Featured photo by: @alecpugliese
Mister Substitute had the pleasure of speaking with oldphone. Together they discussed their new album “Not Anymore.”, signing with Lonely Ghost Records, cameos on “Not Anymore”, and so much more!
1. First off, so happy to be interviewing you for your debut album as oldphone! How are you doing today?
I’m doing pretty well! Just the usual work problems but everything else around me is pretty positive right now!
2. By the time this interview gets out, “Not Anymore.” will be out for everyone to hear on all major streaming platforms. What are your hopes and expectations for it not only as an album but also you as an artist?
This is the first full length I wrote entirely by myself in my whole life so I was just stoked I finished it! I just hope its an album that people can relate to! I also hope it might show people who dismiss genres like “hyperpop” that there’s something in it for everyone. As an artist, I hope it gets more people into my work!
3. You use the term “queer hyperemo” to describe your music, how can each of those elements be broken down or sort of explained in your music and how important is having that representation in your music to you?
I call it hyperemo simply because I’m combining the guitar work of midwest emo and the production, vocal stylings of hyperpop. Being queer is just who I am and you can hear themes of identity and self-hatred in songs like “broken brain.” Anything that is an expression of yourself is important. Since no one is a complete individual, people will relate and that is something is very important.
4. You are a recent signee of Lonely Ghost Records, what was it like finding that news out and how does it feel being signed to a (somewhat) newer but very promising label?
I met John from LGR when my DIY label Solidarity Club and LGR worked together on a pressing of Hey, ily. We became really good friends after that and would collab on coffee and more songs together. After he heard my EP he asked me to be a part of the team and I couldn’t have been more honored. Every artist on this label is making some of the most original music I ever heard and sometimes it feels like we are more of a collective than a label. All the artists actually being friends with each other is amazing. LGR works so hard for all these bands, yall have no idea.
5 “I can’t sit still, it’s like I’m stuck…” Woah. Talk about lyrics that had an instant impression on me. What inspired “stuck; as in my life is going nowhere”?
I wrote this during a pretty bad anxiety spell. I was pacing around my room with Degrassi on and dylan says. to macro “you’re stuck” and for some reason that just grabbed me. i wrote down the above line and wrote the rest of the song around that. Its about the feeling of not being able to start things, or feeling like a failure because you didn’t leave your house today. My partner always tries to reassure me that I’m doing enough but that little voice is still screaming at me
6.You have some HOT cameos on this album, what was it like working with these individuals?
I’ve worked with all of these individuals before in some capacity. Some of the most talented and nicest people I know. It felt seamless, everyone just nailed their features. I’m sad we all live in different parts of the country. I wish we could start a band.
7. The two songs “A Family” and “broken brain.” Was I reading too much into it by saying both are “heartbreaking tracks of yearning for acceptance, just from different entities”?
Damn, you are exactly right! Sometimes I just want that warm feeling of being 10 and my family being together and being ignorant of the very real people we all are. Its about knowing that idea of family is gone but maybe I can get it back with you. Broken brain is more about self-acceptance regarding sexuality, mental health, race, and self-perception. The slowdown at the end represents these feelings starting to fade and become less discernible.
8. So listening to this album really brought me back to the days where my hair was long, I only wore black, and cried a lot (in retrospect I was an emo in denial) and I was curious, who are your top 4 emo bands that you listened to and/or inspired you musically?
hahaha I think most of us have been/currently do that so you’re in good company. Well my favorite band is Daphne Loves Derby which you can hear in the song “restless.” Twinkly guitar riffs are hugely inspired by Grown Ups. Lyrically I’m very inspired by Motion City Soundtrack and Bright Eyes. Vocally, I super love Crying.
9. Finally, I happen to know you’re a Philly transplant now on the West Coast. What do you think are the pros and cons of being a musician in each location?
Philly being a smaller city def makes going to shows less annoying lol. Honestly, it feels the same otherwise. Kind of a boring answer in know