M3: Barrens Exclusive

Sitting down today with Jason Snellgrove, to talk about the latest band to hit the Montgomery scene: Barrens.

I understand that Barrens has been an idea on your mind for a decade or more. That correct? What is the genesis of this band?

Yeah, the initial idea for Barrens came about sometime around 2010, but it wasn’t until May of 2014 that I started to make an effort to make it happen. I made a few phone calls and was about to set up a jam session and then I sliced my ring finger on my left hand up real bad (to the bone) and had to put it on the back-burner. After I got all the feeling back in it I started playing bass with Breaking Aim again. The very first jam session with Barrens was April 10th 2017. About 2-3 weeks later we decided the chemistry was there and we should move forward with it.

Knowing your love of horror, I hear Barrens, I immediately think of the Pine Barrens. The Jersey Devil going to crop up lyrically at all? 

Funny you mention it, I was inspired by the movie ‘The Last Broadcast” to name the band Barrens. It came out in 1998, and was about these local access cable TV show guys spending the night in the Pine Barrens to try and catch something supernatural during a live broadcast of their show. It all goes really bad for them. I think Blair Witch Project took that idea and ran with it actually. It does what Blair Witch did, but was filmed and released before Blair Witch. As far as lyrics go, we haven’t touched on that, but our writing process does involve coming up with a story for each song, then describing that lyrically. Whether its metaphoric, literal, etc.

Who are your bandmates, and how did yall come to play together?

Josh Carples plays drums, “Buckettruck” Clay Smith plays bass, and I’m on guitar. Clay and I split the majority of the vocal duties, and Josh is more of a background vocal guy in this project. It’s been really hard for me not to publicly talk about the band in a specific nature for the last 10 months, but we wanted to have enough music together and something on the books before we started promoting the band heavily. I played with Josh in 12thhour for 6-7 years, and I’ve played with Clay in Flip the Switch and Neon Liars. I knew we all could co-exist in a band and not kill each other over stupid stuff, so I made some calls and brought in a song I’d been working on to jam on and we hit it off. I’ve started teasing it heavy in the past few months. You’re getting the scoop here, as who all is in the band hasn’t been previously announced to the masses.
I am fucking flattered! Obviously we haven’t had a chance to hear you yet, so how would you describe your sound? What do we have to look forward to here?

We’re working on getting some music up. There’s several little clips out there on our social media. We’ve been strategizing how we want to release our music. Do we do a crappy demo and put it out? Do we release a single? Do we do an EP or a full album? We’ve got a little plan for how we want to put it all out there. As far as what it sounds like? It’s different for sure. There’s a lot of ground covered; rock, metal, post-punk, loud stuff, soft stuff, fast stuff, slow stuff. It’s all over the place. I call it gnawed-off rock-n-roll tantrums. I’ve been drawing a lot of inspiration from the early 2000’s as far as music goes. There was really a lot of great music that came out then, especially compared to these days where they don’t even televise the rock category at the Grammys. It’s time to bring the rock back. That’s the thing I’m most looking forward too.

You’ve kicked around the scene for a long time now. What are some of the other projects you have been involved with over the years? Not just musically, you also helmed up Gut Munchers correct?

I’ve been in a few bands. I played drums for the original Creep List lineup, bass with Breaking Aim, guitar in 12thhour/Flip the Switch/Pipe Supply/Neon Liars. I played guitar with BPM for about 3 years. There’s a good bit more, but those were the main ones. And sure enough, I wrote and directed Gut Munchers. I had no clue what I was doing. I just recruited a lot of people that wanted to do a zombie movie and went and shot it. It almost didn’t get released, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. I also had the opportunity to help produce “Death to the World” and do a small bit part in the movie. That was fun, I got to help choreograph the fights and death scenes in that one. It was a blast. Way more professional than Gut Munchers.

Your first show is coming up. When and where? 

We’re playing Bombers on April the 14th with Happy Lemmy. Show starts at 9PM, not sure what the door is, but we’re ready to rock off your socks. Its right before tax day too, so you can come forget about all the money you owe, or celebrate all the money your getting back with us! Shout out to Britt with Against the Grain for setting it up for us! He’s an awesome dude.


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