Quizboy is a post-grunge, alt-rock project by a multi-instrumentalist from Portland (USA) that goes by several pseudo names, primarily Ben Dayho or by the character name given to him by the comedy band Weed N’ Stiff, ‘Bennito Malcooster’. As light-hearted as the persona is online, Quizboy’s music tends to be dark. Often manic and bi-polar, the lyrical themes tend to be revolve around childhood traumas, struggles with interpersonal relationships, battles with addiction, and sadness. The common description by most seems to be “weird.”
His EP ‘Not Like the Others You Know’ will be available for streaming services everywhere 11th November. However, the track ‘Down by the Water’ a cover song of The Decemberists, will be its own stand-alone single due to distributor issues.
Is there a link to pre-save?
“Thanks to distributor issues there are three pre-save links, one for each track. However, you can get to all of them in one place here.“
What are your favourite memories of writing or recording the album?
“I have a few positive feelings about this release. Previous ones were all, of course, an overall cathartic experience. It always is, but I was one in some bad headspace during a lot of them. During this one, I’ve been sober, and I just felt like a stronger person that had finally dealt with a lot of stuff. In particular, the “regrouping” of myself mentally and physically lent a hand to diving further into more technical aspects of production, and I think the results reflect that.”
“I did a ton of ridiculous sounding vocal warm up exercises along with Chris Liepe videos before putting this one on wax, that might be my most favorite moment. If you’re not familiar with Chris Liepe, you should really check him out, I absolutely love his content. I freaked out all my animals warming up with him on this EP, they are still a bit weirded out.”
Is there a consistent lyrical style through the album? Is it a concept album? What’s it about?
“I think on this EP, the title track is a foreshadowing of the album that is still in production. The theme in that song will be a common one throughout the album coming out next year. ‘Not Like the Others You Know’ could probably be initially interpreted as an acknowledgement of the “weird” tag Quizboy’s been described as before, but it’s not. It’s a messaging related to narcissistic abusive behaviour, in which people like that expect everyone they interact with to accept their unacceptable behaviour, especially when they’ve surround themselves with enablers that feed their narcissistic supply. Inevitably, that supply dries up because people must eventually put a boundary of some kind in place, and then guess what? Now you’re a bad guy too. So, the overall concept is one I’ve had to personally learn about setting boundaries and not having to feel bad about it. Hence, “I’m not like the others you know that will put up with your shit”.”
“The other two songs have completely different themes, so no connection there. ‘Down by the Water’ is a cover song of The Decemberists that I just really like. I have sung it to my 5-year- old daughter since she was little so much that she thinks it’s one of my songs (laughs). So, there’s just a personal connection there with that one. We sing along to it together.”
Do you have a favourite song on the album? Which one and why is it your favourite?
“Yeah, I would say that the one I haven’t mentioned yet, ‘Brave a Storm’ is actually my favourite of this release. It’s about suicide. Guess that’s kind of an odd bummer to call out, isn’t it? Artistically, I favour that one because I’ve been in a position of being suicidal myself, and then more recently been in a position of heightened anxiety in caring someone who is suicidal. In reflection on all of it, I wrote the lyrics in a way that I feel could be interpreted as from either perspective, the suicidal or the person in care of, or in concern of the suicidal. I guess in my own head, I see both parties as in their own headspaces dealing with their own specific demons but share a common emotional distress. That’s what I was trying to convey lyrically. So, if you were to read the lyrics, you could take it as someone who is “checking out and losing it” because they feel like they are just a burden to those around them, carrying their baggage, etc. or someone who is “checking out and losing it” because they are overwhelmed, losing sleep, and worrying about the other person. The line, “despite the weather, you brave a storm” is metaphorical to the idea that no matter what, the “problem” is always lingering in the back of your mind. Sometimes the biggest smiles hide the darkest thoughts. We could all be enjoying a beautiful, perfect day, but braving a storm inside. It’s also the track that I’m most happy with the guitar work, there’s dynamic contrast between punchy distorted riffs and swelling emo leads at the end.”