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ENGLISH - The interview with Snowy Shaw Posted by Thor on December 29 2007

Snowy, Snowy Shaw. Is there anyone who hasn't remembered this guy after his few performances in Poland? It's a very talkative guy, he wasn't afraid to answer for some typical, sometimes a little bit provocative, and maybe a little bit hard questions. Here is the script of our nice chatting.

Hello Snowy! How's your mood today?

To be honest, I´m burnt out and feel as angry as a frustrated and obstinate teenager.

At the beginning, tell us where your nick name comes from.

Well, I had hair as white as snow, especially when I was younger .

How did your adventure with music start? Were there some musicians in your family or you fell in love with teacher of music? (laughs)

No, I fell in love with KISS at the age of 7 when they released "Destroyer" and it changed my life forever from that moment on. But the music itself was just one part of a bigger picture with KISS.
I didn´t actually start playing until about 6 years later and by then KISS was long gone and I was more into swedish popbands, punk, AC/DC or whatever that appealed to me. but that penchant for image bands has never quite left my system.

There's a lot of different opinions about you - many people love you and some of them just... don't like you. What do you feel about it?

Well, there´s not a lot I can do about that, so why bother. You can´t please them all, all the time.

What had you been thinking about Therion before you joined them?

Next question (laughs) No, honestly I didn´t have much of an opinion, I only knew them by the name and owned a crappy old album from the early 90s. But I soon found out they had improved tremendously and written some real cool stuff later on.

How did it happen that you joined Therion?

They simply asked me. Petter and I had a mutual friend which we both had played with and Petter liked my own music and way of singing on those demos etc. Therion needed a new singer and Petter thought I should fit perfectly for the job... which I am grateful for, of course.

What was reaction of Therion members when you proposed them designing clothes?

I don't remember if there was ever any discussion about that, but I think they all agreed it was the right and logical step for Therion.

You designed clothes for Therion and their, hmm, vampiric image. Many fans compared it to Cradle of Filth! Where the idea for that kind of image came from?

Well, in my sketches and designs I was aiming for a more medieval style which I think would fit the musical concept and the images I saw in my head. I wasn´t too overwhelmed by the way some clothes actually turned out in the end after everyone had their own say and the seamstress made everyone´s outfit but mine, but on the whole it was alright under the stressful circumstances as it always seems to be.
I fail to see the connection with Cradle and vampyric though.. ok, the clothes are mostly black in colour but hey, who doesn´t wear black?

Weren't you afraid that many people would think - "Gods, it's so kitschy!" (I mean stage image)

No, it never even crossed my mind, you think it should? For my own part, I never had any doubts. For others it may not have been quite so natural.
My clothes are just an extension of me. No masquerading nor charade. So for me it´s nothing new, I did theatrical performances with Notre Dame etc and Christofer was well aware of my skills in that department and wanted something spectacular and bombastic like that for Therion. Christofer was really into it and embraced it totally, some others may have been a little more in doubt without being reluctant but therefore choose a little more low profile approach which I respect and understand. If it ain´t you don´t do it. Christofer and Therion are luckily never afraid of trying for them new unbeaten tracks, and I think they all understood something had to be done in the presentation of the band on stage and in pictures. And judging from the reaction fans all over the world it was a very wise decision seen in the rear mirror.

(Paula's question, of course!) Do you do some exercises or do you do something special to keep yourself in young and fresh condition? Many men in your age don't look too attractive...

No, I do nothing at all usually. How old do you think I am really, 50? (laughs) Thanks for the compliment though (laughs)

Are you married? (laughs)

No, I´m single

What is the real colour of your hair?

Not blue anyway, like I have it now (laughs). I am a natural super blonde.

How would you compare Thomas Vikstrom to Mats Leven? (their voices, sense of humour, who do you prefer to work with? etc.)

I love them both.

Ok. Many people were wondering why Katharina Lilja didn't go on tour with you?

She works as a music teacher and couldn´t get any more time away from her school. She was much missed by all the band members, crew and fans.

You've just come back from European tour. What are your impressions?

The 2nd European tour 2007 was very intense and playing nearly 3 hours every night for 16 days straight was quite exhausting, especially since we had basically no time off after the South American, US tours. But it went great anyway I think and the audience seemed to appreciate it very much all over, and that´s what counts. Worst part being all these people cramped up in small dressing rooms backstage made for approximately 3 people. Sometimes 14-15 people.

You drummed at King Diamond's "The Eye". How did it happen? Did one of his friends know you?

Uhh? I joined the band in 1989 right before Conspiracy was released and I toured the world on that album before we did The Eye. Several things led to it, Mikkey Dee first suggested I should join when he decided to leave the band, then later after they´d auditioned 45 drummers from all over the world Pete Blakk called me and told me I should learn 3 songs until the next day,.which I did and got the job. There was a strong connection to Swedish musicians and in particularly Gothenburg to the Danish black metal pioneers.

Do you still have a contact with King?

