Bassist Spotlight: Izzi Sneider (Fall in Line)

Photo: Errick Easterday

Introduce yourself to everyone.

Hi, I'm Izzi I play bass in a band called Fall in Line. I'm from Delaware, but live in NYC at the moment. 

How did you get into playing bass guitar?

My brother started taking guitar lessons, so I decided to take bass lessons. I feel like most people play guitar and then play bass in order to be in a friends band or something, but I'm awful at guitar and started with bass. I think this is kind of uncommon in our scene, but I actually initially started with the intent of being a Jazz bassist. I was in Jazz band for a period in high school and even did summer workshops at Berklee College of Music for Jazz. I used to be a lot better at playing music than I am now.

Is Fall in Line your first band?

Nope, I've been in two "hardcore" bands prior to FIL. One called Scripted Youth and another which I'll regretfully say was called Mercy Blow. It became a meme later on, but I got to do a few US tours with that band so I still look back on it pretty fondly. 

Photo found on Bandcamp

Does your family support your music?

Absolutely, until I moved out I actually had practices at my house. I feel bad because they definitely weren't a fan of listening to some pretty questionable hardcore for coming from their basement every week for years, but they always were supportive. My whole family dabbles in playing instruments. My sister is actually a great drummer and my brother is essentially amazing at every instrument he picks up. My parents play instruments too, but I'm definitely the one that ended up taking it the most seriously. 

How do you write your parts for the band?

I'm not the best at writing specific parts in hardcore bands that I've been in, but for Fall in Line it's really a collaborative effort where we all spitball ideas and try things until something sticks. It'll kind of morph into something else until we record it if that makes sense. We recorded our EP with Jon Markson, and he really helped us rework some riffs to make it fit the sound we were going for better and I think that was super integral for us to have a finished product we really loved and wanted to listen to. 

Photo: Gabe Becerra

When you are picking, are you doing downstrokes more or upstrokes?

Downstrokes more, but it kind of depends what I'm playing.

How do you feel about playing with your fingers?

Like I said earlier, I'm really a jazz bassist, so I'm a lot better at playing with my fingers, but something feels and sounds off about playing like that in a hardcore band, so I use a pick. I still feel a lot clumsier using a pick when I play, but it is what it is.

Are there specific bass players you look up to or are there other musicians influencing you?

Madi from Year of the Knife is someone I look up to a lot, I grew up with her so seeing her killing it in YOTK inspires me a lot. There are bands whose baselines I like, but as far as musicians I'm influenced the most by, it'll always be Victor Wooten, Steve Bailey, and Jaco Pastorius— even if that makes me a huge nerd. 

Have you ever came up with a great bass part, then forgot it?

Every single time I try to write anything.

I first met you in Louisville at LDB Fest/MWB Fest. Isaac Hale told me you went to Parsons and lived in Manhattan. I lived there for 10 years and loved it. Do you want to live anywhere else in the future?

I don't want to live in NY forever even though I love it, I'm going on 4 years here and I definitely see a change in my future. If I could live anywhere else right now it would be Venice Beach, but I also love Nashville and Louisville. 

Photo: Gabe Becerra

When I lived in NYC I worked at a bar (Lit Lounge) in the East Village, and we had tons of celebrities coming in all the time. Do you have any crazy celebrity stories?

Oh man I have a few from work or meeting people at parties, but I worked a photoshoot once with a popular Soundcloud rapper who refused to take his backpack off for any of the shoot so we couldn't get him to change outfits, and absolutely would not stand next to anyone shorter than him, he literally ran around the room to avoid people taller than him. Half way through the shoot he decided he wanted to get a haircut instead and called his barber into the office, and then they smoked weed in the building's hallway and almost got us evicted. That might not be my craziest celebrity meeting, but it was definitely funny watching a bunch of people try to babysit this adult man. 

I've noticed that a lot of people I've asked to do this article have told me that they got into music/playing bass because someone asked them to join a band. Playing bass wasn't really their first thought. Do you think hardcore/punk rock is a natural fit for everything else in your life? 

I started playing bass separately from my interest in hardcore, but at this point I've been involved or interested in the scene for a decade and it has definitely shaped my other interests and my outlook on the world. The hardcore ethos and mindset that comes with the music is something I've connected with my whole life and I carry that into every other facet of my life.

I found hardcore on the internet in the blogspot/b9 board era way before I was old enough to even go to shows, but I've always been creative and had interests adjacent to hardcore/punk so I think I would have gotten involved regardless at some point in my life.

Thankfully I really immersed myself in the scene early enough that it helped to shape my career path in writing/design and give me connections and friendships that are still super valuable to me today.

How was guesting on the Axe to Grind Podcast?

It was awesome, I want to go back on just because I had so much fun. I'm scared to listen to my episode though.

Is there any new coming up for you that you'd like to talk about?

I released a photo zine recently, which you can purchase on Fall in Line is also writing new music so hopefully we will have some new stuff soon, it'll definitely sound different because of our lineup changes, but it'll be cool hopefully. 

Izzi's photo zine

Finally, do you have any words of wisdom for people picking up a bass guitar?

Just do it. It's super easy to learn, anyone can become a bassist, but remember that bass can be more than just the easier version of guitar— you'll have more fun practicing and learning if you treat it as its own instrument and try to pick up on techniques from other genres of music, imo. 


Fall in Line can be found on Bandcamp.

Tagged: bassist spotlight, fall in line