By: JoAnn Snavely
Week 2: Frat Mouse and ForeignHomes
Breaking into the music industry is no easy feat, and unfortunately, sometimes raw talent just doesn’t cut it. For some, they get lucky and blow up on social media establishing their careers for the foreseeable future, or they can be deemed “one-hit wonders”. Other musicians take the slow and steady route, quietly climbing the charts until ultimately dominating their genres. For musicians like Frat Mouse and ForeignHomes, they’re climbing their ways to the top of the music industry one solo, EP, and album at a time.
This week, buckle in to meet two rising stars:Frat Mouse and ForeignHomes!
Frat Mouse (@fratmouse) is a 4-piece L.A-based band consisting of Truman Sinclair, Griffin Meehan, Chloe Villamayor, and Ben (I literally could not find a last name to save my life). The band originated in September of 2019 when the band was in high school. Truman and Griffin found themselves extremely inspired by their favorite musician’s live shows. The band originally began as a joke; band member Griffin Meehan reminisces that the idea of the band was “just something me and Truman played with together while we were starting to become friends.”
Once they became serious about forming a band, the next most challenging step in creating a musical personality was afoot–naming the band. Meehan explained that “honestly it isn’t too interesting…truman and I were trying to think of band names for a day or so, and we wanted to make a joke about frats…bam… ‘frat mouse’…also i like mice 🐭🐭”.
Shortly after the band’s birth that subsequent October, Frat Mouse would release their debut singles titled, “bo2 zombies” and “mendiezeeno”. Those two singles immediately skyrocketed Frat Mouse into the indie, punk, and emo scenes with an angsty sound that can only be retraced to their musical inspirations: Mom Jeans, Modern Baseball, Microwave, and countless others. These two singles address an unrequited love seeming to be one-sided, ultimately ushering a painfully relatable feeling disguised by fun instrumentalism and monotonous vocals that are so classic for the band’s genre. Just these two debut singles alone have since garnered over a million all-time listens.
Since the bands debut in 2019, they’ve been steadily releasing new music having released three albums: Rat Pack (2020), The Frag Movie (2020), and Plywood (2021), and most recently releasing three singles titled “pisces,” “i always lose,” and this past friday (11/11), they released their latest single “race.” These releases are already bearing fruit. Last year alone, the band received over 1.4 million streams, spanning over 250,000 monthly listeners. Their sound reached more than just the Americas as the band has listeners in over 130 countries around the globe.
As a smaller,independent band, that’s a huge accomplishment. Meehan described how it is being unsigned artists making music and the struggles that come with it by explaining how “it’s always hard to get your music out when the underground scene for music is super volatile. Sometimes you’ll blow up for what seems like no reason, and you have to try and ride the wave of popularity. You have to really care about what you are doing to get anywhere successful with music. But it’s also really easy to slip into a mindset where ‘if I’m not making music I’m wasting time’ which will burn you out way faster than you’ll finish your record… unless ur truman I guess.”
Switching gears towards the future, being a band on the rise is exciting for any musician. In the future, Frat Mouse dreams of opening for musicians like Modern Baseball just to witness the iconic band live one more time. However, the band is at a colliding point in both their social and career lives as they’re deciding what the plan is post-college; the future of Frat Mouse is up in the air. For them, it’s not a bad thing because they aim to “still find the time to hang out and write together [but]likely under a different project.”
Regardless, the band has a bright future ahead of itself with a rise I don’t anticipate will stop anytime soon. In the meantime, the band is playing a plethora of shows in the L.A. area that you should be sure not to miss!!
Frat Mouse is perfect for fans of American Football, Modern Baseball, Mom Jeans, and Worst Party Ever.
ForeignHomes (@foreignhomesmusic), the LA-based artist also known as Ash is the youngest musician featured in our series at the age of 16. As young as he is, Ash is taking the industry by storm. His musical journey began recently, when the rest of the world was put into lockdown due to the COVID-19 global health crisis. Ash had always had a fondness for music and its depth, so he decided to take a productive route during lockdown and began learning to play guitar. His music career snowballed from there, and the rest is history.
The unique thing about ForeignHomes music is that he is the same age as his target demographic. Hearing someone within a few years of your age write music about the aspects of their formative moments that you just so happen to be living at the same moment is beautiful, and it is something you don’t get the pleasure of witnessing too often.
As a musician, he finds his creative process completely random; he gets ideas and brings themes to life via small demos in garageband. He wants the music he makes to translate to teens. When asked what he’d describe his music as, he exclaimed,“My best attempt to capture memories into a physical state. After something important or nostalgic happens in my life, I always go and start writing songs.” This sentiment can be shared amongst any person who uses creative outlets; for me as a writer, I often find myself writing as I am now to clear my mind from any of the stresses and fears I have in the real world…Music has that same effect.
