Sam ‘maSHerman’ Herman here, Nyhla Records’ guidance counsellor & phys-ed teacher. In honour of an important release week, I had another conversation with more people I admire and cherish. Today, Nyhla’s beloved internet boyfriends Crouchin 40 Sippas finally released their first commercial full-length project, a mixtape called Glossy Dream Boys; which has spent at least a year in development. I took to our group DM to chat with them about video games, cheap drinks & music.
SH: Let’s begin boys. How are you doing this evening?
SPENCER: Chillin’. Playing Smash Bros.
GAVIN: Pretty good, packing up. About to head back to the cold-zone.
GABRIEL: I’m still in the office, peeing right now. *sends a voice memo*
SPENCER: I’m not clicking on that.
(The voice memo was a flushing toilet.)
SH: Who do you main in Smash?
SPENCER: I don’t really main anyone. I’m playing Project M - I can play anyone. I beat a tournament organizer with Lucas once.
SH: Right, we spoke about that at like 5 am a couple of weeks ago — that was fun. I’m a shameless King Dedede main. I’m almost in Elite Smash on Ultimate but I think I’m doomed to the late 4 millions / early 5’s forever.
SPENCER: Yes that was a night.
GABRIEL: You would play Dedede.
SH: I’m a bird and I like clobberin’.
GAVIN: I’m Marth.
GABRIEL: He sucks.
SPENCER: I was playing Ultimate the other day and I like Pichu & Wii-Fit Trainer. You can’t lose with Wii-Fit Trainer. Cause Wii-Fit’s not that good but they’re such a meme that even when you lose, it’s a win.
SH: Wii-Fit goes. She’s thick.
SPENCER: So is King Dedede.
SH: True. I’m the real big boy.
GABRIEL: Lucina’s the goat, I’ll beat anyone.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Lucina & Marth, who Gabriel just trashed Gavin for, are basically the same character.)
SH: Okay, Smash Bros politics aside. I feel like you guys go back and forth between shrinking back from the term ‘boyband’ and embracing it. Where are you at with your self-identity as a band? How would you describe who the Sippas are to somebody who hadn’t heard you before?
SPENCER: Hmm. Honestly we’re just basement dudes.
GABRIEL: I really like the term ‘FaceTime boyband’. I don’t know who came up with that.
GAVIN: That’s me. I threw that in the Instagram bio.
SPENCER: Yeah. FaceTime boyband. Interweb musicians.
GABRIEL: We live in a constant in-between of always online and always offline. And our music is for people that want an interesting collection of odd, hopefully catchy, tunes. For better or for worse, we make the music we want to hear.
SH: There is a very ‘internet’ vibe about the music. It’s very Apple PhotoBooth somehow. It’s like having three long distance boyfriends. Your music always hits the same space for me that late 90’s jock-jams do and I don’t know how to explain it.
SPENCER: Yeah, and we brand and stuff, but we don’t really have a big brand in mind. It’s whatever comes out of what we do and what we want to do.
GAVIN: And musically, we just rip shit that we’d want to see. Getting further down that rabbit hole at the moment.
GABRIEL: We set up a teapot full of ideas that we draw from after drinking a minimum of 3 Hey Y’alls, and combine the ideas that we draw together to put make some very different tunes.
SPENCER: I don’t drink Hey Y’alls.
GAVIN: We are strictly White Lightning boys. or Colt 45’s.
SPENCER: Lightning and the Colts baby.
GABRIEL: Honestly, fuck these guys. Hey Y’alls are gas.
GAVIN: They’re alright. Smooth.
SH: Green tea Y’alls go.
GAVIN: There’s green tea Y’alls? Hold up. This changes everything.
SH: They’re so good. They’re all Billie-Rae & I drank the nights she crashed here. This is gonna be fun to edit. So, your music seems really well thought-out, lush, and dynamic regardless of the sheen of effortlessness you guys pull off — even when it’s humorous. How much sweat goes into a project like Glossy Dream Boys? How many hours are in there you think?
GABRIEL: God, too many hours.
SPENCER: A lot of time goes in. Mainly because we have a lot of time to think about it, since we aren’t together too much.
GABRIEL: But mostly it’s Gavin ripping his hair out. And me trying to re-record the same verse 50 times and then sticking with the demo vocals because they’re better, somehow.
SPENCER: Then it takes even longer when we’re together since we try and mash our ideas together and explain them. But ultimately, it works out.
GAVIN: I rarely record past a second demo.
SH: Would you argue that’s overthinking or does all of that time and space help bring the songs to life?
GABRIEL: Sometimes it’s definitely overthinking. I overthink my own shit lots.
SH: It’s rare to have somebody stick to take one even if it might be the ‘best’.
GABRIEL: And I’d say any time Gavin spends in the dungeon usually brings out big improvements.
