“Total Purity Vibes”: Snow Strippers Meet Club Eat
It’s no coincidence that the Detroit-based electronic duo Snow Strippers look like they time travelled from 2008. With a sound that lands somewhere between electroclash and witch house, Graham Perez and Tatiana Schwaninger’s nostalgic noise takes cues from elusive late-aughts indie acts like Crystal Castles—landing the duo squarely within the electronic underground’s controversial indie sleaze resurgence. Last week, they joined fellow synthy downtown dance musician Ren G of Club Eat on a cigarette-fueled Zoom call to talk about signing to Surf Gang, getting on their “mall grind,” and collabing with Lil Uzi Vert.
REN G: What’s up, you guys? I missed you.
GRAHAM PEREZ: What up?
TATIANA SCHWANINGER: How are you?
REN G: I’m fried. Like, fried ass weekend. I’m coming back from it, so just drinking my coffee. Where are you guys at?
SCHWANINGER: We’re in Detroit right now. We just got back from Miami last weekend.
REN G: How was that?
PEREZ: The show was lit. It was a good turnout.
REN G: The one in New York was such a fun night. Did you guys meet in Detroit?
SCHWANINGER: We met in Florida.
PEREZ: Clearwater, Florida.
SCHWANINGER: That’s where I’m from. Graham is an honorary Floridian.
REN G: Were you friends before you started making music?
SCHWANINGER: Yeah, we knew each other for a long time.
PEREZ: The music came a lot later. Making music together, at least.
REN G: I listen to April Mixtape 3 all the time and hearing the music live has been so sick. You guys just recently started doing live shows but they’re super inspiring and fun, I’m just dancing my ass off and acting crazy. How has that experience been?
SCHWANINGER: We’ve had a really good turnout. It depends where we go, but people always dance.
PEREZ: We don’t even be going to that many shows, so we don’t have a reference point to compare it to. But we do this shit to get people together and have a good time and do something beautiful. It’s a blessing, honestly. We always feel really blessed after a successful show and all of them have gone well.
REN G: My favorite song from April Mixtape 3 is definitely “It’s Goin Bad.” That song is so fucking fire and I love the video. Your videos are so much in tandem with the music that it all feels like one world and it’s something I really admire. How do you approach making music videos?
PEREZ: We consider the music videos part of the whole movie. If Snow Strippers is the movie, then that’s just part of it. It’s equal with the music, so we take it seriously.
SCHWANINGER: We don’t really plan out our music videos. We kind of freestyle every single time, but I think it ends up better that way.
PEREZ: We like to capture the energy of the song through the video.
REN G: Are these places in Detroit you guys chill at, or do you scope them out beforehand?
PEREZ: I mean, we’ll shoot a video anywhere. Sometimes we’ll have a location in mind but sometimes we’ll literally just head out and try to find one.
SCHWANINGER: If we’re driving around the day of and see somewhere that looks fire, we might just pull up and shoot something. We love your videos, by the way.
REN G: Thanks, guys. So obviously on April Mixtape 3, you had this Uzi remix, which is fucking earth-shattering. How did you guys meet Uzi?
PEREZ: He hit us up a few months ago just showing love, and it was awesome because we’re huge fans. He’s one of our all-time favorite artists. He saw the tape was coming out and was like, “Yo, let’s put something on the tape. Let’s turn up.” And it came through.
REN G: It felt instantly organic. It made perfect sense.
PEREZ: Oh, yeah. It was all 100% organic.
SCHWANINGER: We’ve both been big fans of his music for a long time.
PEREZ: His artistry, in general, there’s so much respect there. He blessed us. Shout out to Uzi.
REN G: As you drop more mixtapes more people are listening for the first time and getting immediately obsessed. Are there any albums or artists that had an impact on you that way?
PEREZ: Oh, shit. There’s so many.
SCHWANINGER: The answer to that question changes really often for me.
PEREZ: For me, Tha Carter III by Lil Wayne. That was when I was 13 or 14 in my formative years. Discovering Black Kray too.
SCHWANINGER: I didn’t get into rap music until maybe five years ago, but when I was a teenager I was into a lot of J-pop, t.A.T.u., Ayumi Hamasaki, things like that.
