In our 100th interview of the year; Mustard had the pleasure of speaking again with Common Sense Kid. Together we discussed Photoshop, their potential beef with Joey Oblivion, their upcoming album “A For Effort, E For Attainment, SPI Fest, and so much more!

1. Mustard is grateful to have you join them again at Music Shelf. How are you doing?

I’m alright Mustard thank you! I hope you’re doing well and your current beef with ketchup has subsided. 

2. When we last spoke you were the Diddy Kong of Ska Punk International. Do you still claim this title?

Absolutely. For I am the small, annoying, monkey. Also compared to everyone else on the label, I am the diddy one in regards to music, I haven’t been doing this that long compared to the actual bands on the label.  

3. Anyone who follows you on Twitter can expect to find some photoshopped images. When did you first learn Photoshop? Can you recall your first Photoshopped image that made it onto Twitter?

Haha, I have been using photoshop since my teens, without sounding too old. I do design as a proper job. 
I’ve always enjoyed photoshopping things, even before the music. Then I saw Jacob sending his photoshops to Chris and thought “oh cool! We can do that! I can get have some fun with this” I take it all far too seriously in how they look though. 

4. You are tasked to Photoshop bottles of mustard. What kind of images do you create?

Mustard all over Chris’s face, he is half naked. Chris lying down with a bottle of mustard carefully caressing it. It would involve Chris. 

5. Mustard wonders if you have actual beef with Joey Oblivion? Have you cleaned your guitar?

I love Joey and the whole Checkered Past crew, and he was right it was filthy. I cleaned my guitar when I made that video….but I have no cleaned it since then. I should probably do that or he will be on to me again. My beef isn’t with Joey, it’s with Chris. 

6. Last July you were featured on Ska Punk International’s “Songs For Moms Volume 2.” You did a great cover of Imagine Dragon’s “Radioactive.” Could you share more about what made you choose this song? What was it like to be apart of this compilation? What kind of dragons do you imagine?

I picked that song, because its one of the first songs the mother of my own children put on when we started seeing each other, I took her to see them for her birthday that first year we were together, a good ten years ago now. 

She does not like my version haha. 

I love being part of the compilation. I think everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer. We lost a family member at the start covid to cancer, a good one. We didn’t get to go and say goodbye properly, which was really hard and is why I really wanted to get involved with the first one. As a way to honour her memory I guess. 

In doing that I got to know so many people it was crazy.

7. The following month saw the release of your single “Blinded By A Black Hole.” What was the inspiration behind this single? Does the UK provide you with comprehensive eye exams?

Blinded by a Black Hole is about a relationship. I think a lot of people can relate to or have been in. 

Where the relationship becomes toxic, but you’ve become codependent on each other, where you still would do anything for that person.

But then it does end, and you get…clarity, that this is not normal, this is not a healthy relationship and being able to walk away from that. 

It might take time but one day you will be able to move on. hence the line ‘and now the day has come, I’ll no longer follow you into the sun’ 
What was once the sun your worshipped and stared directly into blinded you to the fact that it is now a black hole and sucking the life out of you. That’s the idea at least.

As for exams mustard, most of my results were A for Effort, E for Attainment, hence the new album title.   

8. When did you come up with the idea to premiere a song off your upcoming album exclusively apart of SPI Direct?

I don’t know to be honest. I just said to Chris, lets just do a whole song. I thought it would be a good way to test the water as that song also has this real dub steppy verse and the whole song is just me rapping/ranting so testing the water in that sense.At that time in the UK as well a lot of the subject matter of Warning: Dystopia was raising its head, Food banks, people having to chose between food or warmth, child poverty, the nonce prince andrew, misinformation “media types” trying to whip people up into a frenzy over nothing for their own financial gain…so felt like a good time to release it into the ether, but it wasn’t at the stage where I was ready to put it out proper. 

9. The last we spoke you mentioned wanting to collaborate with Andy B & The World. This year you got that opportunity along with Roshambo on “Apathetic.” Could you share more about how this collaboration happened?

Yeah, I’ve got to know Andy well over the last couple of years. I actually heard a really rough demo version of the song about…a year ago and was like woah this is incredible. Didn’t really think much else, never thought I’d be asked to do something for it. This was like early 2021, then Andy messaged me towards the end of the last year and was like remember that song, you like doing drum n bassy stuff, do you want to add some synth and stuff to this bit and was jumped at the chance. I love the subject matter of the song as well.

Love Andy and what Andy is putting out. Roshambo released probably my favourite record of last year (along with Stop the Presses). So to be on a song with both of them and be in the video is wild. 

Like I’ve only been doing music for a couple of years and here I am, doing a bit on a song with some absolute legends, proper musicians. Wild. 

10. You’ve also got a track with Atlas & Oracle coming out soon too. How does collaborating help your creative process? Who reaches out to who?

Yeah, that was a lot of fun and different again. They sent me the track and I wrote the hook and my little rappy verse bit on that.

