food house Turns the Snare Up One More Level

food house Turns the Snare Up One More Level

The chaotic, collective efforts of Gupi and Fraxiom first burst onto people's radar this February with their underground smash, "Thos Moser." Naturally finding a home on Dog Show Records, the label helmed by 100 gecs' Dylan Brady, "Thos Moser" is a giddy and hyperactive electro-house banger that makes no attempt to hide the duo's feelings about Elon Musk, Notch or Zedd. The track's viral success destroyed any hold the East Coast furniture manufacturer had on its SEO and established the group as one of the most exciting, new acts to bubble up from this year's hyperpop scene.

Bolstered by the unexpected success of "Thos Moser" (and left with frankly not much else to do under quarantine), Gupi and Fraxiom got to work on the inevitable follow-up. Now collectively known as food house, they have returned with a self-titled debut album. Like shotgunning the entirety of Tumblr, Reddit and 4Chan at the height of the Homestuck fandom, food house's breakout sounds like mainlining cringe comps and bass-boosted TikToks all while listening to every top 10 pop hit between the years of 2010 and 2013 at the same time. It's the type of music that makes what we typically think of as hyperpop look decaf.

The amount of inside jokes, absurd skits and obscure pop culture references food house manages to cram into this album is staggering. There's an ode the parking lot outside a Target/CVS pharmacy, a cameo from Siri confirming that Ronald Reagan is still dead and a moment where Gupi screams at Fraxiom to "just sing real shit" after a line about eating baby food. Sonically, it's just as varied with clear nods to Owl City, Deadmau5, David Guetta, PC Music, Drain Gang, the aforementioned 100 gecs, Soundcloud shitposts, peak Majestic Casual future bass and more. Each track is a sharp left turn from the one before it. In anyone else's hands, the whole thing would undoubtedly collapse under its own weight, but food house manages to pull it off with an earnestness and don't-give-a-fuck attitude that makes everything go down rather smoothly.

Ahead of the release of food house's album, Gupi and Fraxiom half-joke about how they need to get the word out that an album actually exists and it isn't another meme among their friend group. And while there is really nothing explicitly preventing anyone from enjoying the full project, both are conscious that not everyone will fully "get" it and that's OK. Not everyone grew up listening to Crazy Frog on their iPod shuffle or freaked their friends out with Lasagna Cat videos or lived through the Onceler fandom. But everyone is welcome in food house (unless you're a cop, a TERF or a billionaire... then you can actually fuck off).

What is your process working together like?

Frax: It's like me tweeting, "Too shy to ask Spencer [Gupi] to make a Drain Gang-type beat," and then he sees it and then he does it really, really well and I'm like, "Fuck he did it," and then it's like, "Watch this! But I ri-i-i-ide," and then yeah.

Gupi: That is exactly how "Ride" came about actually. Other times, we'll see a funny Twitter video where it's like, "Oh no, I accidentally turned the bass up too loud while the music is playing," and then we're like, "Let's make a beat that sounds like this." We watched a lot of YouTube during quarantine, a lot of Degrassi, How it's Made and food processing machine videos. Those always have funny, royalty-free music in them and we're like, "Oh let's make something like this," and Frax writes all the lyrics in 10 minutes and it happens.

Frax: I got a little thing going, I guess.

Sick. What are some of your references or inspirations for this album?

Gupi: There's a whole lot. I don't know, Frax, what comes to mind first?

Frax: Definitely Black Eyed Peas, Far East Movement, Kesha, all that sort of pop. Also some "now" music like SoundCloud, Drain Gang and Will Crooks shit, that whole type of music. PC Music and [100] gecs of course, that's obvious that we were going to be influenced by that because everybody knows it's the Dog Show [Records] formula.

Gupi: Yeah! I have to agree, I think we were trying to very much emulate that era of music where I think pop was just a little more fun, to be honest. I listen to pop music now and it's not that it's bad, but I just don't want to listen to it over and over. There's so many songs from that era that everyone still gets down to like Kesha's Animal and that Black Eyed Peas album. You don't hear that type of stuff in popular radio anymore. It's sort of its own subset. We definitely made a hybrid of that era and newer electronic music from a lot of people that we grew up making music around or listening to.

