Mat Zo is certainly looking to close out 2014 with a bang. Known for his over his out of the box dance productions and even livelier, edge of your seat live performances, he's recently graced the stage of New York's iconic Madison Square Garden, started his own label Mad Zoo, and embarked on a celebratory tour marking the label's launch. With a new album in the works for next year, it's quickly becoming apparent that Zo's work ethic is part of the reason he is at the top of his game. While on the road this week, we got to catch up with him after the first few shows of the Mad Zoo Winter Roadshow to see how things are going. Check it out below.
EARMILK: Did you always want to have a career on stage?
Mat Zo: I knew I wanted to do something creative, something in the arts. It just ended up that it was in music where I need to be on stage to do my work.
EM: What did you listen to growing up?
MZ: I listened to punk then grunge and jazz, which is how I got into electronic music.
EM: You recently started your own label, Mad Zoo, how did that come about?
MZ: I wanted to have a way to release my music fast. The free download thing was just a perk that I wanted to give.
EM: Are you going to bring in other artists or is this mainly to release your own music?
MZ: Yeah I am planning on bringing other artists in, but it's a work in progress. It's gotta be the right time, music and artist.
EM: Is there a certain style that you're trying to bring to the label?
MZ: It's not about a style, it's about certain qualities, I have a list of requirements. The first is that the music needs to have texture, and another is that it needs to be sort of timeless. Like you can't listen to it in five years and have it sound boring or repetitive. It's gotta always be fresh.
EM: You recently played MSG, how was that?
MZ: It was pretty unbelievable. Not everyone can say they played a show like that.
EM: How is the Mad Zoo tour going?
MZ: So far, so good! I mean we've only done two shows so far, but it's going well.
EM: What's your favorite type of venue to play?
MZ: It's all about the crowd. You can have a huge venue and a terrible crowd, and a small venue and the best crowd.
EM: Do you like to experiment on stage?
MZ: I love to experiment, but it depends on the crowd again. If I think the crowd is going to be into something interesting, I'll go for it.
EM: That's the sign of a good DJ. What are you looking forward to in 2015?
MZ: Well, I've been working on a lot of stuff. I've been working on my album, which I'll say is going to be a very different type of a release than how you're normally delivered an album.
EM: How long have you been working on that?
MZ: It's been a while, let's see, since right before the release of Damage Control. I've spent a lot of time on it.
EM: Do you have any advice to give those who are trying to do what you've been successful at?
MZ: If you're trying, then you're doing it wrong. You've got to live it. Wake up in the morning and make your music, create something.
Catch up with Mat Zo