Closet Snare: A Bitching Brew

2007-07-29 16:13
Watch the live video and interview: Broadband high

A quickie with Closet Snare
We also asked the band about being a ‘super group’ in the making, the democracy of improvisation, smooth jazz hell, their upcoming performance at Oppikoppi and more.

Sibot’s in The Real Estate Agents, Sean’s in Lark, Mark’s in Chromoscience, Kesivan’s in Tribe, and you play horn in Hog Hoggidy Hog. What’s different about Closet Snare?
Lee: We all play in some great projects. But we all felt like we needed something where we could express ourselves freely and not have to play other people’s tunes or within a particular structure. So this is just our expression band - there’s no pressure of having to make it. We’re not trying to make it or please anybody. We’re just trying to make music we dig. We’re just being honest about our music and putting out what’s in our heads as a collective.

Collective is cool, but who’s the boss?
Lee: The beauty of Closet Snare is that different songs require different leaders. Sibot (turntables) takes the reigns on the more beats orientated songs, Kes (drummer) on the more groove based ones and so on… Fortunately the egos in the band are all really compatible. We all like and respect each other. On the whole we are an equal collective all feeding off each other.
Kesivan: We have a democracy orientated system in play. We respect each other's opinion. Being in a collective group where there is plenty of improvising we have to trust each other to play the compositions in context of the music. Whatever the individual musician thinks is cool for himself it trust will be cool for the band. The reason why we are together is because we like each other's musical taste - and we like each other.

Explain ‘improvisation’ to the man in the street
Kesivan: “What we do is we take our set patterns and compositions that we’ve used and then somehow other ideas fall on top of each and then we just go with the moment. We take it as far as we think we should – improvisation-ally wise – but we all know where we are going to end up. It’s almost like you start ‘here’ and know you’re got to get ‘there’, but you end up going there together ‘cos you’re all aiming for the same place. It’s not the destination it’s the journey that's important.

What’s your take on smooth-jazz and standards? Has it killed the art of the improviser or does supper club jazz just have a bad reputation?
Lee: When jazz standards are played with respect to the idiom then they are most amazing improvisational platforms. Supper club jazz is something that has a bad rep due to the fact that in most cases the music isn't appreciated. But it depends on who is improvising, on how it’s being done and the intention of the improviser!
Kesivan: Smooth jazz has its place for certain people if they like it they must listen to it or play it. But you cannot call yourself an artist if you compromise on the music you create. Frequently musicians compromise in order to make more money or give people what they think they want. I think that if you are a true artist then you should have the ability to get what is inside outside. Smooth jazz and dinner jazz has its place - but not in Closet Snare.

What can audiences at Oppikoppi expect?
Lee: A blend of jazz, improvisation and electronic music with no limitations and no specific genre: the make up of the band is such that anyone can relate to any aspect of the music, whether it’s the beautiful soaring melodies, complex harmonies, quirky beats, fat bass lines or virtuosic drumming.
Kesivan: We just make music that sounds good to us. How can you make other people happy if you are not happy yourself? Remember, we are artists. The way we choose to portray our music is up to us not the radio or the recording industry. If some of our tracks might sound radio friendly, well that’s because we are friendly guys!

- Miles Keylock

Can a band whose ‘compositions’ morph from slow and moody post-cool jazz resurrections and electro-filtered psychedelic funk to ecstatic outbursts of improvised abstraction find a fan base? Meet hip young Mother City combo Closet Snare whose refusal to castrate their creative flow is converting jazz heads, electronica junkies, indie kids, classical converts and punk rockers alike. We caught up with Lee Thomson (trumpet, flugelhorn), DJ Sibot (turntables/machines), Kesivan Naidoo (drums), Mark Bu publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

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