interview: Wyatt Smith
words + interview: Andrew Lopez
TGE: First things first, you're on tour right now! Where've you been, where're you going, and did you get enough to eat today?
WS: Tour has been hella fun we’ve played Portland, Bellingham and Seattle and now we’re on our way back down to Portland and then San Francisco. We’ve been eating a lot of subway and I’m really sick of it.
I know you have a pretty musical family, when did music start being a major part of your life?
My parents put me and my brother in piano lessons when we were really young and I honestly hated it. I started loving it when I found out how to use GarageBand on our family computer and then I started seriously writing and recording songs in high school because I didn’t know what else to do with my time.
How'd you and Manny / Rene from Citrus City start working together?
I finished Dead in Winter 2019 and I asked Samuelito Cruz for advice with labels and he introduced me to Manny through email and he was into it. Citrus City is a label I respect a lot and there are so many great artists there so I don’t feel worthy of putting out a tape with them but I’m so thankful for that.
You have a pretty extensive catalog, what makes Dead different from the material you were working on when we first met last year?
My approach to making music hasn’t really changed, I still do everything pretty much by myself. What makes Dead different is that I’m more confident in putting myself out there. Being on tour and meeting strangers that tell me that my songs mean something to them is crazy. I wish I could do this all the time. I’m really sad that this tour was so short.
Dead sounds like a deeply personal piece, do you reserve emotion when writing lyrics? Or do you feel like it's better to fully express yourself as much as you can within your music?
Yeah it’s really personal, I mean everything that I say. I want to make something that’s honest and I want people to feel that. I don’t see the point in trying to be someone else or having like a persona I just want to be myself.
Who did the art for the record? It's haunting, in a really really good way.
Moira Brown made the art. She’s really good.
If you could score a movie, what would it be?
I know you're living in Santa Cruz right now, what're your favorite places to eat in the 831?
De la hacienda is my go to. It’s like a block away from where I live and they have good burritos. It’s not anything special or fancy it’s just cheap and convenient.