In conversation with Arizonian Alt-Rap Duo SnailMate

We caught up with Arizona based duo SnailMate about their quirky Synth Punk/Alt-Rap sound, influences, latest releases, how the pandemic has affected their creativity and launching their own brand of Hot-Sauce.

Read on below to find out more about this unique twosome.

YMX: Hey SnailMate, thanks for sitting down with us. What would you say to all our readers new to your project? 

SnailMate: Howdy! We’re Snailmate from Arizona. We play synth-punk alt/rap weirdness. We can’t wait to yell at you and make you feel funny!

YMX: When did you know that music was something you wanted to pursue at an artistic level? 

SnailMate: I, Kalen Lander, started making music by myself on the computer in high school after getting kicked out of a few bands. I quickly discovered I enjoyed the process and the unchecked expression of being a solo artist. And I pretty did things like that until I met Bentley. It was an adjustment to start collaborating on songs but he brings out a whole new side of me that is a ton of fun. I think Bentley has been drumming ever since he could move his limbs. I’ve never met anyone who works harder, and he helped me get off my ass and start taking music and touring seriously.

YMX: You recently released ‘Donuts in the Rain’. Can you tell us how that project came about?

SnailMate: Donuts in the Rain was approached differently than most of our songs. Instead of our usual rap-song-at-breakneck-speeds, we wanted something a little more contemplative. With it’s slow build, musically and lyrically, and the explosive ending, it tells a linear story of transformation.

YMX: What is the one thing you would like people to feel while listening to the? 

SnailMate:We want people to feel stressed and uneasy. Unsure of where the song is heading. This is just one song off the upcoming album “Stress Sandwich”. It’s all about being stressed. It means your alive.

YMX: How did the recent pandemic influence your creative process? is remote collaboration easy for you? 

SnailMate: Fortunately, Bentley and myself were quarantined together, so we were able to keep writing and practicing and figuring out things to keep us busy. On the flip side, it forced me to make the music video without the help of any professionals. I decided to animate the entire thing despite not having experience doing so. The only benefit of the pandemic was the time I was afforded to learn how animate and edit videos.

YMX: Do you feel more confident writing music alone, or within a team?

SnailMate: Bentley and I write all the music together, usually by jamming a riff and then honing it in and figuring out the songs structure. Then I write the lyrics alone. I have a very slow, meticulous process and it just doesn’t work with other people.

YMX: Can you name the last gig you played? Would you consider doing a livestream concert? 

SnailMate: Yup! The last gig we played was in Beaumont, Texas. We were in the middle of our SXSW tour and we realized that the rest of the shows weren’t going to happen. So we drove 20 hours home to Phoenix after the show. We started doing a bunch of livestream shows early on. They are fun but it’s just not the same. So now we usually just do them for special events and charity streams. We do livestream a cooking show and a videogame/makeup program every week and we have a lot of fun with that!

YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future?

SnailMate: We are gearing up to release our next single and music video “It’s Coming Back!”. We also just came out with our first hot sauce collaboration with High Desert Sauce Co from Tucson. We sold out of all of it in 2 days and we are in the process of restocking. We love hot sauce!

Listen to ‘Donuts in The Rain’ by SnailMate on Spotify here: