Your Weekend Playlist, Courtesy of Matty Matheson
Matty Matheson is a man of many talents; from singing to cheffing, to throwing a music festival with Wu-Tang clan to being one of New York Time’s Best-Selling authors. The previous Viceland star has a pile of new content up his sleeves; this week he dropped the first episode of his 12-part series Just A Dash. While he was in New York for the premiere, we met up for lunch at Café Altro Paradiso to chat about what he’s got in the works (spoiler alert: a new restaurant, a tradewear brand, and lots n lots of videos.) That’s not all, he also curated the greatest playlist of all time…so take a listen:
So why are we here, at this restaurant?
We’re at Café Altro Paradiso because it has delicious food. It’s one of my favorite restaurants in the city, and I love Ignacio [Mattos]. It’s delicious and I’m trying to get a free meal at my favorite restaurant.
Let’s talk about the things we ordered.
We ordered a burrata, an amazing burrata dish that has all these kind of like fruits and stuff in it. It’s amazing. This fennel salad is like the greatest fennel salad you’ll ever have in your life. Everything they make here is just top quality and really beautiful. They make it really easy for you to love this place.
Now let’s dive right in…Matty Fest. Tell me all about it.
Matty Fest…greatest food and music festival that’s ever been made and/or created. It was really cool because we did it one time, and it was the best. I think we are going to learn a few things obviously, how to do things better…but starting off being number one, and the greatest success has been a very interesting learning curve…once again, like most things I do, it’s an absolute hit. We are our biggest critic, so it’s just going to be bigger and better next year.
I just wanted to have a festival that serves actual restaurant-quality food and not make it about Instagramable bullshit, like ooey-gooey, stupid cliche festival food. There’s just a guy making hand-rolled raviolis. We were serving hand-made cheeseburgers, people were serving freshly fried focaccia with shaved mortadella on it. We were serving top quality food. I think people need that more now more than ever; it’s just more real, and I think in the world that we live in right now, it’s just so chaotic and so messy that we don’t need to add the bullshit.
Matty Fest was the perfect collab of music and food – why did you choose the musicians that you did? Wu-Tang headlined!
Why? Because it’s just fire. Everyone’s fire, everyone is killing it. Luna Li, Metz, Turnover, Young Guv, Danny Brown, and Descendents.
[How good is this salad…Just take a bite. It’s crazy right.]
Who do you want to perform next year?
You know if I could get Neil Young, Slayer, and Tyler the Creator to play that festival — that’s the kind of stuff I want to do. Good music, good people, and good food, man.
Oddly, the hardest thing is to do the right thing. And that’s what I’m trying to do. I think we’re just going to keep pushing towards that. It’s not going to be just rap, or just metal, or whatever… yo man, like King Gizzard and the fucking Lizard Wizard or some fucking…I would love Sleep to Play! Or Mogwai! Explosions in the Sky! Get Joni Mitchell; just come out and sing a song. Please Joni Mitchell, please come play one song at Matty Fest.
How much preparation goes into the planning?
Bro, It’s heavy, it’s heavy… it’s like the not fucking around shit. You can’t fuck around with this stuff. People are paying a lot of money to be at a festival.
[Takes photos of the incoming food.]
With Matty Fest, I just wanted to find that perfect size, and then keep it there. I think we can get it better, we learned a lot…I never did something like that! I’ve never thrown a festival named after myself! It’s real, man! People are there! It’s real, and so people showed up. I think we’re going to have the opportunity to do it again. Next time, I want to make a friendlier space for kids. Every kid under 12 got in free. I just want kids to be there.
And you worked with a few charities, right?
We did this thing with like Community Meal which was really cool.
At festivals there is all this alcohol, and in Canada, Weed is legal, and there is all this kind of other shit, I was like, “Yo! Off-top, if we’re going to have all this fucking alcohol, I want the fucking full spectrum.”I brought the Toronto Overdose Society and they showed up and were training people on how to use Naloxone, which can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
We wanted to bring that awareness. A festival is not about melting your fucking mind, and doing drugs, and passing out. It’s about connecting with people and being social in the most positive way, which I think the world is losing sight on. It should be about bringing people together, not doing fucking cocaine, and doing as much drugs, and drinking. It’s about enjoying these artists, and enjoying the environment, and having a good time with people.
