"Not everyone will love this, and I'm very OK with that"
Mastin's new single Not The Man For You is a rock n roll belter and is completely unlike anything fans have heard from him before. "Not everyone will love this, and I'm very OK with that," offers Mastin. "But for those who share the same taste as I do for the grand and world-changing genre of rock n roll, I wanted to make something special and long-lasting. I wanted to make something that can change your day, change your mindset, and make you feel like you can take on the world."
This new sound has been a long time coming for Mastin. From the outside, it might look like he's already achieved it all – he won X Factor Australia in 2011, released two Platinum #1 albums with three consecutive chart-topping singles. He continues to travel around the country and the world, performing to thousands of adoring fans every year. But while he is deeply humbled and grateful for his early success in this business, he admits that it came at a cost. "Giving a 16 year old kid the opportunity to travel the country and play to thousands of screaming fans is obviously a dream come true," he reflects. "But, as I learnt, it's not the reality of this industry. I was kept at an arm's length from all decisions made in my caree at that time, and to be honest, I wasn't thinking about it in the slightest. I was being a kid and living out my fantasy. When I left behind the big labels and went out by myself, I started to realise the damage that my neglect had done. I felt utterly exhausted by it all…which has made where I am now all that much sweeter. I've worked my ass off getting back up. Now I love having the confidence that I know exactly how to run my business. I'm getting to be really comfortable with the man I have become."
Going through adolescence, learning about yourself, and becoming who you are, are not things that are easily achieved, and much less so when it's all happening on a global platform. Mastin has taken it all in his stride, taking mistakes as lessons and continuing to chase his one true passion, his calling, that thing that started it all – music. "In my opinion the closest things we have to magic in this world are music and love," he says. "Taking the path through music that I have has made it hard to let people know the real me. But, I know that this new record explains who I am as an artist, and where I'm heading. Music has aways been for me, anyway, and it's as much about how the music makes you feel as the words that accompany it affect you too. Marrying the right sound to the stories I have is crucial"
Interview with Reece Mastin
Question: Can you tell us about your new sound?
Reece Mastin: It's less new, rather more of an extension of what I started doing a few years ago when I left the major labels. This record I guess has been a big revelation for me, as I've learnt more about myself over the past few years it affected my writing massively. I became so easy to say the things I wanted, in the way I'd always wanted to. Along with that I left all expectation on what my music -should' sound like behind and record exactly what was in my head. This new record is like another limb for me, it's a part of my brain that's finally been let out, and it's not going to be going anywhere anytime soon.
Question: What inspired this sound, name and image revamp?
Reece Mastin: Well looking retrospectively over the start of my career and how it was portrayed out to the world, the music, the marketing and the intent was so different to what I'm doing now. But none the less, people after hearing my name I feel automatically go straight back to that time and preconceived my music to be something it isn't now. We changed the name in the hopes that people can judge the music for what it is, whether they like it or not, I want to give it the chance it deserves. Because as you can imagine, creating something that is such a real and honest representation of who you are personally, that means a lot.
Question: Where did the idea for Not The Man For You come from?
Reece Mastin: I wrote the song with my best mate and drummer Mitch Rodgers. We had a rather big night out the night before and were both feeling the effects of it. I'd had an idea for the music, so we sat down and started hashing it out until we got pretty close to what we had in mind. Then we started to go through the story. We both had mates, and been in relationship where the other half, on a Saturday night, would much rather prefer a bottle of wine, the couch and a TV show. Which, don't get me wrong, can be brilliant, but not on a Saturday night! For us, Saturday night is the time to go have an adventure and let the good times the world has to offer hit you in full force. For us, if you're not down for that, maybe we aren't the right guys.
Question: Are you able to talk us through the studio time with Ricki Rae?
Reece Mastin: Ricki Rae is an absolute legend, as a person and a producer. I had the most fun I have ever had in a studio with him, we shared such a common taste and love for music and smash through the record so quickly because we literally could contain our excitement. Every time we got another part come together in the mix, we were like kids at a candy store. We had such a great chat about how we wanted the record to sound before we started and to have a product come out sounding the exact way we intended it to was just euphoric!
I can't thank him enough, if anyone is in need of a good old fashion, amazingly talented, rock n roll producer. Ricki is your man.
Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?
Reece Mastin: They are two very different feelings, there is nothing like performing live. I feel more at home there than I do most of the time. But the same goes for the studio, but in a very different way. I guess live is more external and the studio is where you can be internal and get down to the things that really shape the music.
Question: Which is your favourite song to perform live and why?
Reece Mastin: I'm really looking forward to performing Tell Me All About It off the new EP. Musically it has so many different waves of emotions, when I was writing it I was in such a complicated point in my life and mind, and I can't wait to tell the story and create the place that I was live on stage.
Question: If you could have anyone, in the world, attend a show, who would it be?
Reece Mastin: If I wasn't shitting myself seeing them in the crowd (laughs), I would love to get Steve Tyler down to a show.
Question: Which music/artists are you currently listening to?
Reece Mastin: I've just created my first Spotify playlist actually with a bunch on my favourites from all time. But in terms of new bands, there is a band from Brooklyn called Highly Suspect that I love at the moment, they're a cool three piece sort of new school grunge vibe. And also The Temperance Moment just put out a new record so I've been blasting that, awesome Rock n roll band with a classic yet sonically massive sound.
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Reece Mastin: Lyrically I'd love to collaborate with someone like Eminem; the man's essentially a poet. I love the raw, middle finger to the world approach. He says it the way it is.
Interview by Brooke Hunter