Black Mystery Snails
1. What first inspired you to create? and going forward with your creative outlet, what motivates you to keep up with it?
Matt: i was luckily born into a post-hippie family that encouraged creativity and my dad has been drumming since the 70’s, so he put me behind a drumset when i started walking and encouraged me to explore other outlets as i grew.
Yana: ive had a deep connection to music for as long as i can remember. i appreciate and enjoy how i feel more present in the moment while im singing and playing music, esp when performing with my bandmates. writing songs helps me cope with many difficult things ive experienced. its super cathartic being able to express my pain and anguish and kinda transform that energy into a more tangible adaptation. and its so heckin amazing and makes me feel warm inside when others feel emotional connections to our Snail music, as well as my solo stuff.
Shalfi: Anime, Money
Justin: I’ve played music since I was in 5th grade. It was that or archery, and my mom thought I’d be safer with a trumpet in my hand. Years of playing music people told me to and learning a little guitar lead me to wanting to make it for myself. Seeing the wonderful art my influences and friends make always pushes me to keep up with it.
2. What have you been up to during quarantine? Have you been creating more or less than before; and how has that impacted your sales?
Matt: working an “essential” job (a liquor store that sells online, so, yeah), tired but more inspired than ever by my peers and other artists to continue creating when the energy exists, upgraded a buncha my studio gear to make it easier to do so with others when it’s safe (also Shalfi talked me into tiktok’ing recently which has been surprisingly therapeutic).
Yana: ive honestly been in a funk thats been exacerbated by quarantine lol. ive been focusing alot of more of my time with shadow work, which is helping me gradually be more patient and encouraging towards myself. so im trying new things in music that have been extremely daunting for me. which is exciting! i recently recorded a new song for the first time all on my own. i dont have a mic or computer or anything so i layered everything with the BandLab app on my phone. im pretty stoked with how it turned out!
Shalfi: Mostly making Tik toks; it's positively affected both my creativity and spotify numbers
Justin: I’ve been keeping up with hobbies, just in a more virtual space. Video games to play, Dungeons and Dragons to run, and working on my music has helped with being inside so much. I’ve been more motivated to write too, so small victories yay.
3. Out of all your releases, which of them holds the most meaning to you and why?
Matt: our releases are on my hard drive and will hopefully be finished soon following cdc guidelines, but they all mean so much to me as someone who these lovely folks let just plop into their project with welcoming arms
Yana: we havent released any of our Snail music yet. we've had to pause recording due to Covid. but im looking forward to finishing it once its safer and finally dropping our EP. all the tracks we have so far hold a lot of meaning to me since the lyrics and songs in their entirety depict different durations of times in my life. but the one that probably means the most is our spoken word song, Enby Entity. which we plan to release as a single. its about my experience as a Non-Binary person.
Shalfi: BMS doesn't have anything out, for me personally probably this last EP I just put out
Justin: The more I listen to Goblin Home the more tears come out and I’m very excited for everyone to hear that track especially!
4. What does it mean to you to be a female creative in your field? How do you feel you are represented?
Yana: my journeys a bit different. female is the sex i was assigned at birth and i understand most people i cross paths or interact with face to face, online, on the phone or if they were to pass by me at a grocery store would automatically categorize me as a womxn based on binary assumptions. and treat me as one. but being a womxn or any gender in general is extremely complicated, diverse, and individual to each persons life and experience. it's so much more than someone's biological composition. its immense strength that transcends one's physical body. as well as any social construct or label we humans have created. when i first began transitioning a few years ago. i felt pressure to discard all the traces of femininity within me in order to be "valid" and seen by others as a trans and non binary person. i would feel so frustrated and hateful towards myself and my body. boxes do have a purpose and can be very helpful in many ways. and at the same time, thats not all there is. so they can be constricting as well. and its wild how that can all exist at once. im still working on figuring out how to appreciate and befriend myself and my vessel and am making gradual progress each day. i love that there are increasingly more people creating spaces and events that amplify people of different overlapping intersections. i know there is so much more work to do and its a life long commitment. but starting somewhere is better that not starting at all. and that gives me hope for the future.
5. What's your Go-To cereal?
Matt: probably either a cap’n or a pebble
Yana: i love Reese's Puffs and Fruity Pebbles. and i looove Cap'n Crunch Blue Berry Pancake Crunch but its limited edition and no longer in stock anywhere. so i cri. ;^;
Shalfi: Honey Bunches of Oats
Justin: Cinnamon. Toast. Crunch
6. What have been some of your favorite music releases of 2020? Any artists readers should check out?
Matt: it’s been so exciting to see NNAMDÏ finally get the recognition he deserves, he’s been active musically for like over a decade but has released more music in the last few months than most artists have in years, all of which is just incredible (Brat is still my aoty)
Yana: Shalfi Edu, Its Butter, Matt Sturgis, Holographic Catholic.
Shalfi: The new Covet Record. Also there's a japanese band called Cero that put out a really cool record called Poli Life Multi Soul two years ago
Justin: ”The Black Moon” by Holy Fawn has been on repeat since it dropped!
7. Anyone you'd like to promote and give some love to?
Matt: Shalfi’s solo work is incredible, Yana has also recorded some of their own work which is also incredible. my friends in Rat Fancy have started a new project called Nailpolishh which hasn’t stopped putting out good music since they started. my bff Nina is an incredible guitarist/singer/songwriter and our band heartworms had some touring planned pre-covid, but, yakno. i also live with my friend Judcody who is one of my fav songwriters (hopefully he (and i) will be putting things out soon).
Yana: Shalfi Edu. Holographic Catholic. Matt Sturgis. Tomber Lever. Smiling Beth. Mirrored Fatality. The Groans. Garbitch. Hail Columbia. Its Butter. Jerard Dayanghirang. King Mala.
Shalfi: It's Butter is a really cool band.
Justin: Thank you always Matt, Cierra, and anyone who’s been friendly with me at a show. Can’t wait to be able to get back together s a f e l y