Editor’s Note: Matt Mucerino of Crossing I’s Dotting T’s converses with Madness To Creation to talk about mental health, music and their latest EP. Crossing I’s Dotting T’s, out of Costa Mesa, California, recently released their EP, which is one of the most heartfelt EP’s I’ve heard in quite sometime. Their self-titled EP was inspired by Matt losing his cousin/best friend to cancer at the age of 21. Their song “See You At Your Funeral” is specifically about his cousin/best friend, while the other songs touch on mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and not feeling wanted. This EP is a wonderful listen as it mixes the 90’s power rock along with the 2000’s brand of post-hardcore/emo, and I see Crossing I’s Dotting T’s doing very well for themselves in the future. Fans can find Crossing I’s Dotting T’s on Instagram.
Madness To Creation: Congrats on the release of the EP! What are some rewarding and challenging aspects of mentally preparing yourself for release week?
Matt: Thank you! It is rewarding when you realize it has finally come together and all the hard work and honesty will be out to the world. It was tough though because this short 4 song EP actually took close to 9 months from thought to release and it was tough for me, honestly. There were some complications that pushed this release which wasn’t ideal either. It’s also always a trip wondering how people will perceive the songs and how they will react so you just have to keep your mind occupied somehow and just not really care what people think. I do a good job of not caring what people think, after all, we do make unpopular music.
Madness To Creation: How did you celebrate release day?
Matt: Ha, we all had work! No big celebration really.
Madness To Creation: Three biggest reasons why you got into music.
Matt: It’s all about passion, heart and emotion. “Music is for emotions” is my personal motto and if the music doesn’t evoke some type of emotion, then I don’t want it. It’s why I have always drifted more to the grunge/emo/punk side of music because it’s so passionate, real, and raw. Although, my favorite band since I was young has been The Counting Crows, so my music taste shifts.
Madness To Creation: Sounds like bands like Nirvana, The Pixies and Foo Fighters are major influences of yours, take us into your favorite songs and how did their music help carry you through the day?
Matt: “Where Is My Mind” by The Pixies was a song we gave an ode to in the outro of our song “Regret Stained Memories”. That was something cool and I’m happy it worked out so well. Other songs like “Accident Prone” by Jawbreaker, “Kick” by Spanish Love Songs, “I Saw Water” by Tigers Jaw, “Aim To Please” by Audio Karate were some big songs in my playlist at the time just to name a few. Those lyrically and sonically just hit so well for me.
Matt: I think the rest of the bands favorite is “Regret Stained Memories” but I think my favorite to play is probably “7:45am” that one brings out some serious raw energy and emotion on stage.
Madness To Creation: Did you all have to adjust the songwriting and recording process differently with the Covid pandemic?
Matt: I would say it stayed roughly the same! It gave us all more time to be able to write on our own more and bring ideas to table that we could use or scrap but overall getting to work from home and having more time to play music was helpful.
Madness To Creation: What is the biggest thing you learned about yourself through quarantine and the Covid pandemic?
Matt: I learned that life is shorter than you think and you need to do everything you can to achieve your dreams and make the most out of whatever life you want for yourself. For me and us, it’s music and it always has been and always will be so we are pushing so hard so quickly to make our dreams happen. Getting signed by Golden Robot Records/Riot Records and Getting endorsed by Orange Amps, Ernie Ball, and Tonetuga FX were all huge steps we love our new found families in them.
Madness To Creation: “See You At Your Funeral” hits close to home, how did you cope and carry yourself through losing someone close to you through cancer?(you have a right to pass on this question, if you just want to take us into the single that is cool with me)
Matt: I had a very hard time and didn’t have much support. I’d never had anything like that happen and to be honest I’m still coping and always will be. I use music as my coping mechanism in every case. Whether it’s writing that song about him or just divin into songs that we loved, song we screamed together, songs we thought were the “perfect song” (“Buttercup” by Hippo Campus and “Fell in Love With a Girl” by The White Stripes to name a couple”) but there isn’t anything that will fully heal the wound; there will always be a scar.
Madness To Creation: How can your story inspire others to make music? What are your goals you want to accomplish with this band?
Matt: If there’s one thing to take away it’s that “music is for emotions”
It’s the type of motto “At The Drive In” had which is another band that I admire. They said it’s not about perfection, it’s about heart and soul and they always stress that and it always shows in their shows. You don’t need to be perfect to be great, you just have to have that passion, conviction and message. People like real, at least that’s what I enjoy the most.
Madness To Creation: What are some personal and professional goals that you have in order to get you through the rest of the week or month?
Matt: The biggest thing right now is setting up an Audiotree Session! My cousin Who passed away and I used to always watch Audiotree sessions together and now I want to get an Audiotree session for him, I know he would be smiling down so heavily. Our lovely publicist Gabriella Natali at Big Picture Media is putting in work for us trying to get us some spots on different live sessions and we are really happy for her help too.
Madness To Creation: What’s next for Crossing I’s Dotting T’s?
Matt: We are gearing up to record some demos for our full length album now! We have a lot of shows lined up in the coming months and opening for In The Whale next week in San Diego so we are pumped for that. We also have an episode on Season 3 of CBS “Sounds of the Underground” with Joyce Manor and others coming out in October!
Madness To Creation: Our slogan is “You Freaking Matter”, what comes to mind with that slogan?
Matt: That’s a passionate slogan. You know the people behind it are going to aggressively back you and show you that “You Freaking Matter! “
Madness To Creation: Thank you for your time to interview with me for Madness To Creation.
Matt: Thank you so much for having me!