Mat Vezio Interview: "Never hang your skates"
Mat Vezio, please tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to music.
I started setting to music some poems I would find in my literature books in secondary school, and then began writing my own poems to transform into songs. After a two year stay in Paris (where I was sailor on the Seine and the Saint-Martin Canal, then a student in a theater school), I came back to Montreal and started playing drums in a multitude of bands. The loss of a dear friend of mine brought me back writing; I started composing my album Avant la mort des fleurs cueillies 3 years ago.
Who are some of your favorite musicians, and how did they influence you?
I discovered Nick Cave in 2005 through a friend. I fell on my ass listening to Abattoir Blues. Although what I do is a little less musically abrasive, he really inspired the feminine choirs on my album. His sharp and cutting edge poetry touches and inspires me too.
To me, Otis Redding and Nina Simone are incomparable icons. Their music is some kind of vital catharsis to their lives, their soul, as well as the social and historical context to which they belong. Their music transcends and directly touches the heart.
Do you have other sources of inspiration?
I like to dig in visual arts before writing songs. I also love documentaries about animals and astronomy. I find these documentaries to be an endless source of inspiration, relevant to any situation. Currently, I’m reading about boats disappearing in specific spots of the St-Laurent river in the 1900s; it’s captivating.
What’s the meaning behind your music?
Being able to go through mourning while rising as a person, as a human being, and bringing out the positive while dealing with the melancholy and the nostalgia it can cause.
When you are composing—how much of it is instinctual versus planned?
It’s always instinctive. Everything I do is instinctive. I’ve tried working by planning and it doesn’t really do it for me.
How has your style changed over the years?
I’ve explored a bunch of things. Before, I used to play more experimental music. With time, I leaned towards something that, I find, is simpler and more transparent. I think it’s more accessible. To me, simplicity is a difficult task. It challenges me.
What is the most appealing aspect of your new album “Avant la mort des fleurs cueillies?
I think this album’s music wavers between complexity and simplicity. Its sways towards the light despite its melancholy. I find that the girl choir brings a lot of light.
What are your future projects?
I’m currently working on the musical conception of a stage adaptation of a novel by Erika Soucy, Les murailles. I’m also composing new songs for a second record.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
My great-uncle told me on his deathbed; “Accroche jamais tes patins” (“Never hang your skates”)
And finally, where to go to meet you and hear you?
On my website, matvezio.com
On Facebook and Instagram and Youtube. Also at the bar Honey Martin in my NDG neighborhood, or in venues across Quebec, Canada and the world, hopefully.