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The Comedy of Errors

Interview: Mat Andasun

1 June 07 interview: Glen Parver

"I once did a cracking gig supporting Marilllion in a 2000 seater in Utrecht. I was excited and only seventeen at the time"

Mat Andasun is a multi-instrumentalist performer and composer with a fascination for Brazilian drums. Indeed his samba flavour would not seem out of place on the beaches of Rio De Janero, which makes it even more surprising when you realise that many of his songs are about Nottingham. He’s even done a song about the Xylophone Man…

Where did you start out in music?
Drumming on Tupperware, moving onto a snare wedged into a wastepaper bin. From there it was a short hop to drumming with progressive rock icons Pendragon. Then I decided to take up guitar and singing as there wasn’t as much stuff to carry around.

Who plays what in your band?
I sing, play guitar and fiddle around on bits of percussion. Dave Sturt plays bass and manipulates samples on his laptop. Jeff Davenport plays drums and also does a bit of triggering). Richard Sliwa is the proper percussionist. When I can afford it, Ben Martin comes in to play sax, Bosco de Oliveira joins Rich on percussion and I have a rotating party of keyboard players which includes amongst others local whiz, Nick Daines and jazz star Steve Lodder.

You were a member of Nottingham School of Samba. How did that help you become what you are today?
A founder member I’ll have you know. Hearing Samba for the first time was an incredible experience, totally overwhelmingly wonderful. Samba has this effect on some people. They ditch their jobs, leave their wives and take up wearing dubious tie-die clothing - that sort of thing. Needless to say, it had a profound impact on my listening, playing and writing.

Tell us about your Nottingham Songs EP…
Well, I’ve made two EPs, Monomania in 1999 and Nottingham Songs in 2005. Not exactly a prolific output I admit, but then I’ve had a family to raise. They will be followed later this year with a full length CD, inventively entitled Nottingham Songs Part 2. I wanted to write about Nottingham because I think that it’s interesting to write about where you live and what’s around you.

What are your favourite cities and venues to play?
I once did a cracking gig supporting Marilllion in a 2000 seater in Utrecht. I was excited and only seventeen at the time. So that would have to be my favourite venue, though I must say it’s a doomed relationship, I’m unlikely ever to play there again. My favourite city has to be Nottingham as I’ve played so many great gigs here at different times of my life. Though Wirksworth and Belper also bring back happy memories for me. What a globetrotter!

If you could get anyone in to play with you, who would you choose?
Blimey! It sounds hideously embarrassing to say so (you’re not supposed to like him) but I’d love to drum alongside Phil Collins. I’m a big Genesis fan (1970s of course) and he’s a fantastic drummer.

What can people expect from the LeftLion Unplugged show?
A long shank of musical rope, coiled with Brazilian beats and seductive songs that will reel them in.

What’s coming up for you over the next year?
Lots of writing and recording, more desperate attempts to get gigs and an early years music project teaching under-fives how to use samplers. I’m also going to run the Robin Hood Marathon… or at least attempt to.

Anything else you want to say to LeftLion readers?
Visit my website and seriously consider liking my music. Or even buying it.

Mat Andasun played LeftLion Unplugged at the Malt Cross on Tuesday 17 July.

Mat Andasun website

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