In the heavy Texas summer heat, Bob Schneider stands in his garage, splattered in paint. Thick leaves pulled from fine art books soak in water baths as he prepares layers for a new collage. Intestines swirl on faces, haunted eyes peer out, and paintbrushes coat layers upon layers of glue as images transform one atop the other until Bob steps back, done.
The collage will find itself as the cover of Bob's latest album, a curated collection of three thematically-linked five song EPs, collectively titled King Kong. The album hearkens back to his earliest releases, Lonelyland (2001), I'm Good Now (2004), albums that brought the essence of Bob—good songs, all genres, fun and harrowing, sharp and insightful. Songs to dance to, to laugh with, to mourn through.
Fans who buy the physical album are treated to an artistic masterpiece, a collector's dream, with prints of Bob's art wrapping the music.
Bob Schneider is the best artist you've never heard of. But this year alone, he's headlining every premiere venue in Austin—the Paramount, the Bass Concert Hall, Dell Hall at the Long Center, and ACL Live/Moody Theater. Sure, he's struggled to break out of the Texas bubble, but this doesn't stop him. "If I were to listen to the gatekeepers—the critics, the charts—I'd never have done anything." And though the media barely grants him sidelong glances, the audiences keep coming.
Bob packs houses, he croons, he makes everybody swoon.
Bob Schneider is tenacious, constantly churning out new work. He's thinking ahead, two albums down the line. "When I'm recording a record, when I'm mixing a record, I'm still writing songs. I'm always writing songs."