Interview: JAY MATHARU

Guitarist Jay Matharu recently released “These Clounds are So Undisciplined!” album (reviewed here), and in an interview for Rocking Charts he discusses the creative phase of it, and more.

Hey Jay. How are you doing?

Hi guys! I’m doing great! Really happy to be talking to you and your readers.

You recently released “These Clouds are So Undisciplined!.” How do you feel about the release?

It feels great to have it finally released. I had finished all the writing and recording back in August. I had to first find a mix engineer and then once I found Max I had to wait for him to find the time to do the final mixing an mastering for me. It was an amazing feeling to click the upload button and finally have it in the digital world.

How much of a challenge was to work on the album?

On a scale of 1-10 it was probably about a 4 or 5. The main challenge was getting everything written and recorded in the one hundred day timeframe. When I started the project it was literally from scratch. I had no idea of what style of music I would write, what type of sound, or even if it would be a vocal or instrumental album. I had two riffs! After a few weeks I had a bunch of ideas that I whittled down to the seven that make up the album as it is now. The last few weeks were a bit stressful as I changed many melodies or rewrote some parts. I recorded the last solo within five minutes of the deadline.

What is your opinion about the current instrumental prog rock / metal scene?

I think it’s a really exciting scene at the moment. There are so many great players and bands. I love that there is such a mix of different styles under the “prog” title nowadays. Instrumental guitarists are no longer just technical shredders playing a million notes over a backing track or a teenager playing two chords with a delay pedal. Musicians are composing music that is more thoughtful, emotional,  technically and harmonically interesting music.

These Clouds Are So Undisciplined

Can you tell me something about your influences?

When I started playing my two biggest influences were Nirvana and Guns n Roses. When I was around 16 years old I was gigging regularly in a grunge band and a blues/ classic rock cover band. I started taking guitar lessons around this time and my teacher introduced me to Yngwie Malmsteen, Racer X, Queensryche and many more artists/ bands. Over the years I have gone through periods of listening to all sorts of music. Everything from ambient to high tech shred, Indian classical to death metal, jazz to psybient, you name it. Nowadays I can get influenced by anything.

What are you listening to these days?

I listen to music any chance I get, so it changes a lot. Most recently I’ve been listening to Arch Echo’s self titled album, Psychotic Symphony by Sons of Apollo, Tim Miller Trio Vol.3, A Place called fantasy by Mononeon and Sungazer Vol.1.

Your 5 favourite records of all the time?

This question is way too difficult to answer. I’ll give you five out of my favourite 5000 albums

Nirvana – Nevermind

Pink Floyd – Dark side of the moon

Bumblefoot – 9.11

Oceansize – Effloresce

Opeth – Deliverence

Can you tell me a little bit more about the gear you use to record “These Clouds are So Undisciplined!”?

Sure thing! The drums were performed and recorded by my friend Kaffe Myers at Fusion Farm Studios Stockholm. All guitars, bass and programming except for the guest solos were recorded on my laptop, in my apartment.

I used my Strandberg Singularity guitar on most of the tracks. I used a Gibson Les Paul Std on “A Mother’s Love” a Levinson Blade Stratocaster for my solo on “illumination” and a Washburn acoustic on “Breathe In, Breathe Out”

I would of loved to crank my 100 watt head through a 2×12 cab but my neighbours would not be happy with me. The signal path was guitar into a Wampler Tumnus pedal (Rhythm & Lead sounds) or a Wampler Dual Fusion pedal (Lead sounds) into an Engl Gigmaster Amplifier Head direct out to soundcard into Two Notes WOS cab impulse application. During the recording I used delay and reverb effects in my DAW but the sounds used were swapped out with higher quality ambient effects in the mixing process. I used my Woodo six string fretless direct into laptop for all the bass parts.

Besides the release of the album, are there any other plans for the future?

Definitely, I’ve already got a few ideas for a follow up album and if all goes to plan I’ll hopefully get a band together and get out gigging/ touring this album next year.

Any words for the potential new fans?

Turn out the lights and crank the album up! Please checkout my music and get in contact! Let me know if you like it or hate it. I have a page on Facebook and a YouTube channel where you can send me a message, like and subscribe.

“These Clouds are So Undisciplined!” is available from Bandcamp.