Five Questions With… Altameda's Troy Snaterse
The Edmonton rockers have released a new album on noted imprint Pheromone. Here the group's leader reflects on the record, his punk rock background, and his determination to hit the road hard in 2019.
By Jason Schneider
Respecting tradition, but with enough sophistication to shake it off as necessary, Edmonton rockers Altameda have evolved into a band with a bold and unrelenting sound. It’s on full display on their sophomore album Time Hasn’t Changed You, out now on Pheromone Records, and produced by Aaron Goldstein (City & Colour, Daniel Romano).
Since releasing its debut, Dirty Rain, Altameda has chalked up a lot world touring experience, a lot of which has gone into what makes Time Hasn’t Changed You a reflection of the beautiful mess life can be.
Backed by vintage sounds and bluesy rhythms, vocalist Troy Snaterse sings of love lost and gained and lost again. It’s the classic rock and roll story of finding resilience to claw your way out of the hole you’ve dug for yourself, as illustrated by the band’s latest single, “Losing Sleep.”
We caught up with Snaterse as Altameda embarked on a western Canadian tour with The Trews that wraps up in Regina on Feb. 9. For more info go to www.altameda.net.
What makes Time Hasn't Changed You different from past work?
This album came together as more of a group effort than our previous release. We began the writing process almost immediately after we wrapped up production of Dirty Rain, so there is more of a live feel that I think comes through on these songs. Basically, everything was recorded live off the floor with minimal overdubs, and we hope that the energy of the room translates to the listener.
What song on the record are you most proud of and why?
It would probably be “Fire,” mainly because of the performances by the people we had featured on the track: John Prine’s fiddle player Kendal Carson, our friend Kacy Anderson of Kacy& Clayton, and of course Aaron Goldstein on the pedal steel. It’s an emotional track, and I feel like everybody delivered very moving and emotional performances that helped push the song to a new level.
How would you describe your artistic evolution so far?
Coming from more a punk background, I would usually write songs in a solo singer/songwriter style and then translate them with a more punk feel. But with this project I decided to maintain the singer/songwriter feel, and incorporate a band who understood how to play within that realm. So although my writing approach hasn't changed much, we’ve gotten better as a group in terms of bringing out the subtlety in some of the songs. That's not to say we don't still have a few rockers in our bag, though.
What's been the most significant change in your life over the past year?
This past year has been fairly slow comparatively to the year preceding it, mostly because we’ve been preparing for the release of this record. But signing to Pheromone has been a great thing, and we were still able to remain fairly active throughout the year even though we weren't necessarily promoting any new material. I'm hoping that we will be on the road a lot more this year.
If you could fix anything about the music industry, what would it be?
Probably for artists to get paid more through streaming services.