Mustard and Pacing had the pleasure of speaking with Greg from Cheekface. Together we discussed Ryan Gosling’s delts, Steely Dan, dumpster diving, touring in the UK, and so much more!
1. Mustard is grateful to have Cheekface join them at Music Shelf. How is everyone doing?
It’s Greg and I’m doing AOK.
2. Plumping: noun, adjective, or verb?
I originally wanted to name the band Plumping, which is the way I would characterize myself looking in the mirror, but Mandy and Echo vetoed that one. It’s a gerund.
3. Ryan Gosling has huge freaking delts. What size would you consider his delts to be?
We briefly tried naming the band Ryan Gosling’s Huge Freakin Delts (Delts for short), but it was too hard to say. Cheekface prevailed, named after a friend’s cat.
4. Greg, you are a thought leader in the DIY community. You have implied that you don’t think artists need labels anymore, and have advised artists to do everything themselves as much as possible. As a former (current?) label owner, how do you see the role of labels evolving? What qualities do you think artists need to have to succeed?
I assure you I am a thought leader of no community. I love owning my little tiny label New Professor and I think we can do a good job for the right band, and other labels can too with the right match, but artists are always going to be the engine of their own success.
5. Going off that, how has a platform such as TikTok changed the publishing world? Do you have any advice for songwriters trying to navigate?
I’m not sure that it brought a new dynamic to songwriting that wasn’t already there. It added a pathway to music discovery that has become really significant. Personally I don’t use it that much for songwriting purposes, mainly watching old baseball videos and card tricks and bluegrass guitar shredding.
6. Cheekface bought their own ad on a park bench in LA. What objects can we expect to see Cheekface on next?
It was actually a bus bench, not a park bench. Best $250 we ever spent, I’m pretty sure.
7. Cheekfreaks are an incredibly passionate and engaged fanbase. Cheekface is like an infectious disease – every person who gets it has no choice but to share it with a bunch of other people. It’s only a matter of time until Cheekface takes over the world like the plague in The Stand. What will you do with this power?
Probably make more little songs, go on more little tours, and continue to post dumb things on Twitter.
8. Mustard wonders what Cheekface’s favorite Steely Dan song is?
Don’t Take Me Alive
9. Mustard loves the artwork for all your releases. Mustard wonders when Mandy began making art. Do you have a favorite cover you’ve done?
Mandy is the heartbeat that makes our band go creatively. The cover art is just part of it.
10. Has Cheekface figured out if the con in con-man stands for condiment man?
10. Greg has a soul made of whole grain mustard. Is this common among humans?
11. Cheekface gets the opportunity to dumpster dive. What does everyone hope to find?
12. How is performing live therapeutic? How does this help with any potential anxiety?
Playing music is good for your brain. It doesn’t really matter if it’s in front of people or just with your friends or even alone with the metronome. While I’m doing it, I don’t have much anxiety.
13. Since its release has Cheekface been the featured singer on an EDM song?
14. How does Cheekface like their noodles?
15. It is on record that Cheekface loves touring. Mustard wonders what is the secret to your dynamic? What is your favorite/least favorite thing about touring? Who does Cheekface listen to in the van?
I love going to random other places and seeing what they’re like. I love meeting other people who live in other places and getting a short glimpse into their pace of life in their community. It’s fun to play a show with my friends, to try a new vegan restaurant with my friends, to solve a problem with my friends. When I’m driving, I like to put on jazz pianists – Horace Silver, Bobby Timmons, Bud Powell – classic soul, golden era hip-hop, local NPR stations, and baseball games.
16. Would you be able to share any information about the infamous donner pass Cheez-It rationatining incident? How many Cheez-Its per day does Mandy feel is appropriate to sustain a human?
We got stuck in a snowstorm going over the Donner Pass in the Sierras between shows. They call it the Donner Pass because it’s where the Donner Party got stuck in a snowstorm and resorted to cannibalism. We sat in one spot for hours as the snow dumped down. I was driving and I asked Mandy to hand me some Cheez Its and she said “No! We might need them later!” It was funny and weird. Just one of those weird things that happens on tour combined with your tour-addled brain. But all that said, I gotta let Mandy off the hook for the Cheez It thing. We made it just in time to play, and no one was harmed, least of all me. They say if you never miss your flight, you’re spending too long sitting around airports. If you never miss your soundcheck maybe you’re spending too long sitting on green room couches.
17. Cheekface will be touring the UK for the first time. What is on Cheekface’s itinerary for this tour?
Play shows, sell merch, and ask our friend Sarvie to take me to a good vegan place.
18. Abbey Road, what’s the deal with it?
It’s a street and a studio and the best Beatles album. Arguably.
19. What is next for Cheekface?
20. Where can readers listen to your music?
Wherever readers usually listen to music, Cheekface records are there waiting for them.