When did you start ‘bubblegum octopus’?
Bubblegum Octopus began in the summer of 2005, in the wake of a number of other experimental electronic projects
What style of music is Bubblegum octopus all about? I try to not think too much about any particular style with the project. It's always taken shape naturally. I think a lot of people assume that it's been this conscious effort where I sat down and thought "how can I make chiptune, cutesy pop, death metal, breakcore, noise, and DDR-like dance music all happen at the same time?" or whatever, but the truth is that this is just what most naturally comes out of my head. I like SNES music and pico-pico and grindcore and glitchy electronic music and blah blah blah, and this music is all of my influences trying to get out of the same hole at the same time.I have adopted some fake genre tags for the project, including "spazzpop" which even received its own championing anthem on my last album, Bad Happy, but any genre names I make for the sound are done purely tongue-in-cheek. I feel like genre classification is the antithesis of creativity, because it provides framework that too often becomes a crutch and a limiting construct, instead of forcing people to really take steps into uncharted territories.
What inspires your music?
Everything! I know that's a really stupid answer, but it's the only accurate thing to say. Every experience can make an impact that's going to have an effect on my music. From harrowing, near-death experiences on tour to watching high school romantic comedy anime snuggling in a blanket with stuffed animals, inspiration can really strike in any circumstance. I will say that emotional inspiration is usually derived from retrospection, while artistic inspiration is usually pretty immediate; if I hear a musician doing something that's really exciting, I'm immediately ready to apply what I've learned or to challenge myself, but the things that influence the need for expression need some time for me to recognize and compartmentalize before they can make an appearance.
Who creates the imagery used in the Bubblegum Octopus album art?
I usually hire others, because I don't feel very confident in my visual art skills. I've done some of the designs myself over the years, but the best stuff has been done by others. Rudolfo da Silva did the cover of the new mini-album, and Inés Estrada did the cover of Bad Happy. The cover of the mixtape I put out at the beginning of this year was done by me and my significant other, Aircraft, and that ultra sweet banner I have on my facebook page right now was done by my friend who does music under the name Ice Smashing. The new t-shirt is by OhHiNaifu.
Do you have any uber crazy fans?
I have some fans who are pretty heavily invested in what I do, regardless of if it's Bubblegum Octopus or something else, but I don't think I've met too too many people who were both crazy and obsessed with the project. I think most of my fans are levelheaded!
Why did you release your latest album on cassette tape? (it is totes cute btw)
Thanks! The cassette was an experiment I've been wanting to conduct for a while now (in 2007 my split with the late Scissor Shock was supposed to be released on a cassette), but it also has to do with the nature of the release. Critters is an orphaned album that came about during an extremely stressful period of time in my life and the music just sort of feels grimy to me, so putting it on a format that is inherently raw sounding seemed apropos. It represents the music as the sort of diverted oddity that it is.
I also just thought that a small pink tape like that was absurdly cute. I think putting such sharp-fanged music in a tiny pink box takes the emotional edge off of the experience for me, ever so slightly.
What is the Cutest thing in your life?
I feel like if I pick any one thing as the cutest, everything else will get jealous. I know this is irrational, but I very honestly feel like my stuffed animals and toys and whatever would get jealous of whatever I said. Perhaps I'm the crazy one?
What is your most favourite video game ever?
Ogre Battle 64, followed closely by killer7 and Kirby Super Star, but Ogre Battle 64 is definitely my favorite... So much so that my friend who writes music for the project Giggle The Ozone recently talked about playing the game, very much in passing, but that was all it took for me to drop everything and start the game for the 5 time. It's a 40 hour game, minimum! I never just get through it as fast I can. I have spent so many cumulative entire days playing that game!
Where can we find your music?
well, I have a really minimal website with plenty of relevant links, www.bubblegum-octopus.com, but I'd also encourage people to visit my bandcamp (bubblegumoctopus.bandcamp.com) to see what I've done already and to follow me on twitter @bubblegumoctopu to find out when new things are happening! I also just got an instagram account @almond_milks that is sure to contain pictures from future travels, recording sessions, and other stuff. Thank you!