With many of the members of King Diamond and Mercyful fate I do, but not really with King these days, unfortunately.

Do you know his latest records? Don't you think that they don't seem to be anything new but just a better copies of his previous records?

I haven´t really listened to any albums since I left, due to lack of interest. Well, obviously, otherwise I wouldn´t have quit the bands, but I guess you got a point. I still love Fatal portrait, Melissa and most of the albums before I joined King Diamond and Mercyful Fate.
I gotta say that Therion is quite unique in that sense for keep changing and trying new paths while most bands just keeps delivering the same old shit over and over once they had success with some style earlier on.

When you were in Notre Dame you were shocking with your image and hairstyle... Do you like changing your appearance?

Apparently I do, I guess I easily get bored of myself or whatever and refuse to be cornered and catagorized.

Why Notre Dame was disbanded? It was quite succesfull and managed to be known at the metal scene...

Yeah, for being such an uncommercial kind of music it sold very well and created a great buzz, especially in the underground. I ended up fighting the French extreme label Osmose for years, trying to get out of that stupid deal, which in the end led to me losing the interest of continuing with Notre Dame totally and I decided to shut it all down, or maybe I should say nail the coffin shut (pun intended).

Which music genre do you like most? Which bands are your favs?

I´d like to say, I love good music regardless of the genre.

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about Poland?

My old friend Wojtek Lisicki.

Everyone know that you are a multi-talented guy - what else do you do except of designing clothes, taking pictures, drumming, and singing?

Well, writing songs and lyrics first and foremost, that´s probably my biggest passion. I also play guitar, bass, do artwork like album covers etc. design and build stage props and scenery like everything you see on stage with Therion, from backdrop to the church organ etc. And what else? I dunno, all sorts of stuff.

During USA tour some unpleasant thing has befallen...

It was a real nightmare right there. I had my bag stolen with passport + all visas, US and Japanese which caused lots of shit consequences. I also lost 800 euros, my cellphone, two pairs of inear monitors, all my keys, ipod ,..and condoms..he he.. lots of shit was lost there and I ended up in a fight with the was a real mess, but somehow and luckily we managed to fix it all in time so I didn´t miss any shows at all. Thank god!

You were perfoming in Japan. What would you say about this country, those people, those metalheads?

It was the first time ever for Therion and a very good first experience but I´ve been there several times before with Dream Evil. I love Japan, it´s quite strange, very different from everywhere else on the planet. But I like the people and the atmosphere a lot.

Therion changes its singers quite often. Is there something more known about your future in the band?

We´ve talked some about the next step and next album etc, but I don´t know too much of what Christofer is planning after his sabbatical year. A lot can happen in such a long time, it remains to be seen..

Have you got some habits, caprices, are there strange things you do and which make other people go crazy?

Well, I like to drink piss, that sometimes pisses people off (laughs demonically)
No, not that I know of anyway. You have to ask the other guys in Therion or other people in general about that. On tour after months of spending 24/7 together you tend to get annoyed with each other, it´s only natural like any close relationship, but one gotta learn to read signals and not intrude and respect other peoples private sphere and space. Some people were born clumpsy and clueless, but I don´t think I´m one

We will have a chance to see you in Poland in February...

Are you talking about Deathstars supporting Korn?


Then I have to disappoint you now.


I decided to pull out of that a few days ago. I´m just too damn burned out. Besides all the touring we´ve done with Therion this year, I´ve had the most fucking hectic schedule with tons of other things going on in my private life and musical life.... I really need some time off in order to catch up, recharge my batteries and find some base and stability in life, with my new house that I´ve been renovating completely on my own between tours, recording albums, writing, playing shows with Loud N Nasty etc, starting my new company and all other stuff.
As much as I´d like to do the Deathstars 2 month tour with rehearsals starting only about a week after the Therion Adelruna Rediviva tour, I figure I´d be a complete wreck and would have suffered a nervous breakdown in March when that tour have reached an end or before.

Have I heard something about a company?

My company is called Snowy Shaw Productions and does everything from writing songs, designing artwork, stage scenery, styling and manufacturing. Everything I do basically with music and everything related.

What are you in private life? Are you so crazy as during your perfomances at a stage?

Yeah, pretty much so I guess. The way I am on stage is just one side of myself, no fabricated stage persona, role, character or anything just myself.

What record that you were involved in, do you like most?

Or dislike the least, mean (laughs).I´d say Le theatre du vampire by Notre Dame or Creepshow Freakshow Peepshow by Notre Dame

Where are you going to spend the The New Year Eve?

No plans, I don´t fucking care to be honest. It´s such an amateur event. At home I hope. I´d prefer a cozy evening at home with a girl, good food and movies.

The last words at the end of this interview? :)

I wanna thank all you Therion fans that I´ve met and that have seen us for the support and love. I´ve had a great and very exciting year and look forward to many more. Thank you!

Thanks for your time!


28th of December, 2007
: Thor i Darth Paula
All rights reserved
Photos: Karol Romaniuk


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