Eric Pettersson, IVM: You can start with your name and duties in the band.
Jeff Schneeweis, Number One Gun: My name is Jeff Schneeweis and I sing and play guitar for the band.
E: For those who haven’t been along for the ride, could you give a brief history of Number One Gun?
J: Well we have been around for about 5 years. We are from Chico, CA, and still live there today. We have put out 3 full length records including the newest one on Tooth and Nail called The North Pole Project.
E: Apparently things were a little crazy around the recording of the new record, and you ended up doing each part yourself, almost like a solo album. Was it really weird doing things that way compared to past CDs? How do you feel about the final outcome, knowing it was the first Number One Gun release done as a one-man band?
J: Yes it was kinda weird at first just thinking about it. But really, I have always written mostly everything in the band in the past, but this time it was a little different because I had to record all of the parts myself. But it was seriously the best time of my life.
E: What should fans expect in The North Pole Project?
J: I think our fans can expect a very diverse, mature rock album that has a wide variety of songs. It still has the NOG sound, but you can definitely expect some new sounds from the band.
E: How was it working with the differences in producing this album?
J: As some of you might know, I have been producing a lot of records in the last 2 years. So it really wasn’t too hard for me to produce and write this record. The only thing is that I usually take about a month or two when I record a full length record. But this one took about 3 months to record, and sometimes I got kinda lost in the whole process of it, ha.
E: What was the actual writing process for you? Where did you find lyrical and musical inspiration, and how did a typical song come together?
J: With this record I actually wrote and recorded each song at a time. And for some reason, thank God, I never ran out of ideas for the song writing process… cause sometimes that happens, ha.
E: That name, The North Pole Project, was originally going to be your solo project. In fact, the myspace for such still exists with two demos from the new record. How did it come about that you stayed on with the full Number One Gun and used the name for this?
J: Well I was originally going to start a side band called The North Pole Project. But after talking to Tooth and Nail about it, it made more sense to keep the name Number One Gun because I wrote everything anyways. But The North Pole Project fit perfect for the album name. Mainly because it really well represented me being alone on this record, and kind of off in the distance.
E: Has it been easy to transition these songs back to the full band and onto the live stage?
J: Yes it was actually really easy because of the amazing musicians that are playing with me now. They are all my good friends, and some of them I have played with before.
E: Speaking of playing live, how is the release tour going? Any fun experiences with the other bands yet?
J: Oh my, you have no idea how fun this tour is. All of the shows are going extremely well, and more importantly, every band on this tour is so much fun. It’s kinda funny cause I have actually gotten a chance to either produce or in someway be involved in each one of these bands records. Ha. Which is kinda why I chose all of these bands for the tour. Also they are all so good live and great people. It’s pretty much the most fun and stress free tour I have ever done.
E: Who have been some of your favorite bands to tour with in the past and why?
J: I would say either Emery or Relient K just because we really hit it off right away. But it’s hard to say, cause we usually get along with everybody.
E: What would be your dream tour to play on?
J: I would have to say Jimmy Eat World. We have played with them a couple of times but never got to tour with them.
E: Looking through Number One Gun’s discography, what are your top three favorite songs?
J: I would say “All You Have” (from Promises for the Imperfect), and “Bad Habits” and “The Best of You and Me” (both off The North Pole Project).
E: Being on Tooth & Nail Records, your band has an automatic association with the Christian music industry. But for Number One Gun, personally, what role does faith play in your band?
J: I definitely feel that Number One Gun is an outlet for me as a Christian. My faith is a huge part of my life and I love writing about the experiences that I have had.
E: How do you feel about the current music scene, and where do you see it going in the next five to ten years?
J: Well, the way I feel about it is that I am very scared for the music industry. Record sales are down everywhere and there is so much competition with all of the bands out there. It just seems to be getting worse and worse. And I really hope that maybe eventually it will be so bad that it has to kinda just start over from square one. I mean the internet has completely taken over, which is totally cool in a way, but it’s really hard for bands to sell records cause you can’t beat free, ha.
Thanks to Jeff for taking time out of your schedule to answer some questions for us, and to Lori at Biscuit PR for helping hook it up.