When vocalist Bill Arteaga, bassist Nate Christenson, guitarist Ian Erard and drummer Jeff Wagner formed Snowsera in the spring of 2007, the four University of Illinois students deliberately chose a name devoid of any existing meaning. Instead, their moniker, like their music, is an open invitation to each listener – one which bids them to imbue it with personal experiences and emotions.
In more tangible terms, Snowsera is a band that uses its diverse influences as just that – both a source of inspiration in which to inject its own aesthetic and a common musical ground to connect with its audiences. The result: power drumming reminiscent of Dave Grohl playing on Ringo’s kit; a grooving bass that marries Michael Jackson and Nirvana; guitar lines that fuse British strumming with American riffs; forceful vocals that transcend traditional safe ranges with lyrical themes that are at once relatable and thought-provoking.
Although comprised entirely of Chicagoland natives, the members of Snowsera are hesitant to tie themselves to just one location – confirming the tacit truth that the band is most at home wherever a stage can be found (or created).
Over the past year-and-a-half, Snowsera has brought its high-impact live show to over 50 audiences crowded into rec rooms, dimly-lit bars and concert venues across the Midwest. Along the way, the band has shared the bill with major label recording artists (…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, This Is Me Smiling) and veteran Chicago indie acts (State & Madison, Company of Thieves). Although the touring path Snowsera has blazed cuts through Chicago, Minneapolis and Terra Haute, nowhere does its glow shine brighter than in Champaign, IL - the town where the band was conceived.
After “So Subtle” and “Trends” received significant airplay on WPGU, the band was honored with the titles of Best New Artist and Best Live Performance at the 2008 WPGU Local Music Awards, as well as being named the station’s inaugural “Local Band of the Week” in April. After self-recording/producing its first release, in June 2008 Snowsera entered Chicago’s Gallery of Carpet Studios to record its second EP with producer Brian Zieske (The Academy Is, The Hush Sound, Sars Flannery). This collaboration added fresh perspectives and new significance to the band’s music, because Snowsera is nothing if not the sum of its listeners. As such, the time has now come to answer one final burning question:
What does Snowsera mean to you?