Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Interview Wednesdays: Jonathan Mattson - Part I

The Mattson 2
photo by Embry Rucker

Recently I had the pleasure of seeing my new favorite band, The Mattson 2, play live in San Francisco. Twin brothers Jared and Jonathan Mattson are the players who make up this formidable duo, with Jared on guitar and Jonathan on drums. I should mention that Jonathan had a drum solo that evening that blew the room away.

Jonathan graciously took time out of his summer to grant an interview to PineappleLuv. Today please enjoy Part I and do come back next Wednesday for Part II, where you'll learn how these dynamic brothers started playing music and when you can get their new CD.

I am no music critic, so would you mind educating us on the style of music you play? I notice on the MySpace page for Mattson 2, that you have many diverse influences.

Well I would say our music is rooted in Jazz structure-but I would hardly call it straight ahead Jazz---it is basically our own kind of music---I've never heard much like it - but I guess you could say it’s a music that is inspired by traditional and modern Jazz, while also being very inspired by the 1990’s-modern day Chicago post rock scene. We aren’t trying to do what Chicago is doing though, it is just one of the many styles of music that we are inspired by and have a great appreciation for.

One thing I'd like to mention is that when I listen to your songs, there is some sort of driving force to them that is very engaging, and keeps me tapping my foot and wanting to pay attention and to not be distracted away from listening. That is unusual for me.

Thank you, that is a great compliment. That’s what we are trying to do - we want people to be attentive to our music and recognize subtle details and changes in the music.

You have such great fashion sense. You both look so nice in your suits! In fact I noticed at your show at the John Colins Lounge, that a lot of men came in suit pants or some variation of a suit. I am certain you have inspired them, which is a wonderful thing!

Yeah I think an image for a band is one of the most important things about the band---I mean you can be a super good musician, but you can be even better by the whole presentation of what you are making - a complete art form visually and musically.

Any recommendations for the men out there on a good fitting suit?

Well I'm a big thrift store shopper, so I find a suit that is my color…and that fits me pretty well. Then I take it to my tailor, and she doctors it up for me, makes it perfect.

What has been one of your favorite places to tour and where are you hoping to go that you've never been?

Well I have been super fortunate to tour in Japan 4 times! Its definitely one of my favorite crowds to play for; many have amazing ears that just pick up on all the subtle details, and changes in the music, and many also are super into the improvisation side to our music.

We are looking forward to traveling to Europe soon - we are going there this month, to Copenhagen and Finland - and we will hopefully play some shows and get some good exposure out there!

What is the most recent piece of music…or art…or slice of life that inspired you?

Probably Todd Rundgren’s music, and also the Cocteau Twins. Something that has also been a huge inspiration for me is working with Thomas Campbell - He is a famous artist/film maker/record producer, and he has been working with us on a lot of our music.

Also we have a project going on with two Japanese musicians, Chocolat & Akito, that have amazing voices and a unique and cohesive style of composing. Those have been some really positive inspirations for us.

When you played live, something that struck me was that you acknowledge your audience and show appreciation for them. You also both took the time to talk to people during your break. It made me think you must have grown up with wonderful parents.

Of course, my parents are amazing people, I don’t know who I would be without their help---I see so many kids with just no respect for anyone, so many people that put themselves above other people - but my parents helped to instill in me a good attitude, and I developed a good heart toward people. And I love a good audience because I like to hear their response to our music - and a good audience really inspires and effects the way I play.

Thank you, Jonathan.

At the John Colins Lounge on June 16

Jared Mattson

Jonathan Mattson

Boy, his last answer really meant something to me. Until the new CD is available, I encourage everyone to listen to the songs on their MySpace page. Ode to Lou and Erase Your Face happen to be my favorites. Lets give these gentlemen a little shout out here or on their blog as a send-off for their upcoming trip to Europe. Until next Wednesday...


Ryan said...

they play some good tuneage. Nice work on the interview,

j said...

yes another good interview Jamie.

Mattson 2 are solid.

For anyone listening to them, pay attention. It sounds like 2 or 3 guitarists but it is only one. Jared is a master on the foot pedals. He can cut and paste riffs anywhere he wants at anytime. Very soothing jams.


seamouse said...

Sweet interview Jamie! Makes those of us four and half thousand miles away feel that little bit more connected.

Keep 'em coming!