Hi friends, happy Friday (we can still say happy Friday <3 ) I’ve spent my morning listening to the new Philly-based artist Cheer Mom’s EP, titled “What Are They Doing Over There?”, which was just recently released. Cheer Mom, aka Dan Fare, has been playing Philly house shows for some time now, and “What Are They Doing Over There?” marks his second EP.
The album was written, performed, mixed, and produced entirely by Dan, and is an eclectic mix of genres, touching on psychedelic pop, rock, synth punk, and slow core, all within the span of 13 minutes. It’s safe to say that there’s a little something for everyone on this album. I particularly enjoyed the first track, titled Not Young and Successful, which blends pop and rock in a Vampire Weekend-esque way.
Hit Cheer Mom with that follow on Instagram. Keep reading for our interview below:
This is a question I’ve been asking everyone recently – how have you been doing during this time of social distancing? How have you been coping/managing your time?
Being a solo project, the quarantine and social distancing hasn’t been affecting my songwriting, since I can still write and record at home like I usually do. However it’s been pretty mentally draining haha. I miss seeing my friends and playing shows!
Where did the name “Cheer Mom” come from?
The name “Cheer Mom” came from a t-shirt I found at a thrift store. One side reads “Cheer Mom” and the other reads, “Behind every good cheerleader is a great Cheer Mom!” I was trying to make something up with a food name like The Bagels or Broccoli, but I figured since I already had a shirt with “Cheer Mom” on it, that would be easier than ordering a shirt with a new name on it. I thought it was funny and I had to pick something, so it stuck.
I love that, finding inspiration in a thrift store. So, can you tell us what is the Philly house show scene like?
The Philly house show scene is really welcoming… and sweaty. Everyone in the scene is super nice and really in it for the music, (sweaty) dancing, and friendship. When I first started out it took just a few emails to book a show and more shows came from that one, and then more from that, etc…
Being a solo act is kind of nerve-wracking, but since everyone is so nice it’s not a huge problem. For my shows I have my pre-recorded tracks play in the background– I bring a projector and my laptop that has Guitar Hero on it, and before each show I program charts in the game that line up with what I’m playing. It gives a visual aid for my shows that makes me feel less like the audience is just staring at me haha.
Between, writing, performing, mixing and producing this album, you’ve really done it all. Does a different level of pride come into play when you’ve created something like this on your own?
Yeah, I think so! Maybe it’s a little egotistical, but I don’t see it that way. I just like all the parts of recording and don’t want to deal with restraints that come with playing in a band (mostly time restrictions with when people can meet to practice and spending money on transportation/recording haha). I started just writing and performing with other bands, but I’ve always been interested in what you can do with songs in the post-production phase.
I like having a say in every part of the process, so having a project where I can do exactly that is great. I’ve taken some classes at college for mixing and producing, so hopefully I’m learning with each project– I think in a few years seeing the growth from my first demo recordings to whatever I’ll make in the future will be really rewarding. At least, I hope so!