Interview: Stell & Snuggs
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Hi Stell & Snuggs! It is great to be chatting with you!
You are gearing up for a new single release! Will you tell us a bit about it?
Yes! Our single "Hey Little Bird" will be hitting on Tuesday, June 8th. It will be available on Spotify, via our YouTube channel, and via most major digital outlets. Amazing how easy that is to do these days. It features some great friends of ours - Scott Messersmith on percussion (founder of the Motet, currently with the California Honeydrops among many other projects) and Keith Mosley on bass (of the String Cheese Incident). It is really a "family"style project, as we have been working with the same production crew for 20 years since we founded CueZone Records, now CueBro Publishing. This record was tracked at Sleeping Brotherhood under the direction of Kyle Jones in Denver, CO, and mixed/ mastered with Ben Senterfit and Space Studios in Red Hook, NY. It has really been a pleasure to have such a fantastic support system of Uber-talented people that we can call our best friends for so long. We really are blessed to be surrounded by such massive human beings!
What has the creative process been like for that?
Our creative process is pretty intuitive - drawing from direct experiences makes the creative process easy if you can quiet your mind for a time. That can be easy to do at sea. They say sailing is 99% boredom and 1% sheer terror.
Much of our material is drawn directly from our life experience, sailing and performing. There's often a lot of time while making the longer transits - it is 2 weeks at sea between the NE Seaboard and the Caribbean, which we do nearly twice per year. The single, "Hey Little Bird," is a fun one. We often fish while underway - usually trolling a lure of some sort. We were motoring for 2 or 3 days, and the sea had really become a flat calm. Way out there you find Shearwaters - a type of seabird that rarely comes near land. They get really curious about you...I'm sure they get bored and lonely some days! This little guy at first seemed really interested in our lure, and we nearly took it in so as to avoid the Shearwater getting caught in it - but it turned out the little guy was just looking at it underwater. The bird would circle, land at the stern (rear) of the boat and wait for the lure to pass by. When it would, the bird would stick it's head in the water and look at the lure. Then repeat...for 2 days until the wind kicked up again!! He even pulled a couple of his buddies into the mix on the 2nd day, and they all played some kind of leap frog, taking turns looking at the big pink lure. Really wild...
Now, you all have a unique method of touring! Tell us about that!
For the past 9 years, we have lived aboard a 42' sailing vessel - our home, "Catherine." It is obviously not the most practical method of travel, but it really is lovely. It is difficult - hard work, requiring planning and focus - but the end result is truly wonderful. We carry our home and all of our possessions under cloth and wind. We have toured to many islands, back and forth between the Caribbean and Northeast US, Scotland, Ireland, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean under sail. It is a very genteel mode of travel as well - when you arrive to another country by sea, it is a wholly different experience than arriving via air. It is much more personal, generally not stressful at all, rather quite the opposite. It is the reward at the end of your labors at sea to arrive in your next port of call.
So cool! You also have your business, Yacht Rock Charters. What can a customer expect when they book with you, and can we expect you all to be open this year?
Yes, we do - we purchased a small 40' Schooner, "Deliverance," 2 years ago to charter for the summer in Rockaway Beach, NY. That area was our home for 9 years until Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and we have many friends there. The schooner is more of a "classic" sailing experience, and we try to mix adventure and luxury together for a really unique perspective to NY. Honestly, we just do what we do and have an enjoyable time with our clientele. The area we sail, Jamaica Bay, is the only wildlife refuge inside of a major city in the US, which really just enhances the vibe. You can see The whole of Manhattan from a nearly sideways view, so really the whole skyline, floating above the uninhabited marshes of the Jamaica Bay estuary, it really is magical.
We are just now open for our summer 2021 season - which is very exciting for us after having no performance or charter seasons since the pandemic hit last year. It has been difficult for many, and both of our livelihoods were completely cut off. We are very grateful to have had some other work opportunities come our way to get through, but are also so happy to be getting a little back on track. Come sail with us in NYC!!!
So you both juggle so many projects! How do you stay balanced with all of it?
We often wonder that ourselves. It certainly isn't easy, and many times sacrifices of one form or another need to be made. There is the old adage, "Time and tide wait for no man," and this is very true. The one thing we do not have the luxury of is deferring maintenance on the boats, so when those duties call all else needs to take a backseat. We have gotten much better over the years at just making that a part of our lives so as to not interfere with our passions, but it does require constant thought to maintain that balance. The work, though, has a way of bringing quiet in it's own way. You simply have to accept it as a necessity, and understand that getting frustrated at "unplanned" situations is a futile exercise. Better to just give in and try to find happiness regardless.
What dates should we mark in our calendars for all of your upcoming endeavors?
Well....the video for the single is just about complete! We are going to release it in the wild on Tues. June 9th, so be ready:) Yacht Rock Charters is o-en for biz, and we have some great shows at the Rockaway Hotel (a BRAND new and fab spot in Rockaway), the next being June 24th. We have performed so few times over the past year and a half that the anticipation is nearly like it is our first show. Really a wild experience!!
The next single will be hitting on the 2nd week of July - so keep your eyes peeled for that. It's another fun life story - a bit more jovial even...
Please let our readers know where to keep up with all things Stell & Snuggs?
There's always the website - www.stellandsnuggs.com. We've got a blog page there, videos, and a new little marketplace for both our music, some craft goods we make, as well as some handcrafted things made by close friends - soaps, art, etc. Our social media mains are Insta and FB, it's where the haps usually are thrown to first. We've got some fun thing there that are outside of Stell and Snuggs as well, kooky side things we were doing during the pandemic and such to keep sane. We've all had to cope in one form or another - we chose joy and comedy. Even if you are in a schitte mood, putting a smile on can actually bring a good mood no matter what. It's difficult sometimes, but really is effective. Hopefully you'll find lots more music and sailing in the future!
Thank you for your time!