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Mattie Safer (of the Rapture) Interview

Published in Blog, Culture Bully. Tags: , .

The Rapture have taken the reigns as model leaders for whatever term you might apply to their scene; but whatever you do, be sure that you don’t call it dance punk. The band has taken post-punk and squeezed it through a funky electronic frosting bag, delivering it as a smooth clash that lands somewhere between night club and rock hall. Ryan Schreiber of Pitchfork Media referred to their last album, Echoes, as “something completely fresh, something we hadn’t heard done in quite this way, or at least not quite so flawlessly” before naming it the site’s pick for Top Album of 2003. With cautious approach, many have looked to the band’s recent release Pieces of the People We Love as a breaking point for the group, which would prove whether or not Echoes was simply a fluke or if the band is in fact for real. In this interview vocalist/bassist Mattie Safer discusses the band’s sound, his dislike for dance punk and how The Rapture approached this album compared to its last.

“The Rapture. Formed in San Diego, moved to New York, slept under bridge. More details to follow.” If one thing was missing from the band’s self-described biography, what is it?

Mattie Safer: Handsome devils.

For the few people out there who aren’t familiar with The Rapture’s sound, what sounds formulated the band’s past and what can be expected from “Pieces of the People We Love?”

Mattie Safer: The underlying element of it is the funk. The sound of one band as a maraca. Really people should just expect some ass shaking sounds.

Do brands such as dance-punk even register with the band or are they completely useless hype terms?

Mattie Safer: Dance punk sucks. It’s one of the worst terms for it I’ve heard. Dance punk bands… there’s no future in their funk.

Along those lines, during the time-period surrounding the release of “Echoes,” various bands including LCD Soundsystem and many DFA artists were all thought of as harvesting in a musical scene in New York. From your viewpoint how has the sound of these bands changed since 2003 and which bands are emerging as the newest innovators?

Mattie Safer: Holy Hail is pretty great. I’d say that rather than harvesting the scene though bands like us, LCD… we were making it.

When recording the new album did any thoughts linger trying to differentiate the structure from “Echoes?”

Mattie Safer: I think the biggest difference this time is in the approach. We really tried to emphasize an approach of one band one sound. I think the biggest influence on the sound of this record is really just listening to each other, enjoying playing together and challenging everyone else to be better by doing it better individually.

How has the popularity of that album affected the band; has it given the band more confidence when playing live?

Mattie Safer: It’s always nice to be loved. We used to have to confront the audience. Now we can all raise up together.

If you could play one last show, who would you want to share the stage with?

Mattie Safer: Martin Lawrence.

[This post was first published by Culture Bully.]