Healing Sounds of the Benevolent Realm Vol. 2
Hailing from the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, MC Snax has released several classic albums of nerdcore rap. Let’s learn a bit about what drives him to write and record music!
Particle Don: What’s up MC Snax? Thanks for sitting down to do an interview with ParticleDon.net. My brother and I are big fans of your many albums and are excited to get a chance to ask you some questions!
MC Snax: Thank you, homie! You and your brother are long-time supporters of the Ninja Funk, and I’m looking forward to the interview!
Particle Don: How were you exposed to music as a child? Around what age did you decide to start making your own songs?
MC Snax: I was mostly exposed to music at a young age through video games. And that’s exactly how I fell in love with it. I wrote a song about that, actually!
Rainbow Road off of my album Tales from Rainbow Road tells the story of how I first recognized the incredible power of music while playing Mario Kart 64.
As I grew older, I fell in love with more and more music. But it wasn’t until I was 14 or 15 that I actually tried to write anything!
Particle Don: What made you choose to create rap music over a different style? Who are some of your musical influences?
MC Snax: At 11 years old, I discovered ICP. My life was changed forever. It was them – in addition to MC Lars, who I discovered a few years later – that really showed me how music can be as unique as the person writing it.
Those guys and the music from my favorite video games are by far my biggest influences. When I finally got the courage to try and write something myself, rap was 90% of what I was listening to, so I think making that kind of music was a natural decision.
Particle Don: When you first started recording, what type of equipment did you use? (Boom box, tape deck, karaoke machine, mic hooked up to a speaker, etc.) How does that recording setup compare to the one you use now?
MC Snax: So, my very first song, that has never seen the light of day, was recorded much different than how I do it now. I used a $150 keyboard, a microphone, and a four-track recorder. Luckily, not long after making it, I discovered DAWs.
FL Studio was the first program I decided to try, and it’s what I use to this day. Different synthesizers and keyboards have come and gone in my collection and in my music, but FL Studio is always where my stuff is recorded, sequenced, arranged, mixed, and mastered!
Particle Don: Did you have any bands or participate in any collaborations before creating the first MC Snax album in 2012? Was this album your first true musical endeavor?
MC Snax: The first time I really did anything with music, casually or seriously, was as MC Snax. Since then, however, I have collaborated with my friends’ bands. For example, a few of my closest homies have a band called Joe Grizzly, and they had me scratch on their last album. You should check them out!
Particle Don: How does writing music help you erase negative emotions?
MC Snax: Similar to when listening to music, writing it also has this power to make life seem all the more cool. To me, both writing and listening to music is an over-the-top awesome experience. It makes anything not awesome in life seem so small and insignificant by comparison.
Music is therapeutic for sure, but there’s more to it than that. It’s also, like, spiritual to me. Music is proof that there’s a lot more going with this existence than we understand, and I find that both exciting and comforting in a way that I don’t think I can fully describe with words.
Particle Don: We all know that you love to snack, hence the name MC Snax. What are some more details on the origins of your rap name? What made you choose to focus on snacks as an overall theme for your music?
MC Snax: I can’t remember the exact thought process behind it. I just remember that a lot of the Nerdcore pioneers that influenced me (MC Lars, MC Frontalot, etc.) had the MC in front of their names. Plus, I thought it was a good way to pay homage to the old school hip-hop I also love.
Also, I’m a fat kid, so the Snax part just came to my mind. They say you should rap about what you know, and I definitely know snacks!
Particle Don: What are a few of your favorite snacks to have at home? What’s your preferred snack while on the go?
MC Snax: Some of my favorites are Oreos, Crispy M&M’s, Kit Kat, or just about anything else that has chocolate involved, haha. I also love Miss Vickie’s potato chips.
I can enjoy these treats at home and while on the go, because a professional such as myself can eat any snack in any scenario.
Particle Don: What did you think of those Zapp’s Voodoo Chips I sent you?
MC Snax: They were great! They were similar in flavor to the All-Dressed Ruffles we have here that I love so much. But a little sweeter! Very interesting taste!
Particle Don: You recently released an excellent collaboration song with ABK entitled Scrub ‘Till You Shine. How did this track come about?
MC Snax: ABK is one of my all time favorite artists. When I discovered ICP, Psychopathic Records had put out his Hatchet Warrior album a couple of months prior. I love that album so much, as well as everything he’s put out since.
I’ve dreamed about collaborating with him for a while, so I got in contact with his company Native World, Inc. to see if they were interested. He was down!
He nailed the concept, and it was a surreal experience to hear him rap over one of my beats.
Particle Don: Is Scrub ‘Till You Shine going to be a part of an album or is it a single only?
MC Snax: Yes! It is going to be on Healing Sounds of the Benevolent Realm Vol. 2, which is coming out sooner that you think!
Particle Don: You have three songs with the legendary DIY artist MC Lars. Two of them are on Lars’ Patreon and one is on your 2017 album Incredibly Human. How did you get to know Lars? Do you think you might collab with him again in the future?
MC Snax: That was another case of simply reaching out! It was pretty interesting timing, however.
