mean the Industry is very unstable and is changing by the minute. It would be risky at best to try to make a living as an artist, so why not have a back-up plan as well. Most definitely follow your Dream/Passion till the end and enjoy the process.
AAN: What are your thoughts about the competitive nature of the scene, or is it? What do you think is the best way to handle ourselves as Armenian artists?
V: It is as competitive as you make it. We all want to be successful at what we Love to do, as in any field. I would say just be real, and true to yourself, and everything will fall into place. Support your local Armenian musician!!!
Red Snow will be performing “Live” at the Viper Room January 22nd, 2010.
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