Mild Goth Daddy Interview
Music Mondays is all about spotlighting emerging creatives and this week we sat down with a brand new designer on the scene known as Mild Goth Daddy. In this exclusive interview we break down what got Mild into the underground scene, what inspires their designing and much more in this MM article.
Zomb: First off, where are you from and how old are you?
Mild: I am 27 yrs old and from the middle of nowhere in Alabama.
Zomb: Alabama is definitely one of the more rare locations for artists for sure, tell us a little bit about what it was like growing up down south? What were the early years like for you?
Mild: So the early years were pretty rough, I had less than pleasant parents. To save on some of the more depressing details they just weren't around at all and my mom died when I was pretty young, around 8 or so. I had amazing grandparents and great grandparents. They took me in and raised me. I grew up on a large chicken farm. My grandfather raised chickens and sold hay. So I was working a lot even at a young age really. I helped with the chickens and the hay, driving tractors and all of that kind of stuff. I definitely didn't enjoy the majority of it but I am thankful for it now looking back. I pretty much had the typical southern upbringing, farming and hunting, but I quickly figured out that wasn't my "style" I guess you could say.
Zomb: Wow first off, huge shoutout to your grandparents that’s actually such a blessing. It’s a really good thing you take what you can from it and look back on it as a mostly positive experience. Especially when you consider the work ethic experience you can take from it. So living in Alabama was a typical southern experience, what was some of your favorite music early on? Who were some artists you remember listening to growing up at an early age?
Mild: Definitely, I owe a lot to them. The early early stuff was just whatever the grandparents would play. They loved bluegrass music, so it was mainly bluegrass and gospel.
I remember they had a cassette of the soundtrack for the movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" that they played constantly, I even still listen to it every now and then. Once I finally started getting into my own music I went straight for the heavier stuff. I was into older metal for a long time, listened to a lot of Metallica and stuff like that. I really fell in love with screamo and metalcore music. The angrier sounding stuff always stood out to me. One of my most played albums of all time is Atreyu's first album. A friend of mine in middle school gave me the CD and I still have it and listen to it to this day. So I started with the classic gospel and bluegrass but quickly went more towards rock/metal/screamo, anything heavier sounding really.
Zomb: Right yeah so you totally had a wide range of sounds growing up, I feel like so many of us drifted into heavier sounds at one point in our younger years. So initially you didn’t start designing and creating early on with digital media but let’s talk about your early art projects. Everything from carving magic cards to other projects, what was your inspiration for that era and how old were you at the time?
Mild: Hmm, that's a tough one. I really have never been super artsy, at least not in my younger years. I found out pretty early I couldn't draw or anything like that so I never did much in the way of art until later in my life. I just kinda wrote it off as "art is't for me", not thinking about the many different forms of art. Like you mentioned though, I have always been into TCG cards, Magic, yugioh, all of those. It was probably my later teens when I stumbled across someone making 3d MTG card alters, where you cut the card and overlap copies of it to give it a 3d effect. That really stood out to me so I decided to give it a shot myself and I still do them from time to time now. Outside of that and my current digital stuff/photography I am doing, my current girlfriend is a very talented artist and we have done some stuff together the last couple years. Some paintings and spray paint art, it’s a lot of fun when you put no pressure on it.
Zomb: That’s so sick, I knew there was some hidden lore there, especially with TCG’s. You mentioned that early on you were never super artsy until dabbling in your later teens, which leads me into my next question. You’re a pretty heavy gamer and more specifically a speedrunner which didn’t come until later. What were some games you played early on when you were younger and into your teen years?
Mild: For sure, gaming has always been one of my favorite hobbies. The very first game I remember playing was the demo disc for Resident Evil 3 I think it was. It came with dino crisis on ps1 back in the day. Scared the hell out of me as a little kid haha. Probably one of the reasons I am so into horror now though. A game I am still obsessed with to this day though is Spyro. I played so much of the original spyro trilogy. Everything about those games has a special place in my heart, from the art to the music. I pretty much only played on the playstation throughout the years, so it was a lot of Spyro, Sly Cooper, and Jak and Daxter. Those 3 really stand out for me. Living with my grandparents they were fairly strict and they followed those game ratings religiously, I didn't get into T/M rated games till much later. But when they finally loosened up a bit I got into Call of Duty pretty heavily. Specifically MW2 and Black Ops 1. Once I finally got my own PC I discovered Runescape. That's a journey all by itself there, I spent many years playing that game on and off. Same with League of Legends, but I still play League to this day. There's so so many games that I played over the years but those are the main ones that really stick out to me. Real gems, minus League of course, anyone that plays that game understands.
Zomb: This one made me crack up, definitely a stack of gems here and the League relationship is absolutely something people can relate to. So you’ve been creating in niche forms and gaming for the majority of your life, then we hit your early twenties and the more recent years. When did you initially start speedrunning and how did the platform Indie Horror Speedruns come into play?
Mild: Speedrunning definitely came a lot later for me. I started doing runs myself 3 yrs ago. It was something that always interested me, mainly all the crazy glitches. I watched tons of speedruns on youtube and would see GDQ and stuff like that just never started doing it myself for whatever reason. Once I finally took that dive into doing runs myself though I never looked back. I started with a few smaller games before I saw a video on "Granny" and decided to give it a try, the glitches looked really interesting to me. I stayed there for a long time and kind of discovered my love for glitch hunting, I never even did a run of the game, just worked to find new tricks and time saves. I cant remember if I was browsing through Itch.io or through newer games on speedrun.com but I came across a short indie game called "The Whitetail Incident'' and saw there was a discord server linked on the leaderboard. "Indie Horror Speedruns' ', it might have had 20 people in it at the time, but it quickly became my 2nd home honestly. It was super welcoming, everyone just playing honestly pretty terrible indie horror games and doing speedruns of them. I had found some tricks in The Whitetail Incident so one of the early members of IHS asked me to look into another short horror game he had set a bounty for, I found everything he was looking for and we went back and forth lowering the time on the game. That was a really awesome early memory of IHS for me and really helped me stay there. Like I mentioned its pretty much my 2nd home now. We have added over 500 people since I first joined. Love seeing it grow like it has over the years and hope to continue to see it grow.
