Sebastian Schneider on stage, December 2009
|Born||July 28, 1982|
|Origin||Buenos Aires, Argentina|
|Occupation(s)||Artist, musician, composer, music producer, artistic director|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, bass, keyboard|
|Labels||HyA, Avarecords, Warner/Chappell, Like It!|
He is an artist which begins to rise to prominence on the new Argentine and Latin American rock scene. He has been part of several rock bands and began his solo career in 2004.
His songs have a deep lyrical content as well as his particular guitar playing technique, being one of the few Argentine (and world) artists performing fingerstyle guitar playing with electric guitars on rock music and executing complex scales and musical patterns at the same time he sings.
- 1 Early beginnings and career
- 2 Personal life
- 3 Music style and equipment
- 4 Live shows
- 5 Discography
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Early beginnings and career
Sebastian Schneider (who took his mother's maiden name) was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from a German descendant mother and a Basque descendant father. He lived his early years on Palermo neighbourhood, where he also started his musical career. At the age of six, his grandmother Florencia gave him his first guitar, an acoustic nylon guitar. He began his musical studies on Carlos Guastavino Conservatory, where he studied classical music, tango and Argentine folklore. At eleven, despite his parents persistence, he decided to give up all his music activities. During that period he already had been part of numerous concerts as a guitar player on Conservatory events as well as private ones. One of Schneider's reasons about ceasing his first music activities will ironically mark the future of his career later: "I wanted to learn to play the electric guitar, and they (my parents) wouldn't let me, they told me to learn to play this one well first (the acoustic nylon guitar). As it was boring to me, and preferred to go home and watch cartoons, I gave it up."
On 1997 he picks his guitar studies again, this time with a Squier Standard Telecaster which was given by his parents as a present, at a private academy sponsored by Yamaha Corp. where he learned popular styles like rock, blues, jazz and others. He begins to form several bands, leading and composing songs for them as a singer and rhythm guitar.
Schneider never felt comfortable with the pick which is commonly used to play electric guitar, so he preferred to be on a secondary role from a guitarist point of view and play rhythm on songs. But on his guitar studies country music emerged and he learned of a number of artists playing complex musical licks and riffs and others using fingerpicking techniques like Chet Atkins, whom would later be recognized by Sebastian Schneider as one of his biggest influences. Getting to know Dire Straits' music and Mark Knopfler's guitar style gave the final blow. "I wanted to have a more active position with the guitar, and I had discovered great artists like Mark Knopfler who had successfully be singers and lead guitars playing without a pick. Then I told myself: This is what I needed to from the start!".
Since then he started to develop his particular technique, according to him a "travesty of Knopfler's technique where I use four fingers of the right hand at the same time instead of three, similar to many classical guitarists, but that allows me to play at a higher velocity and different kinds of licks and riffs."
At 2004, performing as a solo artist on a private event, he is reunited with Horacio Ascheri(an old friend of his father), leader of the Argentine band "The Pick Ups" who sees his on-stage skills and suggests him to start a solo career.
(2004-2006) Canción Para Nadie
Leaving his new musical project behind, a hard rock band with English-only songs, and with Ascheri as a producer, Schneider begins the recording of his first studio album "Canción Para Nadie". On 2005 the album is released by HyA Records and "Haciendo Fuego", its single, begins to air on a great number of radios even though it lasted more than 5 minutes, more noticeably on the Buenos Aires province. He then begins to play on several concerts on Buenos Aires and its suburbs, and his first radio interviews. After several personal conflicts, he stops playing publicly and dedicates 2006 to write new material for his second album.
(2006-2009) Una Vida Más
Being away from the stage, and with Ascheri getting off of Sebastian's career for health reasons, he commits himself for a long time to write songs that would finally be a part of his second studio album. Taking up approximatedly a year to create, record and finish it, on early 2007 "Una Vida Más" is born, an album with dark but optimistic lyrics at the same time, with a pop-oriented sound rather than rock-oriented. According to Schneider, he had to "write optimistic things to myself, which would reflect my pain and anguish but at the same time give me a hopeful message". After several negotiations, the album is finally released through Avarecords and gets a publishing contract with Warner/Chappell. The album's single, "Dame", gets a stronger reception than "Haciendo Fuego" and gets aired at major radio stations on the country like 100 FM and even gets TV airtime through advertisings on Canal 13, besides from independent radio stations. Schneider's popularity also begins to rise over the Internet, notably on MySpace social network. "Dame" videoclip is also aired on CM music channel besides independent channels from other Latin American countries like Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Panama, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Honduras among others. This record also brought the opportunity to go on a promotional tour which took Schneider to visit several Latin American countries towards the end of 2008, where he gets numerous TV, radio and press interviews. Feeling that the "Una Vida Más" cycle had come to an end, on 2009 he prepares his third album.