Your last Instagram post highlighted your own singing skills, and there is clearly an intersection of music and food in your work? What does music mean to you?
It was the only thing that made me happy at a young age. I was really lucky enough to find the Hardcore scene at a young age. Growing up next to Buffalo, New York, in a small Canadian town, there wasn’t anything to do.
When I was a teenager, we used to get our parents to drive us over to basement shows. As funny as it is, I remember seeing Dashboard Confessional, on his first American tour, playing for like 25 people at 99 Custard in Buffalo. People forget that all that emo shit, that was from Hardcore. I was a part of a community that was based off of family, and not being blood to be family. I was very happy. I was probably 14 going to my first show back in 1996-97 and I remember it clicking. It felt real, it was amazing. I was always into heavy music, music is a big part of my life.
I love three things: I love hardcore, I love restaurants, I love my family, and that it. Those are the things I care about more than anything.
People are always like, “Dude you’re fucking lucky.” I work fucking hard, that’s not luck. I’m lucky that I figured out what I love to do, and I’m lucky that I just happen to be good at what I do, and I can make money off of it.
In my brain, I still want to just open up a little venue and have bands. I would love to start a small record label that just did 45”s. I think there’s so much room to grow in that aspect, you only got one life. I don’t get caught up in only staying in one lane or anything. My lane is my feelings…I want to control and use those feelings and ideas and make them into things.
My lane is my feelings…I just made that up off the top of my head. First time I said it, I like that. My lane is my feelings. Frank Ocean, don’t steal that one!
You’re working on a bunch of projects coming out soon – tell us about it.
I’m working on a podcast with my buddy Alex from BornxRaised, the clothing company. I’m working on book number two. I’m working on a unisex “Made in Canada” tradewear clothing line. The first line that I drop will be forever. These silhouettes…that’s the line. I found this amazing little factory in downtown Toronto, and an amazing fucking designer, and an amazing partner, John and we figured it out.
Our new Youtube show, Just A Dash. Each episode is one take. I did two a day. No redos, No nothing. Just one full shot.
We’ve got another Youtube show, we’re just finalizing the contract now. That’s going to be good, I’ve never done anything with celebrities. I’ve always disliked having to use celebrities because I just never wanted to be the guy where it was like “Have you seen that one guy on that one show?” I was always wary of that type of stuff, and careful to build everything off of my own name, which I’m really proud of.
But I want to try throwing my hat into the celebrity ring. The thing with celebrities is, most of the time, they are just fucking kooks. They’re not fucking cool, they’re not good on camera and they can only act. But a lot of people I’ve met over the past few years are genuinely funny and genuinely care about food. We got some interesting people that will be on it.
And you have a restaurant in the works?
Building my dream restaurant that will be open in March in Toronto.
Are you excited to connect with people in a real-life setting? You’ve been going on a spoken word tour as well?
A lot of people see the Internet; people see me eat Mac and Cheese in a bathtub, or hear me talk about getting laid because I made lasagna or any of these stupid things I’ve said. Everything I’ve said in my career is a riff, one take. And so I’ve said a lot of stupid things and I’m going to continue to say stupid things. I can’t control what people gravitate towards. I didn’t know the “get you laid lasagna thing” would turn into the first thing people would say to me when they come up to me. I don’t really care. I don’t care if you’ve had sex. I’m happy you’re connecting, but I never made anything for you. Everything I say is because I think it’s funny.
I do this spoken word thing, and I go on stage; I did a full Australian and New Zealand tour, most of America, I’m doing another two-week tour in October. Zero Prep…I just went on tour. Sold out shows, no one knows what I’m doing. I talk, show a new video, and do a Q&A at the end. Before the Q, I’m always like, “Don’t ask me what my favorite ingredient is, don’t ask me what my death row meal is!” Who’s going to jail?! I can’t even lie. If I lie, I’m going to have to pray and call my sponsor! I’m not going to jail!
I’m an emotional guy. I talk about real-life shit, this isn’t the guy who eats Mac ‘n Cheese in the bathtub, this is Matty. I just want to connect. I don’t know what type of olive oil I like to use… are we really going to talk about that? Get the fuck out of here!
While you’re here, catch the first episode of his latest Youtube series Just a Dash:
Stay tuned to Milk for more Weekend Playlists.