We’ve absolutely loved having a chance to focus on indie artists that create horror-themed works this October. First we showed you some fantastic pencil drawings, courtesy of Debra Bennington, and then I think we all wanted to admire (from afar) the movie-monster dolls done by Jeanie Byrd. Now, we turn our attention to music with our latest artist. As usual, yes, I’m jealous. I can barely clap in time, and he’s over here making music videos.
About the Artist
Name: Justin Snikkar (aka. Dr. Snik) my Halloween/Horror alter-ego
How long have you been creating music? 30 years
What drew you to horror-themed music/art? I love horror movie soundtracks and sound effects. I’ve watched horror movies since I was 9 and the 2 films that had the most impact on me were the original Halloween and the Shining. Both scared me a lot but as an adult, I love analyzing how John Carpenter and Stanley Kubrick used the music in each film. The music in a film really creates emotional impact.
Is your family supportive of your art? Yes totally, My mom and dad are musicians my sisters are in the arts too… My natural dad and uncles are all music freaks and listen to everything!
Has your music ever garnered any negative comments because of the horror theme? Not so far but it’s only just been released. There’s nothing offensive in the vocals, a bit of horror and surrealist imagery lyrically.
What’s your favorite scary movie? Why? I have to choose the original Halloween and The Shining together.
I saw them both within a year and both had me on the edge of my seat as a kid, though the bathroom scene in The Shining with the old dead woman in the tub had me scared to use the bathroom for about 3 weeks…
What is the worst horror movie you’ve ever seen? Why? Another 2 movie answer, Manos, Hand of Fate(1966) and Moof of the Wolf(1972).
I love B movies and these might just be a C minus. Both are super low-budget, slow-paced bad overdubbed dialogue and super overacting. They’re totally worth checking out just for that alone and Manos has a ridiculous ritual scene in it. Some of the worst films still have great or bizarre soundtracks.
How to find Dr. Snik:
ABOUT THE ART:
I’m not very familiar with the trance/psychedelic music genre. Can you explain it a bit for our readers? Well I’m a bit old-schooled in music and I use the trance term as a looping rhythm that never stops, creating a trance like effect. Many people for centuries have used tribal drum patterns to this effect all over the world.
The psychedelic is the more surreal quality based on my love of bands like The Doors, Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, Radiohead, Bjork… I like to experiment and use all the tools that technology has to offer right now so blending both comes out with some interesting results.
How long does it take you to create a single track? That’s a hard question as I would jump between songs while writing them. The whole recording took 6 months to finish. A few songs I’ve had for a while and modernized them and the rest came out fairly quick once I found an initial idea.
What instruments do you work most with? I’m a bass player professionally, I can pay some drums and guitar but for this album it’s completely done on the computer using a program called Reason made by Propellerhead, a Swedish company.
Has anyone ever asked you to create a specific inspired piece? Not really, I’ve always just wrote for myself unless it was at college when I studied jazz and had a composition assignment.
What is the most difficult part of making one of your music videos? I’d say first finding the right clips to use and then getting the right timing of sequences to fit with the music. I’m trying to be as simple as possible in the editing except for a few effects and transition sequences that seem necessary. No big digital production here. The movies and video clips I used are all amazing footage and work with the songs I think.
What is the piece that you are most proud of? I’ll say Monster as I got the overall sound and groove I was looking for and the vocal sound is right out of The Evil Dead. The monster sound effects I found were amazing!
Do you perform anywhere? I’ll be attending 2 horror conventions in early November, Horror-Rama Nov 4/5 and Frightmare in the Falls Nov 11/12 as a vendor/artist and I’m going to treat those like an interactive live video show. I will probably venture into doing some live video shows, DJ style or with a band possibly.
What made you choose the pieces to be featured in this post? I chose March of the Dead as it was the catalyst of the whole idea of using films as the videos. I had finished the song just before George Romero died and was going to treat it as a general tribute to him but now it means a lot more as one of the great horror film masters has passed on…
I chose Hyperspace as the 2nd song as your site covers both sci-fi and horror so I felt obligated to showcase my only sci-fi song! The video uses many public domain space clips and some film footage.
What made you lean toward using horror movie clips? It seems that you’re more drawn to the classic horror movies. What do you think of more modern horror? All the movies I picked are in the public domain. As an independent artist I don’t have a large budget so I was inspired by the Night of the Living Dead as it’s the most famous public domain movie out there. There is a classic look in the era of the 60’s and 70’s film that I love and I searched for as many as I could find and did a lot of research on the status of the films.
As for modern horror I love lots of them! The Grudge, 30 Days of Night, the new IT, all amazing films!
I have to ask about the Bacon Fried Rice song. Is there a story behind it? I’ve lived in Toronto most of my life and have frequented Chinatown for many years. In about 2005 I was in a country band playing in St. Thomas and we hit the Chinese food place after a gig and I saw Bacon Fried Rice on the menu. I’d never seen it in Toronto ever. I was listening to a lot of Tom Waits then and the song just came out. I put the rhythm track together really quick and the lyrics followed. I’ve made the dish myself, it’s pretty tasty!
Is your music available in an album? If so, where can it be found? I’m selling the complete videos and the album as digital downloads on Bandcamp. I’m also selling just the music at CD baby, Apple, Amazon, Spotify and most other digital music sites.
Is the track/video time of one minute typical of this kind of music or are they meant to be ‘teasers’ for an actual album? Ah yes those links are teasers for each tune, full songs range from 3 and half minutes to 7 minutes. There’s a couple full versions up on my Facebook page.
What project are you working on right now? I’m mostly working on the promo for this project but I have started to rework some original jazz songs I released in 2010 on my album City limits into electronic versions. It’s gonna be fun as I’ve got a couple good ideas that can go somewhere. I’m wanting to submit some stuff to see if I can get into film/ tv stuff.