Franz Matthews & Jonathan Lehmann by Anthony Audebert

Please introduce your project to our readers.

My name is Matthews, Franz Matthews. I’m a Berlin based music producer & DJ, I grew up in France from a german Mutter and a french father, and I’ve been living here since 9 years now, working on lots of different musical projects since then, always close to the worlds of electronic music & disco in all its possible forms.

How do you handle music requests?

„I’m sorry ? I can’t hear you!“
Kidding, but the only constant I can tell is : always with a big smile, even if the request is a fit or not, it’s all about the connection.

What do you do when equipment goes on strike?

I shout and blame the promoter directly ;) No of course, but honestly, unless there’s a power shortage, there’s almost always a way to make things work, even if it means playing with only one record player, as long as people can keep on enjoying themselves. Whenever there’s a way, there’s a way.

What are your musical influences from childhood?

I grew up listening to a lot of 60’s / 70’s rock : Led Zep, Pink Floyd, etc. But I went through a lot of phases, some I still feel a bit guilty about, like French Festive Ska and lots of Progressive Metal (I was a big Dream Theater fan). I actually used to hate electronic music, but it’s mainly because I didn’t know much about the vastness of it. You get more open minded when you grow older (at first, then it seems to go in the opposite way when you get even older sometimes ;) )

Is it even possible to argue about musical tastes?

I don’t think so. One’s music taste is a mixture of plenty of things : culture, psychology, geography, personal history and experience…
I know what I like and dislike, but this is very personal, and, following my previous answer, I still have a lot of respect for the people who listen to Dream Theater for example, even if I personally don’t enjoy listening to it anymore ;)

Which track would run when you moved into your boxing match?

Otep – Blood Pigs

What was the worst job you ever had?

I was doing a summer job in a café making yummy sandwiches in Lacanau (on the french atlantic coast), and the atmosphere with my boss was ELECTRIC, so electric that I finished calling her calling her a „fucking bitch“ or something like that, which of course got me fired, but I totally deserved it, I was the one behaving like a prick now that I think of it. But hey, you learn, and I’m still glad I went through this experience, which made me a bit wiser!

Describe your sound to someone who has never heard it before.

A hypnotizing trip through the depths of your mind operated by a colourful and retro time capsule on which there is an integrated dancefloor.

Do you have any good tour stories from clubs or festivals?

We were playing a newcomer festival in Rennes (Brittanny) with my previous band „Parlez-vous anglais ?“. At that time, I used to start our gigs from the middle of the crowd while yelling at the people through a megaphone, but this time the crowd was made of about 3000 students, mostly very drunk (people from Brittany know how to drink a lot) and who didn’t know us, so when I attempted to go up on stage, the people in the front didn’t let me come up, thinking I was another drunkyard! I could see my bandmates looking at me laughing their asses off while this was happening, it was a very funny moment, and an amazing gig!

What would you do if you weren’t a musician?

I would probably try to develop something with spirituality, as it helped me a lot going through previous hard times, and I think it is something that can help a lot of people too if you open yourself ist magic. I wouldn’t become a yoga teacher though, I’m not flexible enough for that.

Which style of music should have the most followers? And why?

Whatever, as long as it doesn’t spread hate, and it is made with love. Sounds cheesy, but I still feel that there’s A LOT of music coming out which isn’t made with this essential love ingredient ;)

What is the most important musical equipment invention of all time – and why?

The brush to clean the dust off my synthesizers. Couldn’t live without it!

What would you advise to become a professional?

Be prepared to run a marathon and have fun doing it. I think it’s important to be constant with your work, to keep practicing, to be organized, to collaborate, to not put all your eggs in the same basket, to understand your ego and not let it take too much space, having good social skills help a lot too, and also to be careful about „perfection“ in regards to finishing things. I’ve seen a lot of people falling into this perfection trap and struggling to get things out. Of course we all want to release the best piece of art possible if we’re serious about it, but it’s important to be able to let go too, and most of all, to enjoy the whole process, that’s why we do music in the first place, right ?

Could you tell us more about your ‚The Question EP‘ featuring Jonathan Lehmann on Everything Will Be Ok?

I met Jonathan Lehmann 4 years ago, as he came to my Berlin studio to record meditations for the 7Mind App. We quickly became friends and joked about doing a club track with spiritual lyrics, where the music would evolve along the voice as a sort of guided meditation. The joke became a strong idea, which took me time to finish (4 years!) as I really believed in its power and I didn’t want to rush it. 
3 years later, I started looking for a label and ‚Everything Will Be OK‚ were the first ones that believed in it. We decided to make it happen together, then Aera came on board for a first remix, as he was also very much into this idea, then Milio and The Organism joined the party, we made an amazing music video for it with Locolor, and then the tracks got quickly picked up by Ame and then other massive DJ’s all around the globe, which was a real pleasure to see unfold. And now that the EP is out, it’s your turn to make this track’s history ;)

What are your upcoming plans?

We’re about to release a new and darker track in collaboration with Local Suicide, called ‚Love Terrorist‘, on a very nice compilation that celebrates the 9 years anniversary of Playground Records.Besides that, I have a couple more collabs coming out soon, with Johannes Klingebiel and Semodi, which also join the dots between electronic music and spirituality, and which will be out in a few months on Heimlich Recordings, so keep posted for all these beauties coming out soon!

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