(2009-2010) Me voy a escapar... (Parte I)
Between August and October, 2009, Sebastian Schneider writes over 50 songs, from which he preselects 20 and records them in his studio. He decides to make a concept album "broken in half", releasing the first part, an EP titled "Me voy a escapar... (Parte I)" on December, 2009. The album is officially premiered live at December 11 of this year on a well known Buenos Aires' Theater while Schneider plans future shows and tours for the new record, and the release of the second (and presumably last) part of the album during 2010.
(2010-present) ... Y ser diferente (Parte II)
By early 2010, Sebastian gets into the studio to finish the second half of the album, and by June it is ready for release. It consists on eight songs, which gives the full project a total of fourteen. This album marks the first time Schneider releases English songs. Two of them, "Not better" and "4 A.M." are of his own authory, while "Smoke gets in your eyes" is a cover inspired on the popular The Platters version. The release concert was held on August 28 on a major Buenos Aires Venue: Luna Park. After this concert Sebastian takes a break to return to stage on Early 2011.
Sebastian Schneider has always been reluctant to speak about his personal life, since he prefers his connection with people to be a "musical and emotional" one. On 2004 he suffers the loss of his mother on a fatal car accident which affects him deeply and has adopted this stance since then.
He was strongly influenced by German culture from his ancestors, which made him speak german too and uses a wristband with the Germany flag colors when he goes on stage. He is also an electronics technician and sound engineer, which has allowed him among his musical knowledge not only write and perform his songs but also arrange, produce, record, mix them and do the mastering for albums. Except for his first album, Schneider performed every instrument and made every arrange on his songs, including also the recording, mixing and mastering of his third album. Schneider also studied a bit of Physics on the Universidad de Buenos Aires since he is passionate about science and technology. Since 2009 he performs as the Artistic Director of Like It! Productions, whose objective is to generate new talents on the current Argentine music scene.
Music style and equipment
Schneider owns several guitars, but plays live using a James Burton Fender Telecaster Artist Series. He also uses occasionally on acoustic sets or songs a Gracia electroacoustic guitar. He is also a bass player and on occasions uses a Washburn bass on stage. He likes vintage sounds from the 50s, 60s and 70s, influenced by every rock and pop artist from these times, including Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Chuck Berry, Pink Floyd, Beach Boys, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eagles, Chet Atkins, Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Rolling Stones, Roy Orbison, B.B. King and many others, the reason being his music having a retro touch. However, it's noticeable on his songs the influence of artists from the 80s and later, with the likes of Guns N’ Roses, Brian Setzer, Foo Fighters, Living Colour, Whitesnake, Soundgarden, Audioslave, Hellecasters, Gary Moore, Alan Jackson, The Smiths and others. His guitar amplifier of choice is a GX-120 Crate which he uses to generate his different guitar sounds recorded on studio as well as live. He also uses a Digitech GNX2 guitar processor for effects only using it by the insert input of the amp.
He possesses a wide vocal register (he is a tenor) and a soft voice, which generates an interesting contrast between the electric and distorted sound of his songs. His lyrics often have an abstract theme although sometimes tell stories, yet according to its own author they do not have only one interpretation. What every listener interprets of the song is personal and there is not a correct interpretation, they are all correct.
His music cannot be labeled as a specific style but as a collage which includes several styles so different from each other as country music, blues, flamenco, bossa nova with a rock and pop foundation.
Sebastian Schneider is a fingerstyle guitarist so he never uses a pick to play. His technique allows him to use every finger of his right hand but the pinky, allowing him to solo at a rapid rate along with riffs and licks. He also persisted on develop the ability to play complex guitar arrangements while singing at the same time, which he described as "learning a new instrument from zero".
Schneider likes his shows to be an "extra-musical" experience. Given that, there is always an extra component to his shows, be it a scenery, some intimate chat with him and the audience, a pseudo-histrionic situation or visual effects. He does not eat before a concert, and only drinks a bit of Whisky, which he has done on stage sometimes.