SH: Let me in a little on how different this process has been between Lovebird and Glossy Dream Boys.
SPENCER: Lovebird, Gavin and I mainly did together when I lived with him in his basement for two months, while Gabe collaborated from Europe. Gabe would send a huge variety of wild and good recordings, with or without a beat in mind. Gavin and I would go to work most days, then come home, drink dirty shirleys, and work on it. Glossy Dream Boys, we actually got to be together a bit more for. Or completely online.
GABRIEL: I was really sad and had no friends in London so I just got drunk alone and moaned into a mic for a couple of months.
SPENCER: And it was great. Lots of great stuff that will probably never be heard. He basically made a whole EP with Gavin that I listened to a lot. Fun fact, Lovebird actually started off as a side project between Gavin and I called MIDNIGHT SOCIETY. Then it completely 180’d when Gabe was like “hey, I can record over here”.
SH: So it hasn’t really been one workflow consistent through everything. It all depends on who’s where.
GAVIN: Big time.
SH: How does everybody individually feel about solo efforts of their own, or potential solo efforts of the bandmates, or a combo of two of them? Is that something that might be in the future?
GAVIN: Always down for it.
SPENCER: I was working on a solo album years ago called “The Hip Hop Hero” that I’ll never finish. It was a Parappa the Rapper style adventure.
GAVIN: Our solo efforts always turn into 40 Sippas stuff.
GABRIEL: My goal is to release one amazing solo song in like, a year.
SH: I’m ready for that.
GABRIEL: Yeah, you’re gonna help.
SH: Yeah I am.
SPENCER: I could see Gabe doing it. Me, personally, I just want to funnel stuff into Crouchin 40 Sippas. I think if I did a solo thing it would be a meme style thing.
GAVIN: I’m releasing an album this year. Haven’t started yet though.
SH: It’s almost September, Gav.
SH: You sure?
GAVIN: Yes. I have to keep saying this so I’ll actually do it.
SH: Oh, I can relate big to that.
GABRIEL: He could though. He needs to quit saying it and not make it so that he doesn’t realize he’s secretly carrying me and Spenny.
SH: I also wanted insight on your attitudes toward your own vocals and each other’s and how that’s grown since you’ve gotten your reps in.
GABRIEL: To be honest, Gavin’s the reason we make the music we do. He’d always been pushing us towards the singing. Thank goodness we reluctantly gave it a go.
SPENCER: It wasn’t fully reluctant, I’d say. But It was a choice that once we made it we were like “Wow, this is way better. Let’s never go back”.
GABRIEL: It was more of a vulnerability or fear, like we still don’t know how to sing. But by this point we make it work.
SPENCER: Yeah, I don’t know how to sing. I just do my best to make my voice work. I think I’m alright but I can make it work on a good track. I have good backing vocals. Also Gavin’s beats are very punchy and loud so I think it helps us just go for it ‘cause the waveform already smothers us in a good way.
GAVIN: I did choir for a bit a few years ago and it taught me and influenced me a ton. I like to layer my shit up huge. And yes I do overproduce everything to shit. So I have to shoehorn vocals into the mix when the time comes.
GABRIEL: To be honest, I’m still trying to figure out what I want to sound like. So far I try to approach every new instrumental or song as a chance to try and figure out exactly what works best. And at this point there’s nothing to feel embarrassed about so you just huck literally anything you want at it and see if it sticks.
SPENCER: I’m fine with how I sound but I want to try and explain my chopping & mixing choices to Gavin better some time. But yeah, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about here.
GABRIEL: Like, once we got the 250,000 on Brake Light, it was no holds barred. Like, fuck it. We’ve always just been making it for ourselves anyway.
SH: People are gonna like you, they already do, you like what you like, so there’s no shame anywhere. I love it. Okay. So explain why Glossy Dream Boys is being called a mixtape, and why the next project will be the debut album.
GAVIN: Glossy Dream Boys was made over a year’s time and this is what we came up with. We strayed so far from what the initial concept was. So it’s like a compilation or a mixtape of some good stuff we made over that time. What’s coming next feels whole. One mix. One big surf party.
GABRIEL: We feel like the music we’re making right this second is, for better or worse, fully, fully original. It’s a new sound. Wild stuff, shoved into a kiddy pool.
GAVIN: Glossy Dream Boys is the late August party mix.
SPENCER: Making music that already sounds better than Glossy Dream Boys makes it feel kind of weird to hype it up as our big debut album, even though it technically is. We just want to make this next one way better.
SH: Gorgeous. Love it, love you three. Congratulations on the tape release. It’s one of my favourite projects this year, any style, any scene. Any parting words for the internet?
GABRIEL: Have fun, be safe, make the right decisions. REALTIME AQUASPORTS 2000. FISHIE TAKEOVER.
SPENCER: Bionicle boys gap kids 2000.
GAVIN: Big time.