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‘All I want to do is make cool stuff, man!’: the chaotic DIY punk of Jeff Rosenstock

Don’t be deceived – the LA-based musician might seem like a carefree slacker on the surface, but underneath lies a tireless, super-prolific and critically acclaimed workhorse

Jeff Rosenstock has been tinkering all morning. The punk frontman sits alone in the cluttered makeshift studio in the basement of his Los Angeles home, hunched over his desk in sandals and an obnoxiously bright green tank top, his face glued to his computer monitor. There’s a neon sign on the wall behind him that reads: “It’s 420 Somewhere.” He replays the same 15 seconds of audio over and over, clicking his mouse around to fiddle with various levels and sounds, making imperceptibly tiny tweaks. Hours pass like this. Every once in a while he breaks the silence by grumbling “****” or “****” under his breath.

Rosenstock’s new album, Hellmode, will be released in just a few weeks, but right now it’s his day job, scoring the music for the Emmy-nominated animated series Craig of the Creek, that’s keeping him busy. The show is getting adapted into a movie, and a draft is due by the end of the week. He has to hop on a conference call about it in a few minutes and has repeatedly warned that he is at his most stressed. “****,” he mutters again. “****.”

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