The Jock of Rock Presents: The Snaz!

BRATTLEBORO, VERMONT – There is a very young... no, let’s say “fresh, new” indie-rock band emerging from Brattleboro, Vermont that deserves some attention... and they’re starting to get it, having already been featured on Vermont Public Radio’s Digital VPR,” won a local “Brattleboro Battle of the Bands” contest and are getting ready to play a show at the very cool Tupelo Music Hall in White River Junction.


Article by Joe Milliken * Photos courtesy of The Snaz

Not a bad start for a band that got together in the fall of 2011 and features members all under the age of 17. So, let’s meet The Snaz, four friends all living in Southern Vermont; Dharma Ramirez (16, singer, guitarist and main songwriter) and Mavis Eaton (16, keyboardist) both attend Brattleboro Union High School, Zach James (13, drummer) attends the Montessori School in Brattleboro and Nina Singleton-Spencer (15, bass) goes to the Compass School in Bellows Falls.

Dharma and Mavis had decided to start a band and when Dharma started writing and accumulated songs, they decided it was time for a drummer. So, they held a few auditions at Mavis’ house, (where the band still rehearses a couple times a week) only to ultimately find their drummer by chance when Zach’s younger brother had become friends with Dharma’s younger brother. After the band’s original bass player recently decided to pursue other interests, Nina came on board and the current lineup is rocking!

“All our songs are original,” Dharma said in a recent Standing Room Only interview. “I’ll usually write the lyrics and guitar parts for a song and then bring it to the band. Then we’ll all collaborate and fill in the sounds of the song. Mavis and I have also collaborated on lyrics as well.”

The first Snaz gig was at a friend’s birthday party and from there, the gigs just kept coming. “We started out by mostly playing locally, such as gallery walks or at Headroom Stages in Brattleboro,” Dharma said. “But our gigs started revving up after we recorded our first EP and then, getting some local press after winning a Brattleboro ‘battle of the bands’ contest.

“Since then, we’ve played venues like the Iron Horse (in Northampton, MA) twice – the second time as a headliner – and we’ve played at Radiobean in Burlington twice. Last summer we also got to take part in the Upper Valley Music Festival (Turners Falls, MA) and we’re doing that again this year. We’ve also played the Amherst Block Party, Keene Music Festival and at ext Stage in Putney, Vermont.”

The studio time Dharma speaks of occurred at Guilford Sound Studios in Guilford, Vermont, before the band caught the attention of a Grammy-nominated producer and former member of a legendary rock band. “Luckily, we caught the attention of Peter Solley, a Grammy-nominated record producer and former member of the band Procal Harum, who also owns Vermont Gelato in Newfane, Vermont.

“Peter saw us playing at the Guilford Fair and offered to help us prepare to record five songs that we wanted to do in the studio, which was tricky with just the 10 hours of studio time we had. We practiced a lot and talked about things like tweaking dynamics, doubling of guitars or vocals and little drum fills we could put here and there. We pulled the recording session off smoothly and are now planning to go back into the studio this summer, with plans to put out a full-length album in the fall.”

"When I first saw The Snaz I thought there was something really special there," Peter Solley said in a recent SRO interview. "I offered to mentor them and since then we've developed a great relationship. I just think they're so quirky and lyrically unique and when you put all the parts together, it's like magic and everything works as one. Dharma is a great songwriter, could be a star."

Along with the upcoming recording sessions, The Snaz also has several shows line up throughout the summer including the aforementioned Tupelo Music Hall (May 16) in White River Junction, Luthier’s Co-op (May 20) in Easthampton, MA, The Strolling of the Heifers (June 7) in Brattleboro, Mocha Maya’s (June 8) in Shelburne Falls, MA, Taste of Amherst (June 20) in Amherst, MA, The Woodstock Brown Bag Series (July 17) in Woodstock, VT, The Northampton, MA Music Series (July 25), Greenfield Energy Park (July 27) in Greenfield, MA, The Dragon Boat Festival (Aug 3) in Lake Champlain, VT, Transperformance (August 25) in Northampton and The Guilford Fair (Aug 31) in Guilford, Vermont.

Yes, The Snaz certainly has a lot exciting things planned moving forward, so stay tuned because Standing Room Onlycertainly plans to keep track of the area’s snazziest new band! To learn more about The Snaz and keep up on their busy schedule, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/The-Snaz.