Matt Snell of
Unveil The Strength
Unveil the Strength, a quintet composed of former members of iconic bands such as Five Finger Death Punch, Sacred Mother Tongue, Invidia, Flatline, Devolved, and Stratovarius. Although the band is officially based out of Austin, TX, Unveil the Strength is truly an international band with members in London, Nevada, California, Colorado, and Texas. Their first recording, titled Foundations was recorded in Austin, TX.
Tru Rock caught up with the "balls of the band," bassist Matt Snell, for our 15 question segment.
TRR: Hi Matt. Welcome to Tru Rock Revival Magazine.
UTS: Thank you for the interview.
TRR: It's our pleasure. Let's get this started with a simple question. What is the origin of your band’s name? Is this the original name or have you changed it before?
UTS: Unveil the Strength is the mantra of Mark Wolfe’s entire life. It is quite an epic journey and the driving force behind the band. Mark has seen first-hand the horrors of war. He was homeless, and suffered not only physical injury, but PTSD. He has literally risen from the ashes. It is within all of us to find and reveal our inner strength.
TRR: That sounds like a story of survival. Who are the players?
Mark Wölfe - Vocals
Andy James - Guitar
Matt Guillory - Keys
Matt Snell - Bass
Tim Hassemer - Drums
TRR: How did all of you meet?
UTS: I have known Mark Wolfe for several years. We have discussed working on music together and our schedules finally matched up. I flew out to Austin Texas to work on our EP at Mark's studio. While we were working there we recruited Tim Hassemer on drums and soon thereafter Matt Guillory came on board on keys/synth. Matt G. was speaking with Andy James about the band and he was really into it.
TRR: How would you classify your music?
UTS: That’s tough to answer without comparisons to other bands. We are first and foremost a metal band. What I think we are offering that sets us apart is that we come from a standpoint where the vocals have to be the strongest asset. A soulful, real vocal melody that you can't forget.
TRR: I think you guys nailed that with 'Hell's Never Over.' That's a heavy song but actually pretty melodic if you really listen to the playing. If you weren’t in a band, what do you think you’d be doing instead?
UTS: I run a Tattoo shop here at home in Reno. I was an auto mechanic for 12 years and a teacher for 6. I flipped houses for a while and was quite good at it. Otherwise recreation for me here in the Sierra Nevada Mountains is Skiing - Hiking -Mountain Biking and Boating on Lake Tahoe. I searched for a home for most of my life until I found this place.
TRR: Reno is a cool town. Who are some of your musical influences?
UTS: As a bassist, I have to go back to my roots. Cliff Burton - Steve Harris - Frank Bello - David Ellefson . When it comes to bands, it is a different question. Are we influenced by success? Are we influenced by technical proficiency? Are we influenced by Image? For me it would be Opeth. While their style doesn’t translate into Unveil the Strength, they are a testament to an ever evolving “we do what we want to do” attitude and I still to this day, after listening for 20 years, stop when I hear them and listen. I can't say that for many bands.
TRR: Which leads me to this question. I have to ask it. Who are definitely not, your musical influences?
UTS: MUMBLE RAP …. I don’t get it
TRR: (laughing) I don't get it either but obviously there's many people who do. What do you think makes your band stand out from others?
UTS: Song writing and production. We employ the idea of a basic active rock approach, but never forget how much we love true Metal. We also make room for Andy James' amazing leads. He is just plain epic and it’s always fun to see what he comes up with next!
TRR: His leads are very melodic and clean. Good stuff there. What other bands would you like to tour with?
UTS: That's a tough one!!! I would like to see it back to no more than 4 bands. Like it used to be. 4 heavy hitters on a big stage with full production. I think this way fans would get more shows coming through and we could match them up a bit more. A dream tour is more about having the space on stage for every band to perform and be able to move around than “who” it is. There are so many great bands out touring right now we could do this all night!
TRR: How do you write your songs? Is it collaborative?
UTS: We all write, arrange and produce. I have always believed in working with, or as a team. When multiple people contribute, you get a much wider range of options. It is very rare when one person can write a record completely and have an amazing result. It usually turns out to be 10 of the same songs versus a truly open, unique and interesting album.
TRR: What is your most memorable show?
UTS: A 3 way tie… Download - Rock Am Ring and Rock Am Park with 5FDP. It was a gift of a lifetime playing those shows. Now it’s time to grind my way back there and do em again!!!!
TRR: What has been your craziest fan interaction?
UTS: I think I'm weirder than most of my fans so nothing I was asked for was crazy. People will amaze you but in the end we are just looking for interaction which is always welcome!!
TRR: Have you had a “Murphy’s Law” show?
UTS: With Unveil, fortunately no …. Now past bands… God yes…. total train wrecks. It happens. As long as the fans don't lose out, it is what it is. Part of the deal and sometimes really proves that God has a sense of humor.
TRR: That is the truth! What’s on the table for the rest of the year?
UTS: At the moment we are working on touring. We want to get out on the right tour. Not just any tour. We are talking with a few bands now. It is a process and one not to be taken lightly.
TRR: Anyone you’d like to give a shout out to or thank you to?
UTS: First off, YOU! Thank you for taking the time to chat with me.
TRR: This is my pleasure.
UTS: Also, everyone who has followed us on social media, watched our videos on youtube and took the time to comment. Even the negative comments are fine, we laugh at them, stalk your page, laugh at you. It's all in good fun. We do however enjoy interacting with our fans, so PLEASE PM US and one of us will respond!
For further information about Unveil the Strength: