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Flux Psyche on Neurodivergence and Gender Dysphoria - Tunes Tuesday Interview Transcript

Updated: Apr 6, 2022

Maud: Hi folks, my name's Maud Mostly, my pronouns are they/them, and welcome back to Tunes Tuesday, a weekly series where I sit down with queer 2SLGBTQ+ artists and talk to them about their experiences, their music, and so much more today I am joined by Southern California-based synthwave artist Flux Psyche. Thank you so much for joining me today, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Flux Psyche: Yeah no problem! Okay hi everyone, I'm Nat, my pronouns are they/them and I go by the artist name Flux Psyche. I make pop music, but it's also in like a variety of different styles within pop some of it's like very vaguely pop, but most of my music can actually be defined by the melancholic or dark kind of feeling, and the fact that I'm always trying to push all of those aspects beyond their current boundaries, and oftentimes that means blending genres. But you know I just experiment the best I can in general wherever it feels right. Also non-binary, I specifically like to label myself as like, trans masculine gender fluid (if you don't know what that means, it's okay) basically I am masculine, but not a man, and gender fluid means that my identity around gender is fluctuating, and oftentimes so it's my presentation. Yeah I'm also very outspoken on my experiences with mental illness and neurodivergence which informs much of my music as well.

M: Thank you so much for sharing so much about yourself, I mean it's so great to have those jumping off points and I'm really excited to get to know you more throughout this interview. And I know you know, you were just talking about the ways you like to kind of genre bend and move around a lot within pop, and that really relates to the fact that you know, in 2020 you released your EP Drifting, and the songs on it are a lot more music based than lyric based. And do you find you can communicate more with sounds than words?

F: Yeah, so speaking of neurodivergence, I feel like this is something that relates to that, like I feel like you so get me for asking that question. Yeah right on honestly. Basically to explain a little bit more, in my creative process I've really yet to make a song where I think of the lyrics by themselves first, and evidently that shows, so cool- yeah, my writing process basically revolves around how music feels to me. So like the way it moves me emotionally oftentimes. I get ideas from songs a lot when I'm doing something like mundane, and a lot of what happens is just like a little thing like an interval, or a melody, sometimes a melody with lyrics, sometimes even chords, sometimes even a bit of the production will just come to me and I'll just like hear it and it's so beautiful and I like have to go run to my room and like record with my like phone and do like a little voice memo, and yeah that's that's kind of how things start, and so I feel like that that has a lot to do with that you know, I just like feel something and I'm moved musically by it. You know, oftentimes when I'm composing to go along with the melody I can't even tell what notes are in the chord that I'm like hearing, and so I'll just kind of have to play around on my keyboard until I feel the right feeling, if that makes sense. I think about this a lot so I have like a lot to say, and also I'm very talkative. Yeah and you know I kind of feel like I'm not the most verbal in general like I like to communicate with like looks, and like silly noises oftentimes, and you know it's funny too, because I just feel like I don't pay that much attention to lyrics and other people's music unless I'm writing about it which is part of the reason I like writing about other people's music, because I feel like it pushes me to really get it. But yeah hopefully hopefully you kind of get what I mean by all of that (I know that was like a lot, but).

M: Definitely, no I love just how many different things you brought in there and you really took us through your process, which is incredible. And I know we were just kind of highlighting the fact that your music isn't as lyric centered, but See Me is one of the songs that can be heard on your most recent EP and it speaks to some of your experiences as a trans person. So can you share more about the feelings behind those lyrics?

F: Of course, yeah, so I love this because this is my least streamed song, and it's really disappointing to me because I love it. I just think it's not the sort of song that people find like catchy, so it's just not as much interest as I would have wanted. Oh you know it's like a trip hoppy song slow paced so, but anyways you know it's intentionally abstract lyrically, which I really like about it, after the fact looking back on it you know? I like that it can be interpreted in many ways but, it yeah it is intended to be about my experience as a trans person, specifically about the social aspects aspect of gender dysphoria you know, that's been like a big kind of point of contention or conflict within myself throughout my transition. Yeah it relies on lyrically it relies literally on the imagery of like glass and mirrors which serves as a metaphor for perception, again specifically like social perception, so how people see me and how I've seen me throughout my life even (which that might be shocking to some) anyone throughout my transition has caused a lot of unnecessary pain and dysphoria. Most people just don't understand like, I like my presentation now is more androgynous too, and in many ways I am more affirmed, but I liked my presentation before too. And I wholeheartedly reject the idea that I'm more non-binary for changing my physical appearance because it's not it's not about appearance, it's about identity you know? It's about who I am, but unfortunately even when you know that even like when you know that about yourself as a trans person it can be hard to unlearn the assumptions that are so ingrained in all of us about gender and gender expression, so my early transition stages like it didn't matter how much I felt alienated from my own womanhood (or well not really my own womanhood, from what I thought was my own womanhood, you'd get me) or you know it didn't matter how much I insisted who I knew I was, like I still would look at myself in the mirror you know, when I look in the mirror- my lyrics you know, I still looked at myself and saw a girl honestly. That's how I saw myself and so did the vast majority of other people, and I felt unseen, I felt invisible and that was really hard. I just hope people can understand on some level I feel like- I really hope some people can understand more what that's like from listening to the song, if anyone who is not trans even listens to it and if nothing else I feel like people can understand the more broad message about the frustration of feeling unseen, so yeah.

