theaussieword.com goes one on one with one of Australia’s most exciting new voices in rock ‘n roll — MASTIN!
Give us an introduction. How did it all begin? What had you first interested in music? I’ve always been singing, since I figured out how to. I guess my first step to taking it a little more seriously was when my family moved over from England. I remember getting to school here, obviously not knowing anyone and being a bit more rowdy than most kids being where we are from, and on top of that my accent made it really difficult to get to know anyone or to make friends easily. I had a guitar I had brought over with me that I’d never played, dad insisted I bring it, and I’m glad I did because it became my only friend at that point. I’d sit whenever I had a moment and practiced and wrote songs, most the time they were absolutely shit haha, but it gave me some point of communication with the world and that’s all I needed and all I was looking for. From there I understood why I was so connected to music, even at a young age I had a relationship with music that seems profound and gave me a better set of skills and a vocabulary to describe how I felt at my core.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music? Everything, in my mind music is all encompassing. There is no limitation to what you can say, whether or not people agree with it, so why should there be any limitation to what you can write. I mostly write from what pulls on the deepest emotions for me, if it feels strong to me it makes it more relevant and easy to associate with for anyone listening to it. I want to make something timeless, songs for me are just like markers, or a snapshot of where you are in the specific moment, as a creator or a listener. If I can make something that brings someone right back to that moment the songs affected them, then I’ve hit the nail on the head.
What are your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist? I want to be here as long as possible, I will always make music, always. But the gift of being able to reach a large amount of people with your music is just that, a gift. I strive to make music that I love, but also in the hopes that others will feel the same. And in turn be able to continue in this ever-changing industry.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour? We hit the road for 19 dates starting in April on the 7th, the day after my EP is out on the 6th. So yes there will be a lot of travelling and flying round the country, but I absolutely adore touring, I feel so at home on the road. This show is going to be quite different for me we’ve approached it with a lot more theatrics really, I want to portray the songs from the inspirations of where I was in life when they were written. So as you can imagine I’m itching to get out there. I’m hoping in between all that madness I’m aiming to get back into the studio, but some more tunes through the desk. Now the ball’s been pushed, I’m gonna keep it rolling.
Tell us a bit about your latest EP and how would you best describe your music? It’s very much Rock n roll, and I think naturally, honesty comes along hand in hand. I do think Rock n roll really does give you free reign to speak the way you want and need to, without having to care about an outsider’s opinion affecting the song. That’s what I’ve done with this record. Every story on this EP is from a feeling and emotions I may or may not have had control over at the time, but now having it out there I’ve been able to look and learn from it. This for me feels like the first time I’m out there as the person I truly am. I have worked so hard to start dragging myself out of the mud and meet who i am as an artist but also as a person. I’m so excited to finally greet anyone listening as this person now, and if you love Rock n roll I hope this is the record for you.
Success, what is the secret to it? Unequivocal, consistent and unwavering hard work – once you know who you are and what you want to do in this short amount of time you have to affect this industry, which is vital !!! It’s all head down and just get into it !!! Never give up, always go through the wall.
What has been your biggest career highlight? I’ve been so lucky to have soo many, but I do think this record has been my favourite. I’ve had the best time I’ve had in the studio ever making this record, which goes to say a lot as I’ve clocked up a fair few hours in studios around the world. But sitting back after it was all done and dusted, and I had a moment to sit back and listen to what I had done, it was actually quite emotional. I almost feel as if I’m making a start all over again. But to hear a record I’ve created with nothing I’d want to change, nothing I feel doesn’t speak true to me as a musician, is somewhat a first for me and that would be why it’s my highlight, so far.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring? Anyone that’s doing or did it right till the end, MJ, Keith Richards, Paul Rodgers, Jimmy Barnes, Steve Tyler, Robert Johnson, and there are so many more. All innovators and all committed to dedicating the time and their lives to inspire others at the start of their journey. I love having a good day working and listing to the whole discography of an artist and hear their transformation through time.
Any new projects in the pipeline? Like I said before I’m hoping to get back into my happy place in the studio to record some new tracks. I’ve had a fair gap between release and I’ve been writing flat out. There is a lot to pick from but I feel as if I’ve found a few gems I can’t wait to get down.
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now? It’s all stepping stones, we are just taking it step by step at the moment. A few years down the line it would be a win for me if we are playing more and bigger shows. And hitting more and more ears and building a family around this sound.
Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists. Well I’m a rock guy, so you can’t go past obviously, Jimmy, John Farnham, Diesel, Electric Mary. One of my favourite bands to watch live in Aus though has to be The Living End, they are just soo bad ass.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye? The industry is filled with people that love music enough they will always be creating, whether or not the industry is in a health state or not. I believe we have the good and the bad going on at the moment. Australians as artists and writers are spread overseas like a disease and do AMAZING things, which is a massive win for us obviously. Unfortunately, I do see a lot of us going overseas because of the lack of opportunity here. I can’t quite put my finger on why but it seems as if it’s almost unattainable to make a global career out of our backyard, and almost like you have to make it overseas before you can here. Live shows have been taking a hit over the years, with things like the lock out laws in Sydney. And the cost of taking a band on the road and venues not being able facilitate money-wise, especially when a DJ is so much cheaper and still brings in a crowd. In saying that, when I’m out watching bands I love, and I see the look on the people’s faces around me I see that the magic of live music is still there, and that gives me some hope. But like I said at the beginning, we will always create and there will always be music.
Thanks for the interview! What final message do you have for us today? Just listen to your favourite records, show your favourite artists some love and I’m sure they will return that love with some magical tunes. Music is magic, let’s keep it alive.