Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Vivid Fever Dream! Together we discussed their name, learning the saxophone, their creative process, their latest single “Smashing My Head into a Brick Wall”, and much more! Check it out below!

1. Hello! Mustard appreciates you being here! How are you doing?

Pretty good! Just taking a break from mixing. Trying to get some more tunes wrapped up!

2. Mustard loves your name, Vivid Fever Dreams. Could you share more about its origin? Are these dreams something humans have frequently?

Glad you like the name! It’s really just based on my terrible sleep schedule that leads to sometimes really long hibernation periods where I have intense dreams. Def not healthy, but I work better in long sessions than in short bursts. Also I feel like it’s a good way to describe the sound I’m going for, so it works on a few levels.

3. When did you first learn or become interested in the saxophone? For a human looking to learn this instrument what advice would you give them? 

In middle school I wanted to join the band and I was given the trumpet as my instrument. I was really garbage at it so they moved me to trombone, which I was also garbage at. Finally I landed on tenor saxophone in 7th grade and something about how you play it just clicked in my head. I think it has to do with the fact that it’s more button oriented as the trumpet and trombone require embosure (mouth position) and that was difficult for me to visualize. 

For any human looking to get started, I’d recommend scouring your Facebook marketplace for used alto saxophones. You can normally snag a decent one for like $450-$500. Then go on YouTube and start watching some lesson videos. There is so much free content out there, now is the best time to learn a new instrument. You can always hire a teacher if you need some more guided assistance. Then just practice 5-10 minutes a day. It really makes a huge difference when you practice daily.

4. Who (or what) influences Vivid Fever Dreams? Where can listeners spot these influences in your music?

I was a huge alternative rock fan growing up and listened to a lot of Gorillaz, Strokes, Nirvana, Cage the Elephant, Tame Impala, etc. etc. In college my tastes started to expand out into bass heavy EDM and I think you’ll be able to hear that in some of my synth choices. 

5. What is your creative process? 

My original process was to get a solid bass and drum groove together and then flesh out the song from there. I try to change up the order in which I add parts to a track because it yields different results. It’s super useful whenever I get stuck. For instance if I can’t think of a melody line I’ll write lyrics and use those to riff over the track. 9 times out of 10 I’ll be able to get a good idea out of that. On the flipside there’ll be times when I can’t think of lyrics and use a melody line as the inspiration to find words that work in that context. 

6. You’ve written and performed songs for podcasts. Is this process different than your usual? If you could do the theme song for any podcast what would it be and why? 

Commissioned work is always a bit different because you have a client to please. So at the end of the day you want to make something that they are proud to showcase with their name attached to it. The overall process is pretty similar, but when adding different elements into the song, I try to use their guidance in my decision making process. It’s still tons of fun and working with constraints is always a good way of working out your creative muscles.  

I would love to do a theme song for a television show. There are so many iconic theme songs that having the chance to make something so culturally impactful would be amazing. Some that come to mind off the top of my head are, the bojack horseman theme, adventure time, game of thrones, stranger things. There are a lot of really good ones that get you hyped for the show. I feel like my style would want me to lean towards a more sci-fi genre, but honestly I’d be down to give anything a shot. 

7. Mustard first discovered you on TikTok and loved your content. How has TikTok helped you as an artist? Would you recommend other independent artists to join the platform? Are doing the trends necessary for growth? 

Tiktok was good for me during the pandemic as an extra creative outlet. I’m still unsure how I feel about the platform as a whole and the gamification of art. I just don’t know how productive it is to be spending hours making a 30 second video just to leave it in the hands of an algorithm to determine how many views you get. I also don’t like how fans don’t automatically see videos of people they are subscribed to, so you can fall off hard if the algorithm decides your content isn’t hitting anymore. The positives are the free promotion, and the ability to meet other musicians. So my recommendation would be to post on it, but don’t make it your priority. I think focusing on your musicianship and songwriting is a better use of an up and coming artist’s time. 

8. “Smashing My Head Into a Brick Wall” is your latest single. Mustard loves the vibes of it. What was the inspiration behind this single? 

Thank you! This song was about dealing with stress. I tried to contrast the two sections, one being chill, the other being heavy, to emphasize how there were moments in my day-to-day life that were energy draining, but it’s not the end all be all. You’ll be able to chill and recover. During the heavy parts I also was trying to capture that angst you feel when you’re at your wits end. I’m happy with how it turned out!

9. What’s next for Vivid Fever Dreams?

I have a collab EP dropping in August with my buddy Attic Space that we are really excited about. It’s the most amount of music I’ve dropped at a single time and it is a really interesting blend of our styles. There’s some clear psych-rock and indie-rock that you’ll hear. So yeah stay tuned for that… Then I just have tons of loosies that are either done or really close to being done that’ll I’ll continue to drip out for the rest of the year. 

10. Where can readers listen to your music? You can find me on all streaming platforms!

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