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Snow Patrol
There aren’t too many international bands that break the lucrative US market, but Snow Patrol has done just that. These lads from the UK became a household name with 2004’s Final Straw, with haunting vocals and simple lyrics paired with some kick-ass rock music. They shy away from controversy and concentrate on making good music, and if Final Straw showed them to be the new sound of rock, their latest album Eyes Open proves they’re here to stay. The Record gives you the low-down with our 5-step guide on getting to know one of the hottest bands today.

1. Snow Patrol vs. Polar Bear
When they first got together almost a decade ago, the band was known as Polarbear. They released a 3-track EP called Starfighter Pilot and then ran into legal trouble when a Los Angeles based band called Polar Bear (led by former Jane’s Addiction bassist Eric Avery) threatened to sue. Rather than get caught up with legalities, the band made the intelligent decision to change their name. They ditched the Polarbear moniker and, keeping the icy theme in mind, re-christened themselves Snow Patrol.

2. Contrary to popular belief, they’re not Londoners.
While London is probably to most famous city in the UK, these boys hail from Northern Ireland and Scotland. In fact, not one of the five-member band is even from England! “It said in a brochure that we were from London. They were really wrong. That’s the wrongest anyone’s got it,” says vocalist Gary Lightbody. “Myself, Nathan Connolly and Johnny Quinn are from Belfast, and Tom Simpson and Paul Wilson are from Dundee and Glencoe respectively.” Does it really matter where they’re from? Probably, as they can each bring something different to the band. “Glencoe, for anyone that doesn’t know, is a tiny little place in the Scottish Highlands that’s snowed in most of the year,” says Lightbody. “So Paul is a pretty unique character. They are bred a little differently up there. Anyone that sees Paul should give him a hug because he’d like that.”

3. They’re far from being overnight successes ~ and that’s what makes them overall good guys.
Most people think Final Straw is Snow Patrol’s debut album, when it is, in fact, their third. The band released Songs For Polarbears in 1998 and When It's All Over We Still Have to Clear Up in 2001 before moving to a major label and earning success. The success was almost a decade in the making. “We’d been going for a long time, 2004 was my tenth year in the band,” says Lightbody. “So to go that long without any success and then suddenly be doing things like Top Of The Pops and actually being in the top five in the charts was very bizarre.”

You can read the rest of our feature on Snow Patrol in the May 2006 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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