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Interview with Matthew Dear by the new nightlife guide for Medellí­n tourists TheArepa – April 2009

Matthew Dear has been putting out records since 1999 and has gained a reputation for being one of the most innovative voices in both the electronica and indie–rock communities. Putting out music under the names “Matthew Dear,” “Audion,” and “False,” he is truly a prolific and ground breaking artist. With an explosive show set up for May 30th here in Medellin, it is with great enthusiasm we bring you this interview.

Arepa: For those not current with electronica, how would you describe your music?
MD: I work in many different forms. Melody is big factor in every project, but more in a tonal way. I like the sound of things. An ugly, unusual noise can still have a beautiful tone to it. I can’t sing too well, but I think I can produce around the imperfections in my voice. I don’t think I can make music another way, with someone else at the controls. I need the freedom of exploration and privacy to get things to sound right for me.

A: What are some of the more exciting trends you see developing in electronica music?

Sound quality and clarity is becoming more and more prevalent. Computers have aided in a better overall production value. Bass lines are getting deeper and cleaner. People are learning how to mix the tracks better. That’s for dance music. As for electronic music, I’m a fan of the labels raster-noton and Mego. This is real electronic music in my opinion. Boundary pushers. Science.mdmdmd

A: And where do you fall in these trends?
MD: I’m bridging pop tendencies with experimental electronic music. As Audion and False, I’m making groove influenced techno and house. I’m trying to get people moving.

A: On your first few records there were no vocals, lest a few samples. Then on your first full-length release you included vocals, but more like a sparse, detached narrative. On your last album the compositions move in an electro-indie direction with you as a vocal lead-man. In what direction are you now heading?
MD: I’ve always come from vocal based music. I’ve known how to play guitar before a computer, so things just came out backwards. I’ve been making vocal music this whole time, but I was fortunate to start my career with dance music. The past two albums saw me trying to merge those two elements of my life. I didn’t want to feel a need to separate these two passions. Audion and False are still my means of making dancefloor techno, and everything under my own name will now be vocal based with an underlying song structure.

A: As a musician was there a point in your life that you faced the decision of “the job” versus “the music”?
MD: I delivered pizza for 6 years during and after university. The whole time throughout, I was working on music, and starting to play in Detroit and America. Slowly, my career was building, I was touring more, and working less. Then I decided to move to downtown Detroit and do music full time. It was a gradual but necessary process.

A: The international DJ lifestyle carries a very glamorous and posh picture: Can you play myth busters here for us?
True, there are many perks to the job. Unfortunately though it can be rough. I just flew to Europe and did five shows back to back. There is no time to see a city, or leave a hotel for that matter. You fly in, go to the hotel for as much sleep as possible, head to dinner and then the venue. Sometimes you play until 6am, go back to the hotel for a few hours of sleep, wake up to an alarm or someone knocking on your door, get in a taxi, head to an airport and repeat the process all over again. By the fifth show, you can hardly remember your name.

A: Besides your music gear, what three things are indispensable when you travel?
A good book, a great game on the iPhone, and a bottle of aspirin.

A: What is you favorite thing to do in a new city?
Well I love to eat, and the best part of traveling is visiting restaurants you read about. There is nothing like a great meal to give you energy to carry on.

A: How would you describe a typical a Matthew Dear show?
Well there are a few different types. When I DJ, I play deep and housey techno. Live as Audion, things get very crazy, and aggressive. With my band, I sing and twist my voice around quite a bit. My band consists of a drummer and a bass player too. I like to dance.