Interview with alt rock band Crossing i's Dotting t's | TEN OF CLUBS

Crossing i’s Dotting t’s: There’s No Stopping Us Now

We confess that we hadn’t heard Matt Mucerino’s Southern Californian alt rock project Crossing i's Dotting t’s till he saw our recent interview with Bay Area punk outfit Present and got in touch. We love discovering new bands. We were quick to check them out. We liked what we heard. 

The Crossing i's Dotting t’s sound is an exhilarating blend of alt rock, emo, punk and grunge, overlaid with Mucerino’s distinctive, soaring vocals. Lyrically, the tracks are introspective and heartfelt, exploring themes of isolation, anxiety, death and mortality. It all makes for a unique and genre-defying auditory experience.

Matt Mucerino Crossing is Dotting ts

‘I Used To Be’, the band’s first full-length album, was released in October 2023 on Cleopatra Records. The culmination of almost 2 years’ work – writing, gigging, and touring the US west coast and beyond with such bands at Tigercub, Guttermouth and I Set My Friends on Fire – it's a bold, eclectic, poetic and impressive debut. 

A trip to Orange County, California, still being beyond our modest travel budget, we set up a call with songwriter, guitarist and lead vocalist Matt Mucerino to learn more. Join us as we investigate his musical origins, creative process and influences, and discover what's next for Crossing i's Dotting t’s in our exclusive interview ♣︎ 

 

Let’s start with the basics. Matt, where are you from? 

I’m from Ladera Ranch, California, but based now in Costa Mesa, also in California. 

 

American place names are so cool. In England we have to make do with Shitterton and Cockermouth. Funnier, but not quite so cool. How did you get started in music? 

I just picked up a guitar and taught myself basic theory. It just went from there. That was in 2020. I have always been obsessed with music, and have always wanted to make music, but before then I had always made excuses. 

 

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Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after. When and how did Crossing i’s Dotting t’s start? 

It started in the middle of 2021: Covid quarantine time. I started making the songs after the passing of my cousin, Luke, to cancer at the age of 21. It was a way to get the feelings off my chest. 

 

That’s terrible. Sorry for your loss. Music is a great way to work through feelings. Describe the band’s sound for anyone who hasn’t heard you. 

That’s hard. I take influences from a lot of different music. That’s why the music doesn’t necessarily sound exactly like any other band. 

I would say the majority of the sound comes from ‘90s and 2000s alt rock, emo, grunge scenes: Bush, Three Days Grace, Third Eye Blind, Sunny Day Real Estate.  

There are also influences from newer bands, such as Title Fight, Modern Color, Citizen, Basement, Seahaven. 

 

What’s the special sauce you’re adding to the mix? 

I enjoy switching up sounds throughout our releases. I take pride in not being able to say exactly what our sound is. That’s why we have some heavier songs and then some songs that sound more pop/punky, like our song with Have Mercy, ‘Cheap Beers & IOUs’. 

 

 

What’s with the band name? 

I can’t exactly remember how I came up with it, but I would always say that phrase backwards by accident. I just thought it was cool. And nothing else made the cut. 

 

Describe your song writing process for us. 

I write the songs and then bring them to the studio for drummer and guitar friends to record parts. I write out the song structure, melodies and ideas, and then it comes together in the studio. 

 

Can you remember your first gig as Crossing i's Dotting t's? 

Yeah, it was a little DIY gig in an alley: actually, an art walk in Pomona, California. It was definitely the most nervous I have been. Fun though. 

 

 

What’s been the band’s biggest highlight or pinch me moment so far? 

We have had a lot. We were endorsed by Orange Amps and Ernie Ball, which was insane. We were also featured on a CBS live show alongside The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Enter Shikari 

That could take the cake for pinch me moment, but I think getting signed to Cleopatra Records earlier this year might top it all.

We’ve found a label that supports us enough to fund our studio time and marketing efforts. It has paid dividends. I’ve had to work incredibly hard since the inception of this band to gain this momentum. There’s no stopping us now!  

 

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Your debut album ‘I Used To Be’ came out October. Tell us where and how you recorded it, and what the response has been like.  

The response has been awesome! Spotify placements have helped a lot. We’re also in the top 50 grunge albums on Apple. 

The songs were incrementally recorded over a span of about a year and half. I had a lot of help from a roster of talented musicians. Cameron Sauve, Soren Crissel, Melanie Dilorenzo, Oliver Callison and Austin Hinkey all had a hand in recording different instrument parts. 

It was mainly recorded at Pale Moon Ranch with Alex Estrada. A couple of the songs were recorded with Max Dickenson at Music Freqs 

 

Do you have a favourite track on the album? 

My favourite’s probably ‘All Feelings Aside’ as it’s the most powerful and moving song. I also enjoy the dynamics of it. It was the first single we released from the album. It still holds up as my favourite.

 

We’ve been trying to figure out the time signature in the intro to ‘Hard to Breathe’. Is it a bar of 2, then of 3? 

So many people have asked that! Everyone seems to have a different opinion on what it is. 

To tell the truth, even I’m not exactly sure what the time signature is! If I come up with a cool riff, like that one, and it happens to be an odd time signature, I’ll always use it.   

‘Hard to Breathe’ is great to play live because that opening riff comes in so heavy and loud live. It catches people off guard. 

 

Who are your musical heroes? 

Joyce Manor, Adam Duritz of Counting Crows, and Frank Black of the Pixies are at the top of the list. And Billy Corgan’s there too. 

 

Give us 3 albums everyone should own. 

Counting Crows - ‘Recovering the Satellites’ 

Audio Karate - ‘Lady Melody’ 

Pixies - ‘Doolittle’ 

 

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Lovely picks. ‘Doolittle’ is such a great album. Knowing what you know, do you have any advice for someone starting their music career? 

Coming in, I didn’t know anyone in the music industry, or anything about the music business. My advice is to make connections. Use Instagram to find where to play and who to talk to. Honestly, Instragam got me so much, starting out. 

 

Great practical advice. Cheers, dude, we really appreciate you chatting with us. 

I’ve loved the questions. I came across you guys from your Present feature and dove into your stuff. Really cool vibe and aesthetic that doesn’t feel either overdone or basic. The design of your Jaws Tee is super rad. And I might have to snag myself a hoodie.

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Thanks, Matt. To wrap up, what’s next for Crossing i's Dotting t's?  

We’re releasing a lot of new music in 2024, including an EP of acoustic, emo-type songs. We’re also working on a heavier alt rock EP. We’ll be rolling that out later in the year. 

 

What’s your dream for the band? 

To tour the world and play major festivals. That is the end-all for me.  

 

May your dream come true. Any final words? 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to anyone who listens and cares for our music. There’s a lot more to come. 

 

► ︎‘I Used To Be’ by Crossing i's Dotting t’s is streaming now on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and elsewhere.

📸 Diano Pachote and Alex Colmenares

 

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