Globetrotter Matthieu Faubourg returns with his second studio, Same But Not Really, to the scene delivering his audience an eight tracker that is not necessarily designed for the dance floors of the world, but definitely makes sure it hits people right where they need to be met – in their souls. Maybe it’s the various influences from all the countries and different cultures Matthieu has got to know, maybe it’s diverse personality, maybe it’s a mixture of everything that makes the artist always come up with music, which is so appealing and attractive. However, shortly before the release of Same But Not Really, Matthieu greets us from Prague, giving us the reasons for his permanent moves, speaking of how the album came about and freedoms he enjoys while working on music as well as he explains the difference between the album and his EP on Shall Not Fade.
Torture the Artist: Hello Matthieu, tell us something about your day.
Matthieu Faubourg: Hello Holger! Nothing special so far, it’s 11 am and the sun is showing its head over Prague, feels nice!
Torture the Artist: You’ve lived in Hamburg, Barcelona, Vienna, Zurich and Paris. Where are you now and do you like moving?
Matthieu Faubourg: That’s right, and also in Madrid. Right now I’m in Prague. I wanted to settle in Lisboa but there’s a massive housing crisis over there, prices are insane and I couldn’t find a flat. I like moving yep, but not as much as I used to. I’m 31 years old now and can sense the need of settling a bit down, like having a base. But I’m really picky and it’s hard to find a city that matches most of your boxes.
Torture the Artist: What’s the city that comes closest to your favorite ones and could you imagine moving back to it one day or is “moving“ for you a continuous journey (to yourself)?
Matthieu Faubourg: It is really hard to answer this question! Cities change all the time, the people you’ve met there move out as well, so the experience wouldn’t be the same if you’d come back (I’ve experienced it with Barcelona, where I lived twice). If I’m still not settled, maybe it’s because I didn’t find the right fit, or maybe because it is just how I function. I really don’t know!
Torture the Artist: Is “feeling home“ for you personally bound to a city or the place you live in?
Matthieu Faubourg: It’s a mix of the city I’m living in, the friends I have there and also the bigger community (the inhabitants of the city, people working in the local shops, etc.).
Torture the Artist: Let’s speak a little about your music. Your first album Simplicity Is The Ultimate Sophistication is three years old now and you got a new one coming up, named Same But Not Really. First of all, does the new album title refer to your first one or have you reached the ultimate sophistication now?
Matthieu Faubourg: Good question! Many people actually don’t even know about that first album, because it came out right in the midst of the pandemic. The title of the second album doesn’t necessarily refer to the first album, but more to the years from 2017-2019, when Please, Stay came out. Same But Not Really basically explains that I’m still the same person, but that I’ve also evolved in some ways as a person, and so has my music. The only constant is change.
Torture the Artist: In what ways have you noticeably evolved personally and musically?
Matthieu Faubourg: I guess I’m wiser than I used to be a couple of years ago, but it’s simply the effect of becoming older, I suppose. Musically, I guess that I’m less scared of making music that is different. In the past, I was always concerned if people would like my releases, and I’m still am, but less. If people are still listening to what I do after the years, I guess it’s a good sign!
Torture the Artist: Same But Not Really is a self-release, how come you chose this way of releasing an album and what are your biggest challenges, which come with the release?
Matthieu Faubourg: Well, quite simply because I didn’t want to wait a year for a label to release it. Also, since it’s an album, it’s kind of a really special project to me, and I didn’t want anyone to have a word to say/make me do changes on this album. I guess the biggest challenge is doing promotion, and also not being demotivated, because you’re doing all of this alone. Luckily, my brother Thomas Schrobiltgen is a graphic designer and he did the artworks. The photograph was taken by a photographer from Budapest, Bianka Csenki, and she agreed that I could use it as a cover. So that topic was sorted. Then came the mastering. I could have paid a studio, but instead I’ve read articles and watched tutorials to learn how to do the mastering. And I did it! I think that, generally speaking, you can do/achieve a lot without a lot of resources. That’s also something I wanted to show with this project.
Torture the Artist: How have you changed/ grown as an artist since your first album and what made you decide that now is the moment to come up with our sophomore album?
Matthieu Faubourg: Absolutely. Maybe I don’t have enough distance to reflect on it, but I’ve definitely grown as a person since 2020, so by deduction I’ve grown as an artist too. I’ve started working on a couple of tracks that kind of had the same vibe and I thought “ok, got it, let’s do an album”. That’s basically how it happened, I just felt it! To me, an album is the occasion to make tracks that aren’t necessary aimed to be played in clubs, and this is the kind of project which allows you to be even more creative.
Torture the Artist: Your musical influences are said to be NJ House, 90s Vocal House analogue synths and basement style productions. Where does this fascination for this particular sound and the aesthetic come from?
