Matt’s studio. Click through to view a slideshow of his artwork>>
FP: Who were your biggest creative influences as an artist?
MM: Right now I really am into Dieter Roth, and the Dada artists from the 20s were great. Jeff Wall and Rodney Graham are great. I love this British artist named Tacita Dean. Cy Twombly is a favorite of mine; Joseph Beuys; and who doesn’t love Basquiat? Billy Childish is great. Matt Wignall (who did the photos for Loyalty) got me into Peter Beard and Ed Ruscha. Richard Swift makes some pretty mean music and images to go with them. I could go on and on. My roommate Danny Simon did all the drawings on our “new look” for the Cold War Kids website. Talented man, that Danny is.
FP: Do you work while you’re on the road? Is your Mauster blog the best place to see your latest work?
MM: Actually yes. I work a lot from the road. But it’s mostly just taking photos, or thinking and writing a lot of notes for what I want to make when I get home. I forget so easily, so if I don’t write it down, I’ll never make it. But a lot of my pieces involve lots of text, so I write little notes to myself while touring. You can only get so messy with art supplies until the other guys in the band start complaining. A lot of the people in my pieces are people we meet on tour. A lot of times they are the ones that help me translate stuff into other languages. Designing in other languages is something I like to do. I remember back in college trying to convince my teacher to let me do my design projects in German or something, saying that I’ll pay attention to the text better because I can’t read it. Never really convinced them though, so I guess I’m getting it out of my system now.
FP: How do you manage to be productive in two art forms?
MM: I try to make the two only complement each other. I’m very serious about the visual art I make, but only insofar as it really enhances the music. Playing with Cold War Kids really is my passion, and any visual art that comes, really is a direct inspiration from the band lifestyle and our crew. I try to hit my art studio either before or after (or both) we are writing and rehearsing. It’s a great way to warm up to play, and to wind down afterward. Those are my best moments.
Cold War Kids play LA on 1/22; San Francisco on 1/23; New York on 1/29; and Chicago on 1/30.