Interview: Talking with SNAILS about ‘Slime Time, Pt. 3’

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Electronic producer and DJ SNAILS introduces Slime Time, Pt. 3, the third and final episode in his Slime Time trilogy.

Renowned for his unique creative sound, called Vomitstep, SNAILS is a prime mover in the world of dubstep, with his electrifying style and free personality investing his music with reverberating gurgles and contorted soundscapes.

A native of Montreal, SNAILS exploded on the scene with his debut album, THE SHELL, followed by touring across the U.S., performing at 37 cities in 45 days, including his sold-out Red Rocks concert SLUGGTOPIA.

Since then, SNAILS has dropped more than 35 singles, amassed over 130 streams, and delivered over 450 international performances, including Coachella, EDC, Tomorrowland, and Bonnaroo.

In 2018, SNAILS launched his own music label – SLUGZ MUSIC, followed by releasing SLIMEAGGEDON and World of Slime.

Speaking about two of the three tracks on Slime Time, Pt. 3, SNAILS says, “‘Tekno’ blends the atmosphere and energy of SNAILS signature sound design while exploring different BPMs from dubstep to house, a combination that will make sure to keep the listener on the edge of his/her seat!

“‘Feel It’ brings on the heavier side of SNAILS! After 10 years of SNAILS and with all the massive collaborations released along the way, this last EP needed one more ‘banger’ type of song to please the ears of all headbangers and my Vomit Squad!”

CelebMix caught up with SNAILS to find out more about the inspiration for the Slime Time series, the music scene in Montreal, and his passion for 3D artistry and animation.

Thanks for joining us SNAILS and congrats on the release. How’s life these days?

Hey guys! Thank you so much for having me. It’s been amazing! The release of this EP has been something I’ve been waiting on for so long so I’m really happy.

What inspired your three-part series Slime Time?

Over the past few months, I’ve been digging through my old technique of sound design to gather the essence of the SNAILS’ sound. I think I got inspired by different BPMs also because when playing live, I know the change in pace always has a big impact on the crowd. I wanted to give that surprise to people who will be listening to the EP. To close the series of Slime Time, the goal was to cover all the aspects of Snails. I think it is the perfect way to end this trilogy.

Walk us through your mindset as you wrap up this EP series with Slime Time Pt 3.

I love experimenting with sounds every day, making demos and WIPs. When my creative session is done, I usually choose the most impactful song idea I was able to come up with and develop it until it is a final product. The drop is definitely the most important for me. My fans have always loved my sound design and I think it was the best approach to this last release. I also have to keep in mind the branding and artwork behind the project. I’ve been influenced a lot by Dali these last few years and I’ve tried to open my mind to be more fun and weird. The idea is to add more depth to the project, sonically and visually, than meets the eye. It’s also totally fine if people just enjoy it for what it is! This is my mindset for all my projects now and in the future.

From the beginning of your career until now, how would you say you have changed the most?

I’d say my sounds but not in the way you might think. I’ve experimented with so many styles in the last 4-5 years and what feels the best is when it connects the most with my fans and the people who enjoy my music. Focusing on pure sound design wasn’t received as well as I thought it would be by my fans. During the pandemic, I went back to what made me and I think that’s where I’ve connected back with everybody that was listening to SNAILS since day one. This is the weird and fun music that caught their attention in the first place, the weird VOMITSTEP. I think with all this experimentation came the realization of what keeps the Snails family happy. At the end of the day, those are the two most important things for me. With this last EP, I think it hits the point perfectly into having the OG Snails sound while also being a bit more mature.

Tell us about what music and creativity mean to you.

They both need each other to thrive in my opinion. To keep the best balance and make sure it doesn’t go away, I try to stay in a healthy mental state so I can make music every day and not put too much pressure on myself. I always try to have over 10-20 demos in my pockets, so I know I’m never behind. Music takes time and creativity develops by repetition. If you never practice and put in the time, how could you expect to write the best music as you could and be the best artist as you can? I’d say the same goes for any instrumentalist and for an electronic producer. Working as much as you can to become comfortable with your computer, software, plugins, etc. is so important. Once the pressure to get it “right” disappears, the creative aspect of production becomes second nature, and it truly becomes “fun.” I feel the best music comes out that way, when it’s freely formed and unhindered by expectations.

Is electronic music big where you’re from? How’s it compared to the states?

It is really different. Montreal has historically been about more metal and hip-hop which has been a heavy influence on my style over the years. SNAILS became a hybrid of both styles mixed with the weird bassline and I owe a lot to my city for that. With the emergence of bass music over North America, I feel Montreal really connected with this genre and always gives back the best energy to anybody who performs here. I’ll always say it, MONTREAL IS THE BASS CAPITAL OF THE WORLD. In the US, it is so much bigger and there are so many more shows that help the scene grow faster. However, thanks to big promoters in Canada, the electronic music scene has developed rapidly as well.

Life as a touring producer/DJ is understandably stressful. How do you protect your mental health?

Trying to eat healthy, sleeping at reasonable hours, having a schedule, and also having hobbies outside of music. It’s important to take time for yourself and not pressure yourself into making so much stuff all the time. Your brain and your body are your motor, you have to maintain them.

If you could go back and change anything about your career so far, what would it be?

Sticking to my genre of music and not trying too many different styles. There were some years that I tried to “fit in” and I can hear it in my music. I don’t regret trying different things because they were learning lessons but if I’d be able to talk to young Fred, I’d say… KEEP THE VOMITSTEP GOING!

If you weren’t working in music, what else would you be doing for a living?

I’m passionate about 3D artistry and animation. I studied graphic design before music and developed an interest in motion design as well. Maybe one day I’ll be back at it in the future. I love playing with software and the technological advances have made the possibilities endless.

If you had a chance to say anything to your fans at all, what would you say?

I LOVE YOU, THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING! I owe you guys so much and I want to make sure you know I’m doing my absolute best to give you the best I can. Stay tuned for even more, bigger projects coming this summer.

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