1. Mustard found an IMDB page in your name. Besides music you also have credits as an director, editor, writer, cinematographer, and producer. How do you manage wearing so many hats?
Honestly, they are just fancy names for the different things I do while making something, i.e. plonking a camera somewhere or editing, but it’s all working towards one goal and it’s all a part of the same ‘to-do’ list.
There are always many projects in different stages and, for me, it all just comes down to breaking them all into smaller tasks and seeing what I feel like doing that day. Eventually some start taking shape and that determines which one I finish next, then I can move onto the next project in line!
The page was made for me when I worked on a short and the director credited me, so I like to log the more film-oriented outings there!
2. Saving and protecting the ocean is something Mustard’s human intern is passionate about. Could you explain the creative process behind your short film “The Beach Keeper?”
I’d been wanting to make another short film as it had been a while, and it’s definitely something I want to do more of. As there aren’t too many people around where I am currently, I thought I would use that limitation to try and make a little tone poem with not much narrative but plenty that one could read into, whether it be a mental state or more global. The motivation to do it came about when Mr Beast’s Team Seas project was launched, a creator-driven fundraising campaign to get 30 million pounds of rubbish out of the oceans, so I thought I could tie it into that and use it as a deadline as well as promote a great cause.
3. You’ve been gaining more success on TikTok recently with videos such as “Musicians, play me something” What are some of your favorite duets to come from it?
It’s been insane. I’ve loved how it’s taken off. I thought it would be mildly popular among my circle but nothing near where it’s gotten to now, at 400+ videos now I think? I thought a great way to give other people content and meet more musicians on TikTok would be to leave the floor open for something for them to do, and I would love to see any other TikTok musicians and creators do something similar!
An obvious one would be the throat singer, by far one of the most brilliant and deservedly the biggest one to come out of it (on something like 2.5m). Bret Crow’s duet was incredible, as was Essie Bessie’s. One of the crazier things to happen was so many accounts that I admire jumped on it as well, such as The Morse Coda, Soupy Garbage Juice, Samuel Novak and Atomic Stingray! It’s also been weirdly popular with accordion players which I’m not complaining about. I’m forgetting loads I’m sure, and there’s so many I haven’t seen! For a few people, that duet was their first post, their first in a while, or their biggest post and I’m super happy that they could use that opportunity to give themselves exposure.
I’ve gained a lot of great new musician friends from this as well, so it’s been a great experience.
4. Could you describe your songwriting process?
Once I have a strong idea, usually a phrase paired with a melody, the rest comes pretty easy. The most time is usually spent trying to find that initial germ which can be the hardest part. If it’s not particularly flowing that day, I will find an older lyrical or musical idea and chip away at that. I write fairly regularly, if not every day, and so I will usually knock something out in ten to twenty minutes.
5. You recently released “prologue” on bandcamp. What inspired the name? Are there more chapters to follow?
That came together pretty quickly. I’m not even sure if I would describe it as a ‘project’ necessarily. I have plans to release quite a bit of music this year, and I just thought I would put out this starter of sorts, containing all of the originals that already exist elsewhere on the internet so far, all in one place. The title is just, quite literally, what it is. A little EP of demos to precede my music proper!
There will not be any more chapters necessarily, but I do have an overarching plan for my projects (the artwork may or may not be a clue).
6. What advice would you give to musicians looking to join TikTok?
Like I alluded to earlier, I would definitely make something duettable! The less you do and the more they can do the better. Even if you’re completely silent. The idea for the ‘play me something’ video came from one I did earlier where I walked off screen. I just thought it would be funny for loads of musicians to walk off the screen, not to mention easy to film for them. So definitely make a fun duettable video that gives people an opportunity to show off their playing or their music and they’ll love you for it!
Besides that, and you don’t necessarily have to do this, but what I did was I made a list of things I wanted to make, I scrolled for ideas. That way I’m always making something and if I don’t have any new ideas I can look at my list. Same with my music really, I have a lot of projects that I want to make, so I’m not worried about a lack of ideas.
7. Has Weezer reached out to you?
Unfortunately not. The video still seems to have legs so I would love to keep pushing it out and eventually get it in front of Rivers somehow.
8. Do you have any plans to create any more short films in the future?
There is a TikTok short film competition happening as I type this in March, so if I can come up with a good idea I would love to jump on that (we shall see by the time this is published, haha)!
9. You get the chance to play in Bikini Bottom. Where do you play and why?
Great question. The Bubble Bowl, of course. What an honour that would be.
10. Mustard wonders what (or who) inspires you to write.
Usually just my desire to make things and be creating. I have a slight competitive nature and try to aim for certain benchmarks in my writing. People like Joni Mitchell and Brian Wilson would be that for me. Other great music and musicians really inspire me to write as well, both on the internet and in the mainstream. I just want to be as good as I can be and have high ambitions across the board, from the writing stage to the promotion. Besides that, moods, stories, topics or even jokes that intrigue me are usually what I like to write about.
11. Do you have any projects or music that you would like to promote?
I have just announced my debut single ‘Sleeping Seaglass’, a song I wrote and recorded with my friend Annabelle, that is coming out on the 22nd! So be sure to follow my socials if you want to keep up to date. It’s an entrancing folky journey!