MM - Please
introduce the band. Who are the members of Snakeryder,
when was the band first formed and how has it evolved to its current
I’m AJ FedZ, lead guitarist, lead vocalist & founder of the band.
Karl Karlston is the rhythm Guitarist. Dino Castano is on the
Drums and last but not least is our new bass player Mikk Black.
Mikk recently replaced our original bassist Joey Reno. Unfortunately
Joey is no longer with us. He decided to become the family man,
cut his hair and go back to school. A man's got to do, what a
man's got to do, and we wish him well.
The evolution of the band is only a state of mind. As a result of our
first release, we are a band that is now on the map and it feels great!
MM - How would you describe your style of music to someone who isn’t
familiar with the band and who are your musical influences?
To keep it plan and simple, we’re an old school hard rock band. We
have been compared to Y&T and Cinderella. We all have different rock
heroes, I would just say we all grew up on 70’s & 80’s hard rock
MM - Where did the name ‘Snakeryder’ come from and what does it
represent? Also can you remember any of the other names you toyed
with before agreeing on this one?
I came up with the name. When I first sign the deal with Metal
Mayhem, I was pretty much a solo artist. I always believed a
rocker should have a cool stage name, so I was looking for a cool solo
artist name. My father used to call me Snake & Duke when I was
a kid. I threw the name Rex into the equation and finally decided
to call myself Snake. Now I needed a last name. One I toyed
around with was Rattler. So I would have been either Rex Rattler
or Snake Rattler.
In New Jersey we have a big Truck rental company called Ryder Trucks.
I slept on it for a few day then decided
that Ryder was going to be my last name. So I was to be Snake
Ryder the solo artist with a band. When MMM signed me, they were
dead set on Snakeryder being a band. So
I made them happy and a band it is. The name snake does not refer
to a man's penis and ryder is not an action
in this case. :-)
MM - You are all seasoned musicians, but what bands have you all
appeared in over the years?
We have all been in many bands over the years. One band I was in
many moons ago was called White Fox. The band eventually evolved
into the name Light Years. Jeff La Bar from Cinderella was the
original guitarist for the band. They had a half dozen guitarist
after him, then settled with me in 1990. Dino has player with Vick
Le Car, and various New York Bands. Mikk has worked with solo
artist Mike Galleger. Mike is a Fastlane records artist.
Karl is like the band whore, he has been with everybody. :o)
MM - Your debut album ’Snakeryder’ is out on Z Records and available
to the public at large, what sort of feedback have you received from the
fans and media so far?
We have received a lot of emails from fans telling us our music has
brought them back to yesteryear, and we have made them some pretty happy
campers. We’ve have had requests to sign photos, guitar picks CD
booklets and what ever would make them happy. We have also received a
lot of great CD reviews.
MM - It would be great if you could give us a short statement of three
or four sentences about each song on the new album. Just what
comes in your mind when you think about the song ...
To be honest with you, I can sum this question up very briefly. The
songs on the debut just plain and simple, ROCK! What comes to mind is
the sense of accomplishment. The album is out there and we can move on
to the next project which is Snakeryder # TWO.
MM - How did you come to hook up with Z Records and what sort of deal do
you have with them? Was it just for the release of
‘Snakeryder’ or does it go further than that?
My friend Danny Danzi was a Z artist so I knew of the label. I
sent Z a demo about four years ago and never heard a word from them.
Danny had asked Mark what he thought of my demo, and Mark said he
didn’t get it in the mail. I never bothered to send him another
demo. I ended up hooking up with Kivel records.
My Kivel experience was not up to standards or my expectations, so
I walked. I then signed a deal with Metal Mayhem Music.
After we were released from the MMM contract, Nicky at AOR dream zones
told me Z records was interested in the band. I sent the
Snakeryder DOA CD to Mark at Z records and four years later, we’re on
Z Records. We signed a two album, four year licensing deal.
MM - The band have had some unfortunate bad luck with their previous
record companies. You must feel a lot happier now to have
found a new home with Z Records. Was there ever a time you felt
like jacking it all in and forgetting about your dreams to be a
For now on lets refer to our former label as “WHO”?
Sure, we’re much happier. Z Records
are a real indie label. They have some pretty heavy hitters on
their roster. It’s great to be part of the Z family.
Before we signed with Z, I was done with everything, ready to
retire and move to Florida. LOL
I gave Z Records one last shot at the music business. Mark Alger
saved my life and career. (Hey Mark, if your reading this, send us some
Snakeryder CD’s or I’ll send my boys over there) LOL
MM - Do you have any plans to tour in support of this new album and if
so when is this likely to take place?
There is not a tour in the near future. We are hard at work on our
sophomore release. If there is any tour, it will most likely be
after our next release. We may appear at Z rock in April.
I would like to educate your readers. It cost approximately 10
thousand dollars a week to put a band on tour. Expenses to
include: Tour bus, food, road manager, road crew, insurance, etc.
