Superstar electronic producer SNAILS recently released a brand-new single, “Alive,” featuring Craig Mabbitt of Escape the Fate. “Alive” is a track from SNAILS’ forthcoming, highly anticipated album, HELIX, slated to drop later this summer.
Talking about the project, SNAILS shares, “‘Alive’ is the first single of my upcoming new album ‘HELIX.’ Coming from a Metal – screamo background, I wanted to hit hard with this one and show this influence on my life into this song. The idea is to mix a big festival anthem with an intense and energetic SNAILS signature bassline. This upcoming album blends many different genres that made me become who I am as an artist and sound designer today. With the catchy hook from Craig Mabbitt (lead singer of Escape the Fate), the melodic aspect, and my soundscape, “ALIVE” is here to mark the beginning of ‘HELIX’ in a powerful way. The intense chord melodies bring the listener into the new world of SNAILS and tease the direction of the whole body of work.”
Recognized as one of the supreme stars of bass music, SNAILS’ sui generis sound, called Vomitstep, blends trap rhythms and off-kilter sound design. SNAILS’ debut album, THE SHELL, established him as a luminary. Since then, he has released more than dozens of singles, collected 130 million streams, and performed at Coachella, EDC, Tomorrowland, and Bonnaroo.
Tattoo.com spoke with SNAILS to find out more about his unique music, how he connected with Craig Mabbitt, and his upcoming album, HELIX.
Thanks for joining us Fred and congrats on the new single release. How is everything going with you?
F: Thank you so much, guys! It’s been so fun working on this song. I can’t believe it’s finally out! Everything is so good, thanks for asking. LOTS of work for the album release coming in the next few months, but like they say being busy is always good.
If you had to explain your sound/style to someone who has never heard your music before, what would you say?
F: Haha that is a tough one… I’ve been trying for years to find the perfect wording to explain it and the best way to describe my music (i think) is: guttural and organic synth replicating some really unique noises mixed with a lot of energy and heavy breakdowns. That’s why I feel like my music fits so well with metal bands because the vocals and breakdowns are also omnipresent in metal and during mosh pits. They both share the same type of energy.
What inspired your new single, “Alive?”
F: Being the first single of my album, I wanted to hit hard with a crazy and heavy “drop” and a really catchy hook that the king Craig Mabbitt wrote. The idea of “Alive” is also important for me as it shares positivity and being happy, going through life when it’s hard, and going through those experiences to become the best version of ourselves in the end.
With the release of the new single, you’ve also announced the upcoming album. Based on what we heard in “Alive,” is it safe to say that Helix will be full of surprises?
‘HELIX’ will be the most versatile body of work I ever put out. TON of surprises, features with other amazing singers, and a totally different approach in terms of music style. Meaning that it is definitely more open to the public than my stuff before with all those vocal features I have on the album. It also contains multiple different BPMs which for my type of music is rare since everything is mainly 150BPMs usually. But I think my ‘HELIX’ album will satisfy my older fans and also new ones to come.
How did you link up with Craig Mabbitt? Has to be cool to work with one of your favorite artists.
F: That’s actually a really fun story, it all started when I did a poll on my Facebook page asking which band I should remix just for fun, and the post blew up. We got so many people asking for Escape the Fate, it’s a band I really loved growing up so I thought, as always: “why not try? I have nothing to lose right?” So I DMed ETF on IG and I mentioned how big of fan I am and that’d be a dream coming true to work on something together, which I thought would sound so sick! With the craziest surprise, they responded and said yes! So we got in contact with their management company and started working on it. From there, their whole team was down with the project, and Craig and I facetimed together to exchange ideas. He then came back with the hook. I was mind blown about how dope and catchy it was and mixed it with a demo I sent them prior. It was such an awesome process, all of it! They have an amazing team and Craig is such a dope guy! It was better than I could ever have asked for.
We have to ask – do you actually hate salt?
F: I got asked this so many times haha! It’s more a gimmick I play with since salt kills snails. So it became part of my branding on my socials. I got a shirt saying f*ck salt too. It’s just a fun way that I discovered myself being able to do fun content and also create a fun story around the Snails project. This whole salt thing came from a friend of mine in Florida when we were hanging out at his house and he came to me saying: HEY FRED, F*CK SALT!!!! At that moment I was so mind blown and shocked I told him that it was such a good call! Ever since then, I have used that motto.
What is the most difficult aspect of being a touring producer?
F: Being able to produce music on a regular basis. With flights, delays, short periods of sleep because of early flights, and late shows… It’s hard to have your brain always up and runnin ready to write the best music. Staying creative through tours. I’ve been able to write ideas but sometimes you just want to relax because you can be so tired. That’s definitely the hardest to balance those 2 ways of life: being in the studio vs being on tour.
Let’s talk about your ink – what’s your favorite piece?
I guess it’s hard to choose one, but if I could say a piece of my body where the tattoos mean the most is on my right leg where I have 9 snails tattooed going all around my calf forming like a train of snails back-to-back. The meaning of that is that every snail comes from a different country/ state. One from Europe, one from Hawaii, one from Montreal, and the rest from all different states in the US when I was on my bus tour in 2017-2018 and 2019 with over 50 shows by tour. The idea was to represent all different styles of SNAILS from where I toured to get different cultures, styles, and representations of styles.
Any artists you’d recommend we check out in your hometown?
I’d say Anam (@tattoos_by_anam on IG) she is a super sick artist from Montreal and that I’ve been following. I love the pieces she has been doing, super realistic and i just love it! Definitely worth checking her out.
Is there a tattoo you’ve been dying to get?
I’ve been wanting my right sleeve for a long time now. I just never got the time but it’s definitely something one day I’ll accomplish. It would represent the whole world of snails from art to my comic books I wrote, to my inspiration from Dali and Alice in Wonderland. It would be a pretty crazy wild tattoo.
Back to music – you’ve been in the game for a while now. How/where do you manage to find inspiration?
I get a lot of inspiration by trying to produce different styles of music. So if I ever get bored of doing dubstep I’ll do something more drum n bass. If I’m bored of producing drum and bass, I’ll do house music, etc. I feel and discovered that for me I never get not inspired if I always challenge my brain to try new things. By trying new things, I get inspired to always do different stuff and it becomes a circle. I get also inspired by doing sessions of resampling sounds and creating weird sounds in my studio for hours and hours. It gets me excited to do the craziest thing I can, or I’ve heard.
What are some words of advice that you’d share with upcoming producers?
As I will always say and that’s been my motto since I ever started… THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX! So many people are trying to follow trends or copy others and for me, I always have been solo in my lane, and I think that’s what made it where I am right now because I always tried to push the envelope and do new things. If a certain style of music is done a certain way, I’ll try to rethink it on my own and make it unique.