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over the years, now I’m the Kiss Ambassador”
DEAN SNOWDEN’S BEEN WORKING WITH KISS SINCE A LONG TIME AGO. HE HAS MANY DUTIES WITH THE BAND BUT HE LIKES TO CALL HIMSELF AS “THE KISS AMBASSADOR”. READ THIS ECLUSIVE INTERVIEW AND YOU’LL FIND OUT WHY...
KISS Army Argentina: Hello, Dean, thank you for your time for this interview. It is an honor for us. Dean Snowden: First off thanks for having me in a KISS Army interview. KISS Army Argentina: KISS has had a very busy year, and as usual, your work has been essential. You do lots of things and your duties are extremely important when it comes to spreading what the band does. Having said this, how would you describe a typical day with KISS on tour? Dean Snowden: My duties with KISS are important, but we all know that anyone can be replaced so everyday we stride to give the fans what they have come to expect from the Hottest Band in the World. This includes Band and Crew. A typical day for me is to wake up on the bus and go right to work usually about 17 hours, this is probably after we have loaded out in last nights city, slept while travelling to the next city, and prepare to entertain the KISS Army again. KISS Army Argentina: You have a kind of “double task”: being an “ambassador” for KISS organizing the Meet & Greets, and being the photographer of the band as well, capturing every important moment of the band for KISS On Line. How do you survive all that? Dean Snowden: This is a great question, my duties with the band have evolved over the years and I am very proud of the work I do for them. Currently I am the KISS Ambassador, my team works to set up and provide a great experience for the fans who have paid to meet KISS. We are great at this and provide undoubtedly the best meet n greet experience in the world. I think any of the fans who have done the meet n greet would agree, especially with KISS’ intimate acoustic show being included on this last tour. With doing photos, video, gathering all the fans, and staying true to the bands expectations, my day is non stop and there are times it seems like 3 days can go by in a blink of an eye. KISS Army Argentina: How much time do your duties take in a typical day of work for KISS on tour? Do you have free time? Dean Snowden: There is not much free time for me or most any crew member, this job is not for the faint of heart, most show days are 16-20 hours. Remember KISS puts on a huge show and it takes a lot to put it up and tear it down every day.
KISS Army Argentina: You have also worked with other big artists, such as Pat Benatar, Mötley Crüe and Rage Against the Machine,- 2 -among others. Which are the differences of working with them and working with KISS? Dean Snowden: As the KISS Ambassador I must say I enjoy working for Paul and Gene a lot. These guys are very professional and really do care about the fans. Also the diversity of a brand like KISS offers many challenges, as well as great opportunities. This year’s tour allowed me to meet a couple of people whose work I admire, Randy Johnson a great pitcher, and Mike McCready of Pearl Jam. Both rock stars in their own way, talented individuals, and KISS fans. KISS Army Argentina: How and when did you start working with KISS? Dean Snowden: I started working with KISS in 1998, the first door that ever opened for me was at a studio called Green Jelly; that is where I met Tommy Thayer who was producing The Second Coming, later KISS came to do the Psycho Circus photo shoot with Barry Levine. Then I had a part in helping with KISStory II. KISS Army Argentina: It has been a long road, and you have surely lived great moments with the band; which one of those moments would you describe as your favorite, as a truly unforgettable event? Dean Snowden: I am sure if you ask Paul or Gene they would never be able to have just one moment that exceeds all others, for me the same is true, because of KISS I have been around the world 3 times and seen most of it, a few that were favorites of mine were, VH1 Rock Honors, that was an amazing night with so much talent present and performing. American Idol finale was really cool, and this year being allowed to accompany the guys at 34 Montagu sq in London which is where the Beatles, Hendrix and so many created music was incredibly special. KISS Army Argentina: As we were commenting before, your duties regarding the Meet & Greets are surely exhausting, as you have to pay attention to every single detail. How do you make it in longer tours, such as The Tour together with Mötley Crüe? Because during approximately three months you live with the band and you are away from home and family… There comes a time, we guess, in which you are longing for the tour to be over, so you can go back home… Dean Snowden: I have been around for 13 or 14 years and don’t see anything that will stop KISS or the KISS Army. KISS Army Argentina: As official photographer for KISS, you must have surely lived great moments working in the front row of the shows taking pictures of the band, with other great photographers, such as Ross Halfin. Please tell us about your experience in this context. Dean Snowden: The other two Photographers I have shot next to the most are Ross Halfin and Neil Zlozower they are amazing and always get great shots. They are always professional and really deliver what the band is looking for. Remember just being on the team is great but not everyone can be Diego Maradona. KISS Army Argentina: What equipment do you currently use with KISS? Dean Snowden: My camera, video camera and most of what I use is Canon. Great stuff. The camera I use for the Meet N Greets is a Canon 7D. KISS Army Argentina: When we met you in Buenos Aires, during the most recent visit of the band (November 2012), we had the chance to witness firsthand how complicated your job is, and how efficient you are in doing it. Everything is like a giant jigsaw puzzle in which all the pieces come together while the anxiety and expectation increase. How do you combine all that with the
craziness of the fans and the needs of the band?
Dean Snowden: A great question, Patience is important. The two goals are make the band happy and provide the fans with the best possible experience. Now that we do our meet n greet in two parts my day is even longer and the responsibility doubled. I like your reference to jigsaw puzzles, I think of it as Tetris, but very similar, everything comes together and builds through the day. After the acoustic set, signing all the personal items for everyone then I focus on the pictures which happens just before the Band hits the stage, every night we send them to the stage with an infusion of energy from their most die hard fans who have just gotten their photo with their Idols. KISS Army Argentina: What is the best of working with KISS? Dean Snowden: Just being in the presence of Paul and Gene every night is the best ever. Getting the paycheck is good too. KISS Army Argentina: How are you as a KISS fan? Which are your favorite things about them? Dean Snowden: My experience with KISS is more of a professional one rather than as a fan. I love what I do, the fans are great and every night is amazing with fans doing their first or sometimes 10th meet n greets, there is always lots of excitement surrounding my gig. KISS Army Argentina: How is your relationship with them beyond your job? Dean Snowden: My relationship with the guys beyond work is good. But this is a job and most of my dealings with them revolve around work, which is ok because they are always working. KISS Army Argentina: What other activities do you have apart from being the official photographer for KISS and the organizer of their Meet & Greets? Dean Snowden: As a tour group including the Band Manager, Tour Manager, Production Manager, it takes quite a bit to organize the guys schedules, build the show, entertain the fans and do it all again the next day, I suspect none of us would have it any other way. KISS Army Argentina: Dean, once again, thanks a lot for your time; it has been a pleasure! Dean Snowden: Thank you to KISS Army Argentina, its nice to talk with you guys. See you in 2013!
Interview: MARCELO GARCIA and DIEGO FERREYRA (Kiss Army Argentina) Translation: Mariana “MIA” Abello (Kiss Army Argentina) January 2013