pic by Colin Medley

 

 

A long time friend and participant of OBEY Convention, Jesse Frank Matthews, will be DJing during our Friday night show with Each Other, Teenanger, TV Freaks and No Bodies. We got in touch with him to get a sense of what his priorities are when it comes to DJing:

 

 

 

 

What kind of music/musical idea is exciting you these days?

Everyone’s got their doors and window’s open now that it’s spring, so again I am captivated by the stream of music and sounds coming out of every corner. In my recreational time I have been listening to lots of Harry Partch, Huerco S. and Sade.  

Will you be manipulating the music you play at the show in any way?

My DJ set up for the show will in the rub-a-dub style. Using my collection of (reggae)dub cassettes, a few different tape decks, some basic stomp box effects (reverb, EQ, phaser) plus a few tricks and treats to put my own stamp on it. I like the idea of approaching a DJ set with specific tools and and an interest in the history of music. This being a punk show I wanted to act as the Don Lett’s character and play some dub and reggae for the punk rockers. 

What should one strive for as a DJ?

I don’t ‘DJ’ often, and since it is OBEY and I want top do something very special so instead of playing some punk in the type sense, in this DJ scenario I will be employing DIY punk ethos as a basis but try and tap into the other key players in England’s original punk scene in the mid-1970’s. So in this case I am striving to make a connection between my love of punk and dub and how the two share so much in common. Street style sounds with deep roots.

Can you describe a serendipitously soundtracked moment?

Hearing “Holding Back the Years” by Simply Red while waiting in line at a gas station in 2010 on the way to see a girl I’d been with for years, our relationship had dried up but we were still trying to salvage something that was clearly rotting.

Can you describe a horrendously soundtracked moment?

Hearing “Holding Back the Years” by Simply Red while waiting in line at a gas station in 2010 on the way to see a girl I’d been with for years, our relationship had dried up but we were still trying to salvage something that was clearly rotting.

Can you talk a little about the idea of ‘the music event’ as ritual?

I think I’d rather experience music in a more natural way in the different kind of space then a bar or hall. I like to get into it and move around, feel the music in every part of my body but I can’t fake that. There is as much ritual in a ‘metalhead’ going to a metal show as there is Phish fans enduring marathon jams. It’s hard to see music as ritual in our hyper culture when it’s often an accessory to being around other like minded people, which is totally great. Whatever floats your boat right . That is the ritual, with hope- inspiration strikes and after the ‘ritual’ is over the music still resonates. 

What do you hope for from a live show?

In all contexts of performing music, either with my own JFM material, (the band I play in) Journeys, or DJing I always just want to feel like I’ve done the best I can do. I can’t care much about playing to the crowd, some people may love it and others way hate it. So long as I’m in ‘zone’ and doing all that I can to bring life to the music that is a job well done. Sometimes that happens, sometimes it doesn’t. The potential for failure is one of the parts of ‘performance that I get off on.

Can you share some thoughts on one of the acts you’ll be accompanying?

Teenanger are old buddies of mine from Toronto, and it’ll be great to see them, hang out and have some fun. I think they’re an excellent band and have truly gotten better with time and have honed in on their own sound. Solid and unstoppable.

If the show you’re DJing were a novel, where would it be set?

I absolutely love the Jamaican mobile sound system idea, so ideally this novel would be set as dusk in the humid summer breeze with a wall of speakers mounted atop  my dub truck (which would likely have ice cream as well!). There is something so three dimensional about the way music fills the air outside. Bouncing and echoing off the landscape, everyone dancing dutty and sharing space. 

Have you ever called into a radio show? Or hosted one? If so, when/why/who?

I’ve never called into a radio show, unless I was speaking on a show with a band I was in or on my own for JFM promotion. However over 13 years ago I co-hosted a show at CFBU in St.Catharines with my friend Scott Brailey (host) and it was a ‘noise/free jazz’ show. I had no idea until then the deep and extensive history of ‘other music’ and it changed my life forever.

How does music fit into your daily life?

Unless I am in the kitchen or domestic act I don’t often curate my listening at home very much, my girlfriend usually has more specific songs she likes to put on. However I do work/play with music for hours almost everyday. It is therapeutic for me and allows me to express myself and escape awhile. I always have ideas to flesh out and though I should probably busy finding more work to make money and pay off the bills, if I didn’t work on music as often as I do, I would be a different person.


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