Bob Schneider is a highly unique one-man musical and artistic phenomenon. In his musical hometown of Austin, TX, he has ruled the roost for over 25 years. He has been awarded 54 Austin Music Awards (including seven-time Musician of the Year), making him the all-time leader. He is the best-selling artist at Waterloo Records, and his national profile has won him a devoted following thanks to appearances on national television , numerous albums, and a relentless commitment to touring.
And he’s done all that within an almost dizzying array of styles and genres. As the Austin American-Statesman notes, “Schneider’s a chameleon; he can’t be categorized, and it’s like it’s a personal challenge to see how many kinds of music he can master. But pay attention; it’s the lyrics more than the voice that set him apart.”
“One of the most rewarding things I’ve had the pleasure to do since I began making music,” he says, is his latest release, I Will Find You No Matter What: The Songs of Luc and Bob Schneider. Written and recorded with his now 11-year-old son – who sings many of the songs and shares vocals with his father on others – it’s a true family album for music lovers of all ages.
Music is a Schneider family hallmark. The son of a professional opera singer, Bob began playing piano and guitar at an early age, performing at family parties and backing his father on drums at nightclubs throughout his youth in Germany and Texas. He dropped out of college where he was studying art – his other primary passion and avocation – at the University of Texas El Paso and moved to Austin to pursue his love of music.
After fronting such popular Austin bands as Joe Rockhead, the Ugly Americans, and The Scabs in the 1990s, Schneider launched a genuinely independent career that goes unmatched for its breadth and prolificacy. He’s written more than 2,000 songs and released 18 solo albums between his own Shockorama label, Universal Records, and indies such as Vanguard and Kirtland Records.
Every Monday night for the past 17 years, he has packed Austin’s Saxon Pub for a show under his Lonelyland banner, which the Austin Chronicle calls “the best gig in town.” The show was in fact voted “Best On-Going Residency” at the Austin Music Awards in 2016 and 2017. Week after week, it’s never the same – and he keeps his players on point by giving them the setlist (and, often, newly composed songs) earlier the same day. He always fills the room, sells ready-made USBs of the set after the show, and pulls in faraway fans with his live webcast on Facebook and YouTube. His other 52 Austin Music Awards include Album, Song, and Musician of the Year, Best Male Vocals, and Best Songwriter. Bob has also had songs featured on 7 studio film soundtracks – plus an indie movie – and sustains an ongoing market for his paintings and collages, some of which have also graced his album covers.
“I love making things, so that’s what I spend a lot of my time doing,” says Schneider, with a modesty that reflects his continuous aim to refine, expand, and improve his work. It’s doing the work that satisfies him and, obviously, keeps his rather substantial legion of followers – in both Austin and points beyond – coming back for more.