PEREZ: How about you?
REN G: Whatever my parents would let me buy. I wasn’t really exposed to a lot of cooler shit until I was a teenager out of my parents’ house. It was lot of pop music. Pretty standard young American kid, like Britney Spears and Janet Jackson. Any artist that had that kind of world to them.
SCHWANINGER: Me too.
REN G: We had a lot of mutuals even prior to meeting, but when I heard you guys were signed to Surf Gang, even just finding out Surf Gang was becoming a label, it was so exciting.
PEREZ: It’s been great. I met them probably three or four years ago, just making SoundCloud beats together, and we just have always stayed in touch. I lived with Harrison for a second and we made so much music. I’m always really inspired by them and stoked to see what they’re working on.
REN G: It’s always the best vibe.
PEREZ: Yeah, for sure. Total purity vibes.
REN G: For real. Shout out to Surf Gang. I’ve always been curious about your production approach. How do you guys make music?
PEREZ: 100% of the music is made from our house. That’s just where we’re most comfortable. I make music all day compulsively anyway, so that’s just my life.
SCHWANINGER: Graham makes beats all day, every day. I do less of the music-making. Graham comes up with most of the vocal melodies and the lyrics and I’ll give my input in my own ways.
PEREZ: Everything is a team effort at the end of the day.
REN G: Tati, I’m always so shook at your outfits. Like, where did she get that? What is she wearing? Tell me about the fashion.
SCHWANINGER: I’m really flattered that you pointed that out because I really like your style. I’ve always been into fashion since I was a little kid. Lately I’ve been on my mall grind.
PEREZ: Yeah, we be at the mall with it.
SCHWANINGER: I love vintage sneakers, crazy sunglasses, a nice chain. This has been my style lately but it changes pretty often. I try to keep my outfits pretty simple and not over-style myself too much. We have a song dedicated to clothes, which is like representation for me. Eventually we want to release clothes under Nice Bass Bro, which is our label. I have some loose ideas, and so does Graham.
PEREZ: It’s all on the way.
REN G: I can’t wait. Put me on the wait list, please.
SCHWANINGER: We love the Club Eat merch too, the shirts with the bears on them are so adorable.
REN G: I’m going to send you guys a package very soon. Do you have any other plans to expand Nice Bass Bro? In Texas, Tati, we were talking about you wanting to art direct for other artists.
SCHWANINGER: Yeah, eventually we’re going to do that.
PEREZ: We’ve been so focused lately on Snow Strippers, but we definitely want to get into building up other artists and using the Nice Bass platform to get all of our ideas out. We want to do films, too.
REN G: Hell yeah. Is there a dream space or city you have in mind for a Snow Strippers show?
PEREZ: You know what would be fire? A Vegas residency, or a Miami residency. That’s my goal.
REN G: That would be fab, like three shows a week at a hotel. I love seeing artists do with that.
PEREZ: You get fresh faces in there every night, but you don’t have to go anywhere. You just post up.
REN G: Totally. We have a remix coming out soon, which I’m super stoked about. I’ve been DJing that shit. I wanted to ask, why did you guys choose “Parking Lot”?
SCHWANINGER: You really liked that song.
PEREZ: Your vocals are so strong and every idea we had for the remix was tight.
REN G: Thanks guys.
PEREZ: Shout out, Club Eat. Go stream START. Shout out to Surf Gang.
REN G: Hell yeah. I hope I see you guys soon.
PEREZ: Where is your next show?
REN G: I’m going to L.A. tomorrow for our release show at Gold-Diggers. And on Saturday, we’re doing our New York party at this Bulgarian bar called Mehanata where we threw our first Club Eat ever back in 2018, so it’s going to be a full circle moment.
PEREZ: That’s beautiful.
SCHWANINGER: You guys have the coolest Instagram right now. I like that you guys post three times a day sometimes.
REN G: I’m like, “Please listen to the record.” I am feeling a social media mini-exodus for a minute, though, after these release shows.
PEREZ: What’s going on today? We got to go ship some CDs. Boring shit.
REN G: I’ll send you guys the new merch and a few of our CDs, too.
REN G: All right. Bye, guys. See you soon.
PEREZ: Love you, Ren.
REN G: Mwah.