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GTA: The Soviet Influence

This politically charged alt-rock group describe their sound as "death-consciousness".

The Soviet Influence is an experimental four-piece band with members from Limehouse, Guelph, Milton, and Kitchener. Starting out as Peter Snow's solo project, the front-man brought in Blake Morey, Peter Morey, and Ty Mackenzie- becoming a full band.

"It started out as my project but since bringing Blake, Peter and Ty on board, I consider it a collective effort," said Snow. "I prefer the collaborative approach because I think it helps craft more unique and dynamic results. I only have so many ideas in my head, and my songs have always been improved by others."

"I don’t want to own The Soviet Influence, I want it to be shared," said Snow.

Snow had a passion for music since he was eight years-old, starting in musical theatre and later performing in choirs.

"I started singing in musicals at eight," said Snow. "My mom was a huge music fan and had a cool record collection, so I was exposed to a lot of classic and progressive rock as a kid- like my first musical love, Elvis. When I was 16 I decided I wanted to be in a band and started one with some friends, that's when I started playing guitar. It was hearing Radiohead’s OK Computer around this time that helped solidify my interest in experimental rock music, I was also a huge fan of Matthew Good. At our first band practice we wrote a pretty terrible song and it was a few years before I really got into song writing. Now I’m writing some really interesting music. Someone called our first album “more art than commercial” and I see that as a huge compliment. We aren’t some stuck up group of musical purists, we just want to make interesting songs that are thought provoking."

Photo credits: Eleanor Snow

Self-described as "Radiohead, Matthew Good, and The Talking Heads that veers into the political anger of Joe Strummer, with the guitar tones of Johnny Marr," The Soviet Influence have heavy alt-rock roots.

"I already mentioned Radiohead, and Matthew Good. Those are huge influences, it’s really obvious in the guitars in the songs," said Snow. "There's a lot of layering and use of particular effects to create a kind of landscape. My singing has evolved a lot, it has some of that musical theatre influence still in it along with the artists I love. I’ve been favourably compared to many of my influences and it’s still wild to hear, lately it’s been a lot of 70s and 80s bands like The Talking Heads, The Sound, REM, The Damned, The Clash. This is pretty obvious in some of the new material."

Snow decided to put all his weight behind the band in 2019.

"I had some really interesting songs I’d been sitting on for awhile, thanks to putting in some effort and making some important connections over social media, I was able to bring them up to a higher level than I’d ever achieved," said Snow. "This led me to consider more promotion and building a new band. I was lucky to find Blake, Peter and Ty- they're all great musicians and wonderful people. This has made it possible for me to really create high quality songs and an entertaining live show."

Photo credits: Eleanor Snow

The Soviet Influence's first release was their album Boundaries, in 2013.

"I was unemployed for most of 2012 and spent that time job hunting, being sad, and recording that record," said Snow. "I did most of it by myself or with my friend David Fallis. I recorded at home and mixed it all in Logic. It was a lot of work, and also very rewarding. It was a very low key release. Later on I re-released it and subsequently remixed/remastered some of the songs, Like "Visions" and "Ghosts". Most recently the producer who is doing our next record, David Partridge, remixed "Astronomical Wonders". His version is outstanding."

Snow's favourite Influence gig was a recent one- at the Emmanuel United Church, in Waterloo.

Photo credits: Eleanor Snow

"It's just an incredible space," said Snow. "The architecture is beautiful and the sound was amazing. It was a small crowd but people were having fun and we greatly enjoyed playing that night. We will be releasing audio of the show in the next couple of months, so watch out for that!"

The Soviet Influence are working on new jams to release as soon as possible.

"We have a lot of new songs recorded and are working on more," said Snow. "The hope is to have a new album done over the summer. We have a new song just coming out called Running Song, and the Astronomical Wonders remix is on Bandcamp and will hit streaming services on May 1st."

The band is looking forward to the return of live music.

"We're itching to get back to practicing together and playing live," said Snow. "We really think our next series of shows will be at another level."

Check out The Soviet Influence at their socials linked below, and you can find their music on your streaming service of choice.

Upcoming gigs:

(Postponed due to COVID-19.)


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