April 10, 2013

Upload on tour drives Maserati in Caldaro. Epic experimental-electro-rock music!

Marco Bassetti

Pink Floyd’s psychedelic arena rock + Mogwai’s dynamics and compositional flow + Daft Punk‘s burning rhythms = Maserati, experimentalist rock band from Athens, Georgia. The equation is complex and simple at the same time, the result is rhythmic and highly textured instrumental music. In “Maserati VII” (2012), the last band’s album, the beat is the focal point of nine epic pieces: “We take a lot of inspiration from dance music… We’ve also been listening to a lot of late 70s/early 80s disco stuff like Giorgio Moroder”. Maserati will play at Kuba (Caldaro/Kaltern) on Saturday 13 April, here’s the interview with the guitarist Matt Cherry.

Maserati. First of all, why did you pick that name for your band?

There’s really no deep meaning or story behind it.  It was just a name that we all agreed on 13 years ago when we started the band.  We briefly considered “The Light at The End of the Tunnel is a Train.”  Soooo glad we talked ourselves out of that.

Prog rock, psych rock, kraut rock… Where are your musical roots?

It depends on how far back you go.  When started the band in 2000, Touch and Go mathrock was at its peak and we were sort of enamored with all that stuff.  Don Caballero, Mogwai, and Sonic Youth were our heroes back then.  5 years later, however, I had unofficially left and re-entered the band after graduate school.  Our first drummer Phil also left the band permanently and Jerry started playing with us.  We had taken time off and were fundamentally a different band by 2005.  Next thing you know we’re getting high all night watching Pink Floyd’s “Live at Pompeii” and the rest is history.

Do you like the “post-rock” category for your music? What does “post-rock” mean in your personal vision?

We feel no connection to a “post rock” label, honestly.  It’s a silly term to us.  We hear it a lot more in Europe than in the US for some reason.  To answer your question, I think to most people it simply means deliberately instrumental guitar-based music.  To us, 95% of it is pretty boring stuff.

The beat is the focal point of your music now. Does dance music influence your musical approach to rhythm? Can you reveal any specific influences in the current electro-dance range?

It’s a huge influence.  The ultimate irony is that none of us really like to dance, yet we take a lot of inspiration from dance music.  To us it’s more about the heavy, steady and fast beats than anything else.  Lately, I’ve been way into stuff like Lindstrom and Todd Terje. Daft Punk has always been an inspiration.  We’ve also been listening to a lot of late 70s/early 80s disco stuff like Giorgio Moroder, Cerrone, Patrick Cowley, etc.

Your music is instrumental, why this choice? Don’t you feel the lack of words to express your personal emotions/ beliefs / thoughts?

While it’s true that most of what we write is instrumental, to be fair we have had moments of vocals on the last three albums.  But I agree that it is usually not the focal point.  For me personally, I think that a lot of the guitar parts that Coley writes are so anthemic that I can never envision any vocals reaching that level of excitement.  We also tend to write stuff that is pretty dense, so there’s also not much room for them to fit in with the other instruments.

Your drummer Jerry Fuchs passed away in a tragic accident in 2009 and “Maserati VII” is the first album without him. What inheritance did he leave to the band from a musical and human point of view?

Jerry was both an immeasurable musical talent and one of our dearest friends.  He left such a deep and permanent mark on us as band that anything we write has some semblance of him embedded in it.


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