I love the name Snails… It’s badass, it’s super fun, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. People be like ‘who’s that guy Snails? What’s up with him? He’s weird!’
Imagine the movement of a snail, for just one second… The way it raises its inquisitive, antennae-addled head like it’s just had the most startling revelation known to man.
Then boom: down it comes with its slimy weight, thrusting confidently towards its current destination.
Slow but stately: There’s a grace snails that you’re likely to miss. Unless, of course, you talk to the artist who’s named himself after the molluscs. We called him last week. He was having a morning coffee and cooking bacon but didn’t seem to mind the interruption.
“I love the contrast of snails’ movements; that’s what I have in my mind when I hear trap music,” he says in his unique French Canadian accent. “That way it goes right up then slowly down. Super big build up – mega minimal drop. It’s a movement dynamic. It seems so artistic and poetic.”
“Plus I love the name Snails… It’s badass, it’s super fun, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. People be like ‘who’s that guy Snails? What’s up with him? He’s weird!’ I wasn’t going to be called DJ Fred and put it all on the table straight away you know?”
Weird being the operative word: Take one listen to any Snails track and you’ll hear textures and processes that defy any type of conventional dancefloor banger status. Take the strange plips, plops and plonks you hear in many trap production, turn them inside out, resample them, cook them, eat them, puke them up and you’re on the right track. Why do you think he calls his music vomitstep?
“Vomitstep started as a joke. It was the only way I could describe my sound!” he laughs. “But what’s really cool is that people are appreciating my weirdness! I was in a club in Montreal and saw Adventure Club drop Slugz right in front of me. I didn’t even know they had the tune… Let alone like it! That’s so awesome. And it’s amazing that people like them are enjoying and supporting my music. People aren’t scared of weird stuff any more. People aren’t like ‘no no I can’t play that it’s too mad!’ Instead they’re like ‘this is so weird! I want to play this!’ I LOVE that!”
The love goes both ways… Since emerging last year (ably broken by Canadian label Kannibalen Records and US beat connoisseurs This Song Is Sick) he’s slimed his way up the ranks faster than any snail could possibly dream of. That is, if snails do dream. Everyone from Diplo to DJ Snake via Boys Noize, Kill The Noise and the mighty Skrillex have pimped his pieces. Something Snails appreciates with refreshing enthusiasm.
For me I’m still being that kid doing weird stuff, having fun…
“When I first started doing a drum beat I wasn’t thinking about fame or anything, I was just thinking ‘yo! Music is fun! I should do more of this!’” he laughs. “If you would tell me the type of people who were supporting my stuff a year ago I wouldn’t have believed you. Like AntiSerum… He’s been a hero of mine and an inspiration. So when he hit me up on Twitter to say we should do a track I was dancing on my bed going ‘holy fuck!’ We did the tune in a week, we’re so connected and work so well together.
“For me I’m still being that kid doing weird stuff, having fun… The attention doesn’t affect me. I’m so thankful that people are open to my weird stuff. Watching the videos of Skrillex playing Wild still makes me feel so amazing. Whenever I watch that I go back in the studio and make more music. I want to get more and more weird stuff!”
And things are set to get even weirder… Snails explains how he’s learnt how to command these unique processes to create even more bizarre sounds. This isn’t some kid who’s struck it lucky with a few EQ and VST combos… He’s in full control of his synths and samplers and, having made his mission statements with massive tracks such as Dirty Raxxx and RUBBR (with ETC! ETC!), the next onslaught of slime is set to be next level.
“Oh boy, my shell is pretty full right now!” he gasps. “I have many collaborations in the pipeline including one with HeRobust. I’m working on a drumstep track with grimy vibe and there’s a new single Stomp. I think it will show people I’ve matured; this is me understanding the sound and knowing how to control it. And even I find the end results weird! There’s also another track. A 90BPM hip-hop one with reggae influence on it.”
We can’t wait to hear it. Here’s to being weird.