Hey MNERVA!! So excited to be chatting with you. Where did your love of music come from?
My love of music comes from my parents. When they were my age, they were in a band together and made a living playing local clubs across the DC area. Dad played drums and mom sang. As a little kid, I used to bang on pots playing along to my parents’ old tapes so, as soon as I turned five, I started taking drum lessons from my dad. My folks have always been very supportive and it has made this rollercoaster of a career feel much more manageable.
Do you have any release plans for summer 2020?
I’m still finalizing the release dates but I’m expecting to have a remix of my first single “Geek” out around late June and then I’m releasing a super personal song called “Famous (See You Again)” in July.
Can you tell us what your newest release “Bad Guy” means to you?
Writing “Bad Guy” was an essential part of me growing up. I wrote the song when I ran into a high school ex at a local pizza place. She was with some old friends of mine and, when I went over to say hi, they looked at the floor and wouldn’t give me the time of day. In that moment, I realized that they believed her side of our breakup story and I was the Bad Guy. Thing is, she’s the villain in my story and I’ve been talking badly about her for years; every story has two sides. Seeing how that felt, first hand, taught me how uncool I was being for calling her crazy all these years. I’ve really tried to watch what I say since then because words matter and “Bad Guy” was a huge part of me coming to that realization.
What’s been your reaction to the fans love for “Bad Guy”?
I’ve been playing “Bad Guy” live for years now and people have always said it’s their favorite song whenever I play acoustic sets. The fact that people are enjoying the full produced track has been extremely gratifying for me because I’ve always believed in this song and it’s stuck with me through so many changes in my life.
How excited were you to get ‘Bad Guy” out into the world?
I consider “Bad Guy” the song that started my journey as MNERVA. At the time, it was the most honest thing I had ever written and it really cemented who I wanted to be as an artist. On top of that, the session where we produced “Bad Guy” is where my producer, Kory Shore, and I found MNERVA’s sound, so finally releasing this track feels like a culmination of all the hard work I’ve put in developing MNERVA over the last few years.
How do you want your relationship to be like with your supporters?
As a person, I am a complete open book, so I definitely want my fans to feel like they can always reach out to me and that I’m just another guy trying to make his way through life. I’m been very lucky to talk to a handful of my fans over DMs semi-regularly and I really hope I get to meet them at shows once the live music industry starts up again.
What’s something your fans don’t know about you?
I’m super fortunate because most of my fans got to know me really well when I released my trailer for my former passion project Blurryface: The Musical earlier this year. What most people don’t know though is that I’m currently working on 2 original musicals and I’m about halfway done with one of them. Theatre is a big part of my background and I definitely have dreams of being a composer as well as being an artist. If my love of Donald Glover has taught me one thing, it’s that you can be successful in multiple fields as long as you put in the time and do it well.
What do you want your fans to know if they ever see you in public?
Oh my god, if someone if saw me in public I’d tell them to PLEASE say hi! I’m definitely one of the biggest extroverts I know and I love meeting new people so that would make me very happy! I always say everyone has a story and I’d love to get to know all my fans better if I have the chance!
What do you want your message to be towards your fans? What do you want your fans to take away from your music and shows?
For me, I think we live in a society where people feel encouraged to put on a mask and hide their true selves out of fear of “not being cool” or being judged. My main message to my fans is to be you unapologetically. A lot of people thought I was being crazy for wanting my first single to be about my love of comic books, fantasy, and anime but people enjoyed it because I was being true to who I am as a massive nerd. So whether you’re in a good place or struggling, be real about it because the people in your life want to see the true you. And as far as shows go, I want to put on a high energy performance and provide an environment where people can vent their frustrations and feel connected.
What’s one word you would use to describe what your fans have allowed you to accomplish?
I’d say “confidence.” I’ve always had trouble believing in myself as a creative and that no one would want to hear what I have to say. Thing is though, since releasing my first single earlier this year, people have really connected with me being honest about who I am, so my fans have really given me the confidence to keep pushing forward even when life doesn’t go as planned. I only plan to dig deeper with MNERVA as I keep releasing new stuff and I wouldn’t have been able to do that without the support of my fans!
Is there anyone in the music business you are dying to meet?
I tend to be pretty level headed when I meet celebrities. But if I met Mike Shinoda, Lin Manuel Miranda, or either of the boys from Twenty One Pilots, I would be internally freaking out the entire time. Each of them has had such a profound impact on my life and made me want to pursue my dreams so being about to say thank you and pick their brains about their creative process’ would be incredible!
Why do you think social media is so important for artists like yourself?
Especially right now in a time when live shows aren’t an option to engage with fans, social media is the quickest and most effective way to connect with people and make them feel like they’re a part of your journey. I’ve always had a lot of anxiety based around social media but getting to personally know a bunch of my fans has really shown me the positives of the medium. I’m still not completely over my semi-irrational fear of the internet but quarantine has helped encouraged me to put myself out there in new ways.
What would you say is your biggest dream/goal right now?
As an artist, the live show is by far my favorite part of the career so if I could headline a successful tour and get a chance to travel the world, that would be a dream come true!
Any last things you want to tell your supporters?
Check Out “Bad Guy” Now: