INTERVIEW BY NICK MARTINO ('15), STAFF WRITER
IMAGES BY SOPHIE ZINSER ('16), CONTRIBUTOR
MATAN: So Nick, tell me about your interview process.
NICK: Well Matan, typically I sit down… and… ask some questions like…about…what was it like to… play with your dad?
MATAN: O man. Well, it was a cold night…and and basically um I had been waiting for The Healers [Dr. Green’s band] to come and suddenly I see a car pull up and uh
NICK: Where did the car pull up?
MATAN: Uh up to my driveway? There was a halo around like a light was shining. There were two lights in the car but there was another one that was sort of like an aura. It was, it was The Healers I think.
NICK: Do they reflect a light or emanate?
MATAN: It might have just been the car.
(Can I have a little more? Don’t tell them of what.)
(You can have all you want Matan.)
NICK: Ok so anyways I know you and your dad have always played music together right.
MATAN: Yeah, he taught me how to respect my instrument. It’s a work of art, you know. The relationship to the guitar is like a relationship with another person. You have to treat it with a certain amount of respect. I think that crossed over into many areas of my life.
(Make me sound like I know what I’m saying.)
He bought me a Hendrix DVD once, and I saw him lighting it [his guitar] on fire, and I said, dad, that’s not cool. He said Well son, this is Jimi Hendrix. And that’s when I forayed into rock music, and that became the thing for me. I was 11 or 12. Changed my life.
(I can explain the back story a little bit.)
(Yeah I don’t think you have to.)
First time I played [with my dad]…one day I woke up I said dad, I want to learn something, teach me something, cause he knew how to play everything.
And so I played drums, that was like 10 maybe, and then I switched over to guitar, I very distinctly remember our first lesson learning the 12-bar blues. He laid the foundation. I was obsessed.
I started playing in his band, that was like my first thing. It was like, it was world music stuff. One Drum. I would like play bass, and sometimes drums, and sometimes guitar.
(This is deep in my childhood stuff )
(It’s probably gonna be abridged)
So one of my first big performances was at River Fest in Milwaukee and there were so many people there and I was 13 years old, and the biggest thing, that night my dad was like, "Matan, for our encore were gonna play 'Purple Haze', you’re gonna play the solo." And it was like the whole Hendrix thing. That was awesome. I got to do that.
I’m on stage, four foot whatever, I felt like a god, just my Les Paul, there’s all these drunk 20 year olds out there, and we just started playing "Purple Haze", and it was an incredible feeling.
I realized when it was over that it probably sucked, cause we played real fast and it was cold and my fingers were cold, and I was really disappointed.
(No, don’t put that in, no, no)
NICK: That’s funny, cause that’s what you guys soloed on back and forth for the finale at Earth House. How many times have you played "Purple Haze" together?
MATAN: I actually didn’t think about that. Only like a year later we did a show, it was like a family thing where they get a bunch of families to like go to the Jewish Community Center and play like an outdoor show and basically me, my dad, my little sister who was probably seven at the time on cowbell, and my older sister Ayla on the drums, we did a set together, and we played "Purple Haze".
(Did I make that up?)
MATAN: Then later my dad played in my band. We played as Dr. Green and the Machine for a while. He was a core part of the band. Drummer, bass. Sophomore year of high school and we won Battle of the Bands and got on the radio and stuff…then we kicked him out. We kicked out Dr. Green [laughs]. So that we could start Little Saint Anything, which was the band I was in until Wesleyan. I wrote my college essay about kicking my father out of the band. It wasn’t that dramatic. He was like ah, alright. Suddenly we were sixteen and we wanted to look cool.
(Chaff that off)
Wait, we haven’t gone into my whole EDM thing.
(Look up Strawberry Skipper Band)
So for Double Twins, [my current band] I got into the techniques of home recording electronica music. It’s really fun, anyone can do it with a laptop these days, there’s so much to learn that wasn’t available ten years ago. So I messed around with that a lot, and then decided that I should do something, I should start making music, learning what I learned from dance music, and do something that melds the rock and the electronic, which is, like a dream of mine in some ways. I feel like I’ve got something started, that I’m proud of. I want to make something that sort of straddles both worlds but is very accessible and danceable and listenable.
NICK: What does Dr. Green think?
MATAN: I think he’s really proud of me. My dad is really supportive of my music, and, uh, you know, he taught me things, he played in my bands, I played in his, and so getting to perform these new songs and open for my dad’s band was just very, just like this super awesome, fulfilling, weird occurrence in the universe I think. It just keeps happening, and hopefully it’ll keep goin’.