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Snow Patrol Want To Prove They're No One-Hit Wonder

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Snow Patrol.jpg
Snow Patrol.jpg

Propelled to worldwide stardom by their hit single Chasing Cars, Snow Patrol want to prove they're more than a one-hit wonder. Drummer Jonny Quinn spoke to Laura McQuillan of NZPA about the band's new album.

Wellington, Oct 27 NZPA - Snow Patrol have been anything but an overnight success, releasing four albums before they became a household name.

The group finally found international fame after their single Chasing Cars played during one of TV show Grey's Anatomy's most tear-jerking scenes -- Denny's death.

And they didn't even know what Grey's Anatomy was, says drummer Jonny Quinn.

"The first time we knew of it, my girlfriend was living in Austin (Texas) at the time and she said `it was really strange because no one in the office knows who you guys are and several came in today and said they heard your song over the end of Grey's Anatomy', and I didn't know what that was!

"We didn't have a clue, and even the record label, no one knew actually. It was a surprise to everybody."

The biggest surprise, says Quinn, was the fame the band found from the song.

"It was so powerful, it's strange. Other bands have obviously had songs on Grey's Anatomy but it hasn't really done anything for them.

"For some reason it struck a chord with that scene, so it's quite strange. I mean, we've had songs in many TV series but nothing ever happens from it so we were definitely shocked that it had such an impact."

Overcoming the accent barrier makes interviewing Quinn a challenge, with his strong Irish twang. Gary Lightbody (vocals), Nathan Connolly (guitar), Tom Wilson (keyboards) and Paul Wilson (bass) round out the London-based Irish-Scottish band.

Snow Patrol has just released its fifth album, A Hundred Million Suns, and they're hoping their new songs will strike as loud a chord with fans as Chasing Cars.

Quinn calls the album the band's "best record yet, by a mile".

"It doesn't have any kind of Chasing Cars on it but it does have a lot of sort of mid-up-tempo tunes on it and it has a 16-minute song."

The first single off the album, Take Back The City, has had a mixed response, reaching number four on the UK Singles Chart, but only entering the New Zealand charts at number 37.

But Quinn says the single has gotten a lot of air-time in the UK and the band is really positive about how the album will fare.

"If you like what we've done before you're gonna love this one."

He says the songs on the album are mostly about love, and are based on true-life stories about "36-year-old love".

"There's normally albums put out about break-ups but this album is actually more about being in love and about the good part of it. It's a lot more optimistic."

It took Snow Patrol almost 10 years to break into the mainstream, and their perseverance is admirable, after years of low sales on a small record label.

"We never got played, we never got reviewed, we never got asked to do anything, but we just worked at playing gigs. And the people who were coming to gigs thought we were amazing.

"We toured around England and would maybe get 100 people a night and they would be like `oh, you're the best band, I wish more people knew about you' and that kept us going I think."

Quinn attributes their low-budget, low-exposure start is one of the reasons the band is still around today.

"I think it was important for us to do that because if we'd started off selling a few million albums we probably wouldn't still be here, we would have believed the hype and not really got focused on another great album.

"We just wouldn't go away and we just stuck at it. And then we sort of got together with quite a big manager who sort of found us and then we got together with Polydor Records and the combination came to make a difference."

The band is now renowned for their high-energy live shows, and after 10 years of touring, Quinn believes the band have got it downpat.

And their fingers are crossed that A Hundred Million Suns will bring them back to New Zealand early next year, after finding the locals incredibly friendly during last year's visit.

" We wouldn't miss it," Quinn says.

"It seems a really safe place, New Zealand, and everyone feels like they have a good quality of life. They seem quite happy, it's a great thing."

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