À PROPOS / ABOUT
I started writing the songs for Equilibrium last year. Believe it or not, everything came together quickly over a nine month period. I had all the demos written and composed as we went into 2020. The actual recording and production began in February and wrapped up in August.What are you most proud of about your new creation?
Well, there are so many things. This was the first time for me where I set out to write and create my own album from the ground up without being in a band. Transcendent 7 was an idea that started when I was in Provision. It was born out of the innate need to express myself as an individual. That being said, I never set out to be a solo act. I knew from day one that I would want to surround myself with musicians and producers as the album went into the post production stages. I have always seen Transcendent 7 as more of an entity than a solo endeavor. The idea of the “Matt Willis” solo project was less than appealing to me. I am extremely proud to be what I consider the architect of the album and I was able to execute my own vision. I am very honored that Sebastien Ross, Skyler White, Dan Guenther, Peter Rainman and Giacomo Ranocchia took the journey with me and believed in what I wanted to achieve.When you write, where do you like to collect yourself the most for inspiration?
It’s hard to say where it comes from. I am just grateful that it comes. I have developed the idea over the years that I am just a conduit of this energy and it’s more or less, my job to capture it. I have to not ignore the urge to create or write when it comes. I am an observer. I have a very fast absorption when it comes to what’s around me. I pick up colors, features, and even body language from people very quickly. I can scan and survey the environment pretty fast and pick up on things that most people tend to overlook. I think this really helps me as a writer. I feel that I would have been a great detective. I may appear very aloof but, my brain is always feeding me data.Can you tell us a habit you have that is funny?
I have certain quirks. They’ve gotten worse with age. I am obsessive about being clean and organized. I feel a bit happier when everything is in its place and tidy. I hang about 20 air freshener trees in my car rearview mirror. I realize it’s excessive and I am sure there is a particular disorder for this type of behavior but, I used to be very messy and disorganized as a child. So, I couldn’t say why I have become this way over the years but, here I am. Sigh.If you had to choose between a dessert and a savory dish which one would you choose and what exactly?
I have had an eternal sweet tooth. I would choose something sweet over a savory item any day. But I love savory foods too.We are in the middle of a political debate in the United States, what do you think of the global situation?
I have very central beliefs. I despise right or left-wing political agendas. I see both parties as very mediocre and I would never be a card-carrying member of either party. I often laugh to myself when I hear or read anyone’s political take from a left or right perspective. I live in a very globally international community and I am exposed to many different perspectives and views. I see myself as grateful for the opportunity to learn from so many different viewpoints. In the US, there’s lots of great ideals that we have here but, we have taken several steps backwards and could learn so much from the successful practices of other countries. America is not the world and we need to get our acts together here or I can see us falling beyond repair in the next 50 to 100 years. We have two parties that fail miserably at working together and I have never seen this country more divided. This concerns me greatly.Does your family follow in the same footsteps as you artistically?
Both of my daughters are very musical. This makes me very proud of course. My oldest brother is a great musician as well. I also have a cousin who is a longtime musician. I have seen early photos of some of our ancestors who were gathered around their home playing musical instruments in England or Scotland I believe. Again, I feel great knowing that their energy runs in my veins and I can continue this history of musical output. It’s not something I take for granted.Who are the artists who inspire you most in the history of artists?
There are so many. I tend to look towards more unconventional figures when it comes to artists, writers or musicians. Aldous Huxley, Louise Brooks, and Andy Warhol come to mind. Musically, I have always been drawn to obscure talents. But I am a lifetime fan of known acts like the Velvet Underground, Joy Division, and Depeche Mode.What do you think of the place of electronic music compared to more popular music?
Electronic music has the same DIY spirit of punk music. I find this very attractive. Anyone with an instrument and a voice can find their place. The possibilities to take it to different and exciting levels still remain. There seems to be enough room for anyone willing to give their all to putting out the best music possible. It also seems to be well received on a global level. The appeal brings all races and cultures to the creative table. I am honored to be a part of it!Do you find the support of different media difficult to approach?
To be honest, I don’t think about it in terms of difficulty. I feel that if what you are doing is substantial, they will come to you. And they do. Thank heavens for that! I have been very fortunate to have so many publications, radio stations, podcasts, and webzines who have been very supportive of my work over the years. I owe so much to them. They’ve given my music so much life and reach beyond anything I could’ve imagined. I do not take it for granted at all.Why do business with ScentAir Record when you already have your own label? And what exactly does it bring to you? Do you want to tell us in detail about Splendid Recordings?
I appreciate this question. The answer is pretty simple. Splendid Recordings is not really a label as much as it is a home base for me. It is a creative circle that I have put together to allow artists to work together and we often work with labels on the pressing of albums and distribution. But, we only choose to work with labels that have the same practical and creative vision as us. I chose to sign with ScentAir because I really think it’s one of the best electronic music labels in the world. Vladimir and I share the same creative vision and I knew I wanted to partner with him. His offer to press my album and help me promote was very generous. It has expanded my musical reach in Russia and surrounding areas. That is a huge blessing to be. Vladimir’s belief in me and what I do has been refreshing. His support has been very vital to me. I am so grateful for his partnership.Do you think the Covid is going to have an impact on the music industry?
Yes. The music industry is an ever-changing market and the world is rapidly changing. Especially now. So naturally the market will have to adapt in terms of how live shows will be done, how they get music into the ears of people. The music industry has changed so much in the last 20 years and What it continues to evolve towards will be interesting. How many major labels will fall? How will the Spotify’s of the world continue on with fleecing artists? Lots of unanswered questions. But, Covid-19 has killed the live aspect of music and the consequences have been painful. Lots of live venues are shutting down and it’s hard to watch this happen.I saw that vinyl is more and more popular do you think you will use this medium eventually?
Well, yes. And it’s not really a matter of opinion. I believe I have read that vinyl has outsold CD’s this past year and so there you have it. For me personally, I’d love to release something on vinyl. It’s a bit more expensive but, I certainly would love to release a record with a marble colored wax and a gate-fold sleeve.What are your next projects?
I am going to get through the release of Equilibrium, which is out on October 16th. I am going to put out a single and B-side digitally in the first part of 2021. Then I will work on the next T7 release hopefully in between doing live shows with Christopher Anton depending on COVID-19. If we can get past the pandemic, I wouldn’t rule out doing a few Transcendent 7 live shows. There’s a lot of logistical problems with achieving these things right now based on where things are at in the world but, I remain somewhat hopeful for these things to happen sometime in the future.Thank you for taking the time to send me such thoughtful questions. I really enjoyed taking the time to answer them.