The Sound of Garuda: Mixed By Gareth Emery

Matt Lange Interview

Matt Lange is a name that without fail, is associated with some of the most intricate production I have ever heard, so much so, that the original master of detail (Brian Transeau aka BT). Got you involved on what is arguably his best work.

Q:How did the meeting with BT come about?
A:That connection came out of Berklee College of Music, where I went to college. BT has been mentored by Dr. Richard Boulanger for a number of years now, and Dr. B was my faculty advisor during my senior thesis. Shortly after I graduated, BT was looking for a new engineer to come work for him, and Dr. B recommended me.

Q: Have you ever been confused with legendary pop/rock producer " Mutt Lange" ?
A:Maybe once or twice, but it’s pretty rare actually. I’m frequently mixed up with a certain trance producer, however. It used to be annoying, now he and I joke about it on Twitter.

Q:Apart from being an extraordinary EDM producer, you have also been in a boys' choir and played lead guitar in a metal band, which comes through to a certain degree in some of your work, including your beautiful Avalon/Griffith Park EP which features an amazing fusion of organic elements and electronica. Is this something you purposefully do, or does it come by chance?
A:It’s absolutely on purpose. I grew up performing music, playing instruments, learning music theory. Consequently, I connect far more with acoustic instruments and sounds, than I do with synthesizers. I actually get very bored by the more traditional synthesizer type sounds. I write nearly everything on either guitar or sometimes piano. I think it’s so important to learn to play an instrument, especially now when the human element is so easily lost in these days of technology being able to do everything for you. Dave Grohl seemed to get a lot of flack for what he said at the Grammys about music not being about perfection or all the capabilities within a computer. As indebted as I am to modern technology, I agree with that 100%. A computer will never write something soulful. If music doesn’t stimulate a reaction in the heart, or in the head, then what’s the point?
Q: Dance music has become bigger than it's ever been, producing at least 2 sides to the scene. An extremely commercial side (a necessary evil to quote a DJ I recently interviewed) as well as a much more underground scene, really putting some effort into what they do, be it on the production side of things or as a live act... don't get me wrong, there are some commercial with great live acts as well. What do you think the future of Dance music is? A greater fusion of genres? Starting again from the roots? An Apocalypse?
A:Yeah I think we’ll see a lot more fusion in the next year or so. I think it’s awesome that the mainstream has gotten more interested in the electronic music world. I can say first hand that because of artists like Skrillex and Deadmau5 hitting the mainstream that I’ve personally been given opportunities that wouldn’t have existed otherwise. I don’t really think it’s a “necessary evil,” so to speak, I think it’s wonderful.
Q: Your latest collaboration with Andrew Bayer and Kerry Leva, "In & Out of Phase" is an incredible piece of music, crossing genres effortlessly and almost telling a story, if that makes sense? As someone with an incredibly creative mind, how easy is it for you to collaborate with another artist's creative ideas, and make them work together?
A:Thanks! I’m very very picky when it comes to choosing my collaborations, and I tend to only collaborate with either my friends or other artists I look up or am inspired by (none of which are mutually exclusive by any means!) Andrew and I had been planning on doing something together for a few years, and it just had never materialized until last year. Kerry and I have done a ton of collaborations, and it’s always been very easy for us to get in a studio and hammer out ideas quite fluently. This was a really easy collab in the sense that we all knew each other very well, there wasn’t really any push and pull, we all shared a similar vision of what we wanted the piece to be, and it was just a matter of executing it in a manner that everyone was happy with.
Q:Anyone you would love to work with in future?
A:Imogen Heap, because I love her. Maynard James Keenan, as he’s my favorite singer and lyricist. Animals As Leaders/Tosin Abasi, because they just absolutely inspire me. Noisia because they kick so much ass.
Q:What is your process when it comes to making music, any specific software or hardware that you never leave home without, just in case a great idea comes along?
A: Well my hardware’s quite heavy, so it would be pretty hard to take with me! I have a hard time writing when I’m traveling, I much prefer to be in a studio, locked away from outside distractions. That said, I always bring a field recorder and a microphone with me as you never know when you hear that one random sound that you may never hear again, and if you can capture it, all the better.
Q:You obviously have quite a wide taste in music, what are your top5 favorite acts of all time? be it a band, DJ, Solo Artist, Singer or Songwriter?
A: That’s a really tough one, but off the top of my head, and not necessarily completely accurate... Tool, Telefon Tel Aviv, Steve Reich, Burial, Opeth.
Q:What don't we know about Matt Lange, Any Hidden Talents or Hobbies?
A:My life’s pretty public these days, so I wouldn’t say anything is too hidden! I spend the majority of my free time when I’m home practicing guitar, coercing myself to go to the gym, and hanging out with my dog. I also watch a lot of movies and I love buying seasons of tv shows on dvd so that I can go start to finish through then entire thing without having to wait week after week! Current favorites are Damages and The Shield.
Q:What can we expect from Matt Lange in the near and distant future?
A:There’s a lot going on that I can’t talk about just yet, but I can say a number of cool collaborations are coming. In & Out of Phase comes out this week with some absolutely killer remixes, one of them notably from drum and bass legends Calyx & Teebee. They’ve been huge influences of mine for years, and I’m so honored they agreed to remix it! I’ll also be rereleasing an album called “The Answer To The Question You Forgot To Ask,” on IsoRhythm in March. I wrote it between 2006-2007, and it’s more along the downtempo, glitchy idm style I was writing at that time. I finally have the rights back from the label that originally released it in 08, and I’m very pleased to be able to give it a second life, along with a couple unreleased tracks as well that weren’t on the original release.


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