The Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, in partnership with the UGA Graduate School, UGA Arts Council, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, and Flagpole, has awarded 34 micro-fellowships in its Shelter Projects program. The $500 fellowships support graduate students and community-based artists and practitioners in the creation of shareable reflections on their experience of the current pandemic through the arts and humanities.
Statement by Eddy Lezama: GranGrump Media is a collection of various musical projects that I’ve been working on mostly by myself but occasionally with friends in my Quarantine Bubble. In the downtime we’ve had since COVID began, I have been creating multimedia time capsules of sorts. I will typically make a song and then work on the Jcard design, but a couple of these releases have been done the opposite way. Working on these projects has helped to keep me sane and grounded in a world that is rapidly changing every day.
I’d like to thank Burstito, Chase Merrit, Reeth Dasgupta, Tommy Williams, my Grandparents, my Mom, FMOTU and Shelter Projects for helping to keep this ball rolling during such a weird time. Eventually these songs will make it onto physical cassettes, but with the state of the world right now, it seems best to wait a moment.
Flagpole: Can you tell us a little bit about the concept behind GranGrump Media? What led you to record under multiple musical names versus just one?
Eddy Lezama: GranGrump Media doubles as a multimedia label and a reference/dedication to my Grandparents. I’ve been pretty mentally erratic this entire year. Releasing under various names granted me the freedom to create any kind of experience I felt was necessary at the time. It also allowed me to work quickly with friends via audio files and email. Recording under multiple names just makes it easier for me to release things without getting stuck in the thought process of how it “should” sound.
Flagpole: I find it really cool that each of your recordings is accompanied by a different Jcard illustration, and am reminded of how The Bursters had costumes for live shows. How would you describe the overall relationship between your music and your art? Do you usually find yourself bouncing back and forth between mediums, or do you try to fuse things into multimedia projects when possible?
EL: I’m constantly bouncing back and forth between mediums. I can’t really focus on one thing for too long or I get anxious with it. Out of that ritual, it seems like “multimedia” ends up being how most things I create would be categorized. I’m a visual creator first, and everything else I do is typically to support that in some way.
Flagpole: How did you get into the world of making collectibles and resin toys?
EL: I’ve been a toy collector my whole life, and I feel like most people that have this hobby or disease typically become curious as to how they can create their own. I enjoy sculpting, and resin casting is the easiest way to go about duplicating three-dimensional creations.
Flagpole: ¿Banana? recently released a music video for the song “Salo’s Lament” that was animated by you! What was the process like for creating this animation?
EL: That was a fun video to make. They asked me if I’d animate a music video with a sad robot who gets abducted. The rest was up to me. I used a mix of MSPaint 3D, Aesprite and VSDC video editor because they’re all free or incredibly cheap. I find that using what most would consider “low tier” editing software is actually where I have the greatest workflow. Animation has become a bigger focus for me in 2020, and there are so many projects on the way that I am very excited to reveal.
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