Monday, February 21, 2005

SNMNMNM's music melts your mind, not your ears

Bring The Noise

SNMNMNM’s music melts your mind, not your ears

NC based indie band to rock Big Daddy’s as best as it can

Justin de la Cruz
Contributing Writer

Who else: Max Fischer Project, Amber Pacific, and A Small Impact
Where: Big Daddy’s
When: Monday, Feb. 21
Admission: $6 for 21 and older, $7 for under 21 (includes admission to ’80s night that immediately follows)
Doors open: 9 p.m.
Showtime: 9 p.m.

Tuba. Accordion. Rock and roll. These words may conjure up competing images in the minds of readers, but for the members of SNMNMNM (a name pronounced simply by saying each individual letter in rapid succession), they represent effective outlets for their musical expression. Though the group’s instrumentation may deviate from the normal setup of an indie rock band, the elements contributed by the tuba, accordion, trombone, trumpet, guitars, and drums blend into an uplifting sound that drives the catchy pop songs of As Best As We Can, SNMNMNM’s recent full-length release on Unschooled Records.
“As Best As We Can has more press than we’ve ever had before,” drummer Matt Vooris said. “People are picking it apart without seeing our live show. So they’re like ‘Tuba? Is that a gimmick?’ But the thing I like about it, being the drummer, and having a tuba player … you get different nuances. Someone playing a bass is going to make the notes flow different than the tuba would.”
Mark Daumen’s tuba playing for SNMNMNM is very versatile, adapting to the different musical styles presented by the group. He uses a light tone for lilting sections in songs like “Disco Barry!” while providing a deeper sound for the more rock-oriented sections on the new album.
“I think Mark is helping to redefine the concept of tuba,” Vooris said. “I hate it now, when you hear a soundtrack for a movie, and the tuba comes in when something stupid’s happening.”
As Best As We Can, the group’s second full-length release, includes material from their independently released 2002 EP Asbestos Weekend. The similarity between the titles of these two releases (that is revealed when one pronounces each title slowly) provides an example of the sort of clever writing that extends into SNMNMNM’s songs.
“Asbestos Weekend, the original EP, didn’t get any press, radio, or media coverage,” Vooris said. “So we’re really looking forward to this tour. This is the first time in the band’s history where we’ve had the CD come out, toured immediately as it came out, had full publicity, promotion, press, everything supporting the CD and the tour. So I’m really excited about getting out on the road.”
As with the release of any new music, As Best As We Can faces comparisons to other groups and the necessity of fitting into a genre. In this case, SNMNMNM is described by many as being a contributing band to the geek rock style that was established, for the most part, by bands like They Might Be Giants and Weezer.
“That’s something we haven’t been able to get away from,” Vooris said. “It’s obvious, when we first started, we actually called ourselves ‘geek rock’, and then when we moved to L.A., we tried to shed the word ‘geek’ as far as sound and image goes.”
SNMNMNM has its roots in Rochester, New York, where three of its four members attended the Eastman School of Music. After a stint in L.A., the band toured and finally settled in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where all members of the band now reside in the same house.
“We’re all like brothers,” Vooris said. “If something happens, if someone gets mad, it all comes out in the wash the next day. This is the first band I’ve ever been in where everyone just really got along. People say, when we tell them we’ve been together seven years, ‘What? That’s unheard of.’”
For more information on their tour, album, or favorite video games, visit SNMNMNM’s Web site:


  1. I'll get the comments rolling on this one- I didn't even remember that my first article would be published today until I walked into my second class at 11 AM and saw someone rustling an FSView. I promptly walked around until I found one of those bins (near Bill's, it was).

    I found out it was hard to write transitions. I found that it doesn't really have a good flow. But I'm satisfied with it for a first-time deal.