Canción Para Nadie (2005)
The Official "Canción Para Nadie" Version was released in 2005. It contains hits like "Haciendo Fuego", "Vicky" y "Luna Amarilla". This record marks the commercial beginning of Schneider as a solo artist where rock, ballad, blues and even flamenco are intertwined with Sebastian's voice and particular guitar technique. "I wanted to show different aspects of my musical life", comments on an interview, "and express them on a single work. That's the reason for this album being a kind of compilation of my work over several years, with songs going back from 2000 to now (2005)".
- "Haciendo Fuego"
- "Luna Amarilla"
- "No Sé Por Qué"
- "Lo Que Pasa Downtown"
- "Pisando El Aire"
- "Para Poderte Ver"
- "Rock De Los Compases Perdidos"
- "Media Solución/Viejos Papeles"
- "Canción Para Nadie"
Una Vida Más (2007)
An optimistic album, more pop oriented rather than rock, where, however, a duel between joy and sadness, happiness and misery and so many other antagonisms present on Schneider's work are presented. "Give me one more life and I promise I'll do my best" sings Sebastian, on an attempt to communicate to the outside what is happening within. The album had a long recording process which culminated with the selection of fourteen songs (it is Schneider's longest album) where the musical quality of "Canción Para Nadie" is led to more lively arrangements, "peppier" melodies like the hit "Dame" which was aired on a multitude of media throughout Latin America. This record also marks the beginning of Sebastian Schneider's career on an international path. Released by "Avarecords/Warner Chappell".
- "La Misma Sensación"
- "A Toda Hora"
- "Juego Cruel"
- "Camino Al Sol"
- "Mi Diamante"
- "Cuando Se Van"
- "Tu Lugar"
- "Somos Nada"
Me Voy a Escapar... (Parte I) (2009)
Schneider dwells on a rock oriented sound, with a vintage feel. Six songs comprise this "broken in half" concept album, where the artist explores different emotions and states of mind on its introspective lyrics, as well as a resurfacing guitar style this time powered up with more potent distorted sounds, a "carefully careless" voice and an artistic need to get the world to know his vision of it. Recorded during August–October 2009, this EP has six songs including "Me voy a escapar" hit, and its second (and final) part is expected to be released on mid-2010.
- "Me voy a escapar"
- "Es una visión"
- "Tengo dos"
- "El otro lado"
- "Demos vuelta"
... Y ser diferente (Parte II) (2010)
This album sets apart from its predecessor "Me voy a escapar" being even more rock driven, with fewer arrangements and more overdriven guitars. It seems that the artist wanted to show two different facets, "Me voy a escapar" being a softer, melancholic album, while "Y ser diferente" sounds explosive, with an unusual mixture of being furious but as introspective as the previous one. Recorded during January–May 2010, this EP has eight songs including "Hoy es hoy" hit, the English-written "4 A.M." and Schneider's first cover ever to be released "Smoke gets in your eyes".
- "Hoy es hoy"
- "4 A.M."
- "Me lo quedo yo"
- "Sur del sur"
- "Not better"
- "Todavía necesito la furia"
- "Smoke gets in your eyes"
- Sebastian Schneider's Bio
- El Telégrafo Newspaper interview
- Sebastian Schneider's Bio
- Sebastian Schneider's official blog
- Horacio Ascheri Official Site
- The Pick Ups in Rock.com.ar
- 2007 Sebastian Schneider Press Bulletin
- Avarecords Web
- Warner/Chappell International
- Sebastian Schneider's Official MySpace
- Sebastian Schneider Web's Media Archive
- List of prominent or notable german argentines - Wikipedia
- Like it! Producciones
- El Universo Newspaper Interview
- Excerpt from Sebastianschneider.com.ar
- Translated "Cuando Se Van" Chorus. Author: Sebastian Schneider
- Note on "Guitarristas.ar" Magazine, Year IV, Num. 18 p. 30
- Excerpt from Sebastianschneider.com.ar
- Excerpt from Sebastianschneider.com.ar
- http://www.sebastianschneider.com.ar Sebastian Schneider's Official Site
- http://www.warnerchappell.com Warner/Chappell International
- http://www.likeitproducciones.com.ar Like It! Producciones
- http://www.avarecords.com.ar Ava Records
- http://www.sebastianschneiderweb.com Sebastian Schneider's Official Site (English)