We speak with Possum Plows, singer of Auckland band Openside about their advice for LGBTQIA+ humans, keeping creativity flowing and how they practice self care.
Describe Openside’s vibe in three words.
Gay emo pop.
Tell us about your new single, Character Flaws, part of your new release Episode One: Character Flaws?
It’s basically just an acknowledgement of the way your mind can spiral into negative self-talk when you’re feeling underneath it all. Finding the absurdity in that inner voice can help dispel its power over you.
Part of your new video clip is filmed in China. What’s your favourite thing about the Chinese culture?
The video’s director, Shae Sterling, filmed parts of the video in China. We would love to get there sometime soon though! We’re all very into Chinese food; George even has a tattoo from his favourite restaurant.
You’ve been quite open about your experience of coming out as gender non-binary. Can you share some advice for others who may be going through similar experiences?
One of the most valuable things you can do is find someone you can trust who you can really talk to about what you’re going through. There will often be people in your life who struggle to understand, so knowing that you have a safe place to return to is super important. Even if you’re not ready to come out to the people in your life yet, there are lots of amazing communities online who can offer support too.
What’s the best thing about your hometown?
Something I’ve always loved about Auckland is the volcanoes! You can look out over the entire city.
How do you keep your creative flame alight?
Consuming a diverse array of pop culture helps. Not just music, but games, TV shows and podcasts too. And then a big thing, having structured times when you force yourself to create, rather than always waiting for inspiration.
In your opinion, what’s the best way to practice self-care?
Maintaining balance is super important, especially if you have a job like this where the personal/professional line can be so blurry. Structure and time schedules don’t exist naturally, so you have to work a little harder to impose them on yourself when you can.
What makes up your ideal weekend?
Stay home, watch Parks and Rec, cuddle with my dog, play board games with my friends, cook Mexican food while listening to the Hamilton soundtrack.
What advice do you have for budding creatives?
Be patient with yourself. Know that you won’t like a lot of the stuff you make in the beginning and that’s OK. It takes a lot of practice before the things that you make will be up to the standard of your taste, but the only way to get better is to do it. And keep doing it. And doing it and doing it.