ABOUT A BAND: MECHATOKNovember 11, 2016
This Friday, November 11 is the launch of our exclusive 2Pac Forever merch collection, and to celebrate we’re throwing a party at UO Spitalfields. Ahead of the event, we catch up with Mechatok to talk playing the States for the first time, the value of being self-reliant and how his music has become more focused with time.
Tell us about your background in music. Was it always the plan to make music a career?
I used to play classical guitar and was the guitarist in a couple of bands, including Jazz-Combos and a BigBand. I always loved the idea of making music, but there never was a fixed plan to actually become a musician.
Tell us a little about Bala Club. How did the relationship get started?
It’s a platform and party that Kami and Uli started to push the music their friends and themselves make. Uli and me initially started talking online, because we were into each other’s music. After having worked on a couple of songs with Uli and coming to London a couple of times to hang out and play the Bala parties, it just felt like I was part of it.
What is your creative process when collaborating together? Does it come naturally?
Usually it starts with one of us having a rough idea or a sketch, either way Uli sends over some chords and lyrics or I send him an instrumental. Whenever Uli has the final recording of his vocals he just sends it over and I finalize the song. It happens completely naturally; we mostly just share what we made lately and whenever something feels like it could work it’s usually been finished in a couple of hours.
What would you pin as a defining moment in your career to date; your biggest holy shit moment?
When Mobilegirl and I got on the plane to play our Debut US show in Pennsylvania; that felt pretty surreal. It was our first ever time in the States. Witnessing that festival getting shut down by an army of racist cops was definitely one of the most shocking music-related things I’ve ever experienced.
What is the best piece of advice another musician has given you?
Palmistry told me not to rely on other people too much and keep things as DIY as possible when it comes to getting your music things going. That advice helped me a lot and made me feel way more secure about what I do. I obviously don’t do everything by myself, I have the most supportive friends I could imagine. But just approaching things like that in the first place and then happily accepting help when it’s being offered is my way to go.
It’s always easy to end up pigeonholed in music – is that something you’ve struggled with? If so, how do you combat this?
I don’t feel like I have suffered from that a lot yet. I generally avoid putting myself in any too obvious boxes aesthetically. But also I think all my friends from Staycore and Bala Club just make the most different kinds of music but still would be a tight-knit crews, so it’s hard to use any kind of narrow-minded categorization on any of us.
Where in Europe have you experienced the best reaction from an audience?
I love playing in London, because I feel like there’s such a high awareness regarding the music that’s being played. I felt the people that come through mostly know the artist they’re coming to see and celebrate the performance. I also loved the show Mobilegirl and I played in Prague. The audience was just really appreciative and hyped, so it was really fun to play there.
How do you think your music has progressed over the course of your career and where do you see yourself headed next?
I feel like my music has gotten more and more minimal and reduced itself to the important essence. I think I had a way more confused approach to writing songs some time ago and I feel like it’s getting more and more focused. I just released an EP called „See Thru“ on Staycore. I’m not sure yet which format the follow up to that is going to have yet, but I want to take this vibe I started on „See Thru“ further and go deeper with it. I also definitely want to work more with singers and rappers in the future.
Using three words, describe what we can expect from your set this Friday at Urban Outfitters.
It’s going to be sad, happy and the full spectrum of emotions in between these two.
The most memorable show I’ve ever played…
Boiler Room Weekender in Pennsylvania.
My favourite piece of kit is…
I’m currently listening to…
Flora Yin-Wong, Firaasbeats & Niclas.
Listen to the EP ‘See Thru’ and watch the video here.
Shop the collection first in Ku’damm, Berlin and Spitalfields, London or pre-order online this Friday 11/11.
For the chance to win the entire collection, click here to enter!