Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with wow!youmadeit. Together we discussed their name, where we are, their creative process, their upcoming album “Patron Saint”, and so much more!
1. Mustard is grateful to have you join them at Music Shelf. How are you doing today?
I’m grateful to be here, work was lame but otherwise I’m pretty good 🙂 I hope your having a great day
2. Mustard is intrigued by your artist name. Are those around you usually late or unable to attend?
Actually more often than not I’m the one that can’t attend, I’m truly living the cottage in the countryside vibes (I can’t afford too live in the city) the name itself actually comes from a Halloween party that I thought I was going to miss, I busted my ass to get off early and get their but the party kinda turned into a shit show and almost ruined my friend group but that’s something I might have to get more into in a song at some point haha
3. Additionally, where are we? Where did we make it too?
4. What was your relationship with music growing up?
Well my parents were born in the 70s so I had a wide variety of music around me at all times, my dad has a wild variety from classic gangsta rap to hard rock and Willie Nelson, my mom is a couple years younger and she has big late 80s early 90s tastes, the grunge, pop and pop punk was around me forever, my childhood iPod nano had the entirety of Nirvana’s In Eutero as well as countless veggie tales bops. For Christian conservatives my parents were fairly encouraging I had musical toys as kids. When my older brother was quite young he got a cheap beginners guitar (like one of the bad ones) and later on when I was about 12 I got my first bass guitar which really turned into a whole thing I guess. At this age I LOVED Green Day and My Chemical romance. Shortly after me and my older brother split the cost of a drum set. I spent middle school being very loud and very trash on instruments that are not easily to listen to people loudly suck at and for putting up with that I thank my Dad and Mom
5. Who (or what) influences you?
So I think you can kind of split this a few ways so I’ll start with the simplest, sonically I take influences from a lot of different corners but on Patron Saint, there’s a lot of 2000s pop punk energy that I think can contribute largely to my ongoing love of artists like Taking Back Sunday, Sum 41 (rip), My Chemical Romance and The Used. I think as far as the vocals on this project go fans of Mom Jeans, Blink 182, Hot Mulligan, The Front Bottoms and Modern Baseball should find some enjoyment and of course I don’t think anyone would be suprised when I say artists like Tape Girl, Digikitty and Hey, ILY have been driving the DIY synth driven emo adjacent music for a while. Of course I could list every emo and pop punk act I’ve loved since I was 12 but that would be one hell of a list. There are a handful of tracks that deviate more heavily leaning into my more pop and trap influences (Eichlers, 100 Gecs, Cavetowns, The Smiths, Charli XCX, XLHC, Guardin, Childish Gambino)
And there are the influences that are less obvious, folk punk has been a huge part of my life for years. Almost every song I’ve written has gone through a phase where it’s hollered over the most basic versions of the chords on a trashy acoustic. I will definitely be doing some folk punk in the future
Also spite. Everyone in school acted like I had no talent despite never even giving me a shot and honestly I’m so excited to be able to send out a few “fuck you I made an album text” they’ll give a whole new meaning to wow!youmadeit I tell you h’wat
But all kidding aside I have some amazing friends who do inspire me, I was briefly in school with someone who quickly became a great friend and now makes music as Kat Haus, they are seriously one of the reasons I’m doing any of this, hell there one of the reasons I’m still here to do this. The good friends I have always makes me feel like I have a reason to create.
6. What is your creative process?
Oh man (or condiment bottle), I wouldn’t really say I have a creative process, sometimes I sit down to write a song, sometimes I’m at work and something comes to me. A lot of my best tracks have come from making loops, building them out and then a mix of adapting random old versus I’ve previously abandoned and making up bullshit until I start making sense and then I turn that shred of making sense into an unraveling of a problem I should probably be telling a therapist about instead of screaming into a cadaudio sm57 ripoff
