Retiring from their acoustic sound, Westing have returned with their loudest release to date. Matt Mascarenas started Westing as a solo project in 2015 but has since teamed up with Brett Romnes (I Am the Avalanche) and Gary Cioni (Daytrader) to introduce a much more intense post-rock sound. I spoke to Matt about the upcoming EP and the conversion from a solo act to a full band:
Hiya! I hope you’re good and 2017 has been treating you well so far!
So far so good.
I think it’s fair to say Westing have changed it up a bit recently! Let’s go back to the beginning. How did the band come about?
I started Westing as a side project to release impromptu songs between my other bands touring schedule. I found myself with much more free time in 2016 and decided to travel back east and make a full band album.
It must be strange going from acoustic solo shows to a more post-rock sound. I imagine it would bring a very different vibe to shows. How does it feel to have the support of a full band?
I’ve always enjoyed being in a band with other people. I played several solo shows and though they were fun, it just wasn’t what I saw myself doing full time. Plus, the songs I wanted to write required more than just me. I’m really excited to now be playing music with some of my closest friends.
So, you have an exciting few months ahead of you with the release of your new EP, I Haven’t Been Feeling Myself. What’s the most exciting part of the build up to the release?
It’s exciting to just get it out and show people – especially with the updated sound.
After listening to the EP, you can really hear the conversion from some of your older work. What inspired the change of sound?
The biggest difference was having a better idea of what this EP should sound like. Everything up to this release was written on the spot and didn’t have much direction. When writing, I Haven’t Been Feeling Myself, I knew I wanted the songs to be loud and had some time to focus on writing.
You guys have just dropped your new single ‘With You’ and personally, it’s probably my favourite song on the record. How does it compare to the rest of the EP? Would you say it’s a good representation of what to expect for the remaining tracks?
This one is different because it’s the only one that was originally written as an acoustic song. ‘With You’ was the first song I wrote for the EP and it was at the time I decided to fully make the jump to a loud band.
On the creative side, is there any particular subject matter or theme you’ve intended to put across through the entire release?
I tend not to overthink the lyric writing process. I typically write about what’s on my mind at the exact moment and let that song serve as that moment in time.
Besides the EP release, have you got any plans for the rest of the year?
We will be playing more shows and getting out on the road to play new cities.
Lastly, what have you been listening to recently? Did any of these impact the writing of I Haven’t Been Feeling Myself, either lyrically or musically?
I’ve been listening to the new Vanishing Life record and I recommend you do too.
Westing’s 5 track EP, I Haven’t Been Feeling Myself, is set to be released on April 14th. Physical and digital preorders are available now through Bandcamp. Check out the first single ‘With You’ below and let us know what you think.