Mathew Jonson: Jump on this wagon

Mathew Jonson is a name that has become increasingly prominent within the scene over the last few years. His consistent quality releases have built him a steady and solid reputation and he has seemingly gone from strength to strength, particularly in recent times. On the brink of continuing his overly extensive touring schedule with a tour to Australia, Jonson also has plans of focusing on his newly formed record label Wagon Repair and attempting to fit in as much surfing and snowboarding as possible in between all of this. ITM reporter miss munnee got the lowdown on all things Jonson just before he makes the trek down under.

First things first, what have you been up to over the last six months? 

Mostly just touring. I have been to Europe more than once a month and to Brazil and Argentina twice. Other than that I just moved into a new studio that kicks ass on anything I’ve had in the past.

I’ve heard many DJ’s and artists alike describe what it was that initially intrigued them enough to delve into music. What was your progression to where you are today, as both a DJ and producer? Have you always been into the sounds you are now playing and producing?

I started producing electronic music when I was 10 years old. At that time I didn’t know anything about raves or clubs. I was more into rap and heavy metal. When I started DJ’ing I played Drum and Bass for the first four years and then got into Techno.

You have your own record label called Wagon Repair. What was your motivation behind forming your own label and why did you call it that?

I wanted to be able to release what I wanted to rather than depending on other people’s tastes. The reason it is called Wagon Repair is because Graham (one of the co-owners of the label) listened to Marionette and said “that will fix your wagon” – Wagon Repair evolved somewhere from that.

You’re one of the gifted ones who can pull off a quality DJ set as well as consistently nice productions. Further to that, your live sets are always on the mark as well. Which (if any) of these formats do you prefer and why?

First off, thanks.  And secondly, I like both DJ’ing and playing live. They are both very different to me. I have always been more serious about the live aspect though.

So when you DJ, what mixer do you prefer and when you are doing one of your live sets, what hardware and software components do you use?

I like Allen and Heath and Rane mixers the best when I DJ. As for live, I use Allen and Heath or Midas mixers. I like Ensoniq DP4’s or Yamaha SPX990’s for effects. Mostly because they are easy for promoters to find but also sound good as most of my gear has to be rented because I play overseas most of the time. I bring a G4 running Ableton Live, an Elektron Machinedrum, a midi controller, and sometimes a Roland SH-101. At home I use a lot more outboard gear but on the planes it can be tough with all the equipment. 

How about your studio requirements? What equipment do you opt to use when you are producing tracks?

SH-101, JX3P, Nord Lead 3, System 100m, MC-202, TB-303 are the main synths these days and for drums it’s the usual 909 808 606 and some Simmons drums and Techstar stuff. As for effects it’s Evintide DSP7000, DP4+ and some other stuff I can’t tell you about!!

Of all the gigs and parties you have ever played at, what one would you rate as being your all time favorite?

I had a lot of fun at Labyrinth in Tokyo this year and also at Monegros Festival in Spain. Soundwave in Tofino is really cool too. I can’t say which party is the best but those ones were definitely fun.

You have quite a nice touring schedule, which countries do you most enjoy visiting?

Spain, Japan, Italy, Brazil and Australia are my favorites if you want to talk about culture, history, and scenery. 

Which artists would you name and rate as being quality and/or are you impressed by?

Some names that come to mind are Squarepusher, Moody Mann, Luciano, Theo Parish, J Magik, Trace, Nico, Doc Scott.  I could go on forever though because there really are too many to list.

What is it that drives you and motivates you to pursue all of your musical endeavors?

It used to be a vent when I was younger and I’d escape from the reality of my family life. Then it was a way of meditation and clearing my head. Now it’s a bit of everything plus wanting to make sound systems explode.

If you weren’t a renowned DJ/artist, what would you be doing now?

I would be making music and cooking gourmet food. I would probably be making better music because I wouldn’t be touring so much.

What are your favorite things to do when you have a bit of time off music and can bust out and do whatever you want?

I like to snowboard in the winter and golf in the summer and go to the beach too.

Finally, what are your plans for the next six months?

I have tours pretty much non stop with as much snowboarding I can fit in between. Since its summer down there and in South America though maybe I can go to the beach too! 

Anything else you would like to add?

Please check out my record label at www.wagonrepair.ca and look out for my new release this Nov/Dec – “7.19 FM David” – on Wagon Repair.  Peace!!

Catch Mathew Jonson play LIVE on the following dates:
Sunday 27 November: 6.30am on Sunday morning at Earthcore, Victoria
Friday 2 December: BEEF at the Boobytrap, Sydney