Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Keep Your Secrets. Together we discussed secrets, cold brew, being lost, mental health, and so much more!
1. Mustard is grateful to have Keep Your Secrets join them at Music Shelf. How is everyone doing?
Fan-freaking-tastic. Happy to be here! Thanks for having us
2. Mustard is fascinated by humans. Why is it important that humans keep their secrets? What is the story behind your band name?
We were at a show and someone asked us if our name is like a “fuck you to gatekeepers who keep secrets to exclude people.” While certain secrets from certain people can be “gate-keepy,” a lot of secrets can help people feel safe and secure. BUT also ppl also think we’re talking about the LOTR meme
Oh I don’t think its really that important for people to keep secrets! I think people should be open with each other and keeping secrets is lame and gatekeeper.
3. Speaking of humans, they love origin stories. Can you recall when Keep Your Secrets officially formed?
So Keep Your Secrets started in 2020 as a YouTube cover channel by Malerie and Matt. Malerie sang, and Matt played all the instruments on those first few covers. We were essentially a pandemic baby!
In 2021, Thanks to the TikTok algorithm (which also sometimes plays us lmao) a musician and influencer, Joseph DuBay, gave us a shout out and popped us off so suddenly thousands of people were checking out our music!
We were sitting on some original material, but they only existed as voice memos in our phones. After those two covers started blowing up, we decided we needed to record this original music and get some more band members. We found our lead guitarist Ken on reddit, rhythm guitarist Jasiu from a musician’s networking group on Facebook. So I guess it’s sometimes okay to meet strangers on the internet…
4. Keep Your Secrets creates DC Cold Brew Core. What is everyone’s go-to Cold Brew order?
Matt goes hard with the pumpkin cream cold brew at Starbucks every October.
Ken’s go to is, surprisingly, the Charli Cold Foam from Dunkin Donuts, which is sweet cold foam with cinnamon sugar (pls don’t roast him)
Jasiu tends to mix it up depending on the shop, but it almost always involves oat milk, an espresso shot, and lots of vanilla
Malerie doesn’t want to think about coffee right now because her tummy is jacked up at the moment… but she typically she gets a caramel flavored coldbrew with cream and sweet cold foam.
What would be really cool is if we could collab with a coffee company to make our own cold brew. If you know of any, tell them to hit us up!
5. Who (or what) influences Keep Your Secrets?
We are sonically inspired by 2010’s and 2020’s pop punk and easycore, and emotionally inspired by Bocchi the Rock!
6. What is Keep Your Secret’s creative process?
We don’t really have one process, which is kinda cool! I think this makes our songs unique. A lot of ideas are born from voice memos and scratchy guitar riffs from each other. Whenever we think something sounds cool or has potential, we send it over in the group chat and we each jump on to flesh em out. Sometimes one or two of us will even write full demos then we all jump on and add our style!
7. Keep Your Secrets aspire to shatter glass ceilings. How do you plan to smash the glass?
With a baseball bat. Check out our “Trauma” music video for a tutorial.
8. How does Keep Your Secrets decide what songs to cover? Do you have a favorite cover?
Usually its not super methodical, we’re not really thinking about “what’s the most popular song now? what could hit?” It’s a mix of liking a song so much that you want to re-imagine it and listening to a song and hearing what it could sound like as an easycore pop punk cover and wanting to make that happen.
9. What does Keep Your Secrets have apprehension about?
Everything. Lol jk
Jasiu is apprehensive about taking wrong exits, Matt is apprehensive about navigating “seven corners” IF you live around here, you’ll know exactly what he’s talking about… .
Going on tour is kinda refreshing because we get to navigate streets that aren’t in DC.
Ken is apprehensive about his cold foam dissolving too soon. It almost seems like a metaphor for life….
10. Mustard appreciates the honesty of your EP “Let’s Face It, We’re Lost.” Could you share more about this release?
This first EP is about the struggles of adulthood, like navigating relationships and getting older. If you listen to the lyrics, you can see these themes throughout. 23 is about growing through your early 20s, figuring out which people deserve your time and space in your life. One More Swing is about feeling like your getting too old but not wanting to give up on your dreams.
11. Would you consider yourselves still lost?
12. Last month you released your sophomore EP “it’s all good.” What was it like to put this EP together? Did it differ at all from your debut EP?
This is the first EP where all of us were involved in the songwriting process. We also got to work with Casey Cavaliere, guitarist in The Wonder Years, who mixed our EP. It was great to work with someone who knows and lives in this genre. Also, The Wonder Years is Malerie’s favorite band so she was kinda geekin.
Building out this EP was fun because working together got us thinking more on themes and concepts. We kind of built this one to be a prequel to “Lets Face it, We’re Lost” This talks about the struggles that lead us to the experiences described in the first EP
13. “it’s all good” features topics such as heartbreak, mental illness, structural racism, and climate grief. What do these topics mean to Keep Your Secrets?
To quote modern poet, Fred Durst, “everything is fucked, everybody sucks.” But seriously, most of these topics are things that affect each of us daily, and are usually beyond our control. Talking about these through our lyrics will hopefully help others feel like theyre not alone in these experiences.
14. What are some ways that Keep Your Secrets take care of their mental health?
Jasiu says “it is what it is” and rolls with it. He’s very good with going with the flow and not letting hiccups or unplanned things get to him.
Matt watches “Slice of Life” anime. It’s essentially anime characters living normal everyday lives, it’s supposed to be relaxing.
Ken is a fit king now, he just ran a 5K. Exercising is actually pretty helpful for your mental health. I guess doctors really know what they’re talking about. Science, bitch!
Malerie bakes a lot and gives it to her friends and coworkers. Giving baked goods to people makes her feel fuzzy inside.
Also all of these practices are NOT recommended to replace mental health services! We think it’s important to break down the stigma that a lot of communities of color have surrounding mental health. So go talk to someone if you need to! We support you 🙂
15. Mustard has observed there are humans who deny the existence of climate change. Why do you think this is? What can be done to slow down climate change?
We think people really need to understand that science is real… We all try to do our best to recycle, carpool to shows when we can, use reusable materials as apposed to disposable, etc… While we can do small things to try and help, it’s going to take structural changes on a massive scale from corporations, the government, and the “powers that be.”
16. What can be done to get rid of structural racism?
That’s a really big question…. Our country has had structural racism ingrained within our society since its foundation so it’s really difficult to make changes. In order disrupt this, it’s going to take major changes from the government and educational systems. It’s not as simple as doing things on an individual level. BUT for those who want to help in their local communities, support businesses of color, help where you can (community fridges, community closets, keep law enforcement accountable, etc.), actually listen to the voices of disenfranchised communities. And REALLY pay attention to laws in place, potential amendments, etc. Something that really scares corrupt people in power is actually understanding their policies.
17. How would you describe a Keep Your Secrets live show?
Our last couple of shows involved moshing, a shopping cart, and broken glass (which we made sure to clean up very quickly. Gotta keep the people safe as they aggressively push each other around). We add in a lot of meme and pop culture references and try to mix it up every couple of shows. Come check it out and see what we sneak in next!
18. Do you have any upcoming shows?
Yep we do! Check out our Bandsintown profile to stay up to date on our upcoming shows! Here’s the link: https://bnds.us/r5jtp3
19. Where can readers listen to your music?
Our music is available on all major platforms! Here’s a link: https://keepyoursecrets.carrd.co/