INTERVIEW: Mattie Leon

Hi Mattie, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’ve been well, thanks! How are you? Things have been really good and really busy on our end lately. We’ve been performing a lot around Southern Ontario the last few months and working on new tunes. Getting ready for the winter to come beat us up a bit here in Toronto as well.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Silver Line”?

Yes! It was written by myself and my brother/drummer/collaborator Mike, produced by the great Gavin Brown. I’m really psyched that it’s the first song out of the gates. It’s about the pursuit of your dreams and how, when the going gets tough, you need to lean on little bits of hope to get you through. It’s the first single that we’ve released on Inside Pocket and there is more coming soon.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Our older brother, Mark, was a professional golfer a few years back and I couldn’t help but notice the parallels in his life then and ours now. We’ve been travelling on a lot of the same highways across Canada that he did, likely having the same doubts and struggling with being so far away from the people you care about most.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

We shot the video on a really nice fall day in October. Luckily the weather behaved and we were able to set up in a forest north of Toronto. We were out there getting photos for the single cover and there was some light left after that session finished up. We wanted to take advantage of the time and the beautiful setting, the trees were beginning to change colour that week and golden hour was just settling in, so we set up some mics and shot the stripped-down acoustic version of Silver Line right then and there! A wonderful photographer named Ryley Dawson captured it all beautifully!

How was the recording and writing process?

The recording process was a brand-new experience for me because, up until this point, I had been producing all of our music at my project studio. We recorded Silver Line at Noble Street Studios in Toronto and it was pretty wild to have access to all of their incredible gear. I was able to play the piano parts on a gorgeous grand piano in the live room!

Along with all of that it was also the first time we’d gotten to work with someone like Gavin Brown. He got the best out of us, no doubt. I’ve learned a lot from him in the last few months.

What role does Toronto play in your music?

Toronto plays a big role for me. Having so many talented artists in one city is really inspiring and it keeps me hungry to work hard. I try to go to as many live shows as I can…there are so many options here….and being around other musicians helps me feel connected to the music community.

What is it about the 70s that you find so fascinating?

When it comes to musicians and writers, the 60’s and 70’s fascinate me because of all of the creative change that was happening at that time. All the innovations in recording. The innovations in song writing. So many of my musical heroes were making their way at that time and so much of what I listen to is still from that time.

Does the new single mean we can expect new material – how’s that coming along?

Yes, you can! We’ll be releasing a new single early in the new year and then an EP in the spring. It’s coming along great so far. We’re all really excited about how things are sounding!

As a songwriter you’re always hoping that the final recording can get close to the sound you have in your head…. this is probably the first time that songs are exceeding those expectations.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

Spring for the EP….no title chosen yet! Open to suggestions though.

Any plans to hit the road?

We’re always busy playing live…we try to cycle around Southern Ontario as much as we can. In 2020, the plan is to play summer festivals and tour across the country in support of the EP. We were also chosen to play the Rivoli Year End Fest which will be on December 26th

What else is happening next in Mattie Leon’s world?

Writing and rehearsing and writing and rehearsing and coffee.

WATCH HERE

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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