Even though I’ve been following him since he put out The Graduate and I knew he liked ICP and Psychopathic Records, he had started to do more things in the Juggalo world around the time I hit him up. So this led to us just talking about that and bonding over our love for the hatchet.
They say you should never meet your heroes, because it can let you down when you find out what they’re really like. This definitely wasn’t the case getting to know Lars.
He’s genuinely one of the most humble, nicest, and talented people I know. I definitely think we’ll do more stuff in the future, and I can’t wait to do so!
Particle Don: Have you ever heard of the band Koo Koo Kanga Roo?
MC Snax: Yes! Their unapologetically upbeat music is awesome!
Particle Don: You often reference pro wrestling in your lyrics and song concepts. How long have you been a wrestling fan? Do you have any particular nostalgic wrestling memories?
MC Snax: I’ve loved wrestling since I was like 6 or 7 years old. My Brother and I initially got into WCW.
I remember the first time we flipped on WWF Raw. Stone Cold threw The Rock’s belt over a bridge the very moment we tuned in, haha! Those are definitely great memories.
When I was a little older and had a better understand of what was going on, Eric Bischoff became GM of Raw.
I remember him shaking things up every week, and I couldn’t wait to go to school the next day and talk about it all with my friends. Such good times, brother.
Particle Don: Who is your favorite classic-era wrestler? Who do you enjoy to watch from the current generation of superstars?
MC Snax: If The Attitude era counts as classic era, then Mick Foley – hands down. He’s still a personal hero of mine.
I feel like he was always living proof that a fat kid scrub like me could school it in life. He turns hardcore wrestling into poetry, and whether he’s on the mic or in the ring he’s a 100% artist.
If by classic era you mean 70’s and 80’s, then I’d probably say Abdullah the Butcher. He’s a pioneer of the hardcore style, and he’s also Canadian!
As far as current wrestlers, I’m a big AJ Styles fan. I think he’s one of the most all-around talented dudes to get in the ring. Such a great move set, and he usually executes it perfectly.
Particle Don: Do you follow any independent wrestling promotions?
MC Snax: I used to follow ROH and PWG a little bit, but to be honest, I don’t watch as much wrestling as I once did. Of course, when JCW stuff happens, I always keep up on that!
Particle Don: Have you heard about the new promotion AEW? If so, what are your expectations for this potentially revolutionary brand?
MC Snax: I’ve never heard of that, dude! I’ll have to check it out!
Particle Don: What’s your favorite wrestling video game and why?
MC Snax: That might be that hardest question yet, man.
So, WCW/nWo Revenge for nostalgia purposes. That was the first wrestling game I think I ever played. Me and my brother rented it from Blockbuster over and over.
But I feel like WWE Smackdown VS. Raw is also a masterpiece. PS2 was killing it with the wrestling games, just like N64 was.
The Backyard Wrestling series is super fun, too. The fact that they’ve got JCW, ECW, and backyard wrestling legends in it is so sick.
If I had to spend my life on a desert island with only one wrestling game, it would be WWF No Mercy. It has THQ’s awesome N64-era control scheme and an incredible branching storyline system. I still haven’t seen every little cut scene or scenario in the career mode of that game. It’s just so dope.
Particle Don: Back in the Attitude era, did you buy any wrestling action figures?
MC Snax: 100%! Money isn’t easy to come by, especially as a kid, haha. But whenever I got my hands on some, I would beg my mom to take me to buy a new figure. I still have them all. When I have kids, I plan on passing them on to them!
Particle Don: When was the last live wrestling show that you saw? What was the promotion and who had your favorite match?
MC Snax: The last live show I saw was 2014’s WWE Money in the Bank.
It’s so weird when it comes to live wrestling. I’ve seen several shows, but never seem to be able to remember much about them afterwords.
Maybe it’s the adrenaline or something like that. I just know that Goldust wrestled and won. He’s also one of my favorites, so that’s awesome.
Particle Don: It’s always great when Goldust wins! If you were to sit down right now, grab a bowl of popcorn, and watch some wrestling, which match would you choose?
MC Snax: Probably Daniel Bryan’s match with AJ Styles from this past TLC. I haven’t seen it yet, and I’m assuming they put of an amazing match.
When it comes to one that I’ve seen before, probably the Hell in a Cell between Cactus Jack and Triple H from No Way Out 2000. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, and it’s a classic!
Particle Don: Yeah! I’ve seen that match several times. In 2018 you released a mostly instrumental 3-track EP titled The Healing Sounds of the Benevolent Realm Vol.1. What drove you to create this inspiring work of art, and when can we expect Vol. 2?
MC Snax: Originally, it was going to be entirely instrumental.
I wanted to write some super potent and uplifting Ninja Funk that gives people the happy feeling a lot of my favorite video game soundtracks give me. I wanted it to be pure sonic benevolence, if that makes any sense, haha.
But then I realized forcing myself to write only instrumentals felt as limiting as it does to force myself only to make rap beats. So that’s why one of them has rapping on it.
Whatever comes out, comes out. And that’s going to be the same for Vol. 2 and 3!
