LARA SNOW got us by the first beat and some weeks ago we have already introduced their song „I like Snow“ to you. The duo from Tel Aviv presents a great mixture of electronic music, pop, punk and hip hop. Moreover singer and song writer Valery has this great attitude, which immediatelly reminded me on the 90s riot grrrl movement. But what are the people behind LARA SNOW really like? We asked Valery und Jonathan to give us a little interview about their music, the idea behind the band and what really moves them personally. Here we go: (German version here)
Valery, you founded or more likely invented LARA SNOW in 2014. What is the story behind and what was the point when you decided starting into this whole journey?
Valery: LARA SNOW was born out of a need for me to be a better and more glamorous version of myself. I was taking production lessons in a local sound institute and I remember that I felt like this project is going to be a fresh start for me. After playing in bands since I can remember myself, I knew that it was time for me doing my own thing. So I wanted to name it for what I imagined it would be. I always felt like artists should have a stage name, because I believe they become a different version of themselves while being on stage or within a creative process. Sometimes ahead of a show I can think to myself „oh there’s no way I will be climbing the bar tonight or jump into the crowd“, but once I’m on stage all my guards go down and I just let go.
Jonathan, when did you first hear about LARA SNOW and how did the two of you come together as a formation?
Jonathan: I was on tour with my X band and while travelling I listened to new music. One of the songs was a LARA SNOW song, I had to stop and check out this girl and I ended up writing to her on Facebook saying that “I have a vision of us playing together.” Soon after we started working on the live show and after a month or two we knew that this is what we want to do and decided to devote ourselves completely to this project.
Have you been doing music for your whole life?
Both of us have been making music since adolescence or maybe you could even say since childhood. We both started in punk and rock bands in Tel Aviv’s underground scene and we’ve been doing that for a while before each of us discovered separate from each other electronic music. It led us into working together.
You describe your music as „Fairy Rock“ with influences of electronic music. Indeed your sound is very special and combines a lot of different elements like also pop and rap. Can you tell us a little bit more about your sound and which other musicians did and do have an impact on you?
Valery: Thank you :) I usually describe our music as Electronic Pop or Fairy Rock or Art Punk. I do this mainly, because I don’t really like describing music in general. I think it is always hard to get it right. Music makes everybody feel different stuff and then they put it into different frames. I’m getting my influences from Punk, Pop, Rock, Electronic music and many other different genres. Some of my favorite artists are: David Bowie, The Knife, Radiohead, Depeche Mode, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bjork, Sinead O’Connor, Lykke Li, M83, Grimes, Blonde Redhead, Lana Del Ray and my favorite recent discover – The dø.
Listening to your track „I like snow“ reminded me of 90s riot grrrl-music in some parts. Is there any connection you have with this type of sound? As I read you were located in the local punk scene in Tel Aviv?
Valery: I am definitely influenced by the Riot Grrrl movement and also by Punk music, though I wouldn’t describe myself as someone who is influenced by the feminist side of it. My lyrics are not often related to this subject. I draw my inspiration from the vibe and freedom that riot & punk music are creating, their way of life, the concept of breaking the boundaries, going wild on stage without thinking too much about your look or what people might think of you. I just like to go crazy and give it everything I’ve got.
The track is also very much about being angry. Do you think that it´s still hard for women and girls to show their inner feelings in a direct way and not to being the nice and lovely ones all the time?
Valery: Well, I hope not! I hope women today feel free to excerpt their feelings and to say whatever is on their minds. I know I do.
Do you feel related to feminism? Would you maybe even describe yourself as feminists?
Valery: I grew up in an environment where I didn’t have the urge to fight for equality, because I always felt equal. I had the luck of being surrounded by people who made me feel worthy and good. But of course I do believe in equality of the sexes and that women should and can be whatever they want and more. If this makes me a feminist, then I guess I am.
As I just mentioned before you’re from Tel Aviv: In Germany people always have this image of this incredibly creative (sub-)cultural scene over there. How would describe the cultural sphere and in which way did it have an influence on you and your work?
Tel Aviv is a great city for being creative. The indie scene is not very big, but it is very diverse and free. There are a lot of different artists making really good and innovative music, this can be very inspiring. For me, the city itself is also inspiring and full of magic. I used to live in a part of it called „Jaffa“, which is very multicultural and a lot of artists live there. I got a lot of inspiration just from walking around Jaffa. The old town and the shore in that area are very beautiful.
You guys moved to Berlin. How came it to this decision and do you agree that there is a very special vibe in the German capital? Moreover, what maybe makes it different from other cities you have just been playing or living in?
We moved to Berlin mostly because we are releasing music and were touring in Germany at the end of 2016. It is much easier to just jump into a car and playing a show. But also we felt like it was time for us to draw some new inspiration from a new place. We think change is good! For now Berlin has been great, it is so big and colorful, we found some really cool secret locations and met some great people. We are still discovering it piece by piece and there is no doubt that the vibe here is very unique.
Since one part of our magazine, habits, is located in Frankfurt am Main, we are really happy to have you in town for a gig. Is there anything you have already connected with the city?
We are very happy to play in Frankfurt! Actually my brother lives there so we’ve been there in the beginning of the year for one short afternoon and really looking forward to see some more of this great city.
Let´s talk about style: Your look and your sound are quite different from each other. Can you tell us more about the idea behind? And do you generally want to play with opposites?
Valery: For me style is all about feeling good while wearing something, especially during a show. It’s a bit of a cliché but I feel good when I’m comfortable, so I’m trying to be comfortable. I do enjoy playing with opposites. For example, in our „Sometimes It’s Enough“ video, there is my „bad character“, she’s dressed into black, she is going into the abandoned hotel, she’s drinking, throwing bikes from the 3rd floor, and there’s the good girl Lara, she’s dressed all white and tells the story while sitting in her childhood room and writing in her notebook. „I Like Snow“ is also all about that, the anger in the verses and the positive childish touch of the chorus.
Buzzword „fashion“: Do current trends have an impact on you and what would you say is your style like?
Valery: I wouldn’t say I draw a lot of influence from trends, as I said for me it’s a lot about comfort. So if something makes me feel uncomfortable, I won´t wear it. Also, I like individualism in fashion, so that’s why I’m not really into following trends, but sometimes trends do clash with what I love, but I wouldn’t give up wearing something I want to wear just because it is trendy at the moment.
And your most favorite designer (if you have one)?
Valery: I’m not sure yet about local German designers, but I think in a global perspective I like Alexander Wang. There are a lot of cool Israeli local designers, my favorites are: Sharon Brunsher & Ruby Star.
Your second single has just been released. Congrats! What can we expect of LARA SNOW next?
THANKS! We are very happy that our two first songs are out there. The next thing for us will be the release of our 3rd single and the first EP in the beginning of next year, following by some more headline shows & our first festival summer. Can’t wait!
Thank you for the lovely interview and we can´t wait to hear more from you two, guys. All the best for Lara Snow in 2017!