M: Yeah that's a really powerful you know thing to express through that music, and I'm really glad you found that outlet, and I do agree I hope people you know who don't have these trans experiences or any kind of trans experience do kind of get a little bit of a glimpse of how those feelings can come up for people through your music. And then over social media you've been kind of alluding to releasing some new music, so do you know when we can be expecting that and what can people kind of you know, hear in future singles? What topics are you hoping to address, and what sounds are you going to be leaning on?

F: Yeah, so okay buckle up, because there is a lot that's coming okay there is a lot, and some of it I'm not sure, like I might cut it out or like change my mind, but okay. Basically I don't know when my music will be released yet, hopefully soon. I think at least one new single can be released very soon I'm really hoping, but I've been working on a lot because I'm feeling like in a better place psychologically, for whatever reason I'm just very relieved about that. But you know, I do technically have a song on Bandcamp actually, that a lot of people don't know about because it's on my friend's profile and I'm not advertising it because the vocals are not- I'm not super satisfied with them, and I want to re-record them before I release it, but since we're discussing and I want to give you a little inside scoop, it's called “I Love You” and it's on the Denizens Mixtape One on Bandcamp and I think that's under the Camerata Los Angeles Bandcamp, and I'm not sure if that's what he calls it, but definitely Denizens Mixtape One. As far as what my new music will be like, I'm planning on continuing to experiment performing musical boundaries of course, of course, of course, yeah I have a song that's like an kind of an indie grunge thing that's in the works, hoping to like make at least the shoegaze version of that, or a shoegaze like version maybe like shoegaze noise or something. I have a song that's like cinematic kind of dream poppy IDM (intelligent dance music as it's called) which kind of pretentious, but that's the genre you know? And that's the I love you song that I mentioned earlier, and then I'm making another kind of melancholy synth pop song which is similar to my single In Flux that everybody loves, and I'm considering releasing like dark instrumental stuff maybe because I've been coming up with a lot of chord stuff playing around on my keyboard. I also do have a Halloween EP that I had gotten pretty far on before my Mac died, and I wasn't able to use logic anymore, and I don't know when I'll be able to finish that, I'm just hoping some someday you know? But overall you know like, I'm hoping to release a full album and I'm thinking hopefully some songs I will work on I'm working on now will be part of that, and again to give you to give you a scoop, really want to give the the people watching this a reward I'm thinking of naming the album that I already seem to have a few songs for “Rume” R-U-M-E because it's like a triple meaning for me. It's not even actually a word but it's a word I derive from the word ruminate, which is like a heavy mental health word you know I was a psych major I have a psych BA and of course I have a lot of experience with mental health, and then you know it's like also like a physical like room like the idea of space and kind of confinement even hopefully breaking free of the confidence but you know, I think there's a lot of ideas there and then the Tommy Wiseau movie The Room is really relevant to my relationship and you know, it means a lot- it means a lot to me even though it's like a silly movie, so and I'm writing more about my partner now, so I'm hoping to bring like that sort of positivity to my music as well. Yeah and even- even though my music is brought in style I do feel like the thread that ties it together is like my point of view as an artist and I'm hoping people can understand, because I know I just like named off a lot of like different sounding things but you know, my work is all autobiographical (maybe with the exception of my Halloween project which is more whimsical and I even think that is still representative of me because on the inside I feel like I'm still just like a little goth kid.) So overall though yes, I'm just hoping- I'm just hoping people will see me and my work and be drawn to that that aspect of of my identity, and my experiences and yeah all my ideas and stuff.

M: Well that sounds like a ton to look forward to, which is incredible. If you would like to stay up to date on those releases make sure to check out their social media, their listening links below, you can support them there, you can check out some other songs. Thank you so much for being here with us today, and thank you so much to Flux Psyche who will be playing us out, see you next week folks!

*See Me by Flux Psyche begins playing*

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