Music Bugle Exclusive – Q & A – Tim Snider

Photo courtesy of Tim Snider Facebook page.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

Known for being the featured musician for years with Nahko and Medicine For The People, Tim Snider has long been a relevant name in the music industry.

He has also gotten to work with the likes of Trevor Hall, Mike Love, Dispatch, Satsang and more recently, Wolfgang Timber.

The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with Snider about advice he’d give younger musicians, what he thinks the music industry needs less of and much more, which you can check out below.

Music Bugle – In terms of your particular genre, what inspires you the most?

Tim Snider – Questions involving genres have always been hard for me. I am not really interested in or concerned with the concept of labeling music, particularly my own. To me, it doesn’t make sense because I am inspired by so many different aspects of life in general, not only music. Inspiration is everywhere and creativity shows up when it wants to and in whatever shape or form. As soon as you try putting it in a box, it dies. I listen to music from all over the world, experience life and various forms of art and it all seeps in there somehow.

Music Bugle – How were you initially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Tim Snider – I was processing my depression, anxieties and the feeling of the rug getting pulled out from under me, like many of us, I’m sure. Usually, those kinds of feelings are great for writing songs, but for some reason, nothing was showing up. I started reading some books about being present and somehow got pulled out of my funk. It was then, when I finally learned that I was right were I was supposed to be, that songs started showing up. Songs are about being in the moment, staying curious about life and appreciating the things that are right in front of me. Kind of a post-pandemic reflection, I guess.

Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?

Tim Snider – So many things… I’ve been listening a lot to some Brazilian artists like Seu Jorge, Caetano, Chico Cezar and Marisa Monte. Heavier music like Gary Clark Jr. to Rage Against The Machine. Artists like The Strokes, Portugal. The Man. Also, Vulfpeck, Chris Thile and Nick Mulvey. I’ve been loving the production and passion on Residente’s self-titled album. Lastly, being a violin player myself, I’ve been into this violin player from Brazil named Richard Herz, his album ‘Aqui É o Meu Lá’ is incredible.

Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need an escape from life?

Tim Snider – I go into the mountains or to the ocean. I love surfing, but mostly just love being in the water, any water. Something about it makes me forget everything else and I can just be present. Music does that as well, but there is something different about being present in your physical body, whereas when I get lost in music, I feel that I escape into a different realm.

Music Bugle – What advice would you give younger musicians just starting out?

Tim Snider – Follow your inspiration. Find music you love and then learn how to do that. Don’t feel pressured to do what everyone else is doing. Ask questions – what is it that stirs you? Why does something make you feel a certain way? Be curious and just know that it’s okay to fail. Above all else, know that you are enough!

Music Bugle – What’s your current “guilty pleasure” song?

Tim Snider – Oh man, my wife has been listening a lot to Lizzo and Harry Styles and I got to say I don’t hate it! Don’t tell her though.

Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?

Tim Snider – I have two actually – “I wanted to start a revolution using art to build the sort of society I myself envisioned,” by Yoyoi Kusama and “Inspiration will come, but it has to find you working,” from Pablo Picasso.

Music Bugle – What is the next step for your music career?

Tim Snider – My next step is and will always be to keep dancing with inspiration as it comes and see where it takes me. My main goal in life is to be present and not get ahead of myself. Right here, right now, is where I’m supposed to be.

Music Bugle – What makes you the most proud about where you come from?

Tim Snider – I come from a town that is not known for music. However, my roots are deep in my hometown and I feel invested into helping my community grow. My great grandfather was a composer from Boston. He was a Juilliard and Harvard Doctoral graduate and my great grandmother was an opera singer. They moved to Reno, NV, to help build the music department at the local University, UNR. I feel proud to be a part of contributing to the growth of my local music community and helping to inspire the next generation of players and artists to come.

Music Bugle – What’s something that today’s music industry needs less of?

Tim Snider – Labeling and genres. We are living in a time where everything is accessible and artists are being influenced by so many styles of music. Labeling music is starting to feel less relevant. I would love to see a world where the music industry no longer needs “boxes” to sell things. Maybe selling shouldn’t be the main focus for the music industry anyway. I get that we live in a capitalistic society and the music industry is not exempt from this reality, but I think it promotes quantity over quality and it ends up putting the world on a fast food sonic diet. There must be another way the music industry can thrive. 


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