Photo by Mak Lucarelli

Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with The Fifth House’s Julia Crow. Together we discussed the house’s architecture, their influences, social media, and so much more!


1. Mustard is grateful to have The Fifth House join them at Music Shelf. How is everyone?

We’re all genuinely doing well. Things feel better than ever and I think it’s going to be a great year for The Fifth House!

2. Could you share what the market was like when purchasing The Fifth House? What are some features of The Fifth House?

The market was quite well at the time, seeing as it was only The Fifth House ever built, people hadn’t quite caught onto buying houses yet.

3. What style of build is The Fifth House?

Our house is very eclectic, with very retro features as well as some down-to-earth components, and some modern elements, of course! The features include a wood-paneled basement with an orange shag carpet, (that’s where the studio is) a coffee bar run by emperor penguins and cockatoos, a stadium sized garden/greenhouse area, located in the woods up in the mountains overlooking a beach. We also have a bedroom with a oven in it.

4. Humans love an origin story. Could you share more about the foundation of The Fifth House? How did The Fifth House come together?

The Fifth House origin story starts with two siblings, 15 months apart. Me (Julia) and my older brother, Wesley, have been close ever since my existence in this world. Maybe even before that in another life, who knows! But we have played music together LITERALLY since the diaper days. Once we got out of high school, we really started experimenting with songwriting, as well as the friends who came through The Fifth House line up. Once we moved back to Columbus from Cleveland a couple years ago is when the band really started to get its identity.

5. Who (or what) influences The Fifth House?

More like, what DOESN’T influence us? We truly feel that every song we release as a group, needs to have the sound it calls for. So even though we’re primarily a surfy punky sad girl rock band, if it has folky roots, so be it! If that song needs a funky slappin’ bass line, that’s going in there. That being said, our top faves tend to be The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Cuco, Sir Chloe, Pink Floyd, Inner Wave, and David Bowie.

6. What is The Fifth House’s creative process?

The creative process is really not limited to being any particular way for us. Some of our songs, we will start with creating a good ol’ jam sesh together. We mess around with our instruments as a group with a voice recorder somewhere in the room, capture what we’re doing, and if we like something, we take it and use it, tweak it, create a song! Other times, one of us may come to the band with a complete song baby (lyrics and a melody and maybe some chords) and everybody else puts their instrumental in there. For example, two songs that are coming out soon are Sirens, and Skinny Teeth. Which were both pretty much written separate from the group to start, then added collaboration after.

7. Your lyrics are rooted in personal and relatable life experiences. What are some common human life experiences?

While we are making more of a conscious effort to branch from JUST writing personal experience songs, we do feel it’s like that for a reason! Often times relatable! Some common, yet unfortunately relatable experiences we have written about include heartbreak (duh), feelings anxious and doubtful of your place on Earth, (Restless is that song) our attitude about the world we live in today, and personal reflection on how we treat each other on Earth. ( That song is Sing Together. We get a little existential sometimes. Oops!

8. How has social media helped The Fifth House?

Social media is truly wild. It takes one person that really cares about your music enough to share it, and can turn it into two, three, or however many more people who care to listen too! It has also been the primary method of meeting new bands and artists to play shows with, to talk to and relate to, and also we just have a silly goofy time on our tiktok. So it’s fun too! It has gotten us many connections with podcasts, shows, blogs, and interviews that we wouldn’t have been on otherwise. Like this one! Thank you Mustard! Funny how we just followed you when you created your account cause it was funny. We had no idea it would also be a musical platform type of situation!

9. In 2018 The Fifth House released “Sinking Reality.” Could you share more about this release? How would you describe your sound at this time?

In 2018, when we released Sinking Reality, it was actually already songs that were 2 years old at that point. We were just figuring out how to distribute digitally, so we were already writing the next EP at that point. However, to talk about the songs of SR, I love to revisit that time. Those songs were so fresh and experimental. We had no expectations for how it was supposed to go, and it was quite raw. We had no money to record professionally, no idea what we were even going to do with the album, we just wrote a bunch of songs and explored sound. Some of those songs we love so much, we play them out to this day. They have changed though, as we’re no longer teenagers, so we have re-recorded a few of them and given them a makeover to share how they are played now!

10. Your style of music can be considered “surf-rock.” If The Fifth House could surf anywhere, where would it be? Why?

If we could surf anywhere, it would be the net because we’re not athletic at all. (For real though, I do think the West Coast is the place to do it! We have done our fair share of Boogie Boarding before, which is like junior surfing on your stomach, and that’s pretty enjoyable!

11. How did it feel to have Jim Wirt say that The Fifth House was ” “one of the most memorable acts that played that day.” How did this lead to them producing “Too Many Dreams?”

Well, perhaps it’s obvious, but we felt quite excited about that! It really was a compliment, as once again, that was at the time where we were playing Sinking Reality songs with not many high expectations for how those songs would be perceived, especially as teenagers. That experience encouraged us to record with him, not only because we liked his personality and vibed with him, but because the day he said that, we played a live recording event at his studio, so we we’re definitely amazed by that studio and experience.

12. “Too Many Dreams” is influenced by both conscious and unconscious dreams. Did a specific dream inspire the concept of this EP? What was it like putting this EP together?

Putting together that EP was truly a blast, and I think one of our favorite recording memories yet. We had such a fun time and shared so many laughs, to the point where we have a google notes page of quotes from that entire experience that made us laugh, so much we wanted to keep those quotes forever. That EP was not based on one particular dream, but many dreams, daydreams, wishes for the future, and past reflections. It was a pivotal time in our lives when we wrote those songs. We were out of high school, moved to a new city with no friends, just experience the loss of a best friend, had so many aspirations that seemed to distant, and all while learning these tough lessons, we had some people mistreat us and use us, so it really shaped a lot of those feelings and dreams.

13. “Charles Bukowski (But Not Because We Like Him)” is one of your latest singles. How did this poet and novelist inspire this single?

So Charles himself didn’t particularly influence us in any positive way. But it had influenced my ex. In such a negative way, too. I remember him showing me this clip of a bukowski interview, and he was laughing hysterically at the TV, while I was panicking inside. Bukowski was spewing all sorts of hate and misogyny towards women, scrutinizing their bodies while still using them to sleep with anyway, and I was truly horrified. On top of that, Bukowski was an alcoholic and seemed to not care about it. Unfortunately, the relationship I was in at the time, became an abusive situation from the other person not treating their alcoholism. Which, while still intimidating to speak about, I also consider myself lucky it wasn’t worse, and I did get out. We did make a music video about it, and the event for its premiere and release benefited a charity that helps people escape those situations. To make a long story short, I compared my ex to his “idol” Charles Bukowski.

14. What is next for The Fifth House?

Up next for us, we are releasing TONS of new music, about every other month! And writing and recording more as well! We are also trying to play out of the city and state more often. While it’s a bit tricky, we’re taking it one day at a time and having fun.

15. Where can readers listen to The Fifth House?

We are on ALL streaming platforms from Apple music, to Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, etc. We also put our music on bandcamp and tiktok! Just search The Fifth House and you will find us!

The Fifth House thank you, Mustard, for helping the music community around you, in such a fun and unique way. You deserve so much light and love, so we send ours your way! To anyone reading about us, thank you! And an extra thank you to those who follow our musical journey whether it be through streams and social media, or shows in person. Thank you thank you THANK YOU!

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