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Pughie
September 7, 2018, 12:26pm Report to Moderator

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Erasure4rum 'Ask Matthias'






In 1. Line In was the first of the Line Trilogy,was it created at that time as the first of a set idea of a trilogy,or was it meant as just a singular project?

It was set to be a Trilogy from the outset. Although which songs would comprise each part of the trilogy, that was really only determined as we moved forward.

In 2. The single from this EP was ‘Code’ ft Mark Bebb,for me this was the perfect pop single,everything fell into place as a fan of pure synthpop this really was quality work,what does this track mean to you?

Thank you! It was truly amazing to me what Mark Bebb was able to do with that instrumental. I had all the parts there, plus the working title, Code, but he took it and wrote this amazing top line melody which really took it to a whole new level. Plus his lyrics were very smart. He’s such an intelligent person.

In 3. Outliers the final track on Line In is a real treat for fans of analogue synths,you seem to have managed to get every possible synth effect into that song it really shows off your ability to get the most from your instrument,what part of the creative songwriting process do you find gives you most pleasure?

Thanks! I love when the groove stuff is finished and I can begin sculpting layer upon layer of melodic synth parts, each of which coalesce and fit nicely together...It doesn’t always happen, but when it does, it’s rather a good feeling



Thru 4. Line Thru starts off with Glasgow Sunrise,a real gem of a track complete with memorable synths lines and of course that bagpipe sound,this perfectly sets up the EP as being something you want to listen to. After Line In what did you want to achieve with this next instalment?

Thanks! Glasgow Sunrise was fun to write. I didn’t really approach Line Thru from the perspective of achieving anything in particular. I had a number of songs written which needed to work within the Winner Takes it All framework (with Karen Lee Batten). So we picked through them to place them in a complimentary way around that feature track. The idea of releasing the ABBA track on Line Thru with the album cover colours matching the Swedish flag was Steph’s idea. Quite clever.

Thru 5. The single from this release was the ABBA classic The Winner Takes It All ft Karen Lee Batten,during the thought process as to what ABBA track to cover what made you pick this track?

Well it wasn’t the initial choice actually. I played around with We Belong by Pat Benatar, but couldn’t rustle up a choir to do the end bit, so I ended up going with Winner Takes it All because it’s the one song I’ve always loved by ABBA and wished it had been one of the choices for ABBA-Esque. Thought I’d give it a try since I had this amazing singer at my disposal who was up for anything. She certainly met the challenge nicely I think.

Thru 6. IMPulsive the b-side to the single for me is a real lost gem,i love it 100%,how do you choose what tracks make the cut and what stay as b-sides?

I love IMP, and yes that was a particularly difficult track to cut from Line Thru. In the end Steph and I had to look at which songs would fit in and around our title track and would flow nicely one to the next.....really it came down to that i think.



Out 7. Gentle Then Not ft Bridget Gray was the first single from Line Out,Bridget from E4M favourites Destination does a great job on this slower tempo track,its nice to see different vocalists as it brings something fresh,its like The Assembly project for the now generation,what do you look for in a collaborator?

Yes Bridget was amazing on GTN! It’s funny that you mention The Assembly, Because my thoughts had gone to that project many times throughout this trilogy. I know that Vince found that approach to be ultimately troublesome, but I thought it would be neat if it could work at least for a  one-time trilogy concept release. As far as how I choose a collaborator, it really comes down to an artists’ ability to come up with a complementary melody to what I’m doing instrumentally. Lots of people can sing, but I think the trick is to bring to an instrumental idea something which is counter (but obviously not cacophonous or discordant) to what is going on melodically already. It has to totally fit in a jigsaw-puzzle sort of way. So when I listen to other artists, I listen for them doing that in their current projects. To me it’s a sign of advanced songwriting sensibilities. It’s often inmate and can’t be learned, though it can be honed.

Out 8. Arp Song from Line Thru and Arp Song 2 from Line Out i assume is made solely using the ARP synth?,what makes this synth special to you?

Yes they’re both done entirely on ARP synthesizers. I think every once in a while it’s good to constrain one’s self. Although I don’t make a big deal out of whether an artist is using hardware versus software, I do think it’s good to apply certain constraints on oneself to see where it takes you. It forces you out of your comfort zone. I’ve had the Arp 2600 since the early 90s so it’s not an unfamiliar synthesizer to me, but forcing myself to work strictly within its confines brings about something different than would have otherwise occurred. Also the 2600 is capable of such wide sonic range that it really opens the door to some weirdness, which is always fun. It’s known as a gritty synth, but I wanted to showcase it in a softer more gentle light which is what I did with ARP Song II.

