Collaborating as often as they do, Chaz Bundick (Toro y Moi) and Jared and Jonathan Mattson (The Mattson 2) seem especially glowing while speaking of their latest project. As a record, Chaz Bundick Meets The Mattson 2 is quite unlike previous releases for both artists, one that takes the listener across a cosmic seesaw, showing glimpses of jazz and psych, seemingly only stopping to pivot. We reached the three via phone late last month to better understand the importance of the collaboration, improvisation, and this style of exploration.
Aquarium Drunkard: It seems like you guys had a lot of fun making this record. Where would you say the jumping off point was from other projects you work on?
Chaz: The main difference for me – I got the chance to make something that wasn’t Toro, and I could really just express who I am, outside of pop music. That was the biggest opportunity I saw, in trying to make a record like this – cause I love jazz, and psych rock, but I never really felt comfortable making it, like it wasn’t for a pop audience. This record, I felt I got to share more of my musicianship. And I’m sure it’s probably the opposite for the Mattsons.
Jonathan: I like that. I feel like that for the Mattsons, too — we have a great audience and stuff, they understand our music. But it’s instrumental, well most of it’s instrumental, and I feel like working with Chaz, it helped us really solidify our ideas more and not rely so much on our improvisational elements. But the improv that we do feature on the album is some of the most innovative ways we’ve done it. For me, I think he just helped us solidify our ideas more and make it more fine-tuned, and make it more accessible to our audience and a different audience as well.
Jared: A cohesive unit, which this was, is not one voice – it’s a complete collective voice, and there couldn’t be one without the other. We were all devoted and on site, and so it was this cool experience where we were writing in real time and jamming in the studio — it was this collective voice that we were following. And Jonathan and I, we’ve never used engineering ability as an instrument or a compositional tool, and I feel that’s a major aspect of Chaz’s work – he uses the post-production, and engineering, and all that mixing and stuff – I view that as his instrument and his sound. It was amazing to be able to use the post-production aspect of Chaz’s talent with our improvisational style.