Mar 10, 2014
Mat Zo

Fresh off the back of his debut album “Damage Control,” Mat Zo talks to us ahead of his set at UK club Cream. We discuss the highs and lows of the dance music scene and his journey through it, with topics ranging from his love for D&B, his thoughts on ghost producers, and what he has planned for the future.

Mat Zo feat. Rachel K Collier - Only For You (Original Mix) [Anjunabeats]
LessThan3: So we’re at Cream in Liverpool tonight, have you played here before?
Mat: No, this is the first time.
LessThan3: You’ve played Cream Ibiza though?
Mat: Yeah, and Creamfields.
LessThan3: So what do you think of the brand?
Mat: They’ve always been great for parties, so I’m sure tonight will be no different.
LessThan3: Your style is hard to categorize–how would you describe it?
Mat: I guess I’d just say “electronic music.”
LessThan3: Your album Damage Control featured a massive range of styles. Was it a conscious decision to make it so varied, or was it just the result of experimenting and seeing what sounded good
Mat: It was definitely a conscious decision. I wanted to branch out from making four-on-the-floor dance music and show that I could do something else.
LessThan3: Did you run into writer’s block at all when making the album, or does it ever affect you in general?
Mat: Yeah, sometimes. Every artist goes through weeks or months where they can’t write anything. During my album it was no different. Nobody I know ever has a complete straight burst of creativity non-stop.
LessThan3: You split your time between the US and the UK. How do you feel the scene over there differs to the scene over here?
Mat: The scene has been here a lot longer than it has in the US, so you get a lot more educated crowds, but in the US you get a lot of new kids that are really excited about this new music. Both are really good environments.
LessThan3: How do you feel about the way dance music has exploded? Even here in the UK there’s been something of a renaissance of late. Do you think it’s good for the scene in general?
Mat: I feel like dance music is kind of having its second coming in the UK now. It blew up in what, ’06 or ’07, and now it’s getting back to that point.
LessThan3: What about the mainstream side of dance music? Do you think it’s a good thing, especially in getting more people into underground dance music?
Mat: The underground will never die as they say, so anything that gets people interested in electronic music can only be a good thing. I mean, that’s what happened in ’06, and now look how big it is. Good things can come out of commercialism for sure.
LessThan3: Something we know you’re keen on because you mention it a lot on Twitter is ghost producers and what it’s doing to the scene in general. What are your thoughts?
Mat: I don’t mind the fact that there are ghost producers. I personally understand the need for ghost producing because DJing and producing are completely different things. It’s just when somebody wants to become famous and successful without actually having a passion about music, that’s when it becomes a problem because you get a load of crap on charts because some guy said “can you make something like this?” and everything ends up sounding all the same.
LessThan3: A lot of people know you through your drum & bass output as MRSA. Is that something you’d visit again in future?
Mat: I want to make more drum & bass, maybe not under MRSA, but I still love it, maybe more than I used to. But I also don’t want to try and pursue it as a career because I love it too much and I don’t want to get jaded and end up hating it.
LessThan3: Have you got a favorite drum & bass producer at the moment?
Mat: Probably Noisia; they’re my favorite producers overall.
LessThan3: What would you say is the one thing fans shouldn’t assume about the lifestyle of a DJ or producer?
Mat: I guess it’s not as fun all the time as people think it is. It’s a lot of lonely traveling. However, it also can be as glamorous as people think it is, so that makes up for it.
LessThan3: Is there anything in your career you particularly aspire to?
Mat: I’d like to score a movie, maybe score a video game. Maybe put together a band or produce for bands. I want to try and do everything.
LessThan3: Porter Robinson said that he wants to get away from the standard DJ show. Do you also feel that way given your varied aspirations?
Mat: Yeah, he’s really smart, because how long is DJing as it stands now going to last before it dies? Maybe it’ll come back again, but if you want to make your career sustainable, you have to think about the future.
LessThan3: What’s your favorite thing to do that doesn’t involve music?
Mat: Cooking!
LessThan3: If you could somehow identify your #1 fan, what would you say to him or her?
Mat: I know my #1 fan; she lives in Florida and has been following me since day one. She’s awesome.
LessThan3: Anything in the pipeline you can tell us about?
Mat: I’m doing a collab with Kill The Noise, might have a little tour in May, but apart from that I’ve just been working on my next album, which should be done in like two years.
LessThan3: If the world were ending in LessThan3 minutes, and you had an iPod with every song every song ever made on it, what would you listen to?
Mat: Motion Picture Soundtrack by Radiohead–the last song on Kid A.
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