7. You have previously collaborated with bitbitbit. How did this collaboration happen?
There’s actually a kind of fun story to this one. The Denial is a song that was a super long time in the making. So I’m going to have too add a bit of life context which I guess is also a backstory of my previous music projects. (The actual answer to the the question is at the end here there’s just so much context)
So I’m going to take you back to the school I was talking about previously. It was a super small Saskatchewan town (for my American friends Saskatchewan is functionally Canadian Alabama) so the school was k-12 I moved there from the west coast at 5th grade but as far as my musical journey up until mid high school goes I mostly learned on my own occasionally jamming with and getting pointers from Kat Haus. By mid high school I’d become about as much of a guitarist as I was bassist and started experimenting with song writing and production on soundtrap in tenth grade I joined my best friend Matt and his younger brother to form a country influenced rock trio we never settled on a name but we were considering Dirt Road Rick (again Alabama of Canada I took what I could get it was the first band in that town without 40 year old men on it) we jammed for about a year before our first performance was scheduled the day the covid lockdowns hit and shortly after I moved too Ontario, grade 12 and 13 are where I really became a musician. At this point I was moving into a camper with just my dad (again as previously mentioned living situation is hard) we were getting established in the area until we could afford for the whole family to move
At this point I formed a pop rock project with a girl who recently graduated at the time her name was Emma and we were doormat the band, but before we really got a start Emma went to college and what was a covid hobby for her came to an end. I think our only song (which is done by me alone because she already left and I didn’t want my Distrokid subscription to be a complete waste. After this is a project more people may have encountered.
Max Charmer was, a time, an unhealthy time. I was in a really bad relationship that a lot of Patron Saint including both BedHead and The Denial are about. I was really taken advantage of in a time of uncertainty and I ended up having a huge identity crisis. At the time I thought I was a trans woman. My ex thought it was their responsibility too make me live a life I wasn’t ready for. I was outed and a lot of people I did not know were referring to me in ways that I was not presenting and this included everyone suddenly calling me Max, no one online really knew this but Max was short for Maxine but basically my ex took my problems of “societies preconceived boxes I have too love in are making me sick” and their response was “here’s a new set of preconceived boxes and also everyone is going to be talking about you behind your back now, time to start wearing the clothes I buy you that are not designed to make your already quite overweight masculine body look even slightly flattering” the name Max is now such a deadname to me I went back to my birth name.
So now that you have the history lesson here’s the actual story of how The Denial was made. So this song actually was kind of a very long work in progress. The foundations of the song can be traced back to a song that me and my friend who you can check out on streaming as polyectra made for our senior music project. The song was about my experience with wanting to leave a relationship where I was being manipulated and controlled. That song went through four full lyrical revisions before I brought them to the track and all three of the scrapped versions DNA can be found on The Denial, the summer after this project I finally broke it off with my ex (if only it were that simple, you’ll find out when the album drops) when I was doing Max Charmer I was in a lot of comps. Mostly Outcast Tapes and Beautiful Rat Records (hella appreciation to Bob and Jake) I believe that one of these is the context me and bitbitbit first became mutuals but I could be misremembering but the song was made for a Outcast comp that never ended up happening, just kind of fell through. After that it was going to be on a split but I don’t think that’s the case anymore. It was somewhere between the comp falling apart and the split being suggested I hit my boiling point and separated myself from the name Max and started wow!youmadeit. The specific ways the remnants of the old song carried over aren’t obvious right off the bat, there’s this creepy childlike chant in the intro which is a heavily modulated and distorted version of the original chorus that was cut from there and I used parts of the old versus as stepping stones to write new better ones over bitbitbits fantastic synth work that honestly makes my synth work on the rest of Patron Saint seem so bad. I have been fairly open about this but one of the tracks on Patron Saint is a remaster of The Denial
8. What can fans expect from your debut single “bedhead?”
A catchy ass breakdown, to cry while slam dancing and to need a clean change of pants. But in all honesty. I think I made something uniquely me and I’m ready to be brutally open about the things that society wants us to hide and act like we’re all okay all the time but at a certain point are you really being tough or are you just letting people hurt you and then keep you down. Also expect the fact that this is about my experiences With manipulation, SA and harassment so though this song is super fun too, very much destroy a monster and slam dance with your friends in the mall parking lot after getting kicked out of hot topic for causing a scene, it does get very real as will many other songs on the album
9. Mustard wonders if you or someone else had bedhead when making this song?
Well statistically someone had too but not me, I brush my hair compulsively but I do wear too many beanies so I probably had hat head
10. Your debut album Patron Saint comes out on June 11th. Could you share any details about it?
Yeah for sure! It’s sitting at 10 tracks and about a 25 minute listen. It‘a really a representation of my thought process over a tough couple months filled with bursts of anger, sadness, infatuation, regret and occasionally optimistic as I figure myself out.
11. Where can readers listen to your music?
Right now The Denial is streaming wherever you get your music on bitbitbit’s Bits and Bytes: Singles, Comps and Others 2022 with the Spotify link conveniently placed in the presave card for BedHed along with links to my social media. You can also catch my band that has actual other members Clear Water Raccoons on Outcast Tapes Shorts Vol 2