Has your home of Zurich, Switzerland, had an influence on the sound of your music?
I don’t believe so. Switzerland is at the crossroads of Germany, Italy, and France which all have a strong music tradition that Switzerland absorbed to various degrees. But I grew up with American and British music in the late sixties and seventies. In my songwriting and arrangements, I am mainly inspired by folk, rock, and blues.
What is the story behind “It’s All About Me?”
The song is about the lack of solidarity in today’s society. Individualism – or more negatively coined – selfishness rules the day. It’s all about self-fulfilment and very little about what can the individual give back to society. If we are not careful, there could be a dangerous split in society that could lead to long lasting tensions and unrest. We already see it happening in public debate as people refuse to listen to dissenting views. I believe in part the refusal to deal with society and the world as a whole, also has to do with the increasing complexities that we see ourselves confronted with. We are simply overwhelmed by the world’s many problems, which we cannot resolve, and we retreat to our private lives.
What is your favorite lyric from “It’s All About Me”?
I guess my favorite verse is “I love my self/ I want it all/ And I don’t care/ if the world’s gonna fall”. These lines capture today’s attitude accurately: after me the deluge.
Who are some of your biggest music inspirations?
I would count Neil Young, Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and The Eagles among my biggest influences. Bob Dylan, The Doors, and Jeff Buckley are also big inspirations.
What questions do you hope listeners will ask themselves after listening to “It’s All About Me”?
I hope they will ask themselves where are we headed if everyone just maximizes his/her own happiness without regard to the broader impact on society as a whole? How can people live together peacefully when they only pursue their own interests ignoring the legitimacy of other people’s diverging interests?
Why is writing about social injustices important to you?
I am a lawyer by background, so justice has played a big role in my life. I am convinced that without legal and social justice, there is no reason to feel part of society. Social justice is the glue that holds society together. What’s the point of being wealthy and privileged if you have to live behind walls that protect you from crime which has its roots in social injustice? It is in our all interest to make sure that everyone has a fair chance and is respected in society.
What was your inspiration behind the imagery in the “It’s All About Me” music video?
I wanted to pit the individual’s small world, like a music studio, against the anonymous big city with its complexities and confusion.
What is in store for the future of MattO?
I have close to thirty songs ready for release. They are part of two notional albums, which I will release over the next 18 months. At the same time, I plan to do some gigs in Switzerland, Italy, and the US North East to connect with my audience. Needless to say that I am working on a bunch of new songs….