Out 9. Any Other Way ft Marss Ramos is the 2nd single from Line Out featuring that amazing voice,it really made me do a double take as i thought it was Alison Moyet at first listen. The Circuit 3 remix really ups the Yazoo sound in my mind. It really is a great end to whats been a great trilogy of releases,how do you think these EP’s have gone down with fans via feedback you have received since release?,and whats next for Matthias in the future?

Yes Marss has that Alison vibrato and tone to his voice that can catch a person off guard initially. Peter Fitzpatrick is incredibly talented. He actually wrote the remix (entirely with hardware) not having listened to the original track at all, but simply by constructing his synth work around the vocals provided to him. I can tell you as someone who has done a number of remixes, that’s very challenging to do.
Feedback on the trilogy has been more than I would have ever expected. I’m a guy who was out of the game for 20 years and a lot has changed in that time, principally music being available in digital streaming format. So to come back, and have a number of artists willing to work with me and then to get attention from people like The Electricity Club, Arefaktor Radio etc. has been very gratifying. As for future plans, I can tell you that I’m in the process of developing a track with Catrine Christensen from Softwave on something very pretty, there’s a Breathe Of My Leaves remix coming soon plus a Matthias Hollowlove remix coming down the pipe. There’s thoughts to have a winter EP out for the Christmas season, and then a few surprises which I am not quite ready to talk about


End 10a. How was your experiences working with the guest vocalists?

I can honestly say that I must have found the very nicest and professionally agreeable people to work with in the world! Each of them in their own way warm my heart, and I am so honoured to have established friendships with them through each of the tracks we developed.

Ask Matthias bonus content-

End 10b. E4M has contacted vocalists from the Line series and asked "How was your experience working with Matt?"

Mark Bebb (Code/Line In)-

As I’m based in South East Wales I’m the UK & Matt in Canada, working remotely was a natural option for us in terms of not making the collaborative process too cost-prohibitive for either party. It’s the way most artists work internationally now thanks to the wonders of technology and remote file-sharing, anything ‘s possible now for artists to collaborate and forge strategic alliances.
I love Matt’s sound. Having an instrumental piece of music sent to me provides me with a blank canvas with which to work with. I write very quickly and so had written ‘code’ in full within just a few minutes, melody, lyrics and arrangement. As I usually do, I sang it crudely into the voice recorder on my iPhone then sent it via messenger to Matthias & his manager Stephano to have a listen to. Suffice to say, both their reactions were very humbling and so ‘code’ went from being an instrumental track to a fully-fledged pop song. The vocals were recorded at Northstone Studios owned by pop star ‘Jayce Lewis’ now a good friend of mine (recently supported Gary Numan) and himself signed to Universal and about to release his Million part 2 e.p. Some of the backing vocals also recorded by Keith Trigwell (from top DM tribute ‘Speak & Spell’) at his studio near Brighton.
My vocals were then pinged over to Canada by Keith & Jayce where Matthias & Paul Shatto  processed them up and made me sound like a proper pop singer!

Karen Lee Batten (The Winner Takes It All/Line Thru)-

Matt is a genuine artist, and I am so happy I was asked to work with him on this unique project.
I think as an artist myself, the best kinds of projects you can be asked to do are the ones that completely challenge you. This genre of music is not what my day-to-day usually consists of so we both took a chance on each other and it turned out so super cool! A good producer allows freedom to create.. and he did that.
Matt is not only extremely talented but he has a heart of gold, and a beautiful soul. He’s “a good egg.” )) I am so thankful to have been asked to sing on this project but more-so to be able to call him my friend. When you find a good one, you keep them forever... so now he’s stuck with me haha.

A huge congrats to him on all his success, his music deserves it!


Bridget Gray (Gentle Then Not/Line Out)-


Matt is a beautiful soul. He is so talented and writes beautiful music. He is considerate and thoughtful and shared all stages of the recording process and was always so insistent that the project was a joint venture with equal billing. A pleasure to work with and I wouldn't hesitate to work with him again or recommend his work to others.

Marss Ramos (Any Other Way/Line Out)-

It was on October 16th 2016 that Matt and I struck up an online friendship. We connected over the music of Erasure and all things Vince Clarke. It wasn't until later that I discovered that Matt was actually Matt Danforth from Front and Centre. I had been a big fan and was giddy that we had become friends. Matt is so genuine and down to earth. Early 2018, the opportunity to work together was presented . Working with Matt was the "highlight experience" of the year. He is a brilliant musician and his music has the power to take you places emotionally. When I heard the music for the song that would become "Any Other Way", I was inspired. Matt was very supportive during the recording process as he recorded the music in Canada and I recorded the vocals in the U.S.  His guidance and professionalism was much appreciated. Matt has a strong understanding of music and sound. I am humbled and grateful to have worked with Matt, he is truly  an amazing talent.


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Pughie
September 19, 2018, 8:22pm Report to Moderator

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All new content from vocalist Karen Lee Batten,thanks Karen.


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