He released his debut single “Inertia” this past April, touching on regret and looking back on moments you wished you had taken advantage of, causing a feeling of being utterly powerless. Our youth is something we don’t have much control over, but we can control how much of it we let slip past us. Ash reminds us to heed his warning throughout this 3-minute song. Since “Inertia”, he’s released two singles titled “Everywhere Yet”, and most recently “Porcelain”, both singles carrying a similar attitude about our youth and how quickly it moves. With each release, Ash continues his reputation of making horribly relatable music perfect. All three of the singles boast classic guitar and instrumentalism of every indie lover’s dream, but with vocals that seem to have backgrounds spanning across genres; this bedroom-pop artist is beyond prepared to be the next Cuco or Clairo of his generation. His inspirations remain within the genre and help to account for his sound musically. Ash stated in a recent Q&A that Current Joys and Bon Iver have changed the way he views music and have certainly influenced his musical process.
Being such a new musician to the scene, Ash has many dreams and goals as far as his musical career is concerned; Ash hopes to see himself in 5 years with “an extremely solid album out… [as] albums are the most complete piece of art you can create in music, and I have some concepts I would love to have together by then.” He wants to be able to create full-time, and at this pace, he can accomplish just that. Ash has an extremely successful future ahead as a rising star.
With a limited discography this early in his career, Ash notes that the song most meaningful to him is his unreleased song titled “The Moon” because “it tackles some very personal topics and I’m super excited to release it soon.” Aside from the imminent release of that single, Ash is planning to release his debut album in the upcoming months, and it is certainly something we should keep our eyes on! ForeignHome’s single “The Moon ” comes out 11/23, and we at the Herald can’t wait for its release!
ForeignHomes is perfect for fans of Current Joys, Surf Curse, Strawberry Guy, Salvia Plath, and Bon Iver.
Spotlight on Rising Stars Series: an Author’s Note
This is the second edition in the “Spotlight on Rising Stars” series. In the last article in the series, I introduced the herald to Zoe Ko and Lev UFO . Over the next few weeks, I will be introducing the Herald readers to some brand new names (and even some you’ve seen before). Get excited because in the next article in this series, I will be shining a spotlight on The Johns and Jordan Dean, and there is SO much more to come that I cannot wait to share with the Herald’s readers! Until the next release in the series, check out Frat Mouse and ForeignHome’s links and the link to my ‘Spotlight on Rising Stars’ playlist available on Apple Music and Spotify that is updated with each article release! You can also read the full interview below:
Spotlight on Rising Stars Playlist:
Week 2 Interviews:
Frat Mouse Questions: (band member I spoke with: griffin)
Who is frat mouse? Like if you were talking to someone who had absolutely no idea who frat mouse was— what would you tell them?
I usually just tell people ‘Frat Mouse’ is an indie punk band because I never want to get into the emo part. We started it in high school and were super inspired by bands we went to go see live like Mom Jeans, Origami Angel, Remember Sports, Microwave, etc. It all started as kind of a joke just something me and Truman played with together while we were starting to become friends
What song of yours means the most to you/ why?
“bo2 zombies” is the first song we ever made so of course its super memorable but for me “grant wass p 1” is my favorite. It was also the last song we made for the album and my personal favorite we’ve written.
Where do you hope to see yourself in 5 years (what is the future of Frat Mouse/what do you want to be (musically) in the future)?
Truman and I started the band back in sep 2019. Honestly I don’t know what the five years are going to look like. All of us are going down different paths for what we want to do after college but still find the time to hang out and write together, hopefully we’ll be doing something similar then.Likely under a different project.
Speaking of future goals/dreams, if you could open for any musician/band, who would it be and why?
Modern Baseball so we could see them play one more time
What are the struggles of making music and producing independent artists (I may be wrong, I couldn’t find a label or anything associated while researching) ?
Well it’s always hard to get your music out when the underground scene for music is super volatile. Sometimes you’ll blow up for what seems like no reason and you have to try and ride the wave of popularity. You have to really care about what you are doing to get anywhere successful with music. but its also really easy to slip into a mindset where “If I’m not making music I’m wasting time” which will burn you out way faster than you’ll finish your record… unless you’re Truman i guess
I don’t mean to add anymore to the list but what are the origins of the name Frat Mouse? Like what is the story behind it?
Honestly it isn’t too interesting…Truman and I were trying to think of band names for a day or so and we wanted to make a joke about frats
also I like mice
Who is Foreign Homes? for example; if you were talking to someone who had absolutely no idea who Foreign Homes was— what would you tell them?
ForeignHomes is a 16 year old kid in his bedroom making nostalgic tracks about the formative moments in his life.
How did you start making music (what was that journey like)/ who were the influences that made you all start making music?
I always had a love for music but during the lockdowns I randomly decided I would teach myself how to play guitar and everything snowballed from there.
What song of yours means the most to you/ why?
I think my unreleased song The Moon means the most to me. It tackles some very personal topics and I’m super excited to release it soon.
What is your creative process like, how would you describe the type of music you create?
I would describe my music as my best attempt to capture memories into a physical state. After something important or nostalgic happens in my life I always go and start writing songs.
Where do you hope to see yourself in 5 years (what is the future of Foreign Homes/where do you want to be (musically) in the future)?
My biggest goal for the next 5 years would be to have an extremely solid album out. I think that albums are the most complete piece of art you can create in music and I have some concepts I would love to have together by then.
I don’t mean to add anymore to the list but what are the origins of the name Foreign Homes? Like what is the story behind it?
I’m not exactly sure where the name originated, it had been a concept about memory I had been thinking about for a while and It just slowly morphed into my artist name.