• Luca Venter /

    Three-fifths of Inner Oceans.

  • Luca Venter /

    Inner Oceans' Griff Snyder.



Inner Oceans began not long ago as Griff Snyder’s creative experimentation. In a little over a year, he’s brought together a group of musicians to “connect the circuit,” and it has become one of the most interesting new bands in Denver. Inner Oceans just became a Red Bull Sound Select Band — great support for any band to have at its back — and next week, they’re headed to South By Southwest. We talked to Snyder to find out more.

Last time you and I talked, Inner Oceans was a brand new project. Now you’re a Red Bull Sound Select band. Tell me about the year in between.

Yeah it’s funny how during that time it never really feels like things are happening. Then you look back over last year and it’s like so much has happened. But really it’s been a slow grind. I think when I last talked to you was before the Indians show and it was the first time we had a new lineup with Charlie(Kern)in the band. In the last however many months since then, we’ve been working on the same five songs and adding another and another, and kind of just defining roles and working things out. Charlie does a lot of synth stuff and texture. Just recently, we finally settled on a drummer. We just got this guy Andrew Bones, this guy from Tulsa, we flew him out here.

I feel like we finally have a band. In the last few weeks, it’s really come together. What fueled the growth of this year was releasing three demos back in November, and it got some good blog press. The local management team, Holy Underground, were into it and they brought us on board. They’re just really, really deep in the scene here and working to get out on a national level.

An official showcase at South by Southwest is pretty big, too.

We’re doing a lot of showcases, which is nice. There’s only one official showcase. We’re not playing a lot of backyard parties, which I’ll miss. Dovekins used to do that. This is my first time doing this kind of thing. We have some good people coming out to check out the shows.

Anything in particular you’re hoping to accomplish in Austin?

We’re looking to finalize working with just a really good lawyer, actually. It’s funny, a lot of people don’t realize how important a good lawyer is, and in talking to people who’ve been successful in the industry, they say that’s the first most import person to have on your team, before you even have a manager. They’re the ones in between every deal and they even have the connections to get you the deals. Even if someone isn’t knocking on the door, they can get you connections.

You always hope that some label is there. It’s funny, the industry doesn’t really work the same way and no one really knows how it works. I was talking to the guy at Red Bull and he said, ‘We’re still building the plane, but it’s already in the air.’ … It’s much more democratic. If you make good music, you have a good chance.

Have you been working on new music? I remember that residency in Iowa was pretty influential for you and I’m wondering how that’s evolved now that you’ve been back in Denver for a while.

What’s great about Iowa is it’s kind of helped me set up a new work flow, and I haven’t stopped doing that. Inner Oceans really was born there because I found a new way to work with computers and different instruments, and just find the creative process. It was a lot more free. The band — now we have a rehearsal space. It give us ample time to really dive in and work things out. It’s all about the chemistry. It starts with yourself as an artist. I connect this circuit within myself, and then I added Charlie, and we really connected, then we added Julia. We had a hard time finding a drummer to complete the circuit, but we added Jeff Porter and Andrew and now the circuit is complete.

It’s just really exciting. I’m doing less in the band now, and that makes me enjoy it more. I don’t know, when you finish a record and it’s all you, it’s too personal and you don’t want to listen again. It’s cool now because stuff we make, I directed it but I can’t believe how it sounds.

Contact Ashley Dean at 303-473-1109, or follow her at

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