Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Sweden’s Benito Skarp, member of Mt.Seaside, who has embarked on a solo journey. Together we discussed their work with Mt. Seaside, their creative process, and their newly released singles “The Path/The Light.” This interview took place before the release.
1.Mustard is grateful to have you join them. How are you doing today?
Thanks for having me!
I’m doing okay, trying to find a balance in creating, studying, working and having guilt-free free time like the rest of us.
2. Could you share more about your time with Mt. Seaside? What is it like playing both bass and drums?
Mt. Seaside is my baby and I’m sure the guys feel the same. It’s where I’ve grown as a musician and the time we spend on anything Mt. Seaside related is invaluable!
Technically I don’t play the drums anymore. The drums you hear on our recordings are just midi drums I’ve written in a program. So if I was to sit behind the drums again I’d probably make a fool out of myself, I haven’t played drums in around 2-3 years I think. But somehow I manage to make it sound nice!
But it’s been quite fun to handle both drums and bass and make them dance together and compliment each other. I actually don’t know how I would feel if we ever got a proper drummer in the band.
3. Who (or what) influences Benito Skarp?
I’ve been around loads of friends in bands and watched them grow to amazing musicians doing what they love and doing it really well.
That drive has been a big influence one me, I feel I want to do what they do.
Musically I take a lot of inspiration from bands and artists like Movements, Hot Mulligan, Citizen, Architects, Doja Cat and Halsey.
Other than that I take inspiration from my emotional state now and in the past, situations I’ve found myself in through the years.
4. Outside of Mt. Seaside, what is your creative process?
Usually I get some feeling stuck in my mind, then i try to sit down and translate that feeling to different melodies or chord progressions that match that feeling.
Sometimes I’ve written songs in 2-3 hours and some songs I’ve been working on for over a year because I get stuck.
The instrumentals for “The Path” I wrote in a day and got the lyrics and singing I got down in a day a week later.
For “The Lights” I had the instrumentals sitting on my hard drive for over 6 months, I think, and then one day it kinda just clicked. I think because I decided to do the singing myself, my original plan was to have someone else sing because I’ve been really insecure over my singing.
5. Would you say there is a big difference between being a solo artist and with a band?
Oh yeah, absolutely.
As a band we always take everyones opinion into consideration and debates occur when we don’t agree with each other. As a solo artist I only have to keep myself in mind and listen to what I want. But when I get stuck as a solo artist I can’t rely on other band members to get me out since it’s only me. That usually doesn’t happen in a band cuz we can always help out with some ideas or different ways of thinking.
But I have friends who aren’t afraid to come up with ideas or tell me to do something different when I ask for help, I’m lucky that way.
Jonatan helped me out a lot during the mixing stage of these songs for example.
6. In just a few days you will be releasing The Path/The Light. What can listeners expect from these two singles?
Darkness and then a light at the end of the tunnel.
“The Path/The Lights” is my struggle with my mental health and accepting everything as it is.
“The Path” deals with my thoughts of wanting to flee from everything or just let go. It’s what didn’t happen, thankfully, but what I’ve really wanted during some periods of my life.
“The Lights” is a tribute to all my loved ones. When I’ve felt lost they’ve always been there for me. Some directly and some indirectly.
It’s me trying to find a way forward and letting the past be the past.
7. What’s next for Benito Skarp?
I have a some loose plans right now but more music will definitely come! I have a couple of songs that I’m really excited to share eventually when they’re ready. This release is more of a proof to myself that I actually can do this. So I’m trying to polish some of the rough stuff to make future releases even better!
One thing is for sure, I’ll keep writing music to get my thoughts out there so if you enjoy listening to this sad, lost and confused dude all you have to do is keep your eyes open!
8. Where will listeners be able to listen to your music?
Spotify of course, I’ll make sure they go up on YouTube, SoundCloud, Apple Music, etc.
I also have a Bandcamp if there still are people who prefer to download their music. It’ll be available there for free.
Just search for “Recurrent” and keep an eye out for my face!