Getting enormous success early in your career, sometimes it’s hard to handle. Now imagine being teenagers trying to get school schedules straightened out as well.
Bulletproof Snow is a four piece band comprised of Trey McLaughlin (vocals), Jacob Yacobelli (guitar), Matt Coon (bass), and Connor Cheney (drums). Being teenagers involved with teenager things like college schedules, hanging out, and oh yeah playing music in front of huge crowds, these guys are living a dream before even being able to figure out what majors to take. Having already been 2013 Rockstar UPROAR winners, being one of the returning bands to Dirt Fest 2015 for another big set, and having two EP’s already released, they aren’t allowing this comet ride to derail good times from their lives outside of the music circus.
The band, in its entirety, sat down few a few quick minutes with National Rock Review to talk about all of that and more. Please enjoy the read. These young men have a bright future ahead of them. Don’t get mad when we say, “We told you so!” down the road.
NRR: You guys are from the Hartland, MI area and been very busy in order to make a huge splash in the industry as quickly as possible. What’s been going on with the band in the last year since you played Dirt Fest in 2014?
Bulletproof Snow: In the last year weâ€™ve played a lot of awesome shows and made a lot of new friends. Developing our fan base through live shows has been our focus during the past year. Weâ€™ve also entered and won a few competitions and earlier this year we received the Detroit Music Awards Peopleâ€™s Choice Award for our second EP title track â€œHere We Come.â€
Bulletproof Snow – Dirt Fest 2014Recording wasnâ€™t a viable option for us this year. Weâ€™ve just been so busy with all band members completing high school this year. Our manager decided at the end of last year that our 2015 focus should be school, fun, and fan base development.
NRR: Hopefully you guys have a great time on stage this year. Are you looking forward to anything in particular at Dirt Fest 2015?
Bulletproof Snow: Nothing in particular because we pretty much love everything at Dirt Fest. Dirt Fest is a great mix of local talent combined with awesome national headliners and at a ridiculously affordable price! We love the atmosphere at Dirt Fest. The organizers are great, the location is awesome, and we love the fans! Itâ€™s a lot of fun to watch people having a great time and knowing that youâ€™ve helped contribute to it.
NRR: What kind of rush do you guys think you might get playing at Dirt Fest this year and is it a different kind of rush then say on UPROAR in 2013?
Bulletproof Snow: Great question. We think Dirt Fest has a really sort of comfortable feel to it. Hell yes we feel energized and pumped to rock Dirt Fest but at the same for us as a local band it just kind of feels like home. Dirt Fest fans and event organizers are absolutely awesome!
For UPROAR we were also pumped up to play, but itâ€™s a completely different feel. UPROAR is kind of like a musical version of a traveling circus. Itâ€™s a sort of a surreal experience watching an empty concert venue be transformed into a multi-stage, day long, top notch rock event, and transformed again at the end of the show into a traveling truck caravan headed down the highway to the next destination.
NRR: You’ve played with some pretty big names already in your career. Who do you still think back to with the most awe to realize you did indeed play with that certain band?
Bulletproof Snow: Would have to say Duff McKaganâ€™s band Walking Papers at UPROAR in 2013. Very talented band that headlined our stage at that event. A great memory during our sound check is when our bassist was playing GNRâ€™s “Itâ€™s So Easy.” Duff came out from the side stage and gave our bassist, Matt, a 30 second lesson on how to play the song.
NRR: What can we expect from Bulletproof Snow camp in the coming days after Dirt Fest is again eagerly awaited in 2016?
Bulletproof Snow: Good question and weâ€™re still working some of that out. Most of the guys are enrolled to start attending college in the fall so weâ€™ll need see how things shake out after that regarding schedules, etc. Anyone who follows us knows that we like surprises and that you can always expect the unexpected from Bulletproof Snowâ€¦so who knows.
NRR: When you guys need a break and music is not an option, what do you do to relax, i.e. gaming, sports?
Bulletproof Snow: All of us like gaming and hanging out. Matt is also into running, Connor martial arts, Jake tubing and wake-boarding, and music is always an option for Trey, somehow some way.
NRR: Is there a band or bands on this year’s Dirt Fest line-up that you are looking forward to seeing as fans?
Bulletproof Snow: Several actually but to name a few, Pop Evil, We Are Harlot, Critical Bill.
NRR: How important is selling merch for a band like Bulletproof Snow at a festival like this? Who gets the lucky duty of designing and figuring out what to sell?
Bulletproof Snow: Selling merch is very important to Bulletproof Snow as the sole source of funding purchases of new merch items. Our manager actually selects and designs all of our merch, which seems to sell pretty well. Right now we have some awesome shirts and are exploring the possibility of a cool new jewelry item, only offered for sale at Dirt Fest, that should be pretty popular. We also have some pretty awesome hats provided by one of our endorsers, DirtBag Clothing (LA).
NRR: For anyone that might not have heard your music before, what can they expect to get from your sound on stage, being self-described alt modern rockers?
Bulletproof Snow: Yeah, that is a tough one. Weâ€™ve never really had anyone say â€œBulletproof Snow sounds likeâ€¦â€ which is probably both good and bad. The first EP Punished For My Innocenceâ€“ March 2013, has a heavier sound maybe kind of like Foo Fighters meets Skid Row. The second EP, Here We Comeâ€“ June 2014, is probably more like Foo Fighters meets Goo Goo Dolls. We think all of our material has a melodic rock sound, unique vocal style, and original guitar riffs.
NRR: What goals drive you guys to aim big guns at to make sure they come through as planned and keep the momentum going strong?
Bulletproof Snow: Our manager keeps us focused on goals and we get together roughly every three to four months to review progress, new goals, etc. He is brutally honest with us about where we are, what is, and is not working, and how we need to adapt. The biggest single thing that drives our momentum is probably our promotional/marketing strategy, which our manager is always changing/adapting.