Interview with Mike Matuszak: Drummer for Lithic



The following interview took place on December 8, 2006


FIS says:
How long have you been a member of the band Lithic?

Mike Matuszak says:
Well, I was officially asked to join the band on Sept. 10th, 2005. ... So a little over a year.. But I went through about 2 months of auditions prior to that.

FIS says:
Were you a member of any music groups prior to Lithic?

Mike Matuszak says:
Yes. I was in another band called "sixinch". I have jammed with a number of potential groups over the years, but the only 2 to make it out of the "garage", so to speak, were sixinch and Lithic.

FIS says:
When did you start drumming?

Mike Matuszak says:
I began drumming at the age of 12, Christmas of 1988.

FIS says:
What drew you to the drums?

Mike Matuszak says:
It is hard to say what drew me to the drums. I recall just being drawn to the awesome beats I would hear some of my favorite bands play. They are also a very aggressive instrument which speaks to a possible alter-ego of mine, I guess.

Mike Matuszak says:
There are other instruments I would like to learn, but I do not have the desire to dedicate the time to learn them at this point.

FIS says:
How much practice do you have to do to stay sharp?

Mike Matuszak says:
Good question. More time than I put into it. :) In general you have to play every week. I do not feel like I practice enough. If I have not played in a week my calluses going away, then its back to a handful of blisters at the next intense session. But I am never happy with my performance, so that is hard to answer. I would probably have to practice for a few hours every day to get to a level where I felt I was actually playing sharp.

FIS says:
What type of drumset do you currently use?

Mike Matuszak says:
For the band I play a Yamaha Beech Custom in a 5-piece configuration with an 8", 10" and 14" toms. A 14" Mapex Stainless steel (precious metals serious) snare. And currently I am using all Sabian AA or HH cymbals and a 22" bass drum with double pedal.

FIS says:
Have any other artists inspired your work?

Mike Matuszak says:
Too many to mention. But growing up 2 of my favorite drummers were Stewart Copeland of The Police and Dave Lombardo of Slayer. But there are many more such as drummers from lesser known bands like Another Society. In recent years a close friend of mine has been an inspiration. A more modern influence might be Brad Wilk of the now defunct Rage Against the Machine, currently playing for Audio Slave.

FIS says:
What goes through your mind when you are performing?

Mike Matuszak says:
"Don't screw up!!!!" That is the big one. But often it is concentrating on staying loose. It is easy to get carried away with the energy or a live show and play too tensely. Then you get fatigued very quickly. So I am usually reminding myself to stay loose.

Mike Matuszak says:
If we are playing a new song I am generally more focused on remembering the next part... It depends on how rehearsed a song is.

FIS says:
Interesting, how do you think other people respond to your music?

Mike Matuszak says:
I prefer to gauge responses off of people I do not know (or that the band does not know). Every show we have played we get new people volunteering their enthusiasm for our music. So I think we get a very enthusiastic response. We have been given comments on more than one occassion about "why didn't so and so open for us" or "you are as good as if not better than a lot of the national acts I have worked with".

FIS says:
What is your favorite Lithic song and why?

Mike Matuszak says:
Man, another tough one. My favorite song is always that new one we just wrote. But overall, I would say that my favorite is between Comfortable and Multiples of One with Multiples probably getting the photo finish. I just the dynamics of the song. There is definitely a huge shot of energy going from the intro into the main song, and from there it changes just enough often enough to stay interesting throughout the whole thing.

Mike Matuszak says:
In other words: it rocks!

FIS says:
In your opinion, what makes music art?

Mike Matuszak says:
It is an expression of creative forces within a person. It is as they say in the eye of the beholder, but you cannot create music without showing some internal workings of yourself. Maybe what makes art is opening yourself up to criticism.

FIS says:
Do you think that you would be able to express the same energy, emotion, and ideas through other mediums, such as paintings?

Mike Matuszak says:
I do draw from time to time and play around with graphic arts, but I personally would not be able to express myself as well through those mediums. I am just not as talented is that arena, and I certainly have not practiced enough.

FIS says:
Do you feel a connection with the other members of your band when you produce music?

Mike Matuszak says:
Certainly. And you have to have a connection to make music together. Ultimately if there is not a connection the music and/or the band will fail.

FIS says:
Where do you see music taking you in the near future?

Mike Matuszak says:
Well, I can see music being a viable career for me.. allowing me to pay for the mortgage and keep clothes on my son's back while not having to eat out of dumpsters (which is cool, but not for me). With the history of industry interest in Lithic, it is more a feeling of WHEN than IF for me... and at the same time I am not going to quit my day job until it happens.

Mike Matuszak says:
Maybe that did not answer the near future question... but that is relevant.

Mike Matuszak says:
I foresee national tours in support of a major national release.

FIS says:
When is the highly-anticipated Lithic CD coming out?

Mike Matuszak says:
"Through New Eyes" will be released on January 27th, 2007 at our CD release show at The Rave in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

FIS says:
And finally, how can people find out more information about Lithic and its music?

Mike Matuszak says:
The best places right now are at www.myspace.com/lithic or at www.lithicmusic.com.

Mike Matuszak says:
And, of course, at shows :)

FIS says:
Do you have any final comments for the audience?

Mike Matuszak says:
Ha... vote libertarian, and the "wasted vote" logic is an excuse to be cowardly!

Mike Matuszak says:
:)

FIS says:
Well thanks for the interview Mike, and the best of luck with your music career.

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