Beetcafe.com
rockford illinois entertainment guide
Date: 12/11/2002
An Evening with The Snaggs
by Patrick McDonough
patrick@beetcafe.com
www.thesnaggs.com
If you are looking for a night out with a mellow low energy band that plays only what you would expect from a local act…then you should see someone other than 'The Snaggs!'

The evening at Oscar's got off to a good start when opener Bruce Hecht, listed as a folk musician, filled the bill as more of a comedy act with a strong background in folk music. This in no way took away from his amazing guitar picking ability while making fun of, as he referred to them, "The Skaggs." Mid-way through his set he made good use of a Stuart Davis song about making love with a mermaid to taunt The Snaggs, or as he put it, to warm up the crowd for them.

When The Snaggs took the stage they opened their first set by playing a number of pop-laden original tracks from their recently released EP "Heavier than a Ham Sandwich," with Holland Zander on lead vocals. Then after a quick costume change to a purple 'Good and Plenty' shirt and rather sassy yellow pants, Bassist Karl Ropp took over the helm and belted out a few refined Zeppelin tunes complete with revised lyrics that were befitting a Rockford crowd when he made reference to the OTB on State Street along with other local places of interest. And on more than one occasion guitarist Mark Muraski asked if anyone would like to hear a Creed song, only to answer his own question by saying "sorry, how about a Beatle's song instead." Throughout the rest of the show they mixed in a number of other originals. Then to finish off their nearly three hour set they changed roles one more time. This time it was guitarist Ed Dulian at the bar nursing a sore knee, drummer Micky Rosenquist on guitar and lead vocals, Ropp on bass and vocals and guest drummer Brian Ulery from The Silent Treatment taking Micky's spot on the skins. What they played next was a Snagg's only rendition of Metallica's 'Master of the Puppets,' which I'm sorry to say only lasted one verse.


THE INTERVIEW
(Before the show I had a chance to share a couple of drinks and a few questions with the band. We sat around a large round table, so the answers started with Karl to my left. That is except for Micky who showed up after the interview and tried to change what everyone else answered for him.)

Q: Who are the Snaggs?
A: Karl Ropp - bass
Mark Muraski - guitar
Holland Zander - vocals
Ed Dulian - guitar
Micky Rosenquist - drums
Bill Olson - guitar tech

Q: Where did the band get its name?
A: Brad Elvis from the band "Big Hello" said, "You should call yourself the Snaggs." We said, "alright."

Q: Where did you meet?
A: (Disclaimer: It was a hard sequence to follow.) Karl and Mark new each other since Boy Scout Camp (That does sound funnier in a bar then in print) - Then Mark asked Holland to record a song - Ed was the engineer then became guitarist and Micky became the drummer.

Q: How long have you been playing together?
A: Two years.

Q: Who has been your biggest musical inspirations?
Karl: Sonic Youth, Royal Trucks, Beatles
Mark: Elvis Costello, Wilco, Beatles
Holland: U2, David Bowie, Beatles
Ed: The Shaggs (not a misspelling), Stevie Wonder, Beatles
Micky: Karl, Frank Zappa, Beatles (The band also mentioned Tommy Lee which he couldn't completely agree with.)

Q: What type of music would you say you play?
A: Quality pop-rock

Q: What is your favorite venue to play in Rockford?
A: They unanimously answered Kryptonite. They give it, "The most band-friendly bar award."

Q: What are your thoughts on Rockford's local music scene?
A: It's getting better all the time…

Q: Who has been the most supportive in your musical endeavors?
A: They were all quick to respond: "Bill Olson, [guitar technician] he does anything for us. We love Bill."

Q: Looking back on the past two years, can you name a most memorable moment?
A: The CD release party would be first, the LA show at The Dragonfly would have to be second. (When you see Karl next you'll have to ask him about the 'odor sponge van.') Micky later added that for him it would have to be their first show at Big Cities.

Q: If you were not playing music, what would you be doing right now?
Karl: Crossword puzzles in bed.
Mark: I would be Tony Crisman's, [The Pimp's] roady/love slave.
Holland: Actor/Jack of all trades master of none.
Ed: Fireman
Micky: A vendor at a gay flea market…The bands answer, which seems a little milder: work at his dad's building.

Q: As a band where do you see yourselves in 10 years?
A: One answer was to have played in Japan by then, but Ed summed it up nicely when he said that, "As long as we are still progressing, then none of us will quit [playing] music."

Q: What was it like to open for Cheap Trick?
A: It was amazing. It was the most people we have ever played for.

Q: Holland, is it true that this was the first time that your father had heard you perform?
Holland: Yes, actually he didn't even know we were scheduled to open for them until a week before the show.

Q: Where is the furthest that you have toured outside of Rockford?
A: L.A. - The Dragonfly (Soon Japan?)

Q: How many albums have you made?
A: So far: "Heavier than a Ham Sandwich"

Q: Is there something that you wanted to say to your fans?
A: Thank you. To the Arizona fans: You're welcome - Karl's for dinner.
Contact Information
The Snaggs
Mark Muraski
mark@thesnaggs.com
www.thesnaggs.com
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