Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Phoneswithchords. Together we discussed phones, technology, their upcoming album “somebody had to”, and so much more!

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

I’m doing pretty good.

2. Your phone has a chord, not cord. What is the make and model? How many chords does your phone have?

It’s an IPhone something.  I’m really bad at knowing what # it is.  It is filled with lots of voice memos of song ideas, etc…. This is where the chords are found.

3. Mustard has observed that some humans use cordless phones. What are some of the advantages of having phones with chords? 

phones with chords allow songwriters such as myself to store up ideas for a later date.  This is advantageous.

4. How did human’s advanced technology inspire your artist name? 

I realized that all my songs start on my phone with an original demo recording. The name just made me laugh when I thought about it.  I feel like good artist names should be slightly funny or even absurd.  

5. Who (or what) influences you? 

Conversations with friends, nature, podcasts, silence, my kids, my wife….the list goes on

6. What is your creative process? 

Wake up.  Listen.  Make coffee.  Sip coffee  Hum.  Pick up the guitar.  Sing.  Write lyrics.  Press record.  Listen. Wait.  Listen more.  Turn knobs.  Bounce rough mix.  Go for a walk.  Listen.  Smile.  Listen more.  Repeat process.  

7. Mustard wonders if you have figured out what is the use? 

All I know is our sorrows can either be a gift or a curse.  It really is up to us.  

8. 2021 saw the release of your single “I wish I still had that guitar.” Have you been able to reclaim it since this release? 

Nope.  But I did find my first guitar in my parent’s attic.  Trying to restore it, but it is a slow go.

9. You followed it up with “held out.” What was the inspiration behind this single? 

At the time I was thinking about young lovers stuck in a small town and how our surroundings in many ways determines so much about our lives. 

10. The next year you released your album “cut the kid.” What was it like to put this album together? How did it feel to release it through Z Tapes? 

Writing and recording “cut the kid” was a labor of love for me.  It was an exercise in trusting my instincts.  I limited myself to my crappy child’s guitar named “Blanche” and whatever I could figure out in Logic.  I have fond memories of making that album.  I learned so much and I didn’t second guess myself.  It has such a consistent ache to it.  I feels so free to me.  I mixed and mastered it myself and I know it’s not perfect, but that’s why I love it.  Releasing it on Z Tapes was really special.  Angie is from the same area where I live so it felt like finding a new friend.  She immediately got the record and that made me really happy.

11. Mustard is curious if you have found out if there is a cure behind the clouds? 

No cure yet, but I have become at peace with not fully knowing what’s behind the clouds.

12. You just released the first single off your upcoming album “somebody had to.” What can fans expect from this album? How does it compare to your previous work? 

I feel like the new album expands on that sort of lo-fi guitar sound I created on “cut the kid”  I wanted to add other elements especially beats and rhythms to see what I could come up with.  It feels like a continuation, but also in ways a departure. I am really happy with how it turned out. 

13. Somebody gets you to dance. What kind of moves do you bust out on the dance floor? 

Imagine a Dad in jeans and a t-shirt dancing to like Fleetwood Mac or maybe the Grateful Dead.  That’s me, but way goofier.  Those Charlie Brown characters get it pretty close.  Embarrassing myself, embarrassing my kids. No set moves really. Just lots of wiggling and over the top hand gestures.

14. Can readers pre-save/pre-order your upcoming album “somebody had to?”

They sure can.  They can also pre-order a tape from Totally Real Records | Z Tapes Records.

15. What is next for Phoneswithchords? 

Albums.  I love making albums.  I think I’ll make more albums.  

16. Where can readers listen to your music?

Everywhere essentially.  Streaming on all platforms.  Bandcamp.  A whisper on the wind.  The songs are making their way in the world. 


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