Matthieu Faubourg: I mean, within house music, yes. I’d also add garage house. But, this is only for this genre of music. I’m listening to at least as much Rock music, Soul/Neo Soul, HipHop, Jazz, Bossa Nova, R&B, as I listen to Electronic or House music. Everyone is different and has his/her own tastes, but I kind of feel sorry (no offense tho) for people who only listen to the same stuff. There is so much more music to be discovered than only one specific genre. Also, this is how you learn new stuff and grow as a person and artist. Again, it’s really hard for myself to judge my work because I’m not listening to it as a third party, but I suppose that all of the music I listen to has certainly an influence on the way I compose music. I’m sorry if this doesn’t really answer to your question. <smiles>
Torture the Artist: What are the three tracks to left such an impression on you that tied you to the House-scene and where did you first listen to them?
- The Break Up by Dam Swindle , it was somewhere at a boat party in Hong Kong.
- The Kerri Chandler remix of You Might Loose It by Makam. I can’t remember where I’ve first listened to that track, but as far as I can remember, I’ve always been playing it!
- Almost all the stuff by Lone. I first discovered Lone’s music before I started producing. I think I was still living in Zurich back then and discovered his music via Spotify.
Torture the Artist: How was the process of producing Same But Not Really, meaning did is it in the studio producing tracks and found they go well with each other or did you go to the studio with the idea of producing an album?
Matthieu Faubourg: A bit of both. As I mentioned earlier, I composed a couple of tracks that really worked well together and I realized it was time to produce an album. Then, I was making tracks with the idea of creating an album, yes. But all of this goes naturally.
Torture the Artist: What’a a freedom you enjoy when producing music?
Matthieu Faubourg: The freedom of doing what I want, especially when it’s a self-release, as I explained earlier. We’ll all be working on a new track for several hours/days, then erasing what you’ve done because you don’t like it anymore/don’t think it’s good enough. And the moment when you find the right chords, right melody, uffff, best feeling!!
Torture the Artist: Let’s come back to the album, we all have our favorite picks for several reasons, what’s yours from the album, and why?
Matthieu Faubourg: As a person, it has always been really hard for me to actually choose among different things. I have a couple of favorite tracks on this album, but loving all of them. Maybe I’d pick Colonia Express, Liquid, Same but not Really and Northern Lights. Liquid reminds me in a way of the Space Jam movie, it’s really energetic. The other three ones I’ve mentioned have their own little stories to tell, and I’m really attached to every one of them. I want people to listen to the album and make their own stories/interpretation though. <smiles>
Torture the Artist: What do/did you do when you are/were creatively stuck, do you have a go-to synth or studio-gadget that does the trick?
Matthieu Faubourg: I just let it be! Like, I won’t force anything. If I’m stuck, I’ll leave the track for a while, and work on something else. That is why it takes me a lot of time to produce an album. For this one, it took me somewhere between 6 months to a year.
Torture the Artist: Last year you released a four tracker called Modern Music For Dreamers, would you say this generally describes an approach of yours to music and more specific to your latest album?
Matthieu Faubourg: This four tracker is quite interesting because some tracks in it are really club oriented, which is not necessarily what I’m doing. I’m not composing music to make what they call “a banger”. I make music because I like the sound of it! That EP worked super well and got played a lot by Cinthie, Move D and Gerd Janson, which actually made me kind of proud to be honest! In Modern Music For Dreamers, I’ve tried to use sounds that aren’t common; that’s what I also did for this new album.
Torture the Artist: Are you a dreamer yourself or what’s an attribute that matches your personality?
Matthieu Faubourg: Absolutely! Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been a daydreamer. My mom moved houses recently and she found the journals that teachers used to fill in every second week or so, and they were already saying that I was in my bubble!
Torture the Artist: What’s an artist you’d want to remix a track of yours from your album, and why?
Matthieu Faubourg: I’d pick three! These would be Kerri Chandler, Black Loops and Lone!
The three of them are one of my favorite artists out there, and their music influence me a lot!
Torture the Artist: What’s an musical extravaganza you’d pay for?
Matthieu Faubourg: Maybe it’s not extravagant but, I’d love to buy a Fender Rhodes at some point, but it’s pricey!vAlso, if one day I have the funds to own a flat or a house, I’d love to build an entire room like a listening bar/audiophile space, with sofas, speakers, instruments. I’d just invite people on weekend and we’d play music!
Torture the Artist: What do you do when your life does not circle around music?
Matthieu Faubourg: Ever since “Please, Stay” came out, I’ve been working what they call a regular 9 to 5 job. So, working during the week! I discovered a new passion over the years: cooking! I’m buying cooking books and stuff!
But, basically, I’m interested in everything that stimulates the creative part of my brain.
Torture the Artist: Does working a nine to five job limit your creativity as you have less time and you are probably more exhausted or does it a relief as you are financially not depending on making music?
Matthieu Faubourg: Both! Depending on the months, there are weeks when I’ll have too much work so I won’t have time to focus on making music. But yes, I don’t depend on music to live, and I never really wanted to do so and tour like crazy until I’m old!
Torture the Artist: When is it better to have music do the talking rather than words or what can music express better than words can?
Matthieu Faubourg: Almost all the time 🙂 There’s always music playing around in my life; even when there’s no actual music, there’s some earworm in my head! But, literally, there has always been music around me, whether it was at my mom’s place and my grandparent’s as a kid, in my flat, outside having a stroll, all the time.
Words by Holger Breuer