With Love from LA - Snow Wite
It was like, "OK, we need a red sports car to film in front of," and instead of renting it, we drove around Hollywood until we found a red Trans-Am parked right in front of a mansion and just shot the scene there in the middle of the street.
(Image by Sylvie Spencer)
Pretty much everything in Los Angeles is just perfect—I bet you can’t even count on both hands the number of friends who’ve moved here in the last year, or are planning to soon. It’s simply the funnest place right now, and a magnet for outrageous solo acts, ridiculous and surreal art, and bizarro fashion, aka a total paradise. And starting now, I'm going to send you postcards about as much of it as possible via the internet. This time we’ll focus on Snow Wite, a pretty wacky rock ‘n’ roll cat with spazzed-out hair who’s on a prolific roll right now making hilarious videos featuring mastered flange and serious babes. Every time I watch one I’m like, “OK, who’s gonna make a cameo in this one?” We’re debuting his latest right now, “Diane,” with special babe action provided by Puro Instinct.
VICE: You've got a million names: Andy Rock 'n' Roll, Snow Wite, Andrea Scary, Andy Cary... I bet there are more I don't know about. What gives? Why so many?
Snow Wite: Ha, my given name is Andreas Cary, and the name of my band is Snow Wite. I usually just go by Andy in my personal life, even though a lot of people have started calling me Snow Wite or "Snowy." Which is fine. After that it gets kind of deeper.
How can you tell the difference among them all?
My alter egos started off as fake Twitter and Facebook characters I made to troll the net with, but they evolved into real characters in the “300 Degrees” video. Jillian Mango is the leader of the Snow Wite fan club. You can see in the video she's got a big Snow Wite band poster on her wall that we actually had custom made. Also, the cowboy character with the Budweiser jersey is named J.S. Rock. He's a beer drinking, Marlboro Red smoking, god-fearing southerner who dabbles in country music and NASCAR. Anyone who's met J.S. will tell you he's an ignorant hick asshole, but it's hard to deny that he's a sensational drinking buddy. You just have to keep an eye on him because he gets rowdy after a few Jack and cokes.
Seems you're enjoying a prolific period right now, at least with the videos. Any specific reason for this?
These days every rapper has like 20,000 YouTube videos, and I don't see any reason rock artists can't make a video for every song either. Also, I get really weird if I'm not working on something every second, so videos give me a big project to work on all the time. I grew up watching early 2000s music videos on MTV like "Stacy's Mom" and "Hey Ya," and to me it's more fun to enjoy a song when it has a little story or a flamboyant visual performance. “Secret” and “Aphrodite” were filmed on my friend's iPhone because it was simply the only camera available. For “Aphrodite,” my friend Robbie and I covered a room in aluminum foil, filled it with smoke, and duct taped an iPhone to a tripod!
I’m guessing you’ve stepped up your game a little bit.
Since then my methods have got a little (but only a little) more sophisticated. I started brainstorming ideas for a shinier-looking video for "300 Degrees" with my roommate Brandon Kelly in April. He's worked on Hollywood movies in the past, so when I give him a creative idea he can tell me exactly what we need to accomplish it. Then we replace all the costs with free alternatives. It was like, "OK, we need a red sports car to film in front of," and instead of renting it, we drove around Hollywood with Labanna until we found a red Trans-Am parked right in front of a mansion and just shot the scene there in the middle of the street.
Having a valuable collaborator like Brandon definitely makes my job a lot easier. The shoots often devolved into partying, specifically the Jillian Mango bedroom scene. The make-up artist was feeding us booze and pills and flashing us the whole time while we were shooting this bizarre pseudo-sexual scene where I was channeling a teen girl fan of myself on a giant pink bed in front of a bunch of posters of myself, Justin Bieber, and One Direction. Let's just say it was one of the stranger moments of the whole project. When we shot the really sexy guitar solo, Brandon was filming and directing at the same time. To help me get into character, Brandon was describing Courtney Love going down on Jillian in great detail as we worked, while operating the fog machine at the same time. It definitely helped us get the most sensual shot from me in drag. We had to learn how to make me sexy as a girl, since I'm usually approaching sexuality from the other side of things. A lot of people wouldn't be comfortable working like that, but the end result was definitely worth all the weirdness that went into it.
You don’t have to play all the hot girls in your own videos—you feature quite a few real ones. Where do you find the babes?
Babes are all around! Usually the ones in my videos are friends that I just invited to be a part of the shoot. I tend to surround myself with beautiful people, male and female, and my work definitely benefits from that. Labanna Babalon, who was featured in the “300 Degrees” video, is a friend and housemate who also happens to be an eccentric performer with an exceptional booty. “Secret” features Niki Takesh as my “lost love” and her real-life boo Rhett Brandt as her new boyfriend. Their chemistry was really easy to work with since they are a couple in real life, and their relationship just lent itself to the video really easily. It's important to have beautiful men in the mix too! There should be a little bit for everyone to enjoy. Did you catch the pool hunk in “300 Degrees”? That's my friend and former roommate Chris Romo, who is now living in New Mexico, expecting twins with his young bride!
Tell me about the ladies in the “Diane” video.
I asked Piper and Skylar Kaplan, aka Puro Instinct, to guest star as angels in heaven. I've been playing in their live band, so when I needed blond angels for my video it was a no-brainer to ask them. Also, living in a house in Los Angeles with seven other talented people tends to put you in touch with all sorts of different girls and boys involved in different creative endeavors, so that helps.
Why are babes so integral to good videos?
Beautiful girls really capture people’s attention. Including my own. I want to make videos that I would enjoy watching myself, and babes bump everything to the next level of visual stimulation. Plus, all my songs are about girls anyway, so it's only right and natural.
Good point. You're doing full-out rock 'n' roll while so many others are replicating the Avatar soundtrack on Malibu roofies. How do you maintain a pure aesthetic?
I don't know that my aesthetic is really that pure. When I first moved out to LA from Massachusetts about a year ago I was trying to start a full band with a constant lineup, but the moment I got over that purist approach and realized that some of the songs would sound perfectly fine with computer drums, my life got a lot easier. Right now my live band is a three-piece, with my supremely talented friends Jonathan Wright on drums and Alex Romero on bass. Alex is in a couple of the videos, he's pretty unmistakable with his blonde afro and beard. Although it seems to be getting easier and easier for solo acts to perform rather than full bands, especially in LA.
It seems everything is easier in LA. It’s just the best here.