Frax: A. G. Cook, Black Eyed Peas.

Gupi: Yeah, in summary.

Was 3OH!3's "Don't Trust Me" that era, too?

Frax: Oh my fucking god!

Gupi: Yeah! That was the first one I was going to say, to be honest. [Laughs]

Frax: I love 3OH!3, I'm going to cry. Please include 3OH!3, oh my god.

"Mos Thoser" completely reminds me of those Minecraft parody music videos people used to make.

Gupi: Dude! I sent it to drive45 and they were like, "I love 'Mos Thoser,' it sounds like the Five Nights at Freddy's parody music," like holy shit! Didn't even mean it to!

Frax: Wait wait wait, like a specific Five Nights song?

Gupi: No! But I love that two people have basically said like, "Yo, that sounds like 2012 parody YouTube music!" [Laughs]

Frax: I love when people in the comments are like, "This sounds like The Living Tombstone," I'm like, "True!"

Gupi: I'm really excited for people right before the album to think that's sort of like all we do, and then listen to the album and maybe feel differently in a good or bad way.

Frax: Wow, people think that we're EpicRapBattlesofHistory, right now!

Did the response to "Thos Moser" end up influencing how the album took shape?

Frax: It was a bit of a radio smash, I guess.

Gupi: I think we were expecting people to be excited because we had people approach us about it before it came out and that was the first time that it happened for either of us with a song. I think it did much better than we were anticipating and became more of a thing. When we first were writing the song, we thought it was more gonna be an inside joke among friends and reach somewhat of an audience just in our weird circle. But it became more than that. We soundchecked it at MAGFest one time and Water Spirit came up to me and was like, "Wait that's your song?," before it had even come out. It was exciting, but also a little intimidating because we didn't really have anything planned to come out after that. All of the food house album was made after "Thos Moser."

Frax: Definitely. One of my favorite periods of time was when more people heard "Thos Moser than they knew what it was. It was on Reddit and shit. People were like, "Is this Bladee or Ecco2K, what is this song?"

Gupi: Holy shit. [Laughs] I'm trying to think of that brain connection. It was on that PC Music shitposting Facebook group.

Frax: Yeah, that was crazy. Even when we made the album, we still tried to retain that inside joke energy throughout. We made "Thos Moser," but there are moments in it where it's just like, "More than our friends are gonna listen to this," like, "That's funny, fuck you."

Gupi: Will Crook's EP that just came out starts with, "If you are not a Will Crooks fan, turn this shit the fuck off!" I feel like it's sort of a similar energy. You can listen to it if you want, you can listen to it with your parents in the car.

I'm sure an album between you two would have always happened eventually, but would you say "Thos Moser's" success helped make the food house album possible?

Gupi: We've been planning on making new music for a while. That's why we made "Thos Moser" because it was actually going to be on our EP or album that we were conceptually doing. So we would have done it, anyways. But you're very right that it did feel like a realization that, "Oh, people will like this."

Frax: It made me realize that when we are together, we have this dynamic that a lot of people really like to see and is good at making a song that we like, which is cool, crazy and rare. What's awesome about it too is that we are literally just being ourselves, which is why it doesn't feel real. It's just this instinct that we've built by spending so long hanging out and socially damaging ourselves that we can just trust how fucked up we're gonna be. There's a genre of person who will like that.

Gupi: That's right. When I got to Boston and Frax was there, that was for both of us an extremely isolating time in our life. We really only had each other and I couldn't relate to anyone else like that. It's interesting to see all of these kids come out of the woodwork that are like, "Oh, this is cool." I just didn't know where they were before. It's very interesting to see and rewarding because I was those kids listening to 100 gecs in like 2018.

Frax: Absolutely, yes. Seeing all the fan art and shit is so crazy all the time. People are going nuts, wild, love it.

What's the backstory behind the audio clip we hear in "Mos Thoser"?

