Jason Sniderman started dreaming of rock stardom when he was eight and invented his musical alter ego, Ensign Broderick, when he was 12. Now, 47 years later, he’s finally ready to release his debut record.
Feast Of Panthers (out March 9 on Six Shooter) combines recently written material with songs Sniderman wrote over four decades ago but which haven’t seen the light of day until now.
Seated in a booth at a Vietnamese restaurant on Dundas West, Sniderman explains the origin story of his new wave persona.
“It’s conceived and cultivated with a certain amount of innocence,” he says
Even the name bears the imprint of youth: “It just was a cooler-sounding name [than my own],” he smiles. “Ensign” rhymed with “Jensen,” the manufacturer of his favourite car.
There are a few contributing factors for the decades-long chasm between writing and releasing the music. One, he says, was that, when he played it for his friends in the 70s, reception was lukewarm at best. “Some of this music was just too weird for people back then.”
The muted response was discouraging. “Dealing with indifference or negative responses for a long time, you build up some scar tissue,” he says. “That scar tissue isn’t easily worn away.”