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Name: Adam Bernard
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Stacking The Deck with I Am Snow Angel
Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Stacking The Deck is a feature exclusive to Adam’s World where I bring packs of 1991 Pro Set Superstars MusiCards to artists, and we discuss who they find in each pack.

Armed with her samplers, keyboard, guitar, and laptop, I Am Snow Angel creates a brand of sultry, ethereal, downtempo electro-pop that could even get a monk in the mood.

Her hypnotic live shows have been known to make the most caffeine-filled New Yorkers slow down their pace, and – although I don’t have confirmation on this – have probably been the inspiration for a few babies being made.


I caught up with I Am Snow Angel before a recent show of hers at Rockwood Music Hall, and we opened up some packs of MusiCards. The artists we found sparked conversation about unlikely early musical influences, her recent trip to Ireland, and who she built a small shrine to as a kid.



Extreme

I remember being in the car when I was a kid, and “More Than Words” came on the radio, and my mom was really into it. I was kind of into it, too, so we got their CD and the rest of it was like … kind of like metal, and we were so disappointed.

I kinda forgot about the song, and then when I was a teenager I was starting to play guitar. I mostly taught myself, but in college, for probably four months, maybe six months, I had a guitar teacher. I had been playing guitar, but I didn’t really know how to play patterns, finger picking, or anything (like that), and he brought up this song. He taught me how to play it, with that finger picking thing, and singing harmony, and it was the first song that made me realize, oh, I can really play guitar if I want to. I actually know how to play guitar. This is a real song.

It was fun to play. You could hit the guitar. There was a percussive thing. I learned a lot from that. I learned things from that I actually kept in my guitar playing.



Heavy D & The Boyz

This was a situation where I didn’t have MTV, or any cable channels, growing up. I just had two channels.

Where did you grow up where you only had two channels?!?!

I grew up outside of Lake Placid, in upstate New York, and there was no cable where we lived, and we could only get reception for two channels. We were out in the middle of nowhere.

All I know about Lake Placid is the movie about the giant crocodile.

Oh yeah, that’s not accurate. Sorry to disappoint you.

Damn.

But the people in town, they had cable. I remember going to my friend Lisa’s house, and she had MTV, and I just wanted to sit there and watch MTV all the time. I remember Heavy D & The Boyz being on, and I was like oh my god, this is amazing.

I went to a school dance, and they were playing it at the school dance, so I was just in love with “Now That We Found Love.” I don’t know if it was the song, or what it represented to me. It was like freedom.



Jefferson Airplane

This one’s interesting because my first introduction (to them) was to Starship.

They built this city on rock and roll!

When I was a kid I was a skier, I did a lot of skiing stuff, and at the end of the season they put together some sort of video, and the soundtrack … it wasn’t “We Built This City,” it was something way cheesier.

Was it the song from Mannequin? “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.”

Yes, and during “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” it showed me whispering in my friend’s ear, so I felt like I was the star of the movie.

When I started playing guitar when I was older I actually started listening (to their music), and I found out how amazing Grace (Slick) was, and the third song I learned from my guitar teacher was a Jefferson Airplane song, “Comin’ Back To Me.”

Do you know that song? It’s so random, it doesn’t come to anyone’s mind.

I really connected to it. It’s a really understated, beautiful, depressing song. It wasn’t Grace singing.

That is such an album cut.

It is! And I was really into it. I played it over and over again, learning that pattern.



U2

I just went to Ireland. I played an electronic arts festival at this place called Waterford, which is a really old city, and then I went to Dublin, and I was just by myself, sight seeing. I went to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Irish one, and …

It was all dedicated to U2, right?

Yes. They had a lot of other Irish artists featured in there, like Enya, Bell X1, and Thin Lizzy, but U2 … there’s a lot of fans here, obviously, but there … I don’t know if there’s an equivalent here.

Is it almost religion at that point?

Yes, and it was in every room. It was everywhere.

The tour guide talked about U2 constantly, and knew every single detail about every single one of them.

The pride around them, and how a band from Ireland can become the biggest band in the world … I hadn’t fully appreciated what it means to the people of Ireland to have U2, and have it feel like they’re representing them.

Do you like U2 more now?

I’ve always liked them, but I’ve never been like a really die hard fan. Back in the day I used to listen to Rattle and Hum, and The Joshua Tree. I think they’re beautiful albums.

I remember the vibe of the album listening experience. I remember just listening to the whole album was so great, it seemed like every song was so good.

I still listen to whole albums.

I do, too, but I’m a lot more fickle now. Back then, when you just had CDs, I feel like I had more loyalty. I’d be like, I’m gonna listen to this album, and I’m gonna love it, because this is what I’ve got right now!

It’s funny you mention that because I think the majority of the albums I listen to in full are albums I have on CD. Even if it’s something I downloaded, I’ll still burn it onto a CD.

There’s something about the format that makes you more committed to it.

Yeah, and if I like an album enough I want to play it on my stereo, and hear it for real.

That’s the other thing, where you’re listening.

I definitely feel like U2’s albums, when I was in high school, and college, I used to listen to them when I first started driving. I would put The Joshua Tree in the CD player, and drive.

I liked that listening experience, because I would really get into albums. It’s not like you’re gonna take it out and change it every time.



LL Cool J and INXS

LL Cool J and INXS were heartthrobs of their era. Who were some of your biggest heartthrobs growing up? Who were on the posters on your wall?

OK, I had this shrine, it wasn’t even just a poster situation.

Have you heard of the movie Untamed Heart?

Yeah, Christian Slater.

After watching that like 50 times I had like a shrine set up to Christian Slater with lots of different photos, posters – some of them with lipstick marks on them, from me – and I had like candles set up, and I would light them, and dedicate things to him. So that was a big thing for me.

I also had some time being really in love with New Kids On The Block. Actually, they came to Lake Placid, and they had little kids sing backup, like a whole choir behind them, and I got to do it. So I met Jordan, Jon … Donnie and Danny I don’t think I really interacted with … Joey.

Jordan had white braces on his teeth.

That’s insider info!

They were very nice. I was really into Jordan.

I was also really into Ethan Hawke. I saw Reality Bites, and he had like that greasy hair, and was so hot.

He was kind of a dick in that movie, though, wasn’t he?

Totally. He was a total jerk, (but) he was troubled, so he was a jerk, but he couldn’t help it.


For more I Am Snow Angel, check out iamsnowangel.com.

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