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Mathew Jonson Interview

[Artists, Recent Event Videos]

For Mathew Jonson, 2011 was business as usual. Touring worldwide across the year, the celebrated Canadian artist covered the finest clubs of Europe, North America, Russia and Japan. Using his wide array of analog weapons, his fascinating live performance made him climb up to the 16th place of RA’s top 20 live acts for 2011. Hennessy Artistry’s events in Bangalore have witnessed Jonson bring the house down with a fantastic live set last year.

Recordswise, Mathew Jonson provided two of the most important pieces of wax of the year. With ‘Learning To Fly’ on M_nus, he definitely pushed the boundaries of electronic music a long stride further like none other this year. Once again, RA recognized this by placing the track as No.26 in its top 50 tracks of 2011. More recently, his ‘Dayz EP’ on leading imprint Crosstown Rebels, assuring him to keep his seat amongst the most important electronic pioneers. Jonson described his experience of the past year saying, “It’s like taking off in a rocket ship, or jumping out of a plane.” Is it any surprise his biggest tune of the year was labeled ‘Learning to Fly’?
A widely circulated detail of Jonson’s early years is that he started out as a DJ dabbling in bass heavy sounds like drum n bass. With Skrillex bagging a Grammy this year, Hennessy Artistry asked Jonson if he had any second thoughts about moving away from that scene, tongue firmly in cheek. He said,

“I don’t consider myself an artist that makes a single genre of music. I like the idea that music has infinite possibilities and being able to share this openness is a true blessing.” Jonson will be looking to reveal some of these musical probabilities on his fifth tour of the country. Hennessy Artistry’s Bangalore events and weekend concerts are never more buzzing than when Jonson comes to town. We’re pretty sure this one will be no different. A week before his gig, he discusses with Hennesy Artistry some of the themes close to his heart.

How do you divide time between being on the road and in the studio?

Winter time is better for the studio and summer is best for touring. It’s not an easy balance. I need to be in a good headspace to write.

What is the process of creating a tune like for you? Where does it generally all start? Can you give an example with Learning to Fly, for instance?

For me it usually starts with a rhythmic sounding synth part and a simple beat. Then I build from there. I only write parts that come naturally. If something doesn’t come so easily I usually start a fresh idea. I like music from the heart.

What is it about analog synths that you enjoy so much?

The sound has to be first. Then it’s the fact that anyone that touches each instrument makes a very different tone and sound. It is very similar to playing an acoustic instrument.

Can you tell us about your set up in Goa and how you came to make the decision on leasing the house?

I wanted a nice place to relax and I fell in love with Goa the second I arrived. I seem to be the lucky kind of person that when something feels right things always just fall into place. It was meant to be.

After playing in India over the past five years, what is your experience of the country and the scene here? Where have you had your most enjoyable party outside of music events in Bangalore?

The scene here seems very connected to the fashion industry which I like. It’s a great mix of artists and from all areas. The best party had to be the wedding in Goa by far.

Since you almost became a gourmet chef but had to choose music instead, what are some of your favourite gastronomic experiences? Any Indian dishes you are particularly fond of?

I’m a musician it chose me. Cooking was an option for work before playing music professionally became an option.  I love Indian food and certainly draw influence from it when cooking – but I certainly would not claim that I understood the cuisine in its traditional form. Hopefully after more time in Goa I will have the chance to pick it up.

If Mathew Jonson was a chef, what would be his signature dish?

Food you could dance too.

Is there anything in the pipeline in 2012 with Cobblestone Jazz and MDLQ?

Yes. A new album and also more singles on Wagon Repair. We just released Lunar Lander and Who’s Future will be next.