with Shane de Leon Sauers von Werssowetz of Miss Massive Snowflake
May 16, 2007
When my Mom found out I was doing this series of interviews for Father’s Day, she said, “Make sure you interview Shane.”
Name: Shane DeLeon Sauers
Band: Miss Massive Snowflake
QRD – How old were you when you first realized you wanted to be a professional musician?
Shane – I have always pursued a career in the arts. In high school is when I made my first zines, posters, & recorded music. Silk-screening on shirts. I think realizing that people I knew were making money by skateboarding, or with their bands, drawing comics, or running labels was when I was around 20.
QRD – What are a few highlights of your musical career?
Shane – I always love touring & Italy has always been exceptionally kind to Rollerball & Miss Massive Snowflake. Always receiving the best treatment, tastiest food, most intrigued crowds, & made many great friends like Ovo, Hormiga, & Jacopo Andreini. Potted Meat in Croatia, sleeping on Mt. Etna, deep fried pizza in Napoli. Recording with Solex in Amsterdam was pretty rad. Having Six Foot Sloth do covers of songs I wrote. Finally meeting BJM in person after knowing him through snail mail, email, & the phone for a decade. Making music with my friends all over the world.
QRD – At what age did you decide you wanted to become a father?
Shane – When I met my wife Meredith & not a moment before.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your family has had on your career?
Shane – Having a family has made me value each moment that I have to myself. Luckily, Meredith & Marley are patient as I am always trying to learn new instruments & practicing old ones. I learn through lots of repetition so they hear the same thing a lot.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your career has had on your family?
Shane – Touring with my family in Europe, with Marley up at three a.m. when she was 10 partying in a bar in Milano. Watching us all dance & being really tired & she just realized that this was such a great experience to see her parents dancing & partying with friends. Making lasting connections through art despite language/cultural barriers.
QRD – Has your daughter effected the music you make &/or listen to?
Shane – Yeah, for sure, & I thank her profusely. Marley helps me make really cool videos & did some vocals on the album Bender. She is more into behind the scenes than the music itself. Cinematographer, photographer, set design. Her best friend, Kiana, has done vocals on two of my EPs for North Pole Records & she sings on two tracks for the CD I am currently recording. My nephew, Micah, who is 8, sings on three of the songs on the upcoming album. I really like recording with family members because it’s at home & it’s relaxing & fun. Similar to when Rollerball all lived together on Woodstock in Portland. You just create because you are together & it’s fun. My mother-in-law, Kathy sings harmony on all the songs on my self-titled EP.
QRD – Have you had problems with the lack of steady money from a musical career providing the security you feel necessary in your household?
Shane – I work a lot more now that I have a family. I supplement my income by working with kids. A lot of them are from low-income single parent families &/or have special needs & it is important that there are competent creative loving individuals to help them & their families. I think it is important for artists to interact with kids & the general public. Schools are in a hard way artistically. I am lucky enough to do art projects & play music with kids for work. One child with Asperger’s is 7 & he writes music & records tapes for his teachers. I have a 12 song tape of Road Race “Route 100”. It is awesome. He played keyboard on a new Miss Massive Snowflake song “We’re at the Stage”. Besides Larry Yes, who is an adult, the other 3 musicians on the new disc are under 10.
QRD – Given the limitations having a family has on being a touring musician, would you have toured more earlier in life if you’d known?
Shane – I enjoy touring, but prefer to keep it to a couple months out of the year. Release a CD & tour for it. I admire musicians who can tour endlessly; but I love my home, my studio, & my family. Of course this may be why I am not rolling in the dough. Touring is essential in selling records. I am planning on touring in the US & Europe next year after the CD comes out. Marley & Meredith will definitely be at the German & Italian shows.
QRD – Do you think being a father or a musician has a greater impact on your community?
Shane – I believe that personal relationships are probably the best way to really impact someone for life. My teaching job probably makes the biggest impact in people’s life. Daily I am affecting at least twenty-five different families’ lives. Getting kids fed & to different schools. Teaching them art & music as a way to live & not just as a commodity or something that you observe from the audience. Marley comes after school & helps with some of the kids with special needs. Today I was singing songs with a child that freaks out at the sound of the word “bye”. He will grab his head & yell, kick his shoes off, & growl. He, Marley, & I were singing with our hands & slipping “bye” into the song. Trying to get him past that hurdle. So for me music, teaching, fatherhood, & art all kind of swirl together & I am proud to make positive changes in my community.
QRD – Would you rather see Marley eventually become a musician or parent?
Shane – I support her in whatever she wants. She is already a professional artist. She has sold her work at fundraisers for her school. It is an art magnet school & they annually have an art show with 150 artists. I have seen Corin Tucker of Sleater Kinney & The March Forth Marching Band perform at her school, as well as this crazy cello guy going through hella effects, you would have loved it. I want her to love & be loved healthily.
QRD – Both family & music seem like things that will take up as much of your time as you’re willing to put in. How do you end up dividing your time?
Shane – Just do all the things that need to be done each day. Everyone else is already asleep here at my house.
QRD – What does Marley think of your music?
Shane – She likes it.
QRD – Any words of advice to young people?
Shane – Follow your heart, Indy.