Eyedress breaks down his scuzzy new punk mixtape COMMITTING CRIMES
Eyedress is an artist who’s as generous as he is prolific. In addition to dropping sublime, lo-fi records and appearing on the cover of Alternative Press, he’s constantly creating music and pulling from his own reckless upbringing to bring his songs to life. Now, Eyedress is back with a new punk mixtape, COMMITTING CRIMES, which is out today (and totally free on Bandcamp because it’s “for the people anyway“).
“I didn’t really tell anyone about this mixtape except for my friends who helped me make it,” he says of the project. “It’s a community thing. I got the gang on here helping me behind the scenes — got rappers playing bass and skaters, who clear 20-stair handrails, whispering on synth-punk beats and even got the synth-punk god himself, N8NOFACE.”
Below Eyedress breaks down every track on his collaborative new punk mixtape.
“OPP HUNTING SEASON” (FEAT. JUICE & MICHAEL MYERS)
I made this song in a haze of smoke in my studio at home with my friends Juice and Michael, who both are insane skaters who can skate 10 stairs, as seen in the music video. Me and Juice both played the synths on this synth-punk song, and Michael did his verse instantly after we finished recording the instrumental. Feel like this is the kind of song you listen to when you’re about to get into a fight, looking for a fight, hunting down your enemies or all of the above. This song represents how I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. I always got into fights at school, and sometimes we’d take the fights out to the streets after school.
“SCHOOL BURNERS” (FEAT. NATIA)
I made this instrumental a couple years ago when I lived in a tiny studio apartment in Echo Park. Originally it was for me and N8NOFACE’s punk project DON’T DIAL 911, but we ended up not using it. I remember I texted the instrumental to my friend, Inglewood rapper Natia, who is crazy talented, but one day I was like, “You down to get on some punk shit?” and of course, he was down. We recorded the vocals just a couple weeks ago, to be honest. It was one of the last songs I made for the album, and I’m glad it’s on here because natia has always been a good friend, and it’s super random that he got on a punk track, but it’s also perfect ’cause Natia is pretty weird anyways. I think Natia’s lyrics are about his love for cocaine and mine are just about shit I did when I was a teenager. Things like sneaking out my parents’ car, hot-boxing the car and getting so drunk I pass out on the floor.
“DIE WITH DIOR ON” (FEAT. NICK BLANCO)
Probably one of the oldest songs on the album. Me and Nick made this in the same studio apartment I was living at in Echo Park that I mentioned earlier. Around that time, me and Nick were making a bunch of music videos on VHS. We used to kick it a lot during the pandemic. We’d smoke blunts and record ignorant Auto-Tune rap shit to plugg beats we found on YouTube. One day we decided to try approaching a punk beat the same way we would a plugg beat, which was rapping about designer clothes, flexing and having expensive shit but over a punk beat. I only did my verse a couple weeks ago also, but I’ve been holding on to the song ever since, and I knew when the time was right I would get on it.
“SACRED SECRETS” (FEAT. N8NOFACE)
I made this beat entirely on my laptop on a flight from Miami to Los Angeles. I originally recorded vocals about being high on drugs ’cause I thought it sounded hard with the beat. Then I saw Nate make a post about how he had struggled with addiction, so it made me wanna change the message of the song. I deleted those old vocals and came up with these new ones about why it’s so hard to stay sober. I was speaking from experience because I struggled with sobriety before and thought it would be different to do vocals on a synth-punk song where you’d expect some hard-ass lyrics but instead ended up being about something really positive. As for Nate’s lyrics, all I can say is we don’t snitch around here!
I think this song really represents the darker side of me. it’s like a soundtrack to all the times when I did a bunch of stupid shit that often got me into trouble. The music really captures that risky, sketchy vibe I was always on and the adrenaline I got from doing all those crazy things like running from the cops, starting fires, all whilst feeling like an absolute failure in life.
