Ben Schuller is continuing to roll out his upcoming album New Roaring 20s, song by song (or chapter by chapter), and today he has released his new single "Full Throttle."
The video for the mesmerizing track is premiering today on Variance, giving fans at the seventh "chapter" in the album, which is described as an incisive meditation on Gen Z's obsession with social media and instant gratification.
In addition to the new visuals, Schuller chatted with Variance about the new music, his powerlifting days (!?) and what comes next.
Watch the video and check out the Q+A below.
What is the inspiration behind "Full Throttle"?
The song is about facing your own self destruction, realizing how much damage your own choices are causing you, but also knowing you can’t stop. Once you get a little taste of the things that come with success, it’s so easy to crave more, to get addicted. When you start to base your identity off of this feeling of validation that comes when people are putting you on a pedestal, you start to lose yourself in the process.
Is the music you're releasing now material you already had from before or during the quarantine? How has the past year affected your songwriting?
I started on the concept for this project back last February, right before the world went crazy. So the vast majority of it has been made during the pandemic. It’s been a really weird year for creating for sure. One one hand, you could say that you have more time to sit down and write since you can’t go anywhere. But I’ve battled feeling burned out plenty of times. There’s only so many days you can do the same things over and over.
What can you tell us about the album?
New Roaring 20s is a look at our generation’s relationship with social media, the Internet, and what happens when you base your self-worth off of it. And while the concepts can apply to anyone, it’s really about my own journey and struggles with finding success on this platform all the while it was tearing me down. I essentially owe my career to the Internet, but when you’re reliant on something so volatile, so shallow and artificial at times, it wears on you. Writing these songs have been a sort of therapy in a way. And the music videos have been my outlet to get these ideas across in the best way I know how.
Your music doesn't really seem to conform to any one particular genre. What kind of music do you listen to yourself?
My musical tastes have always been all over the place. Being in the “pop” music world, the sounds are always changing with the times. I think now, I’m into a lot of chill, RnB influenced vibes. Stuff that really gets into your feels. The Neighbourhood is one of my favorite groups, kinda fun to see "Sweater Weather" blowing up again almost a decade later.
If you could collaborate with any other artists or producers, who would it be?
Ryan Tedder has always been a huge idol of mine. One of the most talented people in the industry for sure, and a big influence on my own music when I was getting started.
Outside of music, what is something you're really good at or something people might be surprised to know you can do?
Well I definitely can’t do this anymore.. but I used to be a competitive powerlifter. I could squat almost 600 lbs back in my prime. I can’t tell you the last time I even did a deadlift now, but it’s fun to bring back those old pictures since it’s such a different image than how people see me haha.
What is your goal for the rest of the year?
I’ve been so focused on this album for so long, after it’s done, I’m not even sure yet. If the world opens back up, I would love to get on the road and give this record a proper tour. But I don’t think anyone knows when that’s going to be possible.