2012 Interview with Major Matt Mason USA
1. Matt, you had a big hand in organizing events and in recording
other artists while living in NYC.
Have you missed doing that since you moved?
I miss it a little. But I really enjoy focusing on the making and performing of my own music. It's turning out to be a much bigger commitment than I had imagined. Even though I do love helping to produce and facilitate music for other people I think I was using it as a bit of an excuse to not fully invest myself in my own projects for fear of failure. I've done very little recording since we left NYC about 5 months ago. I've done a couple small mastering jobs but that's pretty much been it. This is not to say that I wouldn't do it again. I might even be better at it now having taken a break from it for while.
2. Do you earn all of your money as a performer and recording artist now?
Pretty much. But our over head is extremely low. I went from having lots of bills and $1000 a month rent to just my cellphone, web hosting ,car insurance and cat food. Of course we sacrifice because we're living in my Dad's basement. But It's pretty okay for now. We cook everyday. It's a lot more isolated so there are less temptations to spend money on stuff we don't need.
3. Do you find you have more time to rehearse and write than you used
to, and if so have you been rehearsing and writing more?
Yes, we rehearse almost every day. I feel like we've been putting the writing a bit on the back burner for now but we have tons of ideas that I look forward to developing. We've been very focused on our live show. We started allowing ourselves to think about a lot of things we never used to think about. We've got a pretty extensive catalog of good songs already. We are learning how to put on a good show under most circumstances. We've managed to book 3 US tours, 1 European tour, and put together these recordings that we did last summer in an album format. We work every day on this stuff. It's really amazing how much work it is. If we didn't have to do the booking we'd probably have another album done.
4. Has it been hard living with your father after sharing an apartment
with only your girlfriend (and Gummo)?
It was hard at first. My Dad has been living in this home by himself, pretty much, since I went to college. And that was a while ago. It helps a lot that we are on tour so much. My father and I don't totally see eye to eye on things like politics. But we try to really respect his space. I think he's happy to have a little more life in the house. At this point, I think my Dad and I have learned to steer clear of topics that have the most potential of turning into some kind of fight. Every now and then we get into it but it's pretty chill. He tolerates us practicing every day and we are very thankful for that. He gets along pretty well with Gummo which is cool. They're kind of a lot alike. My Dad also has some chronic health issues. So, occasionally it's nice to be able to support him with that and I think he appreciates it.
5.Do you believe you will ever be wealthier, or have more stuff than
you do now, and if not are you glad about it?
I think we'll be a bit wealthier because I think we'll simply be working more. I try to look at this year as an internship or the first year of a new business. I don't think about being rich. I think about stuff I could do with more money sometimes but for now I appreciate having more time than money. I feel like we're building a foundation that we can work from and hopefully live off of for the rest of our lives. I try not to speculate beyond that too much. I suppose it might be nice to have a place of our own eventually but I feel like for now we're getting along okay and if we're gonna be on the road 6 months out of the year it seems like a bit of waste to pay for an empty apartment.
As I get older I stress out about our personal healthcare and taking care of Gummo if he were to get really sick or something like that. Living with my Dad, who is in his mid 70's, is really opening up my eyes to the extent of care the average person needs as they get older. I think we take better care of ourselves here. We exercise and eat better. We're pretty poor but I think we feel better than we have in years.
6. When is the last time you were out and about and thought "Well, I'd
never be able to see/do this in NYC?
Pretty much every day. It's the air, and the trees and the sky. The air is noticeably better here. But if we weren't on this mission with the band I don't think much of this would matter as much to me. I like discovering stuff in different towns. Every single day, on tour, we are in a new town and meet new people and see a million new things. I could never have afforded to travel this way when I was living in NYC. But I love and miss things about NYC all the time. If I wasn't going to travel so much I think I would want to still be in NYC. But for now it's really important for us to travel. So, Kansas City seems like a nice balance. There's a lot here to discover as well.