Interview with Le Matos at Igloofest 2019

Marc: So first off, I just want to say thank you guys for joining us, and speaking to us on behalf of WNUR 89.3FM Chicago. First off, just a little bit of background about your group and where you’re from?

Le Matos: We are a band based in Montreal. We started about 10 years ago, 11, actually 12 years ago. Yeah so in 2007 we started a band. We were actually three before. But then [an earlier member] had to depart the band, so we continued until now.

 

Marc: Ok great, and just starting off a little bit about your music. When I’ve listened to it, it sounds very 80s synth inspired. Who are your inspirations when you’ve created music, or what is your direction when you’ve been making music?

Le Matos: I mean, we’re kids from the 80’s. We’re not trying to recreate the 80’s but we’re from the 80’s so I think it is there. The nostalgia and the melancholy is from this era. The plight of this childhood, every time. Everything, we used to watch like Saturday morning cartoons, to big American blockbusters, to cheesy italian horror films. And also like indie horror, American horror films, so I think it’s all that sound like Carpenter and other stuff also, Evangelist, who was I guess my first, the first thing I really listened to electronic music was to his music.

I also was a big fan of Kraftwerk, all of the early 80’s and 70’s works. And also, I used to listen to house and techno in the 90’s, because of my brothers who were like, ravers. When I used to listen to their cuts, and I wanted to do something, like in that vein, electronic music.

You kind of feel those two things when you really listen to it, and I think this is really what’s different from like other stuff like synth waves. You feel like the 80’s that I am really fond of, when I grew up, and then also the 90’s techno that Jean-Nic was really a part of back in the day. It’s kind of those two worlds.

Yeah, the mashup of influences.

 

Marc: Absolutely, and I know you guys’ music has also carried over into some film and some other art forms. Do you mind talking about that? That experience, and what it’s been like?

Le Matos: Yeah, I mean, like first of all, the way me and Jean-Nic met, and we became roommates, and at some point we started making music, for fun… I was and still am a cinematographer. So that’s my actual day job. Jean-Nic was making sound design for movies. So I shot a short film, and he was making all the sound design, and at some point we did a couple of tracks just for fun. They needed tracks for their short films so they used our music. And for the next one we decided, let’s actually score that short film, and it lead with those directors all the way to Turbo Kid. That was a full feature film that I shot and that we did score.

 

Marc: Hasn’t that also been shown at some festivals?

Le Matos: The two movies we scored were launched at Sundance. Turbo Kid did, amazing, we’re still surprised by how well it did in festival. We won, best score, that’s crazy for our first score. I mean everything’s surreal.

It really opened up a whole new area of fans, that new our music, because of that movie.

 

Marc: Very neat, so was the inception of the group, did that really begin through film then?

Le Matos: Yeah kind of, I mean we met when we were working in a movie theatre. We liked electronic music, we liked to play shows together, we became roommates at some point. The other member, is still like one of our best friends, is like a sound mixer on set. He did the sound on Turbo Kid. He was not in the band anymore but he’s still a part of it. It’s funny, one day we are at home, and Max called me, our friend, and he’s like…”I got robbed at my place and they stole, like, a bunch of stuff.” So he got crazy and was like, “I don’t want them to come back and steal all my guitars and my synths, like the big collectors. Can I bring the synths to your place? I’m sure your roommates will like it.” So I said yeah and he brought the synths to our place, and we connected them up, and we did our first draft that night. So it all started like this.

 

Marc: So a robbery, almost started everything?

Le Matos: Yeah, exactly, me and Max did film school together. We worked in a movie theatre together, so it’s really from that that brought us together.

 

Marc: And you mentioned you guys use a lot of synths and you use a lot of analog [equipment]. What’s your process usually? Both making music and performing it. What equipment do you typically use? What does it look like?

Le Matos: We typically like everyone use a computer. I start with some beats, like basic drums.We go on the analog synths and also vsts, whatever sounds good, and then we just start a jam, we jam it out. We make different parts of the song, and we do it all together. We play on stage the part that we like the most to play. Pretty simple.

Like an actual, just like a normal band. The fact that we are two and we used to be three and at some point we actually had a drummer as well. So, it’s just, he’s making beats on his computer and then we jam and jam and jam and do loops. It’s like a normal jam session.

 

Marc: So it’s really just a jam session that makes everything?

Le Matos: Yeah, if we play a loop for like, 3 hours, and we still think it’s good. You know, when you hear the loop for three hours and you’re not tired of hearing it, you’re like: I think we have something.

 

Marc: Well is there anything else that you guys would like to share with our Chicago listeners?

Le Matos: I mean, if they don’t know us at all, were not that big in the States now…but I think it’s good to look us up the first time and join us, but also to see us through the movies we’ve scored. Because I think we are changing a lot because of the movies we are doing. And I think it’s cool to experience this music on actual image. I think it’s a good way to see us for the first time.

 

Marc: Absolutely. And I think it’s interesting not a lot of groups adapt through the context of another medium like that. Through film, cinema, it’s very neat. It’s up to you to disclose, but are there any other things that you guys have in store outside of what you’ve just released? Review, or are you working on future films, things like that?

Le Matos: I mean, Turbo Kid 2 is in the process, so for sure if this thing happens we will be on board. Also we are starting to remix…people are remixing us, we are having a new EP coming out that is a score for a web series, also. So a bunch of stuff is going to happen.

 

Marc: Awesome, thank you guys!

Le Matos: Thank you.