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I Know What You’re Thinking: Mattson2

The Mattson brothers of La Jolla invented a genre called surf jazz. But don’t confuse it with the surf rock of the 1960s. In the case of the Mattsons the essence of their sound is simple: straight ahead jazz and stuff surfers like, played by and for surfers.

That’s not a cop-out. There is a fluid dynamic inside of any Mattson composition, but they also merge indie, new wave, surf, and 60's Blue Note jazz aesthetics. It has been said that their sound brings to mind Charles Mingus and Chet Baker, the Smiths, and the Jesus and Mary Chain.

From the beginning, says Jonathan the duo’s drummer (Jared plays guitar,) the brothers didn’t want to be labeled a surf music band. Their older brother had a punk band called Cut You Up, but early on their father had introduced the boys to Art Blakey and Lee Morgan. Traditional jazz was where they wanted to take their careers.

That is, until Thomas Campbell arrived on the scene.

Campbell makes surf films. “He had us play sets in theaters before his movie premiers.” Those shows, Mattson says, were the first occasions that the brothers appeared in public as the Mattson 2. The Campbell-Mattson collaboration continues to this day

“Aesthetically, Thomas's vision of our music is unmatched. I call him the George Martin of the Mattson 2.” In September, the brothers released Feeling Hands.

Thomas Campbell, says Jonathan, was the person that really helped to jump start their music career. “We started at age 17 so it wasn't like we had a huge vision on what we wanted to do as musicians. Thomas helped us get inspired by different musicians like Tommy Guerrero, Ray Barbee, Velvet Underground, and Tortoise.”

Campbell has produced the last three Mattson 2 records. In turn, he says, “We have played for him in San Francisco, Tokyo, Copenhagen Denmark, and Los Angeles, and we have also performed at his movie premiers through out the entire U.S.

Jonathan and Jared Mattson are 25-year-old twin brothers. There is an almost life-size oil portrait of Jared hanging in the Turquoise Lounge in Pacific Beach, which serves to illustrate the fact that the Mattsons, while close enough, are not actually identical twins, but no matter: does the twin-mind thing help in the playing of jazz, a medium that depends on split-second thinking?

It does. Jonathan once told the Reader that “We can really read each other when we play. Just like when we’re talking,” he says, “there are moments when we say the same things musically.”

Next year, the Mattson brothers hit the road with Vans and pro skater Ray Barbee on the Get Out and Do Something tour in a series of shows that will take them throughout South America, the Pacific Northwest, and the East Coast. But aren’t Vans tours more the province of indie rock acts? Yes, says Mattson. “I definitely believe this type of tour is a first for a jazz band to get involved in.”

Mattson 2 appear at 98 Bottles, 2400 Kettner Blvd. Saturday December 17, 8pm $5 cover, 21+ Image

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The Mattson brothers of La Jolla invented a genre called surf jazz. But don’t confuse it with the surf rock of the 1960s. In the case of the Mattsons the essence of their sound is simple: straight ahead jazz and stuff surfers like, played by and for surfers.

That’s not a cop-out. There is a fluid dynamic inside of any Mattson composition, but they also merge indie, new wave, surf, and 60's Blue Note jazz aesthetics. It has been said that their sound brings to mind Charles Mingus and Chet Baker, the Smiths, and the Jesus and Mary Chain.

From the beginning, says Jonathan the duo’s drummer (Jared plays guitar,) the brothers didn’t want to be labeled a surf music band. Their older brother had a punk band called Cut You Up, but early on their father had introduced the boys to Art Blakey and Lee Morgan. Traditional jazz was where they wanted to take their careers.

That is, until Thomas Campbell arrived on the scene.

Campbell makes surf films. “He had us play sets in theaters before his movie premiers.” Those shows, Mattson says, were the first occasions that the brothers appeared in public as the Mattson 2. The Campbell-Mattson collaboration continues to this day

“Aesthetically, Thomas's vision of our music is unmatched. I call him the George Martin of the Mattson 2.” In September, the brothers released Feeling Hands.

Thomas Campbell, says Jonathan, was the person that really helped to jump start their music career. “We started at age 17 so it wasn't like we had a huge vision on what we wanted to do as musicians. Thomas helped us get inspired by different musicians like Tommy Guerrero, Ray Barbee, Velvet Underground, and Tortoise.”

Campbell has produced the last three Mattson 2 records. In turn, he says, “We have played for him in San Francisco, Tokyo, Copenhagen Denmark, and Los Angeles, and we have also performed at his movie premiers through out the entire U.S.

Jonathan and Jared Mattson are 25-year-old twin brothers. There is an almost life-size oil portrait of Jared hanging in the Turquoise Lounge in Pacific Beach, which serves to illustrate the fact that the Mattsons, while close enough, are not actually identical twins, but no matter: does the twin-mind thing help in the playing of jazz, a medium that depends on split-second thinking?

It does. Jonathan once told the Reader that “We can really read each other when we play. Just like when we’re talking,” he says, “there are moments when we say the same things musically.”

Next year, the Mattson brothers hit the road with Vans and pro skater Ray Barbee on the Get Out and Do Something tour in a series of shows that will take them throughout South America, the Pacific Northwest, and the East Coast. But aren’t Vans tours more the province of indie rock acts? Yes, says Mattson. “I definitely believe this type of tour is a first for a jazz band to get involved in.”

Mattson 2 appear at 98 Bottles, 2400 Kettner Blvd. Saturday December 17, 8pm $5 cover, 21+ Image

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Photo:Dave Good

Dec. 16, 2011

And what a great photo it is!

Dec. 17, 2011

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