Particle Don: In 2017 you made a full-out concept album called The Esoteric Journey of a Cemetery Groundskeeper. Do you plan on releasing any more records that tell a story throughout their duration?
MC Snax: I definitely do. I love using music as a story-telling medium, and a lot of my favorite albums are concept albums.
I have a few ideas when it comes to stories I’d like to tell, including a sequel to Esoteric Journey. I’m not sure what one I’ll record first, but I am sure I’ll be doing more some day!
Particle Don: What do you think of the Violent J Wizard of the Hood album?
MC Snax: It’s one of my favorites. It’s another one that came out around the time I discovered Psychopathic, and that era just has such a special place in my heart.
I feel like the rappers were all on fire. Everyone was all over one another’s albums at the time, and this is a perfect example of that. J’s rhymes and delivery are so good on it. And the song Shiny Diamonds is a guaranteed boost of posi-vibes if you ever need them.
Particle Don: One of my favorite MC Snax songs is Me and Kurt. In this track you describe battling eyeball-harvesting aliens with Kurt Angle as your trusty sidekick.
Later on in the song you make it to the alien mothership and battle the ETs in a game of WWF No Mercy. What inspired you to create such in incredible track? How did you even begin to dream up this concept?
MC Snax: Writing is a weird thing, you know? I’m not quite sure where it comes from.
To me, it’s like, “Why don’t more people write about themselves fighting off an alien invasion with their favorite wrestlers?” It just comes to mind when I think of a interesting story I could tell.
I love wrestling, and I’ve always been fascinated with aliens, haha. So why not combine the two in a strange story?!
Particle Don: Can you reveal any song concepts you have planned for your next album?
MC Snax: It’s funny that you asked these two questions in this order. I actually just recorded vocals for a track yesterday.
I don’t want to reveal too much, but no joke, it’s another song about an alien encounter. However, this time it’s a very positive experience.
It’s going to be on Healing Sounds of the Benevolent Realm Vol. 2. That’s all I’ll say for now!
Particle Don: How often do you come to the United States? What was it like during your trip to Denver for the Dark Carnival Games convention?
MC Snax: I used to visit the U.S. pretty regularly, until I eventually moved there for two years. I even have permanent residency status!
I haven’t visited that many times since I’ve moved back, but I hope to change that. I love the States.
DCGcon and Denver were super cool. There was so much freshness crammed into one weekend.
Even though the convention was “shut down” after day one, the Juggalos kept it going and it ended up being an amazing time.
Plus, ICP performed at the Roxy, and it was the only Faygo-less show I’ve seen them do. It was cool to witness such a concert rarity!
Particle Don: About how many warm months are there in Canada per year? Do you enjoy living there?
MC Snax: Where I live, which is the province of Newfoundland, it isn’t super cold compared to some parts of Canada. But our winter is long.
It’s not unusual to experience winter weather any time from October to April. Last year we actually got snow in June, which is less common, but can indeed happen.
I love Newfoundland, though. There’s a unique culture here that I wouldn’t trade for the world. It’s my home, and as they say, there’s no place like home!
Particle Don: If you could play a show anywhere in the world, where would it be?
MC Snax: Hmm…I would say anywhere that has a lot of fellow ninjas who enjoy rap songs about aliens, snacks, and posi-vibes!
Particle Don: If you could collab on a song with anyone in the world, who would it be? I’m sure there are many people you’d like to record with, but who comes to mind first?
MC Snax: Insane Clown Posse. No doubt.
Particle Don: What are a few of your all-time favorite video games?
MC Snax: Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, Earthbound, Shenumue I & II, The Animal Crossing series, The Sims series, SimCity 4, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$, WWF No Mercy, Wave Race 64, Pilot Wings 64, WWE Smackdown VS. Raw, and the Backyard Wrestling games – just to name a few!
Particle Don: Name a video game that you’d like to write a song about.
MC Snax: Earthbound or Animal Crossing.
Particle Don: Name a movie or TV show that you’d like to write a song about.
MC Snax: Maybe The Simpsons or Shaun of the Dead…there’s a lot that might be fun to do!
Particle Don: Name a person that you’d like to write a song about.
MC Snax: Tommy Dreamer from ECW. I think he’s the definition of someone who does what they do because of their passion for it. And that’s dope.
Particle Don: Have you ever seen the early 90’s Nickelodeon TV show My Brother and Me? What are a few of your favorite childhood TV shows or movies?
MC Snax: I’ve never seen My Brother and Me! I don’t think we got all the Nickelodeon shows that the States did, unfortunately.
Some of my favorite shows growing up were of course The Simpsons, Boy Meets World, Recess, and The Weekenders.
My favorite movies growing up were definitely Good Burger (which is Nickelodeon!) and Ready to Rumble.
Particle Don: Thanks for the interview, Snax. Is there anything you’d like to say in closing?
MC Snax: Well, I’d like to thank you for thinking I’m interesting enough to warrant an interview. And thank you as well for continuing to support The Ninja Funk!
Everyone stay tuned to mcsnax.bandcamp.com, because Healing Sounds of the Benevolent Realm Vol. 2 is coming very soon! Much love, y’all! Whoop whoop!