What inspired the name of the band? What are your influences and are they the same as when you started out?

So the band name’s Aigars’ invention. Mattergy is a fusion of the words ‘matter’ and ‘energy’, and it’s supposed to hint at the inseperable nature of the material and the energetic worlds – one can’t exist without the other.

As for our influences, they range from band member to band member (we’re quite an eclectic mix!) Aigars and Ivars are very influenced by metal, especially prog – bands like Dream Theatre, Karnivool, Periphery, Sikth, Meshuggah, Tesseract, Caligula’s Horse, Haken. Andris comes from a jazz background, and is influenced by Genesis, Dave Weckl band and Simon Phillips. Ilvars is mainly influenced by jazz, fusion, latin, artists like Jaco Pastorius, Anthony Jackson, Tom Kennedy and Brian Bromberg. Tobias is inspired by art-pop, experimental improvisation, folk/traditional sounds and everything in-between – Matana Roberts, Blake Mills, Tori Kudo, Yves Jarvis, Sóley, Michael Hurley, Busdriver, Milo, Amanda Palmer, Arthur Russell, Claire Rousay, Tigran Hamasyan, Sibusile Xaba, Scroobius Pip, Kae Tempest.

How do you approach songwriting?

As a band I think our songwriting approach is unusual. For our first album, Aigars wrote the core of the tracks, and had an idea attached to each one, mostly relating to some kind of metaphysical process, or to some other aspect of human experience. As lyricist and lead vocal melody writer, I (Tobias) then drew on what Aigars had already mentioned, and explored it from my own perspective. My approach is to fuse together abstract metaphors with clear-cutting truths – one moment you might be confused by what’s being referred to, then something huge will hit you in the face and you won’t be able to ignore it (at least that’s the intention :’D). 

Andris took the lead on synyth parts on this album, whilst Ivars covered the main bulk of technical recording work. 

Why do you write the sort of music that you do?

I can only speak for myself – I write all kinds of music, because I believe fundamentally that we shouldn’t confine ourselves to a specific ‘genre’. I’m drawn to Mattergy and the heavy aspects of this music because I think it’s rhythmically and melodically really exciting, and I love the challenge of weaving vocal lines and messages into it. As a teenager I got into  heavy musics because a lot of my friends were listening to that – Papa Roach, Incubus, Enter Shikari, Amon Amarth, (old) Muse, etc, and the first proper band I was in was making heavy stuff with hard riffs and satirical content. I try to write whatever kind of music best expresses what I’m trying to say – sometimes that’s working on a Mattergy song, other times it’s a folk song or a pop anthem. 

How do you decide what to perform live?

The most recent concerts we’ve done have been album presentations, so we’ve played through our first album in its entirety from start to finish. We have some other songs which are basically complete, but they’re still in the studio for the time being. Going forwards as we release more material it might become a bit more of a choice as to what we play.

The live setup for now is quite straight forward, though it takes a bit of technical expertise and man-power. We play with ‘the fridge’ (our sound unit), which covers the synth parts, vocal harmonies and everything that’s not playable live with 5 people on stage. We use in-ear monitors to keep everything tight. It might be that in the future I might play synth/piano parts live on stage, we’ll see how things develop. 

What plans do you have for the future?

We’ve just signed to THP Production, a Riga-based management and promotion organisation with a focus on rock, metal and industrial music. We’re looking forward to see how that relationship grows, and generally looking to expand our fanbase more and more over the next year. We’ll be working on new material in the not-too-distant future, and already have some unreleased songs in the background, but don’t expect anything too soon on that front. We’ve also got a tour lined up for March/April next year, I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to say about that yet, but it will be mostly in the Baltics. For now it’s mainly gigging and getting our name out there