Mattson 2

posted by / Sounds / May 26, 2009


They’re best with a glass of cheap red in a warm, smoky lounge. Or soaking in those final minutes of daylight after surfin’ a long pointbreak. Reverie- inducing jams with blasts of energy interlaced throughout. “I wouldn’t say we’re straight-ahead jazz necessarily,” explains drummer Jonathan Mattson of their sound. “I’d say its indie-jazz — a mix between John Coltrane and Cocteau Twins.” And while you’re going to feel a little underdressed when you listen, their splashy cymbals and seductive guitar ditties are as refreshing as summer lemonade on Gatsby’s lawn. —Travis Ferré

SURFING MAGAZINE: HOW DID THIS ALL START? Jared Mattson: Our older brother Micah always played guitar and in junior high we got guitar lessons. My brother Jared stuck with guitar and I ended up loving the drums and got my own drum set. We started out playing songs that were reminiscent of Modest Mouse.

HOW DID MODEST MOUSE TURN INTO “INDIE JAZZ”? We entered a battle of the bands at La Costa {{{Canyon}}} High School as a rock band and lost. We were, like, “Everyone else is doing the same rock thing; let’s do Jazz next year.” So we worked out this jazz set — well what we thought was jazz at the time — and played a battle of the bands the next year and got first place. That was big motivation to keep moving in that direction. We were, like, “This is cool; people seem to like this.”

WHAT RECORDS GOT YOU HOOKED ON JAZZ? Our early intro to jazz was three specific records: John Coltrane “Giant Steps,” Miles Davis “Kind of Blue” and Wes Montgomery’s “Full House.” I would say everyone who likes jazz probably has these records.

WHAT PROMPTED YOU GUYS TO WEAR THE SUITS AT GIGS? That actually started through Thomas Campbell. He’s been a huge mentor for our musical progression. We played this art show for him back in the day and I guess he had seen a photo of us in these dumb, baggy suits we had. Then Thomas came up to us and was, like, “Have you ever heard of the Jamaican keyboardist, Jackie Mitto?” It’s this guy in a super tight suit on keyboard. He gave me the record and I really liked what he was talking about. So I took the album cover and my baggy old suit to a tailor.

WHAT’S BEEN THE BAND’S BIGGEST HIGHLIGHT? The travels around the world, for sure. We’ve gotten to go to Japan four times and then we just got back from Brazil. Playing in those places have all been amazing experiences. Brazil was such an amazing audience to play for — they have so much energy it’s ridiculous. We also went to northern Europe…it’s just amazing all the cool places you get to go and play music.

WHATS NEXT FOR THE MATTSON 2? This year is going to be amazing. We’re going to release our “Ray Barbee meets Mattson 2” record in May and we’re also recording a full-length, debut record as well. And we’re going to record a collaboration record with Chocolat and Akito, an amazing Japanese act that have become great friends. That and we’ll be touring for Thomas’ film all around the U.S. for the release of his film, The Present.

Make sure to check out Mattson 2′s MYSPACE for more music and show info.

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