If you're " </3 " (broken hearted) over the deficit of 'WH' music being released over the last couple of years, don't fret you cry fucking babies. There happens to be some great New Gen Witch House artists still producing phenomenal sounds. Remember SN▲ILS? No - Well we do... Recently they remastered a track from 2014, from a digital release titled Shallow Grave. Since then have still be dropping a couple Witch House sounds to escape to, such as; Clairty & Wraith. Both released this December 2K15, just in time to give you that warm fuzzy feeling like bugs are crawling through your decaying brains in the dead of winter. Stay tuned, I am sure there is more to come!
" Q & A "
JJA: You are an oddity in the Witch House scene. More DIY then many projects. Have you ever touched a DAW before? Why do you use Hardware?
SNAILS: No I've never touched a DAW before, it's just not for me. There are people who are magicians with DAWs but having a metal background I just need that hands on feel. I think I only use hardware because of its honesty in a way. I really like synth punk a lot like, The Units, Futurisk and when I first heard of WH I thought it was maybe a newer take on minimal synth music. At first, I only used hardware because I was so poor and living in a farm community, there wasn't any way to get a synth or drum machine. So, I started with a Casio and a shit distortion pedal and made a lot of noise. It's weird to think when I made the beat for Calling Me I had to borrow a drum machine from my cousin because he was the only one I knew who had one. He eventually gave it to me and helped my growing.
JJA: In regards to your production what are somethings that inspire you? Your sound is very dark-sided and old school, but you make it ageless.
SNAILS: I get inspired by life mostly, desolation/depression and trying to find a way to cope. Music has always been how I cope with things. I started playing guitar at a young age and having that kind of outlet has saved my life, no jokes. It's like there are things I can't handle and the frequencies I make surpass whatever it is holding me down. These vibrations become bigger than my personal or physical being. They mean more than me if that makes any sense.
JJA: When did you begin creating and producing music? When we crossed paths on Equilateral back in the day you already appeared to be established.
SNAILS: Well I used to puke my guts out in metal bands I was the only guy people knew in this shithole who could yell, so I was in a few bands we did lots of all ages, live shows. During this time I was making more chill music in secret. I think my girlfriend was the only person who knew I was making "pretty" music with casios and a micro korg I got by credit fraud. Actually, I was a vocalist for We Are The Naked Ape and the drummer's girlfriend would chill during our jam sessions. At the time, I didn't know a thing about proper technique when it came to yelling. I would end up coughing and spitting shit up into a can, and she chimed in one time and mentioned that I was like the snail from Ferngully. She said "you're like, some kind of snail boy". And ever since then, my homies started calling me that and it stuck. So I've been making music for my whole life basically, just never knew where all my passion should go, then I heard witch house.
JJA: Your commitment to being DIY and independent is commendable. Art is sacred and as a creator myself I feel you on wanting independence. Do you mind telling us what that means to you?
SNAILS: I just wanna do something that means something. I took so long to put any music out for the world to hear because I wasn't ready yet. I'd also like to nod my head to darkwave and synth punk and the DIY taping your own posters to shit kinda attitude. I had done a few live shows as Snails before I even put a song out or even had Facebook or anything, and people really like to see that hands on shit I feel.
JJA: I want to go somewhere dark with you as we have both spoken off the record about our traumas and pasts. Do you feel comfortable telling us about some of the pains you have experienced and how you overcame them?
SNAILS: Ya. Ok. Well I had a rough childhood n shit pretty much all I'm gunna say about that part. I was a drug addict when I was way to young to even be doin drugs. There are times where I feel like I'm gunna relapse but I have eternal inspiration to not fuck my life up. Ugh I'm gunna light a smoke right here. I lost my dad in a car accident. I took it upon myself to say goodbye to him when he was already passed. I don't wish that sort of trauma on any human ever. What I saw is forever engraved, almost written on my face as I look exactly like my amazing dad. After he passed, I moved into his house and made sure his life was finalized in the proper way. Every decision I made after that day was, and is with him in mind. It's so hard to see someone you love so much in that light, and in that moment I knew I was changed. I'm literally crying right now but, I don't give a fuck. That's how much I love and miss him. He was an amazing person, sure he had faults but he was human. He was a better man than I can ever be, and I never get to tell him that. That song Villains Never Rest is about losing him, "the long walk home, seeking affection but I wanna be alone" is about how after I lost him I also stopped sleeping and would kinda just wonder the streets with like some kind of hope that I'd run into him. After he died, is when I started to take music seriously and became Snails. I got out there and got past a lot of fears I had about giving people so much honesty, scared I'll show my heart and someone will say "your snare could be louder" or something. My music has allot of emotion because that's where all mine go for the most part. All the things I don't know how to say.
JJA: What is your first memory? Why do you remember it?
SNAILS: Well I remember hearing black metal for the first time coming from the basement of my grandparents’ house. My uncle is a pretty established guitar player and lived in the basement. When I heard it, I knew I was in love with that gritty sound. Prolly like early nineties had no idea what it was but it just grabbed me by the heart. The distortion and almost painful vocals planted a seed in my mind.
JJA: Do you have a desire to make your "mark" in music? Do you want to tour? play big shows? Or do you like things the way you are. There is a certain appeal in being a creative soul in a small town. Living in a trailer with only your partner. Do you ever want something else? Or are you content?
SNAILS: I never really aspire for much. I love my family and girlfriend and kinda just focus on them. If I put my music out there and something happens I will go where that takes me. I'd love for this to turn into something but that's not my main focus. I just wanna keep pushing myself as a synth player and just keep learning. I also love to just hide so I don't think I'll ever move away from here.
JJA: I've seen you use everything from MicroKorg's to a Nintendo DS app to make sounds. What else do you use? What's your set up and is there anything else you'd like to add?
SNAILS: I have a lot of stuff. I use mostly Korg. I use the Korg DS 10 for the Nintendo DS Light cause it can be manipulated to make some pretty newish drum sounds. I use the Micro Korg XL mostly cause it's got really good editing and can do split keys so I can write both parts with just one synth. I use the Electribe Er-1 for most beats. It's the drum machine that was gifted to me from my cousin and I'd suggest it to anyone. I swear it was made for WH. The other gear I use can range from old Casios to the Atari punk console for atmosphere. For new gear, I just really want a reverb pedal that can do Hall reverb or maybe a Yamaha DD-x 7 or the Casio SK 5 sampler.
JJA: Aside from music you also paint, do you mind telling us about that side of your artistic expression?
SNAILS: I used to sell art quite consistently. Lots of mixed media, ink, and acrylic. I kinda just start with something big; a main object or entity and fill it with intricate patterns and smaller images until I don't know where to focus anymore. I mainly use black bic pens instead of black paint with my art because it has ageing properties when the pens lose their gloss it makes it look older than it is. I also only like to use plywood instead of canvas, it has a older feel too.
JJA: Lastly, regardless of your name you have a very set aesthetic and we here love that (clearly the WH community does too). What does being Snails mean to you?
SNAILS: Honestly, I'm not too sure what being ♚SN▲ILS♚ is yet but I know it's forever. I have a lot of learning to do still, and I just wanna make some songs I'm proud of and be a part of witch house. I wanna keep feeding it. My new EP I'm working on "BLACK ROSES" is kind of my coming back to life. Thank you for doing this interview with me<33