Based out of Culver City, California, Mediocre are the duo of Piper Torrison and Keely Martin. The highschool friends turned bandmates have been making music together for over half a decade, despite the fact they haven’t even finished college yet. Although currently based on opposite coasts of the United States, 2021 has been something of a break-out year for Mediocre, with the release of a trio of singles, as part of Dangerbird Records’ Microdose single series.
Most recently the band shared Mattress Bitch, a song that the band recall started off as a lark, yet became a song that illuminates the path forward for Mediocre’s music. Musically, it combines the 90’s alt-rock thrills of Liz Phair or The Breeders, with the modern bedroom pop sound of Snail Mail or Colleen Green. The track follows hot on the heels of the thrashy power-pop thrills of Waiting For Your Heart, and my personal favourite, Give In, an exploration of fleeting first love that was the first track the pair ever wrote together. Musically, it’s the sound of the band at their most contemplative, as luxuriously echoing two-part harmonies combine with easy guitar lines and clattering drum crescendos to create a monumental slice of dream-pop. Ignore the self-deprecating name, on this evidence, Mediocre are anything but.
FTR: For those who don’t know who is Mediocre?
Mediocre is our partnership & everything that comes from it! We started making music together in highschool, and began to develop our craft after involving ourselves in the DIY scene in West LA. We make alternative rock based music, taking inspiration from Surf Rock to 90’s Grunge to 80’s Dark Wave (or whatever we’re inspired by at the moment).
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
Our first gig was an EP release show for our friend’s band. We were not prepared for the amount of people who turned out, which made us freak out a little. Since we were just fifteen at the time, none of us had our licenses, so our parents had to drive us to Silverlake. Very humbling experience that made us excited to keep playing.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
Keely: What makes me so drawn to music is the ability to write songs in such a raw form and later develop it into something real that affects others emotionally. I kind of feel that way with the process of writing scripts as well since I am also really passionate about filmmaking. Being able to combine both of these art forms by directing our music videos has been so rewarding, and I’m excited to continue pursuing both.
Piper: I have a very real and all-encompassing desire to be able to articulate what I’m thinking and feeling, and it’s something I’ve found the most success in through music. I guess I could say that I write poetry as well, but much of what I write I later develop into lyrics or otherwise incorporate into our music, so I consider it all a part of my songwriting process.
FTR: What can people expect from the Mediocre live show?
That’s something we are in the process of redefining. Given the fact that we currently go to colleges on opposite coasts, let alone the whole global pandemic thing, we haven’t had the opportunity to play a show as the ‘Mediocre’ we’ve grown into. But we hope that people will soon be able to feel our excitement for what we’re creating and sharing when seeing us play live again!
FTR: What’s next for Mediocre?
Our immediate goals are to graduate college and immerse ourselves in our music as soon as possible. We haven’t been with each other for any significant amount of time for a couple years now, so we can’t wait to throw ourselves back into it and fully commit to writing and performing once summer starts.
They Listen To…
Liz Phair – X-Ray Man
The Breeders – Saints
Blur – Beetlebum
Good Morning – Just A Man
Habibi – I Got The Moves