Ethereal Interviews: MAY 2015 x CHAD SUGG

Hi all! Hope you are well. May is here and I'm very excited to share with you May's Ethereal Interview! You might know Chad Sugg from the Backseat Goodbye. If you don't know the lyrics "I like Saturdays and the Rocket Summer," then you may not be a true Myspace kid. From singing/songwriting, to poetry, to being a dad, Sugg has proved to us all that he is quite the multi-talented individual. Luckily for all of us, Backseat Goodbye is back for the first time in quite a few years with an EP called 'Loud Songs for When the Night's Too Quiet.' Let's find out more.

To find out more about Chad, click here.
To find out more about The Backseat Goodbye and 'Loud Songs for When the Night's too Quiet,' click here.

1. First of all, I just want to say congratulations on the recent release of your poetry book, The Endless Nothing. Now you're coming out with some highly anticipated new music for Backseat Goodbye. It seems like you're always doing something creative. What is your creative process like? 
Thanks! Staying creative is a necessity for my sanity. In all reality, I absolutely hate standing still. I've really gotten to a point in my life where I've realized I only get one shot at this living thing, so I better do every last thing I want to while I can. As for the process behind that creativity, it's pretty straight-forward. I'll either sit down with my acoustic guitar and start strumming some chords, or grab a spot somewhere with my notebook/at my computer and start writing/typing up whatever comes to mind or expand on an idea I had earlier in the day.

2. Your son Walt is the absolute cutest. Has being a father changed anything for you? If so, what?
Thanks again! Being a father has changed literally everything. I love it, but it has been quite the task navigating how to be an independent musician with a two year old child running around constantly. I can say, it has officially been about two years and 20 something days since we had Walt, and I'm just now getting to a comfortable schedule that makes sense as far as working on music goes. As I said though, it's all worth it. Some days I'm not a fan of how terrible people can be, and Walt is the only thing that can make me smile in spite of all that every single time. He is the definition of innocence and pure joy.

3. As a poet and avid poetry reader, I've noticed that poetry doesn't seem to be thriving nowadays. People love poetry when it's by Sylvia Plath or Edgar Allen Poe, yet it seems like not that many people are paying attention to modern poetry. I can tell you now, I've been writing poetry for years because it's in my nature, but it would be nice to make a living from it. Has there been a struggle for you as a poet and do you have any advice for the aspiring poets out there?
Poetry is a funny little machine. I use it to find out more about myself and how I really feel about the world around me. I'm definitely an optimist at the end of the day, but that doesn't mean I don't get mad as hell about my personal struggles or the fact that sometimes people are crazy. When I'm writing poetry it all just sort of spills out of me... I'm not an optimist or a pessimist, I'm just a human, and for some reason touching the pen to paper lets me be honest with not just the outside world, but myself, as well. I do think there is a terrible shortage of popular present-day poets out there. I mean, I look at R.M. Drake and Tyler Knott Gregson, and they're doing great things for the genre... But overall, that's really it. There are literally two other present-day poets I know of, and I can't even remember their names right now. That being said though, Drake and Gregson's successes are hopefully championing a near future where not only readers, but publishers care about poetry again.


4. You're quite active on all forms of social media. Youtube, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook - you name it. How one uses social media can really make or break someones career. (you've clearly been using it quite well.) However, it used to just be Myspace - that's actually how I discovered you. Do you ever wish Myspace was still successful as a musician? What has Myspace done for your career? 
Social media is an amazing thing. I can say, without it, no one one know a single song of mine. As for Myspace, that was 100% integral to the success of Backseat Goodbye. Myspace was the platform I launched my music from, and then came touring, and then came success. If I'm being honest, yes, I absolutely miss the social media marketing plateau that Myspace provided. The one key thing that not a single social media site has done since that really helped a lot of artists was the simplicity of having a music player on each user's profile where they could pick songs to play automatically when someone would visit their profile. And I totally get that you can look on Facebook and see that Becky is listening to Smashmouth via Spotify right now and Ricky is listening to Madonna, but when you go to Becky or Ricky's page, that song isn't magically playing for everyone to hear. That made a very big difference back then, and still does.

