Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Soft Screams, of Connecticut; about their art collective Corrupted TV, Hyper Power Pop, their upcoming album DIET DAYDREAM, and so much more. Check out the interview below!
1. Mustard would like to thank you for being here. How are you doing?
Thanks for having me! I’m doing pretty okay today, trying to make the most of my day off.
2. Mustard has observed that humans love television. On Bandcamp, you are Corrupted TV. Could you share more about this corruption? Are you corrupted by association?
Corrupted TV is the name of an art collective that consists of my two best friends and I. We’ve been making art together under that moniker for about 15 years. Music, podcasts, videos, comix, etc.
We’ve all been corrupted in one way or another, but life is more fun that way. My brain is like a television that lost its signal and went all fuzzy.
3. You classify your music as “Hyper Power Pop.” What sets “Hyper Power Pop” apart from other styles of pop? Who helped influence this genre?
With DIET DAYDREAM, I started out with the idea of creating a new genre called ‘Hyper Power Pop’. To be honest with you, I completely failed at that goal. What I ended up with is more of a smorgasbord album with a variety of different sounds and experiments. I haven’t given up though, I think I might have pulled it off with the album that comes out next.
Hyperpop is a big genre these days. I’m not super familiar with it, but I liked the idea of fucking up my scrappy power pop songs with annoying production choices. So you’ll have to wait a little bit to see if I pull it off.
4. Could you share the inspiration behind your single “Dopamine Drain?” Is dopamine something all humans have? Or seek?
Yes, humans have dopamine in their brains. I’m not sure if mustard has an equivalent chemical. ‘DOPAMINE DRAIN’ is about my lack of that chemical, and how I’ve been chasing it for my entire life.
5. As a condiment humans often like to add preservatives, “natural” flavors, and added sugars to me. Some will not eat food without them. Was this the inspiration behind your song “Sugarfree Sadness?”
I’m a big fan of diet soda, and I sometimes eat too many sugar free sweets to the dismay of my tummy. Fake sugar kind of tricks your brain into thinking it’s consuming the real thing, and I thought that was kind of like living life on antidepressants. At least for me personally, the sadness is still there but the edge has been smoothed off. That’s what “SUGARFREE SADNESS” means to me.
6. Could you describe your creative process?
With this particular album the process was very different for me. I started working on it in lockdown when there wasn’t much else to do. I would just sit down with my guitar or bass, and come up with a chord progression and song structure, then record it without thinking too much about it. Then I would immediately lay down vocals and come up with lyrics and melody on the spot. I felt very free and unrestrained, just open to getting weird.
Before this album, I would usually start with a melody/words and have it all figured out on acoustic guitar before recording anything. So this was a very fun change for me.
7. Mustard wonders who inspired you to make music.
I was really inspired by Guided by Voices to make a big, weird, messy album like Alien Lanes or August By Cake.
The pop songs on the record were definitely inspired by that Superorganism album.
8. If you could write a song about your favorite spot in Connecticut, what would it be about?
That’s a great question. The first thing that comes to mind is the Scantic River in Enfield where I grew up. Getting lost in the woods with my friends, getting bitten by spiders, almost drowning. A lot of memories. That would make a good song.
9. Do you have any upcoming projects you would like to share?
I think I’ll be putting out two more Soft Screams EP’s later this year, so be on the look out for those!
Oh also, if you’re a reader, I have a book-club podcast with two of my friends called Chapter Chumps. We’re currently reading the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. It’s been a lot of fun.
10. Where can readers (and listeners) find your music?
Soft Screams is on all evil streaming platforms, but the best way to get the music would be corruptedtv.bandcamp.com
Thanks for talking with me, Mustard. I really appreciate it. Keep on keeping on!