The stages of a rock 'n' roll career can include: transcending suburban boredom, landing your first paying gig, releasing your debut record, long months on tour, a band break-up or two, periods of self doubt, and, eventually, looking back fondly on your years spent in beloved local bands, while also wondering why you didn't listen to your musician father when he told you it was going to be a hard road.
The latter stage describes Chuck Snow, a legend in the Colorado Springs music scene. He played in surf punk band the S.I.D.S., and then the AUTONO for much of the 80s and 90s. Since 1997, when the AUTONO broke up, he's been writing and recording music under his own name. He now works at Independent Records, and leads a quieter life than he once did--but still he has the occasional flashback.
"I spent last night huffing spray paint. We were painting shirts for record store day. You have fifteen or twenty people in a room with spray paint cans and no ventilation and--it took me back," he joked during a recent interview with 91.5 KRCC.
Fresh-faced punk rockers The Youthful Nothings, are at the other end of the spectrum. They're all under 21, but play shows in Colorado Springs and Denver with the frequency of a band much older and more experienced. The Youthful Nothings consists of Quentin Michael Gamer, Michael Miller, and Will Lachoki.
"I grew up in the upper-middle class suburb area, so it was a lot of white privilege stuff," says Miller. "All those rich people got on my nerves... So then when I [was] able to do my own research and have my own thoughts I discovered this angry music that they call punk. And the rest is history."
For the latest episode of Air Check, we invited The Youthful Nothings and Chuck Snow into the studio to get a sense of how a musician's relationship to their craft changes over the course of a long musical career. We asked them how they got their start, what they dream for their career, and whether the satisfaction of a life spent pursuing art outweighs the sacrifices it takes to make it a reality.
"It's a lot of punishment on your body," says Snow, reflecting on the life of a career musician. "A lot of these guys you see now die a little earlier because of all the stress and abuse they put on their bodies. I miss being young and having that energy. I still enjoy playing but...I guess that's just one of those things. When you're young you have that magic and you feel like anything's possible."
To listen to the full story, press play above.