Some people don’t get to do what they love for a living. They have to do it on the side, in the shadows, after hours and when no one is looking. I know this situation. Being an ambitious writer looking for outlets, there are plenty of bright flashing lights telling me to keep going but others telling me to get real and pocket the obsession. For me, though, above all else, writing is therapeutic. A way for me to unleash my own demons and clear my head. For Mario Mathon, a long time friend and creative ally, his music sets him free. This is his story.
Today I take a step away from the usual topics to spotlight a friend and fellow creative force’s new band. Call the music what you want but one thing you won’t call it is unoriginal. Sometimes you make mistake in life that push your dreams further than you can reach, but Mario keeps on reaching. He is a flawed man but one holding a plan and that is to make music for a living and spread it around the world. From his words to your eyes, here is his story.
“Few times in the history of American popular music has an artist or group of artists come along with a trademark sound so groundbreaking, original and influential that they shape the landscape of the sounds of not only the radio, charts and pop culture but they also influence and touch the styles and sounds of the fringe, underground, musical hipsters and local purists’ scenes as well. St. Louisans Jordan Mays (Lead Guitar, Synth, Drum Programming, Production) and Mario Mathon (Vocal, Rhythm Guitar) of ‘1917 soundtrack’ give a casual listener the impression that they could eventually become one of those historical music acts. Their re-done, re-issue of 2011’s “I Can’t Believe How Much Of An Asshole I’m Not Being” EP takes the listener through four decades of music all in one song. From reverb soaked 60’s surf pop and modern EDM synth on the lead single “Lindsay Lohan” to 70’s disco funk bass and mid 90’s new jack swing drum loops on “Bath Salt, Adderall, Espresso.” Vocally, Mario Mathon (who spent the last decade writing a McDonald’s jingle, ruining an independent hip-hop/r&b record deal through incarceration and drug rehab and fronting different indie and nu/rap metal bands before joining Mays to record the EP) can both effortlessly break your heart and give you a jolt of serotonin with lyrical content about an almost cliché assortment of drugs, sex and heartbreak, reminding you soulfully of Amy Winehouse or D’Angelo with the explosive grit of Kurt Cobain. Meanwhile, Mays puts his four years studying music theory and audio engineering at the Art Institute of Atlanta to use while crafting art-punk soundscapes that are both equally urban with complex dirty south rap rhythm sections, electronic dance from dub-step, digital synth, and indie because of the throwback reverb and distortion soaked guitars. Just imagine what putting Prince in the studio with David Guetta and Kings Of Leon for a month would sound like and you’re getting warm. If the lead vocalist can keep his star from burning itself out too soon with the same edge-of-your-seat, thrilling excess that make this such riveting music, 1917 soundtrack should be a musical force for years to come.”-Mario Mathon
Mathon is a powerfully confident individual and someone I have shared quite a few epic conversations with on topics varying from musical tastes to boxing greats. Don’t think of him as a problem child but as a man battling himself in order to approach his dreams. Sometimes you have to ride on top of the train to get the highest rush. Dance with the devil to find the right tune. Remember this. Some of the greatest artists of all time had to come within a few steps of hell in order to achieve greatness later on. I can’t tell you that the rawness of 1917 Soundtrack will turn into gold records but I can tell you this guy and his crew are FOR REAL. They will get busy or die reaching. Here are some samples.
“There is something in the soul of us artists that wont rest…its why writers, thespians, poets, musicians, painters, etc. all come off odd or disturbed or as some other heightened emotional being than everyone else…. the truly passionate will chase this shit to the end of the earth.”-Mathon
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