In concjunction of the release of his new song ‘Missing’, solo acoutic indie artist Matt Mascarenas (HEARTLESS BREAKERS, ex-DAYTRADER) teams up with IDIOTEQ to share his thoughts on his new project WESTING, its recent transition into a full-time project, a new series called Scattered Moments, as well as composing and creating at every opportunity. Listen to the new track and read the full interview below.
Hey there Matt! Thanks so much for sharing some more time with IDIOTEQ. There’s so much going on around WESTING and I’m really glad we can discuss all of it! How are you?
Hey Karol! Things are good. I just finished all my adult responsibilities (before noon!) and now I’m making more coffee and working on songs.
Cool! Ok, so first of all, you’ve just released a couple of new tracks. Tell me a bit about them and how they expand your ideas shared through your latest split record with TRAVELER’s COLD?
I released a song Called ‘Away’ and it in March and it is the first song of a project called ‘Scattered Moments – impulsive recordings & collaborations.’ I started this project with the idea of it being an online mixtape of DIY home recordings. I wanted an outlet where I could release the songs that are written simply to exists – songs that won’t make it on a proper release. I want these to reflect an idea or moment just as they are. It’s a way for me to capture a moment before it goes through some type of editing / arrangement process. It’s also a way for me to release music as often as I’d like in between proper releases.
And that’s not everything you have up your sleeve, cause WESTING has just become a full time project backed up with new members, right? Tell me about this transition, what prompted you to transform it that way and who are the new members?
I began recording a full band EP last month. I found myself with more free time than usual and wasn’t in the mindset to write anymore acoustic songs. I was feeling more frustration that normal and wanted the songs to reflect that. I haven’t quite put a band together, but I’ve had the honor of making the EP with Wes Johnson of Archive Recordings. My longtime friend, Ken Vallejos, came in and tracked drums for me.
How will you position this band in relation to HEARTLESS BREAKERS? How do you balance between both projects now?
This is something that I’ll do in between HEARTLESS BREAKERS plans. WESTING is something I can do whenever I’m feeling it and can work it around any plans that take priority. Right now, I’m focusing on writing so I haven’t had to worry about real scheduling. I’ve been working at a studio in Salt Lake City, Archive Recordings, with my great friend Wes Johnson and have been able to spend time working on new material. All in all, WESTING has been a very convenient project so far.
Lyrically, will you try to explore different themes with WESTING?
Absolutely. It’s important for me to capture the moment I’m in rather than fully putting together a story with a conclusion. I notice the difference now because I used to focus on what can be taken away when writing lyrics in the past – which was a while ago in Reviver. I guess the theme now has been drinking wine and rewiring my brain to be better. Truthfully, I write for 15 minutes straight the night before going to the studio, wake up extremely early the next morning and work out final lyrics, phrasing and melodies, and head to the studio and track it. Being even more honest, if I spend too much time planning out vocals, I over think it and end up feeling under confident and disconnected from it. I’m new to singing and still trying to make it work. So instead, I put far less effort in and let it happen. And if it’s not as good as it could be, so be it, it reflected the moment, and then I’ll write the next song. I care more about simply creating. More truth, this is one of those wine nights.
Ok Matt, so what motivates you to work on your musical projects so much? How did you keep this engagement?
It’s the only thing that consistently feels good. Making music is the most thoughtless part of my life, so I’m always finding a reason to get myself in that creating state of mind as possible. I used to ask myself this a lot when feeling pressure of booking tours, preparing releases, etc, but the older I get, the more I need to create something. The only time I need to remind myself to stay focused on scheduling or productivity is after that initial idea is created and finished – that’s when I feel happy about it and feel the need to push it and tell people about it. I have plenty of to do lists around my apartment for that, but never for actually making music.
Independent music is still a little niche, but artists with a strong online presence and great persistence have the possibility of addressing a broader-and very different-audience. How do you deal with this idea and how much wider do you want to go with what you do? Do you have certain goals when it comes to the reach you gain?
I like having control, so I plan on continuing to do everything myself for the time being. I want to be able to do this all the time and I’m open to growing with a team, but for now I can handle everything that’s going on and I enjoy it.
Some might say it’s a sickness. Believing that you can “do it all”, all by yourself ;)
Haha, definitely true. With this project just being me for now, there’s no other option.
Alright Matt, so what else? What’s your projects’ schedules for the upcoming months?
I believe that’s it for now! I will have more announcements in the upcoming weeks.
Once again, thanks a lot for your time! It’s been a pleasure talking to you. Feel free to add your final words and take care!
Thanks so much Karol! I’m excited to get this new stuff out and hope to make it to Poland sooner than later!