Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Asian Man Record’s Sweet Gloom. Together we discussed their band name, signing with Asian Man Records, their newest single “Hollywood Love”, and so much more!
1. Mustard is grateful to have Sweet Gloom join them at Music Shelf. How is everyone doing today?
Sweet Gloom is grateful to join Mustard at Music Shelf! I am doing alright!! We played a show at a venue called The Shed in the LA suburbs earlier tonight so I’m having a good time. It’s pretty late and I am enjoying a beverage. The other guys are asleep.
2. Gloom is often associated with darkness. What makes your gloom sweet? Does your gloom contain any artificial sugars or sweetners?
Familiarity makes our gloom sweet. Think of it like nostalgia, or something comforting. We’re so used to things being gloomy, that sunshine and happiness feel foreign, you know? Home sweet home, Gloom sweet Gloom. Our gloom contains however much artificial sugar you find in a Cherry Coke Zero. And however much real sugar you find in a chocolate coke from Bob’s Big Boy.
3. Mustard wonders how you came up with your band name.
We had decided we liked the word Gloom and were spitballing off that word. I thought of Sweet Gloom while trying to describe how I write songs- sweet coming from the power pop sensibilities and melodic poppy nature of the music, but with gloom coming from the usually depressing lyrics. Suggested it in the group chat, and here we are.
4. Humans are attracted by origin stories. What is the origin of Sweet Gloom?
We all knew each other from being in other bands, and I was sitting on a ton of songs in 2021. I messaged Morris asking if he wanted to start a band, and not too long after that, Chris messaged me asking if I wanted to start a band. So we joined forces and became Sweet Gloom.
Also remember the ninja turtles origin story? That happened to us too, actually.
5. Who (or what) influences Sweet Gloom?
The three of us all have pretty different taste, but there’s always some crossover. We all love the Ramones, The Clash, Alkaline Trio, and a lot of classic and modern punk. Chris loves The Fray and Piebald, Morris loves Bayside and Coheed and Cambria. I love Fountains of Wayne and The Damned and The Exploding Hearts. Lyrically I’m influenced by a lot of old movies and music. My favorite lyricist is Cole Porter. I very obviously love love songs, and that man had such a way with words, especially in that regard.
6. What is Sweet Gloom’s creative process?
For the most part, Chris and I will bring in skeleton structures of songs, and we will flesh them out with Morris at practice until they resemble full passable songs. We usually write separately and then bring what we have to the table and work on them together from there.
7. Sweet Gloom recently signed with Asian Man Records. How does it feel to be on Asian Man Records?
It’s an honor for all of us. We’ve all been Asian Man fans for most of our lives at this point, and we all love SO MANY Asian Man bands. It’s so special and meaningful that a legendary label that has put out so many records we love, and stands for everything we believe in, would be willing to put out our record.
I’ve known Mike since I was in high school and my old band GET MARRIED is an Asian Man band as well. Being part of the Asian Man family is something I’m very proud of, and I am so excited that Sweet Gloom gets to join the ranks.
8. What are some of Sweet Gloom’s favorite Asian Man Records albums?
Oh god, we could go on forever here… And we will! Any of the Asian Man releases by Sarchasm, Alkaline Trio, The Lawrence Arms, Joyce Manor, Bomb the Music Industry, The Atom Age, Shinobu, Colossal, Classics of Love, Slapstick, Dog Party, Moore Family Band, Teens in Trouble, Small Crush, Grumpster, Hard Girls, The Murderburgers, The Peacocks, Dan Andriano, SMOKING POPES, Warm Thoughts, Winter Break, Sundials, Spraynard, Kitty Kat Fanclub, Tuesday, Pet Symmetry, the Mike Park solo records, The Broadways, The Exquisites, Lemuria, Bruce Lee Band, Chotto Ghetto, those early extra poppy The Queers records, Kepi Ghoulie. The list could go on forever, and I know this got out of hand as it is, but Asian Man Records is the best label out there, and has put out so many incredible records. Although Mike is a friend, and I know a lot of people in the bands above, I will never take for granted how amazing it is to be part of such an incredible collection of musicians. If I didn’t mention your favorite AMR band, please forgive me, it’s 4 a.m.
9. Last year saw the release of your single 2015 Kia Optima. How did this automobile inspire this single?
The titular 2015 Kia Optima belonged to our drummer, Morris. One day in 2021, he was driving from the east side of LA to North Hollywood. He noticed the hood of his car was smoking so he quickly pulled over and got out of the car. Seconds later the car burst into flames, and he was left on the 101 standing behind his burning car, defeated and SOL. After making all the appropriate phone calls you make in this situation, he texted the band group chat a picture of his burning car and asked if one of us could drive him to practice the next day as his car was now clearly being barbecued (Or car-becued, if you will.). I immediately wrote the song in about three minutes.
10. Would you recommend everyone purchase a 2015 Kia Optima?
If you would be brave enough to have a car with a “spontaneous combustion” feature, sure!
11. You recently released your debut single on Asian Man Records “Hollywood Love.” Could you share more about your new single?
“Hollywood Love” is a song I wrote a long long time ago that sat in my voice memos on my phone for an eternity before it ever saw the light of day. I think the lyrics might date back to like… 2016. I demoed the song on my laptop in 2020, not knowing it would end up as a song for Sweet Gloom, since we didn’t exist yet. Lyrically, it’s about falling in love with someone who is warning you that it’s doomed, but you are so wrapped up in their movie star good looks, style, and attitude that you are willing to accept defeat and hold out hope that it could all be worth it. I love this song. I’m so happy with how it turned out. I reference Gene Kelly and Kathryn Grayson in the lyrics which I get a kick out of. Who knows if anyone else does.
12. If Sweet Gloom could play in any era of Hollywood what era would it be and why?
I mean I very specifically love golden age hollywood movies, but we definitely don’t belong there. I think we’d do alright in the 90s-early 2000s when they would put pop punk bands in high school movies like playing at proms and shit like that. “Hollywood Love” is definitely a prom song.
13. What Hollywood films does Sweet Gloom want all humans check out?
The answer from all of us would unanimously be THAT THING YOU DO (Specifically the director’s cut because it has 10% more Hanks).That Thing You Do is an absolutely perfect movie and all humans should check it out. Then after that, watch Anchors Aweigh so you understand our song “Hollywood Love.”
14. What is next for Sweet Gloom?
Breakfast and then world domination. Somewhere in there (this summer) we are releasing our debut full-length album Reverie on Asian Man Records. Then we’re doing a full US tour with our buds in Startle this June. We’re filming a music video in a few hours from my writing this.
15. Do you have any upcoming shows?
We have a show almost every single night in June all across the country. If you’re in Southern California, we’re playing Programme Skate in Fullerton on June 1, and Harvard and Stone in Los Angeles on June 2.
16. Where can readers listen to your music?
All major streaming platforms, including Spotify and Apple Music. Also check out our latest video on YouTube. Hopefully coming soon to a local record store near you. After our record comes out, if you go to your local record store and they don’t have it, ask them to order it and then Mike is contractually obligated to mail them our records!!! (That last part probably isn’t true, but it would be a nice thing to do!)
Thank you for having us, Mustard!! This was really fun to be a part of. Thanks for asking thoughtful questions, and I’ll see you on the other side. Please listen to Sweet Gloom so my family will be proud of me. Okay I love you bye bye.