Interview & Photos by Ellie McIntyre
You just announced your new album “don’t you wanna be glad?” earlier today, that’s coming out February 7th, what are your expectations or hopes for the release of the album as you go into the new year?
Skyler: Yeah album’s out February 7th, tour starts February 6th. I just want people to relate to it. I think growth is good and being an artist is great but the only reason I really set out to do this is to help people, and the only reason I’m here is to help kids. Even just talking to them earlier, they’re really going through some shit. They don’t really have many resources to help
themselves. Many people in rural America may not have as many opportunities to get help as I
have, and so all I wanna do is share my experience with people and for them to hear it and
relate to it. I am a Christian and I am writing music that may reflect that but I’m not trying to
marginalize anyone, I want to show people that it’s ok to have different ways to get help. I do
wanna do things bigger and better but I just want to help.
And in the past you’ve called Super Whatevr more so a musical project than just a band, so that makes sense that you’re trying to get to the heart of these kids. You also have a music video out for yours truly and it is in the pastel emo style and you have a tour coming out with that name “the pastel emo tour,” how did you come about picking that theme for this era of Super Whatevr?
Skyler: Yeah, it just kinda happened. I didn’t really set out to do this, we had a different album
name and it felt kinda fitting. I named the albums Never Nothing, Meloncholyism, and then Self Titled, you’re the only person that knows that, but it changed. And it’s the embodiment of cutting certain people out but it’s still like “I have no support system so I’m struggling still, why am I still struggling?” It takes a lot more than getting help and getting healthy. I have family members who have gone to therapy and it hasn’t worked, “I tried it but I wasn’t better in a day.” And so with Pastel Emo it’s kinda like I just wanna acknowledge that, like “I’m happy, no I’m really happy, but I’m also still struggling but I’m trying to grow.”
You can clearly see an intentionality behind everything you guys do when you make music even the cover art. The album cover is a bit similar to that thought process, explain to us the cover and what the inspiration was behind it, and maybe if you wanna shout out your graphic designer.
Skyler: His name is Ro Oeurn, he is incredible, I met him at the coffee shop I worked at. We
came up with the concept of the connect the dots, it was very heavily his idea. I really liked how it correlated with the EP which was the Braille and now it’s like the dots are being transformed and it’s like I’m changing, things are changing and I’m still trying to find truth but now I have the tool to find the truth. Back in the day, you could pursue learning Braille and it was a lot harder and there’s things you can’t see or understand and now you have the tools to fill in the blanks, but I can’t connect it for you, and it’s just like this next one.
I wanted to say, I think it’s interesting that I see artists who have a really cohesive thing
going and never understand how they got to that place . Like I see Twenty One Pilots gliding all of these things and I’m like how did you do that, just pull it out of thin air? And now that things are growing with me I see that it’s piece by piece. I even posted to Twitter how my hair is white my shoes are white because I want a clean mind, clean actions. I did that on purpose and it’s like oh, I’m progressing into these solidified concepts. It wasn’t overnight, it took a long time.
Similarly to the 1975 along with Twenty One Pilots, it’s like these 3 eras, 3 different attitudes, it’s growing and evolving with change. If the new album was a person and a singular voice or character what would that voice sound like or who would it be and what are they trying to say?
Skyler: It’s weird, but I would say my wife. A lot of things that I’ve been trying to say have been
really hard for me because of my upbringing and my childhood, and she has done a lot of
growing and healing on her own. And I wanted to be able to speak healthily on the things that
I’ve been struggling with, and I see a lot of her emotional growth coming out in my songs
because we’ve begin together for so long that I see how I’m transforming into more of a healthy person. It’s not that I’m becoming her, just that I’m becoming a healthy person and it reflects where she has been all along, or at least within the last few years.
Whether it is a physical space or maybe mental space, where do you go for inspiration for your writing?
Skyler: I’ve mostly written when I’m struggling, and I write stuff out and read it back and I let my subconscious play the role of figuring out what the hell is going on in my brain. It’s usually when I’m trying to understand what I’m feeling.
If you could tell your 15-year-old self anything what would it be and if you can tell or ask yourself something 10 years in the future what would that be?
Skyler: Past would be, I know you want to get emotionally healthy and that exists and it seems
hopeless and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen but it will because you’re pursuing that
truth and it will present itself to you at a certain point in your life. Shit sucks but it’s gonna get better. And then the future, does this all fuckin’ work out? I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing, I have no fucking idea what I’m doing. I literally have no idea. I feel so, like with Jess I feel like things are coming together and we are just so solid and I’m so happy. I feel like I’m becoming the man I’ve always wanted to be, like father at some point, we want kids, but like father, husband, all of these things and like wow I never expected to be that. I thought I was just gonna be a piece of shit my whole life and I get to be a good person, but is my music career gonna matter in five years? What is this shit? Kids care now, that’s insane, that started last November it’s been a year since people started giving a fuck. Is that gonna continue on or am I gonna work a desk job? A desk job is fine.
What else will we be seeing from Super Whatevr as we enter the new year?
Skyler: Bigger tours, bigger opportunities, like we had big tour opportunities at the beginning of Never Nothing and no one knew who we were and magazines didn’t really care, and towards the end we had features in magazines and interviews and these really big opportunities and if that’s the groundwork that we’ve laid for the last record album wheres the ceiling for this album, ya know?
We’re excited to see it!