A Sit Down With DJ Snails
When you think of bass music acts one of the worlds most sough-after artists would have to be the Montreal-based Snails, a producer/DJ who has made a name for himself by combining hip-hop beats and off-kilter sound design into a new style he affectionately calls vomitstep. This fresh new sound has introduced the producer to a wider audience and saw him receive support from scene heavyweights like Skrillex, Diplo, Datsik, Excision, Flosstradamus and many more.
"When I first started doing a drum beat I wasnt thinking about fame or anything, I was just thinking `yo."
Youre so very soon coming to Australia. Bass music attracts some pretty wild crowds, whats your experience of fans Down Under? Has there been a country of late that really blew you away with its crowd energy?
Ever since my first show down under, Australia has always been one of my favourite places to play. Theres a certain energy that they have that is hard to find elsewhere. I think that my hometown of Montreal in Canada has a similar feel to Australia, only its usually much more colder! Montreal has always loved bass and me being from there makes my connection with the crowd more special. Ive played there a lot and the crowd never disappoints!
You literally have created another dimension for your listeners. Your army of fans, Vomitsquad, continues to grow at rapid speed. Tell us a bit about your journey over the past few years and the connections that youve built with your fans.
Yes! Its crazy. You know, I started making music in my bedroom. I was a Graphic Designer, to begin with, and then I discovered videos about self-producing music. I started making really weird music with weird sounds and after a year or two of studying, I was gaining support from major artists like Skrillex, Diplo, and many more massive names in this industry. It is pretty crazy for me to think about how far this all has gone. I still have so much passion and am so happy when I am creating weird music. Everything has really come from the heart. I have so many fans that have been there since day one and I owe them so much. I owe them so much for supporting me throughout every single project. I owe them for allowing me to create a whole new world and a whole new sound for them. I worked really hard on the album and my fans have been so supportive along the way! More than ever, I am ready to give back and give them all a whole new world through my music and visuals.
Speaking of Australia, will you be hitting any tourist spots whilst youre here? If so, whats on your bucket list of things to do in Australia?
Im gonna try and do as much as I can while Im in Australia, but sometimes its hard with traveling and making it to the venue for soundcheck and all that. But, if I can I would love to hit up a zoo to meet some kangaroos, go back to the opera house and go to the beach before it gets too cold!
How did you get into music? Did you (or do you still) play any instruments? When did electronic music catch your ear?
Well, I first got started in music by teaching myself to play guitar so I could play my favourite metal tracks. From there I got into music production which is about 4-5 years ago. Thats when heavy bass music like Skrillex really blew my mind and I knew thats what I wanted to do.
We know you for your hybrid style: this year, which of Trap or Dubstep prevails according to you? And what trends are we heading for 2018?
I must say, in my opinion, that the dubstep wins the gold medal in 2017 with dirty and filthy Riddim. It really exploded this year and I can not wait to see where it all goes in 2018.
There are so many people traveling from around the world to see you play at EDC Orlando this weekend; I bet that youre super excited for that.
EDC feels like I am with and amongst my family every time. Every time I run with the EDC family, it is an amazing time! People are so nice and it is so much fun. There is no stress and I am stoked that it is in Orlando because we dont stop in Orlando on my upcoming tour, The Shell Tour. Orlando is one of my favorite places to play in the states, so every time that I go there, I have a blast! I cannot wait to rage and see everybody at EDC Orlando this weekend!
Who or what was the first thing that made you want to experiment with electronic music? And how did you discover that artist?
I think what really got me into electronic music fully was Skrillex several years ago. Hes always been an idol of mine and since then Ive been very close with him and even got the chance to collab with him. It was a dream come true to work with the person who inspired me to want to fully do electronic music.
You are rather in shape this year: you have released a lot of titles with different collaborations, and soon an album ... What were your guidelines for this project?
I started working on this project in December 2016 and since that day I have not stopped refining it. By counting the shows and the album, let's say it was a busy year but I'm more than happy to see that it starts to pay finally! I really liked traveling around to give inspiration to the album in general, whether in Asia, Australia or Europe.
How much do video games influence your music?
I have always been influenced by video games of all kinds since I was little. And recently, I was very impacted by Warhammer 40,000, be it by the styles of drawings, the mood or the world in which the characters live. Then I created the world of Sluggtopia with my Red Rocks festival and, as a result, I wanted to tie everything together to create this weird and gooey world that is "The Shell".
If you could give some advice to your former self, what would it be?
I would tell myself to start developing my own original style earlier. It was good when I started to try and make songs similar to artists I was listening to and helped to show me that what I wanted to do was different, but who knows where I would be if I had started developing vomitstep earlier! I think its good for every artist to have their own signature sound thats different from everyone elses.
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