Snailmate is a duo breaking barriers with the unique experimental pop-metal. Drummer Bentley Monet and Rapper/Keyboardist Kalen Lander have created more than just a band, they have created a cult-like following. Thanks to social media Snailmate has been connecting with fans during COVID since live concerts were unable to happen. They have a weekly live-streaming shows called “The Snailmate Show” every week on their twitch channel. Bentley who is a former chef also hosts a cooking show called “Snails Kitchen” and Kalen is always diving into a new indie game.
The duo talks about real life problems such as mental health issues. The “Donuts in the Rain” video may look goofy and playful on the surface, but once you keep digging at the lyrics, you realize that they hit it right on the head when discussing depression.
Everyone goes through a period where you struggle to accept who they are and how hard it is to work on making yourself who you want to be. Bentley and Kalen do an amazing job at opening up about the difficulties. “Donuts in the Rain” has a saying they associate with the song, ” If the world is your dating app, then this song is the Tinder bio from hell.”
“Donuts in the Rain” is the first single from their upcoming LP Stress Sandwich in 2021, and is followed by their newest single “I’m Too Sexy.” If you’re looking for experimental rock meets pop metal consider expanding your horizons and check out Snailmate. It’s never too late to try something new.
Reviewed by Jaye Maverick
Q&A with Snailmate
Q: I loved your track Donuts in the Rain. How was the musical duo Snailmate formed?
SNAILMATE: Thank you! Snailmate was formed in 2015, both of our bands broke up around the same time and Bentley’s band had a tour booked that they didn’t want to go on so we wrote some tunes and hit the road right away! Our third show ever was on tour!
Q: The music video for Donuts in the Rain is both bizarre and awesome. It honestly brought me joy. What was the inspiration behind the dancing skeleton for your music video?
SNAILMATE: Thank you for saying that! I had been dabbling in animation for a minute, but was never very good at making any sort of fluid character movements. One day I watched a puppet show on instagram, and thought it was something I wanted to try. But that’s a whole different set of skills that would take forever to learn. So I decided to mimic a puppet with animation. I drew the individual head and body and limbs once. I then just moved them around as pieces, trying to replicate the sense of someone operating a marionette. I don’t know if that was successful, but the video flowed from there. It was so fun and tedious to make.
Q: Who were your earliest musical influences?
SNAILMATE: Kalen: Raffi, Jimmy Buffett, Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley
Bentley: Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, David Cook, Adam Lambert, Rent The Musical
Q: Was there any specific moment or motivation in your life that drove you to pursuing your career in music?
SNAILMATE: Kalen: I think initially it was just having feelings and ideas in me that I couldn’t figure out how to express. Once I realized music was an option I dove in. I was never particularly good at it, and rarely had anyone encouraging me to do it. But it was a compulsion I couldn’t ignore. I think it felt like saying “fuck you” to everyone who didn’t believe in me so that motivated me a lot too.
Bentley: I went to a bunch of concerts and musicals as a kid and it always gave me the drive to play music. Every concert was so influential! I was also lucky enough to go to an arts school 6-12 grade which means I learned how to play drums in school!
Q: Your song and the video is very unique. There is a straight-forwardness and authenticity to the track Donuts in the Rain that I really enjoyed. What was your inspiration and/or creative process for this track?
SNAILMATE: I think I have a tendency to overcomplicate things musically, so we decided we wanted a song that was propelled by the kick, toms, and a singular bass note. Really simple and earthy, so as not to distract from the lyrics, but also still giving you something to feel. We also wanted that to be a fuse which eventually explodes in an unexpected way. Once we figured out how the music moved and transformed, it just made sense if the lyrics were about something similar. The verses are very matter of fact with the narrator explaining who they are, until the end when they mutate into something new.
Q: What can we expect to see next from Snailmate and is there anything you would like to say to your supporters?
SNAILMATE: Before Covid we were on a non-stop world tour. We plan to continue that as soon as it’s safe again! This would include going back to Japan and Europe along with adding South Korea, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and beyond! We are also currently working on our new full length album “Stress Sandwich.” To our supporters WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!! Live your dreams and be you. You are always safe to be yourself at a Snailmate show
Interviewed by Morgan Saltz