Kalen Lander and Ariel Monet are no strangers to the local music scene having both played in bands with long histories here in the Valley. Call it fate or luck (for Snailmate fans) but as you will read in the interview somehow timing played a part in both of them needing a project and that was the birth of what I would call a musical juggernaut that is Snailmate. Why juggernaut? Because their music hardly moves at a snails pace. If pressed I couldn’t really give you a genre or style of music they play but I can tell you that it is a sonic assault that will without a doubt entertain you. One Snailmate performance carries as much energy as you may see from 3 bands, and it is just the two of them playing! Moving, grooving, and dancing abounds in the crowd when they hit the stage. Not only do they tear things up locally, but Kalen and Ariel are true road warriors, travelling all across the United States for months at a time playing shows and gaining fans across the country.
ABOUT THE BAND
How did the band come together?
Both of our long time projects were dissolving at the same time and we were living together. It was a perfect storm and we knew we had to put something together right away or else we would end up joining other bands. So Kalen started learning the keyboard and we just sort of forced it to work!
Who are your top 3 influences on your instrument or voice?
Kalen: Beck, They Might Be Giants, and Tom Waits
Ariel: Elaine Bradley, Tyler Glenn, and Danny Carey
Tell me something about the band that no one knows, at least until now..
We once went 14 days of sleeping in the car on tour with no shower.
What was the worst or most embarrassing on stage occurrence for the band?
Any time that power has gone out, it sort of kills the mood, especially considering both of the synthesizers run on electricity.
Pretend you never met and can start a band with any musician, who is it?
Kalen: Les Claypool Ariel: Miley Cyrus
Tough question, I know, but what is your favorite song of all time?
Kalen: Oh geez…anything off of “Robot Hive/Exodus” by Clutch
Ariel: “Living Room” by Tegan and Sara
What song do you wish you had written?
Kalen: “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy” Ariel: “Lose Yourself”
Now tell me your favorite song by a LOCAL band
Kalen: “People Suck” by Orangubang
Ariel: “Legend of El Tigre” by Dry River Yacht Club
Where is your favorite place to play, and why?
Anywhere we can play on the floor. The energy that comes from being surrounded by folks who want to hear music is intoxicating. Looming over a crowd on stage is impersonal and boring.
What’s the best way to hear Snailmate, live at a venue or on a recorded work?
Definitely live. Although we are currently working on translating that energy to a new record.
Name 3 local bands that our readers need to see or hear
Soft Deadlines, Genre, and Desert Purple
Ok, if you can, give me ONE word to describe the local music scene
What, if anything, would you do to change our local scene?
Not enough bands tour, and fans don’t support touring acts. They only go to see bands they’ve already heard or seen millions of times..
Here’s the part where you shamelessly self promote. What is coming up for Snailmate..you can list everything you’d like.
We will be touring most of March, including SXSW and a St. Paddy’s Day party in Beaumont, TX. We are also recording some old and new songs in Colorado Springs which will produce a split cassette release with Genre, and a new EP called “Love in the Microwave”. Then we are touring for the next 5 months after that is finished while we write our first full-length album.
Who wants to have a threesome? Follow us on Spotify!!
As always, thanks to the band for taking the time to answer my questions. It’s always fun to learn more about what AZ local music has to offer. If you haven’t seen a Snailmate show, you really need to get out there and do it when you spot them playing in town. First because you will be entertained, and second because they tour so much you may not get a chance for a while if you miss them! Make sure you follow Snailmate at the links below and like, follow, stalk them on social media
PHOTO CREDIT: Paul Hickey 2017
Local Lowdown out….