Collaborating is something new to me. I’m like a little hobbit that sits in my bedroom and predominately do everything by myself because I think “nobody wants to waste their valuable time, dealing with my nonsense” turns out people do. It’s definitely something I’m going to do more of. But as I’m like a newbie you need to explain things to me like a child. I do not understand music speak haha. 

I really like doing the remixes as well. So if you want me to remix something in my usual fashion, hit me up!   

11. What can fans expect from your upcoming album “A For Effort, E For Attainment?”

So I know that I’m a clown online, but I think everyone will see that I do have this serious side to me if they listen to this record. There’s a lot about my own mental health and where I’m at as a human. What is going on in the world around me and how I see things. I think a lot of it is quite relatable. 

I try to not be too negative online, I think people need a laugh these days. So that’s what I try to do there. For my own mental health more than anything. Most of the time with the stuff I post i’m just trying to amuse myself. That makes twitter fun, however you can spend an infinite time doom scrolling social media and end up spiraling into depression about humanity real quick. So I feel like I need to provide some comic relief to that. 

So I saved my inner thoughts, anger, feelings, things I see and don’t like, for songs. It also really helps putting it down on paper, turning into something creative instead of angrily just typing something on my phone and pressing send every night.  It gives you a moment to sit back and re-read it, could I word this better? Am i getting the point across clearly? So there is a lot of that on this record. 

Sometimes I break my own rules, like during the weeks leading up to Bozo Boris resigning and the short lived Liz Truss era and I snapped again lately with the refugee stuff going on over here..again, I wrote a song about that before. Makes my blood boil.  

There is still some humour in the songs. Fake Tweed Dad is a good example, that’s a fun song, but there is an undertone to that song where people in the countryside have been really struggling with wealthy city slickers coming into rural/countryside towns and villages buying up houses, particularly during covid to get out the city, sending house prices and rent sky high. I’ve had friends who had to move away because they simply can’t afford to live where they grew up and then you find a lot of them are just using them to make money through Air BnB. So that song is a little pot shot at that. Then you see them in town thinking their farmers, driving what we call ‘Chelsea tractors’ which is a glorified 4 by 4 that they don’t need. 

Musically, the EP was basically me learning to write a song in each of the styles of music that I like. This time it is definitely more the way I want to go and finding my own sound I guess. I’ve managed to learn to do things now and make things sound how I want them to sound, which I didn’t really know how to do when doing the EP, which is why there is more of my electronic influence on there. The remixes I occasionally put out are fun ways for me to test stuff like that.

So you’ll find a bit of everything from straight up punk, ska punk, two tone, rap, drum n bass, dub. I tried to blend the sounds I liked together without shoe horning it in. Like sometimes electronic stuff just isn’t going to work.  If I can’t hear it in my head when I’m listening back to it I won’t add it in for the sake of it. 

12. On the album art you are inside a classroom. Could you share that day’s lesson?

How to not be an awkward f*** when getting your photo taken. 

I had the album name like straight away after I wrote Panic, which was the first song I had done in some capacity after I had finished with Midlife Crisis.  The idea of a classroom setting like an exam just felt perfect. 

They always say the second thing you release is the ‘test’ and I was not so good at school and always got an A for Effort and attainment was always….not so good. 

Also this whole thing is about me learning music. So it all ties in together. So whilst the title might seem a bit jokey, there is some meaning to it and also how I see myself as a……..musician and the imposter syndrome I have from only doing this a few years. 

13. Any chance that we will see Common Sense Kid at the next SPI Fest?

I hope to be there in some capacity, even just as a spectator to see all the bands and friends I’ve made across the pond since I started making music…if there is one, I have no idea, the stress of the whole thing might have killed Chris off who knows, I thought if any one would kill of Chris due to stress though it would be me.

Man I had such bad jelly belly seeing everyone I’ve spoken to meet up in person and hugging and celebrating, it really did look like a big family reunion. 

When you think that a lot of these people met online during covid and the lockdowns, supporting each other through that time and they are now, finally meeting, in person for the first time. 

That’s proper special and a memory that will live with them for the rest of their lives. 

So yeah, if I can afford a plane ticket, get permission and someone lets me sleep on their floor I’ll be there. 

I also need to get me some beavvveerrrr nuggggets. 

14. Where can readers find information about “A For Effort, E For Attainment?”

Um, if you get it on Bandcamp, I hand wrote out all the lyrics. I asked Chris if we can add it as like a PDF if someone downloads it, he said we can totally do that, so you can read the lyrics if you can’t understand my British accent. 

If Chris didn’t do that…*glares at Chris*, just show me you bought it and I’ll send you the PDF haha. 

I was pretty honest with myself though and thought “hey idiot, this might not ever happen again, you’ve already been given some sort of cheat code to get this far, when there are UK ska punk bands out there that deserve this attention much more than you! You just talk far too much crap on twitter, put some effort into this” so I wanted to do something cool to go with it because it might not happen again. 

You can also head over to the Ska Punk International website and see if there is anything there, unless this album turns out a bit like that ET game and Chris is currently having to send a load of CSK merch to landfill….who knows!  Or if you got any questions on twitter just ask me, I am actually quite approachable despite my face. It’s just my face.

15. Additionally, where can they listen to your music?



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