Cyberbully Mom Club is what started out as a one-person project by Shari Heck, uploading her songs to bandcamp one night. Considering the power of her very intimate voice and lyrics, not very surprisingly the resonance was so positive, she took on board Sam Becht, Alex Melendez and Peter DiMeo and is now playing gigs all over the east coast. Also she’s already released the third album, “Amy Locust Whatever”. What might sound teenagish melancholic at first turns out to be that, but it’s a lot more. In fact CBMC is very melancholic music (and feeling blue is not reserved for allegedly confused not-yet-adults, you know) but also strong and most of all very positive. We are thrilled Shari was so sweet to answer some questions about her lovely music and about her self.
Your lyrics and the way you perform your music sound very intimate. Does critiquing your music feel like critiquing your persona then or how can you draw a line?
Not at all – I am constantly changing as a person and in the way I create. Like any artist, I guess it’s inevitable to judge a person’s persona based on what they create, but sometimes I create when I am feeling something temporary. I could write a song when I’m in the blues, but I am generally an extremely happy human being.
Especially, the Internet is making it super easy for everyone to just hate on other people who put themselves out there, but on the other hand it is a great opportunity for bands to get people to know you. What are you feelings towards this?
Hate is inevitable and totally nothing to take personal. Art is always subject to critique. My feelings are, I’m doing something that I really enjoy and have a simultaneously great time doing – so I’m going to do it.
Talking about mean people on the Internet, what exactly is a cyberbully mom? How did you come up with that name?
A cyberbully mom is exactly what it sounds like in that context. Why I chose the name, I couldn’t quite tell you.
What’s the weirdest nice compliment you ever got?
!! No idea, but the nice definitely outweigh the weird for sure.
Do you have an audience in mind, when you create your songs or does what you want to express just happen to be relevant for so many other people too?
I never have had any audience in mind! I started writing tiny songs as an outlet, I never expected this many people to ever connect with anything. The fact that so many people do is extremely cool and comforting.
Is there something people who listen to your music should know about you?
I am not always sad. I am super happy and I love being alive. I want them to know that whenever I write about sadness, it’s a temporary thing. It doesn’t last forever.
Is the DIY aesthetic of your music and also your music videos a way to create this intimate feel you chose on purpose?
The “DIY aesthetic” is really just comforting because I like being in total control of what I create. I am super stubborn, super nervous, all of the above. The music videos (if you’re talking about Bobby Pins) were made with the intentions of having all of my close-knit friends in it to have memories that we can laugh and bond about at some point when we’re not so young anymore.
The message of your songs is often very sad, you plucking the ukulele still leaves the listeners more uplifted than depressed. How is it possible that music can combine those two opposing sentiments?
I would need somebody to tell me! Sometimes it just works out that way I guess – I really try not to dwell on sadness too much, so I am glad that it comes off this way.
You also bring forward social issues, like girls not feeling safe walking home by themselves. Or the issue of victim blaming, that girls are made responsible for other people disrespecting their boundaries. Are you generally upset with this situation, or is there more to it?
Everybody should be upset by this situation! Getting sexually harassed is awful, annoying, frustrating, uncomfortable and something that I know that nobody wants to deal with no matter what gender they are.
In the music business women’s radius of operating is mostly very limited to being sexy and beautiful. What are your experiences being a female musician?
I am often just viewed as somebody who writes music rather than a ‘female musician’ and I like it that way.
If Cyberbully Mom Club did the soundtrack for a movie, what would that movie be about?
Something really, really cool. Hopefully with Ellen Page in the cast.
What do you do when no one is watching?
Boring stuff, like laundry. Maybe I’ll take out the trash.
By Katharina Nöstlinger