ARTICLE GILLIAN SAGANSKY
PHOTOGRAPHY DYLAN JOHNSON
LAST WEEK, VMAN CAUGHT UP WITH NEW YORK-BASED AVANT-ELECTRONIC MUSICIAN MATTHEW DEAR, RIGHT BEFORE HIS SET AT BLACK—A "CONCEPTUAL MUSIC AND ART EXPERIENCE" ON THE BOWERY, AND FOUND OUT THAT FOR HIM, PRE-SHOW NERVES CAN SERVE. HOPEFULLY, WE HELPED HIM OUT THERE
What do you love most about performing live?
Matthew Dear I love going somewhere else and being able to be something other than yourself for forty-five minutes on stage. And if you’re lucky, even longer. I just love the experience of becoming something different.
Do you ever get nervous before you go on?
MD Some nerves you want to retain because it keeps you on the edge—you don’t want to get too cocky. Whenever I’m backstage and thinking, “this one’s gonna be great, I got this,” is when something wrong happens—either the sound cuts out or something weird happens. You have to be on your toes.
Any pre-performance ritual or routine?
MD I try not to talk too much. There’s been times when I have a lot of friends come backstage and I’m just talking for an hour and by the time I go on stage I think wow, I’ve just been performing for an hour—and then I’m kind of zapped. So yeah, I try to just go to a peaceful place.
Any particular city you’re dying to perform in?
MD Travel and performing are two different things. I’d love to vacation in India, but I don’t know if my music would translate there. I would love to play in Tokyo—I’ve DJed in Tokyo but never played with my band. The energy there is just amazing. I can’t imagine what the stage energy would be like.
If you could perform with any musician who would it be?
MD That’s tough. If we’re talking living or dead, I would love to work with my main idols—Stockhausen would have been amazing, just to hear what was going on in the lab there. Also Holger Czukay, the German band that’s still around. That would be phenomenal. I would play the tambourine—anything, just to be a part of that ensemble. Then of course there’s the classic ones—I’d happily wear an animal suit at a Flaming Lips show and jump around with those guys if they let me—just to be a part of the party.
If you had to describe your music in one word it would be…
MD Sensual. It’s of the senses. It comes from somewhere deep within me. My songs are these little exposed diaries of mine, tinged with lots of emotion and sexual energy.
What's your next gig?
MD That’s a good question. It might be the Sasquatch Festival–this really big festival in Washington State. I’ll be going out there with the band.