A song that made you want to make music?
Gosh, I’m not sure if there was a specific song. I’ve been creating music almost as long as I’ve been able to talk. I think it’s more that music has always come to me and I need to do my best to realize what’s been transmitted to my head.
Best rider you have had?
As an indie artist, every rider is the best rider I’ve ever had! Just having bottled water totally makes my day.
Craziest moment in the band?
I guess it depends what you mean by crazy. Wildest? Weirdest? I think so far it’s been trying to figure out how to still be a performing artist in the midst of an ongoing pandemic; that’s definitely something I didn’t have on my Bingo card you know?
Deepest lyric one of your songs features?
I’m going to go full lyricist here and deflect by saying that my deepest lyric is whichever one resonates with each individual listener in their own way. I think that, while lyrics are deeply personal, once you release them they belong to the listener, and they take on a life of their own.
Easiest song you wrote?
None of them and all of them. None of them in the sense that each song takes a massive amount of work to complete, but all of them in that I do that work gladly because of how I receive songs. It never feels like I create them, it’s like I’m a radio searching for a signal and sometimes I pick one up and then that information is downloaded to me. All my job is then is trying to realize that download to the best of my ability at the time.
Favourite song in your set?
Right now it’s my latest song, BACK TO LIFE. It’s a deeply person song for me because it’s about my struggles with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Contrary to popular belief, OCD isn’t a fun, quirky personality trait. It’s actually an often-debilitating condition that torments me every day, almost all the time. I have lifelong OCD, and have been in treatment before, but like a lot of folks mine really started up ticking with a vengeance when the pandemic started, and I’ve been battling it since then. BACK TO LIFE speaks to that, and it’s my hope that my fellow neurodivergent folks find some comfort in the song. To my knowledge there hasn’t been an OCD Rock Anthem yet hahaha.
Guest you’d most like to feature on your record?
I would love to collab with Billie Joe Armstrong. Partially because he’s one of my musical idols and partially because I wanna give him a big ol’ hug.
Hardest thing about being in a band?
The hardest thing about being in a band is the fact that no matter how talented you are, no matter how much hard work you put in, your talent and hard work will only take you as far as the gates to the music industry. And those gates are tightly controlled and almost always closed to indie artists.
What I mean by that is that the music industry is a closed loop of monopolies; there’s what, 3 major labels now? And they own almost all the “indie” labels. Wanna get on the big tours? You need a high end booking agent and Live Nation. Wanna get top tier playlists on Spotify? The big 3 labels own around 40% of Spotify, so good luck. It’s very, very hard to penetrate that system as an independent artist.
As someone who’s done it, who’s been signed before, I can tell you that getting through that first set of doors is by no means the end of your challenges, because then you’re locked into what is most likely a subpar contract subject to the whims of whoever happens to be in charge of you that week.
Of course, everything I just said is null and void if you’re a celeb’s kid or you were born rich. But if you’re an actual indie artist, the bar keeps getting higher and higher to clear before any gatekeeper will give you the time of day, to the point that this sort of impossible catch-22 has been created; to attract interest you needs hundreds of thousands if not millions of followers, to be touring on your own, to have multiple revenue streams, etc,but it’s very hard to organically achieve those things on your own without a label (again, unless you’re born rich or you’re a celeb kid). It’s another example of how capitalism stifles creativity and competition.
Interesting fact about one of your members?
Well there’s just me. Soooo I guess sometimes I dip raw carrots in ketchup? Is that interesting?
Jokes you have in the band?
My shadow and I have this long running joke about which one of us really exists.
Key to writing a song?
Never try to force inspiration. It’s not something that we as artists control. It will come when it comes.
Longest distance you’ve travelled to play a show?
I think the answer is over a thousand miles.
Most inspiring musician you’ve experienced?
I’m inspired by so many musicians, past and present.
New band you’d recommend?
Opening for this band would be ideal?
I’d love to have been able to open for Queen but at the same time no I wouldn’t because no one can follow Freddie Mercury.
Place you’d most like to tour?
Quote that you’d like to pass on to our readers?
“Everything would be alright if everything was put back in the hands of the people, and we’re going to have to put it back in the hands of the people.” – Fred Hampton
Reason for the title of your forthcoming release?
BACK TO LIFE is about struggling with OCD. The thing with OCD is that the more you engage with it, the more you try to reason, debate or logic with it, the stronger it gets, the more you bring it to life. I call this song BACK TO LIFE because my OCD was subclinical for almost 20 years, and then came back with a vengeance.
See us live at?
Currently I’m not performing live because we are all in an ongoing pandemic and I don’t have the budget to do it safely.
The old days of music were better than the current, do you agree?
Better how? Better for who? In general, no, I do not agree. Music, like all art, is both a product of its time and always in flux; there has been and continues to be legendary music being created at all points in time. In a lot of ways I think that it’s better now from both a choice and sociopoliticalperspective; anyone can listen to any song anywhere at anytime in the palm of their hand, and indie artists can upload their own work to major platforms which has led to much more diversity and less segregation in the music industry as a whole. I, for one, want to hear good songs. Good songs come from all walks of life, all experiences. The commercial music industry, much like the entertainment industry, much like America, was founded and continues to be controlled by a bunch of white cis het men, and while there is still a long, long, long way to go until we achieve anything even remotely recognizable as equality in the arts, at least the chances of hearing something other than White Group #956 have greatly improved.
How unusual do you wanna get? How much money are we talkin’ here?
Variations you’d like to do on one of your songs?
I would love to release a few of them as piano versions.
What do your fans mean to you?
I don’t have fans, I have folks who enjoy my music. I think the word “fan” creates a top-down hierarchy between the artist and the listener. “Fans” are just people, no more or less important than me. If you’re a person who likes a song I wrote, that’s great, and in that arena of songwriting I may be better at that than you. But in your arena, whatever it is that you do, let’s say you’re a cook, you’re better than me!
Every one of us in life has something of benefit that we can add to the collective; the idea that some of us are better than others due to a developed skill or talent is just a pro-capitalist myth that plays into toxic individuality and meritocracy. Something BIPOC activists say is that none of us are self made, everyone is community made. I really resonate with that because it’s saying that none of us operate in a vacuum, each of us is a product of everyone that came before us and everything that happened before we arrived at whichever point in the timeline we were born into. What that also means is that each of us has power; the power to affect positive change around us, even if it’s just in our day to day interactions with other folks. Each of us is an Influencer in our own community.
X-rays or any treatments needed for band injuries?
Yeah I broke my ankle jogging once. Still showed up to rehearsal though.
You’re late for a show, whose fault is it?