Zomb: So essentially this was a newer type of passion for you and IHS just capped it off for everything. We’ve definitely worked with IHS in the past so it’s interesting to get a background story on really how that came into play. So that takes us up to more recent times and your current creative plate. You recently got into designing after speedrunning for a few years, how did that come about? You originally were taking photos IRL and editing them right?
Mild: That's right, yea. So I have always been into darker imagery, anything that is dark, sad, horror etc. has always stood out to me.
I got a job at a Funeral Home a few years back and it takes me to all kinds of places and I see a lot of cemeteries, some super old ones and some newer ones. I started just taking pictures of them when I would go to one that looked interesting and I would edit them. It wasn't anything crazy at the time, just some simple edits. But a few people here and there would tell me they looked cool and they liked them so it became a habit when I would go out on funerals to snap a few pictures.
Zomb: That’s such an interesting part of your come up, it almost seemed like once you posted 1 then it just flew off from there. You started to get involved with not only your own personal art along with creating track covers for artists. Eventually you started designing for the collective known as HAIRYWORLD. How did that relationship come about?
Mild: It really did. I had finally found my spot in the art world really. The HAIRYWORLD relationship came about really naturally, its kinda crazy.
I met Zomb Slays (You) through speedrunning and IHS, and he was one of the OG supporters of my art. He was super supportive of it.
He had shown me LordHeretic's music before and I really liked it, never had any idea I would be working with them and creating stuff for them haha.
Zomb hit me up and asked me one day if I would be down to join HAIRYWORLD with them, it was a no brainer really. It has been a really amazing opportunity.
Zomb: Aw man this come up is so pure, this is a huge reason why I wanted to have a sit down interview. I really wanted to show the community how genuine and natural your come up was and still is. Huge shoutout to HAIRYWORLD. This definitely leads me into my next question, what is your creative process like for personal pieces or covers? How long does it typically take you to cook up something?
Zomb: Yeah see this is just insane, your style is definitely top notch when it comes to being MGD. Speaking of which, where did your name come from? How did you settle on Mild Goth Daddy?
Mild: For years and years my online name was always "Hoss Delgado", he was one of my favorite characters from The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy. I wanted to change it up though and asked my girlfriend to help me come up with something new to call myself and she came up with MGD haha. She said her reasoning was that she already considered Ghostemane her goth daddy, but I could be the Mild version of that. So, yea, Mild Goth Daddy it was. People meme it all the time but I get a kick out of it haha.
Zomb: Actually such a great opportunity to tell this story because wow, I bet so many people wanted to know that. One of my last questions for you is creativity aside, what are some of the things you do outside of creating and speedrunning to keep yourself sane? What do you enjoy the most to unwind?
Mild: Really gaming and music have always been my go to things. Going back to League, it can be a bit stressful at times but since I have been playing it for so many years I don't need to put in much effort for it so it's easy to turn my brain off with it. Same with music, I always have something playing, its such a nice escape. I listen to a few different podcasts as well, one of my all time favorites is called "We're Alive: A Story of Survival". It's about zombies but its made like an old radio drama, it's really great. I love listening to something that when working on stuff, makes it less like work sometimes haha. I don't watch a ton of movies anymore but I definitely enjoy them and they influence me a lot, same with some of my favorite TV shows. I definitely have a few comfort shows i'll rewatch every now and then. The Walking Dead, The Office, Always Sunny etc.
Zomb: Now that’s such a stacked list! It is so healthy to be able to just get away from the hustle of life and chill out with yourself. My last question for you is, who are your top 5 artists of all time? No particular order.
Mild: Oh man.
Only 5? That is tough, ill go with my most listened to from recent years haha.
Ill just put Haunted Mound, that could be a list all by itself there.
*super recent* though, you got Wicca Phase, and BLP Kosher, and LordHeretic. The list just goes on and on, there's so many great ones out there. Those are the 5 that I have been listening to for years now.
Zomb: That list really speaks volumes on your musical understanding of the underground, you definitely have such a good range of talented flavors. Massive shoutout to you for sitting down and talking with us this evening. Do you have any last words of motivation or shoutouts? The floor is yours.
Mild: Thank you for having me! I really didn't expect this at all. Definitely shoutout everyone in IHS, HW, and MM. All of them are amazing communities and groups and have shown me a lot of love. Forever grateful for being a part of all of this. I guess the main thing anyone could take away from all of this is that anyone can get into creating things no matter what it might be. Art can really be anything you want it to be. I am really really thankful for the people that I have in my circle now, they all really hype me up and try to make me better. Don't ever settle for bad friends just because they are around. It took me a long time to see that and understand it but there are people out there that will look out for your best interest, it may just take a bit to find them. Again, massive thank you for letting me do this.
Zomb: Well said my friend and it’s always our pleasure! Thank you for taking time out again for us and we’ll keep our eyes peeled for new MGD!
Follow Mild Goth Daddy: linktr.ee/mildgothdaddy
Written By Zomb Slays: linktr.ee/ZombSlays