He’s preparing to embark on a 28 show tour in support of his latest album, Peace Queer but Todd Snider was able to take a few minutes to offer us a little insight.
Read his thoughts about his most recent batch of songs, the new film and a favorite Boulder memory.
Q: So you were abducted by Peace Queers and have now been forced to write protest music. What was your abduction like and what would you call the songs you were writing before?
A: I was working on story songs about myself. They were sad and funny at the same time. Universal and personal at the same time and then in an instant I was duct-taped into closet, harassed, mocked, and trifled with.
But I will have my revenge on the peace queers.
The good news is that we’ve sold 6.6 billion albums and are only .2 billion albums away from world peace.
The bad news is that its not over. A lot of peace queers go undercover as musicians.
Currently, I have Jeff Austin, Ben Kaufmann and Vince Herman guarding me like I’m a bank vault.
They are awful people and mock my talents constantly, not to mention my vest. They won’t leave me be and or stop eating and drinking my backstage accoutrements.
I always knew those guys were dirty hippies, but now its just gone too far.
Q: How do you come up with ideas and new songs, what is your creative process like?
A: I never stop… like Woody Guthrie I run my fingers through my little pages of writing.
Like a banker fingers money… my eye never twitches and my hand never tires… I run for hook lines and sinker lines all day, everyday.
Q: Did the album and the concept change any during the recording and the production?
A: Not much…. it evolved out of a record I was working on. Almost like a sub plot being taken from a movie script and rewritten as a short film.
Did any of the guests make contributions thematically?
A: Patty Griffin did, she made a comment about a song called Mission Accomplished that made me throw the whole thing out and start the words over. I had a line “even the wicked get worse than they deserve.” It’s just an opinion.
Q: And there’s also the Peace Queer Movie, how did that come about and does it fit in?
A: Greatest film of all time, but for the weak acting chops of my tour manager and arch nemesis Elvis Hicks. He’s a tool. It was made by some friends in New York who came on the road. We re-enacted my abduction.
Most people don’t believe my story but Cokie Roberts did.
Q: You’ve been out on tour a lot, are there things you always take with you?
A: Rolling papers and good vibes.
Q: Are there places you always try to stop when you’re in the area or favorite meals to have while you’re on the road?
A: I don’t have a favorite Boulder restaurant yet, but I do dig the Hotel Boulderado ‘cause it’s mentioned in a John Prine song.
And one of my favorite road memories is of watching a bunch of Boulder hippies run the KKK that had come into town from Arkansas, back to Arkansas. It was beautiful.
Q: Of your songs, which are your favorite to perform and why?
A:I like to sing Jerry Jeff Walker songs when I’m at home.
Q: Are there any songs you wish you never had to perform again?
A: None I can think of. I’d say Free Bird… but I’ve never played it.
Q: What other music have you been listening to recently?
Keith Sykes mainly, though. I just produced a record on him. At 18 he was my hero and still is. I stalked him, he mentored me and got me a record contract and now all these years later I’ve talked him back out on the road and into making an album.
He is kinda a recluse and eccentric but writes songs for John Prine, Jimmy Buffett, Jerry Jeff, Rodney Crowell, Guy Clark and many others. I like the record I produced on him more than any record I’ve ever made on myself.
Please Boulder, come early. Check out my brother, Keith. Buy his CD before you get mine.
Q: Is there anything people listening to your music need to know about you?
A: YES. If you son of bitches ever corner me I swear to God I’ll turn on you like a pack of rabid dogs and as God as my witness I’ll brain you so hard with a tire iron that your freaking mom with feel it.
Other than that though I’m pretty mellow.
Boulder Theater – 1/30
Telluride Sheridan Opera House – 1/31
Mesa Theater (Grand Junction) – 02/27
Henry Strater Theater (Durango) 02/28
Thunder River Theater (Carbondale) 03/01
Photo by Senore McGuire