Premiere: Mathas unveils his Enforce Less video clip
And we catch up with the man himself mid-tour celebrating his new album.
It's been a huge few weeks for one of WA hip hop's favourite sons - Mathas. Recently celebrating the release of his long-gestating sophomore album, Armwrestling Atlas, he's also embarked on a national tour that's seen him play in Melbourne and Perth just last weekend. As the tour train rolls on, we're stoked to premiere this wonderfully shot video clip for one of the album's singles, Enforce Less, and took the opportunity to touch base with Mathas to see how the reaction to the album has been, how the tour's going, and to find out a bit more about the clip, which you can watch below:
Mathas! Congratulations on the release of the album, you've had a few weeks to digest, what's your vibe now that's it been out in the real world for a while?
Thankyou. There’s been a great response from people all across the country and a few in Europe. The Perth launch sold out and I’m currently on my first ever headlining tour so its been great fun. Baby steps but i’m happy with the way it's rolled out. It’s also the first time in about 12 years that I’ve had proper legit merch, other than some hand-painted USBs at previous shows.
It's been copping some pretty great reviews thus far - are you the kinda person who can read reviews and things or do you try to avoid them?
I read reviews. There’s only been one or two over time that have been negative so I’m lucky. Rolling Stone giving it 4 stars was a highlight. You hope that this thing you’ve been sinking all your time into for so long will garner a bit of interest and not just drop into the ocean and disappear.
Can you tell us a bit about putting it together - how long did it take, who'd you work with? You produced/mixed it all yourself right?
It’s been a remarkably slow process, mainly due to procrastination and giving myself too many jobs. All up it’s been about six years since my last full length release. After I released the single Nourishment, I started kicking my own butt a bit with the help of a few others and the productivity accelerated. I recorded it between five places: my sister’s house, Diger Rokwell’s spare room, Blendcorp studio in Melbourne, Reel2Real studio in Perth and my current house in Mt Lawley. I was sorta mixing as I went. The production is all mine except Free Shit by Ylem and Stone Cold Sober by Empty. Some bits are pretty dodgy but I reckon that adds charm haha.
You also just kicked off the AA tour, how have the shows been?
Melbourne was an awesome intimate little show. The crowd were super attentive and laughed at all my dad jokes. Shebeen is a great venue.
The Perth launch was a pretty big deal for me. It was six years in the making to get there and it was my birthday too so we decided to go all out. It was the first time I’d done my songs with a band trying to replicate how they sound on the recording. I had John Brown on bass, Bryn Stanford on drums and Odette Mercy, Joni Hogan and Tara John on back-up vocals. It sounded huge. For our first ever show like that it was pretty smooth. I built giant polystyrene rock formations and had them dressing the stage. The highlight was when the entire room joined in on Stone Cold Sober.
You took old mate Diger Rokwell along, and he's playing the next couple of shows too, how helpful have the whole Community crew been throughout this career of your’s?
They’re all my best mates so we bounce off each other, Diger Rokwell above all has been a Don to me. I mean, he let me use a room in his house for about six months free rent. He’s also lent me money a few times. I’m like his useless little brother that keeps getting himself into trouble. I need to give large props to Big Village Records also, they have worked tirelessly in helping get this release out.
And lastly can you tell us a bit about the video clip we're premiering today?
The song Enforce Less is sort of an open discussion on the paternalistic nature by which Australian state laws are put into effect and the realities of living in a society governed by them. While the clip touches a little on the claustrophobia and fear in the song, visually it’s more reflective of the album artwork than anything else. Human vulnerability is a theme throughout, the idea that eventually our arrogance will be tested by a constantly evolving planet. In the clip I wake up buried up to my waist, severely sunburnt in the red desert.
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