5. Speaking of Myspace, We all fell in love with Backseat Goodbye in the good ol' days when Technicolor Eyes came out. What can we expect from 'Loud Songs For When the Night's Too Quiet' compared to your music in the past?
If there's one song I owe my entire past 9 years of the music industry to, it's "Technicolor Eyes". Ha. While that's not my favorite song I've ever written, it is by FAR the most popular... I say that, because it's amazing how much one single three minute song you wrote in a chair in your apartment bedroom and recorded on your laptop can literally change your entire life. As for my "Loud Songs For When The Night's Too Quiet", it's very much completely different and the same as any BG release before. Lyrically, it will be immediately noticeable as Backseat Goodbye. "Sleepless In Seattle" is the kind of pop-culture infused lyric-driven track that I've always loved writing under the BG name. "Wasted Youth Parade", is a tongue-in-cheek yet also very realistic look at what it's like being a teenager in the modern age, and sounds very much like it would've fit well on my debut album. And one I'm really excited about is called "Love Song 1943". It's actually a song I started writing back just after I released my first full-length, "Dressed Up Like Dreams". The song was called "Apples" back then, but I never could get it quite right lyrically. I finally re-visited it after all these years, and got it exactly how it was meant to be, I believe. It's a song about a story I read once about a boy and a girl living on opposite sides of a fence in Germany during the Holocaust. The girl threw an apple over the fence to the boy, and long story short, literally 50 years later they both accidentally found each other in New York City and fell in love. It's one of the most honest, pretty little love songs I've ever written. And it's quite literal, as well, the main hook of the song is, "Wouldn't it be nice if we could survive this Holocaust? / You could wear that dress and I could bring you flowers / They can't get mad if they don't notice our smiles // And if the war lasts our whole lives / I'll rest my head each night and only think of you". I love it, and think it represents the "I Will Follow You Into The Dark" of Death Cab For Cutie for my own career.

6. Who have you been listening to nonstop lately?
Oh man, there's a good stride of great music coming out lately. And I'm finally on a good stint of discovery of new bands I really enjoy. Right now I'm loving Night Riots, Smallpools, the new Death Cab album, and I've been stuck on loving The 1975 for a good two years now. Also, I'm really into the super pop Whitney Houston singles from back in the day right now, too.

7. What are your thoughts on Spotify? 
I still don't know. I love it, and I also question what it's really doing to the music industry. Personally, it's great, I use it literally every single day. I pay for the membership and everything. However, as an artist, it's great that people can hear my music on there for free or a small fee, but I think it still has a lot of room to grow as far as being truly fair to all artists as far as payouts goes. With that being said, I also still buy my favorite bands albums on iTunes or vinyl, but I'm much more less apt to buy an artist I don't absolutely LOVE's album now since I can just listen on Spotify. So, I'm not sure if that's a good thing or bad thing. I feel like it's somewhere in-between... Which sums up exactly how I feel about Spotify as a whole. Overall, I think Spotify has excellent potential to be a great thing for the industry some day.

8. Favorite lyric you've ever written?
Wow. I can't pick a favorite lyric, my memory is too terrible for that. But, here are my favorites from my new EP, track by track:
+ "If you're wondering what I'm thinking / you probably really don't wanna know / you made me this way / it's not my fault I'm so depressing / say what you need, say what you mean / but don't go" (from Don't You Dare Say You Loved Me More)
+ "You said "I hate The Smiths, except for when we kiss" / the sad sound of Morrissey in-between our skinny lips / you sent me a text from the passenger seat / dedicating this song to everybody else but me" (from Sleepless In Seattle)
+ "They say it's such a bad idea, you know / to waste your time on the rock and roll / in the name of The Father, Son, and The Holy Ghost / bury me with my stereo" (from Wasted Youth Parade)
+ "Wouldn't be nice if we could survive this Holocaust?" (from Love Song 1943)
+ "The high school kids are in the front yard / to think we used to be that dumb once / they say dying young is fun the first time / but that'll never happen to us" (from Dying Young Is Fun The First Time)
+ "I've been wondering / do you get lonely, even when you're not alone, like me / 'cause it happens constantly" (from All The Wrong Places)

9. Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. What is a word of advice you would like to offer readers?
Thanks for your time, as well! The best advice I could give at this moment is: Don't be afraid to be happy.