Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Megan Hozick (also known as Oatmeal Routine.) Together we discussed their artist name, their creative process, mayonnaise, cats, their music, and so much more!
1. Mustard is grateful to have you join them at Music Shelf. How are you doing today?
I’m doing great! Or at the very least, pretty good.
2. According to your website, you make punk rock and weird little videos. Mustard wonders which came first? How do these overlap?
I’ve loved both music and comedy ever since I can remember, so it’s hard to say which truly came first.
They overlap constantly- I love to infuse my music with comedy, and vice-versa. When I first moved to Chicago, I started out labeling myself as a comedian. Then at some point, I decided I was a musical comedian. After a while, I just called myself a musician. Now, I’m happy to say I’ve dropped all the labels and just do whatever tf I want to do.
3. As a fellow food product Mustard digs your name. What inspired your artist name, Oatmeal Routine?
Thank you, Mustard! The name is actually a reference to a Jack Stauber video series called, “Shop! A Pop Opera.” Here’s the link to the video the name is from, but all the videos in the series are worth a watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqK1fVzbBIc
4. It must be asked but what is your oatmeal routine?
I’m not proud to admit it, but my current oatmeal routine is a sad little pouch of instant microwave oatmeal. Don’t @ me.
5. What was your relationship with Music and comedy growing up? Who are some musicians and comedians influenced you growing up?
I grew up watching Demetri Martin, Sarah Silverman, Bo Burnham, SNL, MadTV, and pretty much anything/everything else that was on Comedy Central and Adult Swim. For music, I was into a little bit of everything. Green Day was my first concert at age 12, if that gives you an idea.
6. What is your creative process?
When I think of an idea, I’ll either write it down in my notes app or record a sample in my voice memos. Then, when I sit down later on to iron out songs/concepts, I’ll comb through my notes and recordings and piece things together like a giant puzzle. Or rather, lots of little puzzles.
7. Four mayonnaise is enough. Could you share with us how you determined this?
One day, I opened my refrigerator and noticed that I had 4 bottles of mayonnaise. That just seemed like enough. However, if you find yourself at the grocery store and can’t remember if you have mayonnaise at home, you should definitely go ahead and buy another bottle, just in case. You don’t want to be stuck without mayonnaise- that would be the worse case scenario.
8. What are some of the unwritten rules of stand up comedy? Do humans often break these rules? Is the two drink minimum often enforced?
I think the biggest rule of stand-up is that it needs to be funny- and yes, people break this rule all the time! (got em!!) But other than that, I think the only unwritten rule is just don’t be an asshole. And yeah, you better buy two drinks so baby girl gets paid.
9. In 2019 you released a “An EP Album.” Could you share about how this project came together?
I had started writing a bunch of songs, and I had a few of them ready to record, so I scheduled some time with drummer-extraordinaire and former teacher of mine, Tony SanFilippo. Tony produced, mixed, and played drums on all the tracks at his recording studio, Oxide Lounge, in Bloomington-Normal, IL (my hometown).
10. Can fans expect any more cat pranks?
Yes! I love to prank those little dudes. They are such suckers.
11. Some humans love dogs. Some love cats. What caused this great divide between cats and dogs? Could you share more about your cats? How do they inspire you?
I’m glad you brought this up. You see, I have found that most “dog people” love to hate on cats, but most “cat people” have nothing but love for dogs. So, if you find yourself taking a side here, maybe YOU are the problem. And maybe you’ve encountered a cat who was not nice to you- but I’m just going to put this out there, it was probably your fault and you deserved it. But anyway, my cats are just the absolute best. They are a bonded pair- I got them as kittens, and they are brothers/lovers, but we are now actually a throuple. Jesse is a perfect gentleman and an extremely talented athlete, while Otter is a little bit naughty but also incredibly affectionate. They are both perfect, sweet and soft little angels and I hope they never die.
12. Kansas: is it a real place?
This is highly debatable. In theory, I have been there to visit my family quite a bit- but I can’t say that I am able to produce any concrete evidence of its existence.
13. How do your cats respond to “Cat Bitch?” Do you recommend other human cat owners play this song when trying to get their cat on their laps?
They confronted me about this song actually, saying that I was perpetuating the harmful stereotype that cats can be bitchy. They then took turns slapping my face with their little paws and made me spoon-feed them 8 different flavors of fancy feast until they found the one they were in the mood for at the time. I ended up apologizing to them at the end of it all, and thankfully they graciously forgave me. Ugh I love them so much.
14. Last year you released “I’m going to peel my whole face off.” What made you feel like you wanted to peel your whole face off?
I wrote this song in 2020 when there was this thing going on- you may have heard of it- the COVID-19 pandemic. The song unfortunately kept being relevant for much longer than I anticipated, so I made a stop-motion music video featuring a Barbie trapped inside a cardboard box to go along with the song.
15. What is next for Megan Hozick/Oatmeal Routine?
New songs, new videos, new live shows! I’m also working on writing a musical called “The Roswell Incident,” which will be about the UFO crash of 1947 in Roswell, New Mexico (nonfiction, obviously).
16. A human gets the chance to see you perform. How would you describe your live show?
The live shows are a vibe! Whether I have the full band with me or play a solo set, it’s a high-energy, fun time with a little bit of everything. Maybe don’t bring your children though- unless you are cool with them hearing the word “bitch” quite a few times.
17. Where can readers see you perform and listen to your music?
I perform all around Chicago, check out my social media for all the latest updates (@meganhozickmusic)! I also have music on Bandcamp, Spotify, iTunes, Youtube, and pretty much anywhere else music can be found.