Gupi: I got a phone call from my school's police department and I had reported something at the school, so I expected it to be about that. I was like, "I'll just answer later." I heard the voicemail and basically the dude was like, "I need to talk to you, there's been some disturbing exchanges between you and Frax on Twitter." When he said that, my heart sank. I was like, "What are you talking about?" [Laughs] I knew that we posted crazy shit, but nothing that was worth a police phone call. I guess there was a photo that either Frax or I had posted a while ago, and I could have sworn that I deleted it because my mom had a whole fit about it with me and wanted me to delete it.

Frax: It still gets fucking posted everywhere, so we have no control over it being gone.

Gupi: It was Frax with an airsoft gun pointed at my head. It was sort of funny, but it wasn't a great time to pull something like that. What did you have to do after?

Frax: I did nothing. You told them where I lived because if you didn't, they were gonna investigate me themselves. Then my parents were gonna find out, basically. I knew that all they were going to do was ban me from Berklee [College of Music] and I had no desire to go back to Berklee. Then they sent me this shit in the mail. It's like, "If you step on the campus of Berklee, you will get arrested," and it's framed in my living room. Literally after tweeting it, I was like, "Should I delete this?" And you were like, "Nah, that's fine."

Gupi: Oh my god, well here we are.

Frax: Yeah, what's funny is that he definitely did not have to do shit because I didn't do anything actually wrong, and definitely targeted me because I was openly queer and anti-police.

Gupi: Absolutely, yeah.

Frax: I think it's funny that now because of that, he is going to be the laughingstock of this album that is probably going to be like, published by Berklee.

Gupi: They're gonna be so fucking proud of me.

Frax: There's literally in the middle of the album a 22 second pause just to make fun of him, so that's revenge.

Gupi: I think it worked out, but sorry that that was basically all my fault. [Laughs]

Frax: If I liked to go to Berklee, or if I wanted to be on campus, I would have maybe been mad but it's whatever.

Photo Courtesy of Fraxiom

Do you think Skrillex is a good kisser?

Frax: Yeah, I could only hope. Like no one has kissed him, right?

Gupi: I feel like he'd be an awkward shy kiss or not know what to do. But really, "No, it's OK Skrillex, it's OK." [Laughs]

What flavor of lipgloss would you pick out to kiss Skrillex?

Frax: Oh my god, definitely strawberry or cherry because he's either mint or dark licorice or dark chocolate and strawberry or cherry would complement all of those at least semi-well.

Gupi: This is brain-genius thinking that I can't even compete with. I don't even want to say anything, that's nuts. [Laughs] I agree.

Fuck, Marry, Kill: Sonic, Goku, Chef Boyardee.

Frax: Wait, hold on.

Gupi: I feel like I know this.

Frax: Wait, do we both have to answer or do we have to collab on this?

Gupi: I feel like there's only one answer to this.

Frax: Spencer, wait I'm like thinking about loyalty. [Laughs]

Gupi: My one thing is that I really don't want to fuck a hedgehog.

Frax: Yeah.

Gupi: So I feel like there's an answer.

Frax: Say it.

Gupi: I want to marry Sonic because he'd be a lovely partner. I'd fuck Goku and probably kill Chef Boyardee.

Frax: You know what? I will agree because we're killing the only brand.

Gupi: True!

Frax: I'm questioning Sonic's faithfulness, but if you get to divorce Sonic you get half his speed.

Gupi: This is a good scheme. I stand with my answer.

Where would you take Sonic on a first date, if that's the case?

Frax: Oh god, Sonic [the fast food chain]. "Sonic, we're at you."

Gupi: Frax would go to Sonic with Sonic. I would take Sonic to a skatepark because he could run around.

Femboy Hooters or Trans Bass Pro Shop?

Frax: Trans Bass Pro Shop.

Gupi: I think Trans Bass Pro Shop, too.

Frax: Trans people deserve that pyramid. 100 fucking percent. [Laughs]

Gupi: It's the trans capital.

Frax: Yeah, exactly. Trans people should take over the Bass Pro Shops pyramid and make it the trans capital.

Gupi: That's a really good idea. This is gonna be a dangerous article, but in the best way.

Photos courtesy of food house