5 Questions with Rags #21 - Mat the Alien

This was supposed to be the final in the 5 Questions in the run-up to Shambhala, but alas, as it was close to Shambhala, it kind of got filed away and lost in the festival hustle. But now, my chat with Mat the Alien sees the light of day and it’s a good thing too, because Mat the Alien is one of the best and most important DJs in the West Coast scene working today. He’s also one of the nicest. His English accent and calm manner of speaking belies the audio-killer that lurks underneath. You never know what you’re going to get at an Alien show…maybe heavy on funk? Drum ‘n’ bass, perhaps? Breaks? Dubstep? The homey’s got you covered. I was super lucky to get the local legend on the phone to answer my silly questions and you are even luckier to get to read it. Feel the luck!

Despite my awful timing, this works out perfectly as Mr. The Alien is going to be back in my neck of the woods in Victoria, BC, in September. Make sure to catch him before Longwalkshortdock on Saturday, September 19 at the Capital Iron Stage during Rifflandia.

And for your listening pleasure whilst you enjoy our brief, whimsical conversation (And for an hour afterwards) here is Mat the Alien’s winning mix for the good people over at THUMP. Listen and enjoy.

Bonus Question #0 - How many Shambhalas have you been to? Do you have a memory that sticks out?

I think this is my 12th or 13th Shambhala. There’s a lot of memories, really. The first time I played there I played right before Bassnectar on what used to be the Main Stage, now it’s the Pagoda. That was a big one. Just being able to see it grow has been awesome. All of it is such a crazy experience.

1. Can you think of a movie you saw that had an effect on the way you saw the world?

The movie Quadrophenia, with the soundtrack by the Who. That was a big movie about different music movements in England and people rebelling against old stuff. I don’t know, it kind of reminded me of rave music that I got into. That Who soundtrack was really good too, lots of good rockers. It seemed like a really crazy era.

2. Do you remember the first album you bought with your own money?

My dad had a record shop, so growing up I was always around music. But one of the first things I got into was probably Adam Ant. <laughs>

Do you still rock some Adam Ant?

I still got some Adam Ant records but I don’t know if I still have that first one. We moved over here and shipped a bunch of stuff. I do like my record collection to have a bit from all the genres and things we like.

Mat the Alien rocking some tunes that are presumably NOT Adam Ant.

Mat the Alien rocking some tunes that are presumably NOT Adam Ant.

3. If you got to spend a day with anyone living or dead, who would you spend it with and what would you do?

Probably one of the great rock ‘n’ roll people like Jimi Hendrix. Get out and go on a crazy mission and watch all the crazy music. We could see the Doors. Kind of similar to the festival vibe today. That would be awesome, for sure.

4. If had to give up either your sight or your hearing, which would you give up?

That’s really a tough one. <pause> I guess I’d say my hearing, but it’s really nice to be able to see things. If it was hearing maybe things like a bass-driven sub would let you feel the music or make some new music driven by the feeling. At least then you could see where you’re going.

5. Do you think technology can set humanity free to a techno-utopia?

I think it has to be a mix of technology and people’s ideas. Computers can suck some people in but some people can take advantage of a computer and turn it into something crazy like music, art or things that help people. I definitely believe that technology can do good in the world.

6. The Next Question comes from DJ Murge…When is the last time you did something for the first time?

I always think I do, but then…I’ve done probably quite a lot but can’t really think of any off the top of my head. That’s a really good question. <At this point there was a lot of commotion with Mat’s children> I’m getting beaten up! This is the first time I’ve been beaten up by multiple kids. <laughs>

Sounds like a riot happening in there.

Oh, it is! <laughs>

Proof that your parents weren't lying - YOUR FACE WILL STAY THAT WAY IF YOU KEEP MAKING IT!

Proof that your parents weren't lying - YOUR FACE WILL STAY THAT WAY IF YOU KEEP MAKING IT!

Keep abreast of the Alien's landings and goings on at his Facebook page.