After several false starts as a founding member of (get this) the Clean, the Chills and then the Great Unwashed, Peter Gutteridge was struggling to find an outlet for the sounds pent up inside him. Recording at home with a 4-track recording unit, he formed a new sound quite removed from the loose acoustic ramble of the Great Unwashed.
These recordings were created primarily solo, but with the occassional assitance of Alan Haig (Drums) and Ex-Bird Nest Roy Dominic Stones (Guitar) – culminating in a live support show for the Delawares featuring Gutteridge on Keyboards. Delawares guitarist Christine Voice was impressed and soon replaced Gutteridge on keyboards (and backing vocals), leaving Gutteridge free to lead the band (now officially named Snapper) on guitar.
The sound of Snapper grew and grew – Gutteridge began experimenting heavily with distortion and layering voices keyboard, adding thick, dense drones to their live and recorded sound. the debut self-titled ep was released and garnished critical acclaim, as the outside world was by now discovering the delights of the new zealand underground. the concept for their releases were to treat each instrumental passage as a layer of sound, songs rolled on and coalesced into a continious amalgam of sound. this continued on 1992s Shotgun Blossom – the bands first full-length release (after the best part of 5 years).
With the band taking their time between releases they eventually lost Haig (to be replaced by former Toy Love Drummer Mike Dooley) and Stones (who went on to form the 3Ds) in the process. ADM finally surfaced in 1996 to pretty much universal adoration – whilst some critics compared them to the departed art-punk (and synth pioneers) duo Suicide, others cited them as the inspiration for the new wave of drone-popsters such as Stereolab.
ADM was recorded with something of a revolving support line-up – Stones was replaced by Gutteridge’s old pal David Kilgour, whilst a young Demarnia Lloyd (yet to make her name with Mink or Cloudboy), Celia Pavlova (Aka Mancini – of King Loser) and Voice provided backing vocals, with Dooley staying on as drummer.
Since then, not much has been heard from Gutteridge – despite Snappers reputation growing in retrospect. In the late 90s he played tribute to his old band the Clean, playing guitar on High Dependency Unit‘s excellent cover of the Gutteridge-penned Clean classic ‘Point That Thing Somewhere Else’, and occassionally ventured out with some live performances, now reportedly focusing on keyboard based songs.
Discography (picks in bold)
- Snapper Ep [1988 Flying NunFn110]
- ‘Dark Sensation’/'Snapper And The Ocean’ 7″ Single [1990 Avalanche]
- Shotgun Blossom [1992 Flying NunFn216]
- ‘Vadar’/'Gentle Hour’ 7″ Single [1993 Flying NunFn264]
- Adm [1996 Flying NunFn294]
- ‘Hammerhead’/'Alive’ Live 7″ Single [2002 Crawlspace]