The monies an unknown artist will generate, is not enough to break even.
That’s when the record company offers the band TOUR SUPPORT. The
record company then makes a decision whether or not a tour will increase
CD’s sales and be worth the effort.
On the other hand, if we sell a decent number of CD’s in the next six
months or so, we may have some bargaining power. Time will tell.
MM - What are your favorite tracks from the new CD? If you had
only one chance to turn people on to Snakeryder, which song would you
have them listen to, to get a feel for what you guys are all about?
My favorites would have to be: Got No Time For Romance, Love It Bites
& Danger Zone. I would turn people on to the above titles.
MM - Where do you think ’Snakeryder’ fits into today's overall music
I don’t think Snakeryder fits in with today’s music scene at all. As
a person, I don’t live my life trying to fitting in period.
The direction of my music is a reflection of who I am, and the
guys in Snakeryder are my army.
MM - How long did it take for the new album to be created from the first
initial conception to the finished product?
I would say recording the album took about six months. After the
recording was completed, Metal Mayhem Music was going to have Mike
Vescera mix the album. One thing led to another, then MMM put it
on the back burner. I got so fed up with waiting, I bought a stamp
that said cancelled. I then stamped the MMM contract, had it
notarized by a lawyer and then sent it back to them.
With delays beyond our control, I guess it took around two years to
record mix, master and release the album. Of course at the time,
we patched things up with MMM & then finally released DOA.
MM - Did you all agree on your particular sound at the very beginning or
were there any clashes over musical ideas?
I was the producer of our debut. From the start I was and have always
been the focal point of the band. I had 100 songs to bring to the table,
a 24 track recording studio, 10 years of recording engineering and I
secured the bands first record deal. The guys in the band are pretty
easy going and stand behind me and support my decisions.
MM - Have you started work on a follow up album yet and if so can you
tell us anything about it and when we can expect to see it released?
Yes! The new record will be more high octane in comparison to our debut.
Sort of like 80‘s Kiss. We started preproduction during this past
summer and started the actual recording of the album in September. The
projected release date is April or May. However, there is always a
chance of obstacles that may set things back a tad bit.
MM - Who normally writes for Snakeryder and what would you say fuels
I write all the lyrics. I generally write about relationships gone bad,
getting my little noodle wet & life experiences.
MM - Do you consider that image is still as important as it was in the
late 80's/early 90's?
Believe it or not, the bands of today have an image. An image is
always present. It’s a rather dull image, but it's still an
image. In the 70‘s, 80‘s & early 90‘s, bands had a more
Is image important? That answer lies in the eyes of the beholder.
I for one won’t be seen on stage or photos looking like I just rolled
out of bed or ready to play basket ball. :o)
MM - What is the overall attitude in the States to hair bands? Is it
positive or completely negative? What’s your view of big hair bands
who totally change their style to fit into a current fashionable musical
First of all I don’t consider my band a big hair band. Having
long hair was always the traditional thing to do. I’m from the 80‘s,
so to me long hair is the norm. I view your question as one that
only the younger generation can answer.
Example: My parents were from the 50‘s, so Elvis, Buddy Holly &
Chuck Berry was their cup of tea or flavor. When the late 60‘s
& 70‘s hit, bands like: Deep Purple, The Beatles & The
Who were on the charts. At that time my father bitched that the Duck
Tail hair style was out, but he still slicked his shit back.
Twenty years from now, what will we call the bands that set the trends
in the 90‘s & 2000? The Retard Bands, Egg Head
Bands, The Baseball Cap - Baggy Pants Bands? J
If bands from yesteryear find it in their best interest to let society's
threshold hold them back from being who they are, I have no problem with
that. They're just trying to rekindle a lost music career.
MM - What
was the very first concert that you ever attended and did you ever think
one day you'd be the one standing on the stage in front of all those
crowds of cheering people?
My first concert was Aerosmith 1977. Damn,
I’m getting old! I won’t tell you my age, but people still think
I’m around 29 to 32. LOL
Sure, I always dreamed of playing in an arena in front of twenty
thousand screaming people. Unfortunately, I didn’t get there yet. But
then again, I ain’t dead yet! LOL
MM - What do you hope the future holds for the band and its music?
Well you don’t know what the future may bring. I just take one
day at a time and continue to do what I do best. Ultimately, I’d
like to see bands let go of the current trends and go back to the roots.
Snakeryder will hopefully be leading the pack.
MM - Lastly, is there anything you would like to say to all our readers
PLEASE DO NOT BUY THE METAL MAYHEM VERSION OF OUR DEBUT!
Thank you for your time doing the interview, I enjoyed it! I’d like to
say thank you to everybody that has paid their hard earned cash for a
copy of our album. Whether it be on MMM
or Z Records. Thank you so much! Everyone is welcome to send us an email
we’re a friendly band. Don’t be shy, we will get back to all who
send us email.