Extra Large Holiday Card - Sound In The Signals Interview

I recently had the opportunity to interview Chris Freeman of Extra Large Holiday Card and Hot Mulligan. We discussed when he started the project, influences, his favorite part about expanding into a new genre, his process of self-producing,  filming the video for new song, “Two Places”, collaborating with Bruiser, plans for new music, and more. Check it out below.

Stylistically, XLHC is a different path for you than Hot Mulligan but you perform it so well. When did you decide that you were going to do XLHC and who were some of your biggest influences for this project?

I started this project in 2018 with my first song Going, Going, Gone. It was just a piano melody, drum beat, and one verse that sounds too much like Say Anything, but I sent it to a friend of mine for fun and they said I should record it and put it out, so I did. I’ve been taking influences from all over lately—like 90s-00s Emo, hip hop and trap, hyperpop, pop punk, indie rock, lofi, pop, and math rock. I’d say my influences for the project are ever changing and just whatever I’m into at the time. Right now I’m listening to a lot of Charli XCX. 

What’s been your favorite part about expanding into a new genre?

I like feeling like I don’t have any boundaries or expectations. Admittedly, I don’t have a lot of experience making music in other genres because Hot Mulligan has been my primary project forever, so it’s also been fun to come back to my roots and struggle a bit to figure out how to make something I like and connect in new styles. 

I know you’ve been getting more into the recording side of music. You’ve worked on a few projects. With this upcoming XLHC release you produced, engineered, mixed, and mastered it. What made you want to self-produce this project and what has the experience and process been like?

I was just making the beat with my friend Jake for fun and had a vocal melody idea to throw down when we were done with it. It happened really fast and I didn’t want to slow it down by sending it elsewhere. I also want to showcase my own production and mixing abilities for myself to look back on down the line and find improvement. I got distracted writing this. Anyway, it was really free flowing and fast paced without much thought behind it. I think we made the beat and my vocal part in 3 hours total, sent the open verse to bruiser and he had his part done the next morning. 

You recently released a new video for “Two Places” and it’s really interesting visually. Who came up with the concept for the video and what was your favorite scene to shoot?

Michael Herrick came up with most of the shots, and the whole video shoot and planning was kind of a clustered brainstorm session and carefree. We just wanted to have fun with it, not take it too seriously, and get good shots out of it. My favorite scene to shoot was probably the set destruction scene during the credits at the end. Michael told me to actually scream while we were doing it, but we were in an apartment building and I really don’t think they vibed with the screaming. It looks great though! 

Bruiser is featured on the track and is another artist who is doing something sort of similar. It’s a great feature for the song. How did it work out for him to be featured on the song?

We had worked together in the past on his song All Night Long. I really love his melodies and lyrics. I finished my part so quick and didn’t want to write any more to it, so I just texted him because I thought he’d do something cool, and he did. 

Do you have a tentative date for when we might hear the full six songs? Do you plan to self-release the entire project as well?

I had plans for a 6 song EP. I have six songs for it completely written besides a couple verses, but I might hold off and make it an album. I want to self-produce and mix the whole album, but I have songs with other producers I’ve collaborated with that I want to put out first. So, I don’t know. We’ll see!

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

I do not. Thank you though for the interview. I appreciate that someone would want to take the time to ask questions about my music. 

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