Artist Interview: “HeyL0w ” by Mediocore

Q: Who is Mediocore and how did you come together?

MEDIOCORE: Mediocore started with me, girlwolf [Cindy Clark] in my bedroom alone. It was the direct result of an unhappy situation with my previous band Earthsleep. My guitarist at the time would not allow us to finish music for whatever excuse or reason. I felt caged, wings clipped. I began writing songs on the guitar to accompany my words that had no place to go because our band was dead in the water. It carried on like that for a while. It was just an escape. And then I started to take it seriously. Lukas and I had become best friends over the course of some time. He was the most relatable person I could talk to. We bonded over a similar upbringing- a horrifying childhood. Turns out he’s the only one I’ve found that needs to make this stuff as much as I do. So it’s been us ever since. I met him in a grocery store. He was friends with my old bass player. I was playing a show in this market. I saw him and something about the way he carried himself reminded me of everything I am, everything I’ve been through. So it’s been us ever since. It just makes sense. We started talking and we couldn’t quit. So in this band shared trauma is a seed. We planted that. Now it’s something that can be harvested, used. Don’t forget Polar, our husky, he’s in the band too.

Q: There is nothing mediocre about your grunge like sound, what is the meaning behind the name?

MEDIOCORE: I mean I disagree. I’m not going to talk my music up ever. I like it. I LOVE it. But I’m not going to sit here and say “oh yeah it’s incredible”. It MEANS something to me. I don’t know about the greatness or the lack there of. Because what I say is the truth. The truth is all that matters to me in my art. I just want to be sincere. I want to communicate. But I think the name came about for a few reasons. First I was kicked out of my former band by a guitarist, so I became my own guitarist. With that being said, it wasn’t my first choice of instrument, it was simply a means to create a song more independently- an accompaniment to my voice. That’s all it was. I knew I wouldn’t be some great shredder or anything. And I didn’t care. It meant a lot more to me to build something of my own. Second is it’s funny. It’s self depreciating and I find that refreshing. I’ve been here in LA where nearly every local band chooses the fake it till you make it rout. Bloated words with no backing touting greatness that just isn’t there. I find it very unattractive. I want nothing to do with all that. So, I went the opposite route.

Q: What message are you trying to put out there with a song like “HeyL0w”

MEDIOCORE: I think it’s a song about what’s in between the lines. About what we really feel, not about what we say and do as a result of circumstance. It’s about the way our true sentiments follow us anywhere we go but simultaneously remain so intimately private. It’s a song about innocence I think. I think we are all victims of mortality. Sometimes the things we feel most sincerely are the same things we want to run away from. The truth is- you carry what you feel, “and there’s no way that from myself I can escape. Halos. Circles.” I say halos because of the way a halo is a circle. There is an innocence about all of us here stuck in this human condition that to me is angelic like. It feels like you’re running around a track- all that strife and you end up right back where you were every time. Initially I wanted the video to take place on a high school track. That’s where I discovered the thing that plagues me the most actually, the bone tumor on my femur. Not only can you not escape your mind in this life, you cannot escape your body. What’s yours is yours.

Q: You have a great following on Instagram, what kind of advice would you give to other up and coming bands trying to get their names out there?

MEDIOCOREEasy. Marketing and art are two independent things. Each new platform is a new place you need to WORK to market. The value of art has little to do with how many eyes see your art, that’s marketing. Keep them separate in your mind. They are two separate jobs. Don’t ever let praise or lack there of affect your value. People doing better than you as far as response are often just better at marketing or paying more to do so. I’ve worked extremely hard trying to understand marketing. I only do to a certain extent. I’m not impressed by my efforts. I’d like to do better. I’ve made the mistake of letting that impact how I feel about my art at times. When you create art, at the end of the day, it’s an attempt to communicate. I let that desire to communicate on a greater scale hurt me. That’s wrong. The value of my art has nothing at all to do with how well I am marketed or how many people see what I have to say. My song is my song and it’s just as good buried in a notebook. Anyway, try to realize it is two separate jobs. If you want to market something, study marketing or hire someone who has.

photo: Chris Cuffaro

Q: Did any real-life events occur in your life that inspired “HeyL0w”?

MEDIOCOREIt’s not inspired by one event, just an ongoing way about life. I think I was talking to someone and I realized that everything they always do is an attempt to run from themselves. It looked like madness to me. So the song starts out with me talking about someone else. It’s easy to point the finger though. The song shifts perspective halfway through and what I say about the other person I then say about myself. I realize I’m a hypocrite. I’m doing the exact same thing, I just have my own means of escape. And that’s when I realize, that’s all anybody is really doing. It sounds kind of playful though when I sing it. I seek resolution in the ability to have fun with it anyway. Maybe it’s not so bad we entertain ourselves. Hell, maybe it’s even fun.

Q: What is coming up next for you?

MEDIOCORE: Surgery I hope. I am in a really bad place. I’ve spent a lot of years begging for surgery. I’m back at it. The bone tumor on my femur has left me in a state of pain that I’m afraid I can no longer stand. I’m doing this whole dance with insurance paying 500 dollars a month and it’s looking like their surgeons may not even be able to help my specific problem. I found an out of network doctor I’m paying 500 dollars for one visit to see. He may be my only hope. If so, the surgery will be fully out of pocket. I don’t have that money. So, I’m in a bad place. But I’m taking it one minute at a time and fighting like hell. It’s all I can do. I will find a way.I’m making art in between all of this, just as I always have. My current goal with Medioc0re is to find a good drummer to stick with us. I want to make a lot more music videos. I want to tour. I want so many things that my body won’t currently allow. But I’m not giving up. I just won’t.

Interviewed by Jaye Maverick




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