“SLIT WRIST SLUMBER PARTY” (PROD. BY RAZY)
I made this song with my photographer Razy, who also likes playing the synthesizer whenever he gets a chance at my studio we always record [in], and this is one of those tracks that we made. It sounds like dark video game music, especially with the Donkey Kong samples in there. Me and Razy love Donkey Kong, so you know we had to put it in there. Overall this is a positive punk song inspired by my heroes Bad Brains with their PMA (positive mental attitude) and that whole mindset. I think I talk about being sick of letting my family down. I guess I wanted to make a song about turning my life around despite all the times I let them down when I was younger.
“1800 SUICIDE” (FEAT. JAY UGHH)
A song I wish I had made sooner in life. During the pandemic, someone I once knew took their life, and it really had me fucked me up inside. That happening to me put me on the path to eventually creating this song. I made this one with Jay Ughh on the bass and me on guitar. I became friends with Jay when he was managing the Fucking Awesome store on Hollywood Boulevard. From there, we became friends, and I told him we should make music sometime. One day I posted a pic of me and him, and my friend messaged me saying, “No way, you know Jay Ughh? He used to rap in this group called Chill Black Guys,” and that’s how I found out he was a rapper and was into music prior. He had never mentioned anything about music to me, which I thought was super cool of him.
Eventually, Jay showed me another side to him when he played me this post-punk-type song where he was singing in a low coldwave voice. Jay got a bass and started coming over more to record, and out of that came this song. The vocals came around a time when I was feeling down on myself. Oftentimes I get too in my head, and my thoughts spiral into this black hole of negativity. Jay Ughh’s vocals really helped lighten the song up, though, as he was the friend that I needed in this song and in real life to finish the journey I had started into making a song about how suicide is not the way to go.
“RUNNIN FROM THE KKKLAN” (FEAT. JAY UGHH)
During my early teenage years, my family had moved to Orange County in San Clemente, California. In my high school, we didn’t really have gangs like we did in the schools I went to in Phoenix, Arizona, but this particular school had neo-Nazi skinheads, and I remember they would always hang out at what they called the “skinhead hill,” which was where they all ate during lunch. It was just a table on a little hill, and every now and then you’ll run into them, and they’ll call you a racial slur, a f*ggot or something stupid like that. I think this track is about racism. It’s like a history lesson based on truth, according to Jay’s vocals about being an African person growing up in America.
“WHO IS WHO” (PROD. BY ZEROH)
I made this track with Zeroh, who’s engineered almost all of my records. He’s also an extremely talented rapper and singer who also just so happens to play bass. He played the bass during the first half of the song, and I played the bass on the second half where it changes up. I think this song is just about driving fast and not being a judgmental dweeb. I dealt with a lot of classist people when I lived in the Philippines, so this one’s for those assholes who tried to make me feel less for not being rich like them.
“NO ONE IS ILLEGAL” (PROD. BY REALYUNGPHIL & JAY UGHH)
One day Phil and Jay were over, and I just kept telling Phil that he’s punk [but] he just doesn’t know it yet. We were smoking a lot, but Phil picked up the bass and played the most punk bassline I’ve ever heard a rapper play. Phil is a really talented young rapper from the rap group Surf Gang, so it was just so sick to see him playing bass. Him and Jay both played bass on this, and I just sing about how fucked the immigration system is. That mixed with people that don’t really love you and how they wanna see you at your worst, so I thought all that just tied in together with how bad the immigration system works all over the world, and that’s how those lyrics came about. Also, I think a lot of kids like me who were raised by immigrant parents can understand the message behind this one.
“THANK YOU FOR THE GOOD TIMES” (PROD. BY PENNY NIKKEL)
My friend Penny made this with me when he visited me from San Francisco. He plays the all guitars in the beginning. He’s a really good friend of mine who’s also a talented painter and messes with music when he gets the chance. The lyrics are just about my fiancé, Elvia. She had recently lost a friend to COVID, and I’m not always the easiest person to deal with, so this is what came out during that time. It’s just about wanting to be good enough for your partner even though you’re not perfect, and also I guess I just made this to cheer her up about her friend passing ’cause I know how that feels, as I lost one of my friends to COVID during the pandemic.