It’s been a turbulent last few months for Reece Mastin. Ditching his mainstream label and seeking independence, his efforts have not only guided him into the guidance of Social Family Records, but also a newfound sense of life with music.
With his first single from his upcoming EP ‘Rebel and The Reason‘ due to be released in the next few weeks and confirming an East Coast tour in June, the questions surrounding Mastin’s shift remain mysterious and bold. With his new sound more edgier and bolder than before, the rock-laden melody appears to be an aspect of Mastin’s work that was dormant all along. With sweeping vocals, poignant drums and a progressive hook, the song solidifies itself as an addictive first release of his material to come.
Interested in what it means for an artist to go out on their own, we caught up with Reece and talked about his reaction and experiences in his songwriting process. While Social Family Records have taken him under his wing, there a lot of things falling on his shoulders as he attempts to re-identify himself in the music world.
You’re older now and wiser to the world of music, how has your songwriting and musicality changed?
I think mainly it’s been how much time I’ve spent in the studio and who I’ve been spending my time with. The guys I’m playing with, especially under the guidance of Social Family Records, it’s the way they play with their passions and the sounds we achieve together. Luckily, I’ve been able to work with a variety of different people who I’ve picked a couple of things up from in terms skill and inspiration. Since it’s been three or four years, I’ve definitely taken and looked to them for a guidance. The biggest change in music is that I’m starting to stand out more through people’s eyes while being able to interpret their vibe. Trying to focus my sound is what I’m trying to get a hold of.
So with Social Family Records, how did your collaboration with them come about?
When I was trying to go off on my own, I was spending a lot of time with the social media side of things and just kept going into their office since I already knew everybody there. From that I began watching the Baby Animals work and began speaking to a few different people and a lot of the people involved in SFR became my mates. Then, as things kinda rolled around and we started looking at things, we were like, ‘hey, this could actually work for both of us.’ So yeah, we were mates and now we’re mates that work together. I also had spent a lot of time with Mahalia Barnes who helped me in previous performances. She was a talented singer who I gravitated to and now she points me in the right direction – there’s nobody who can get me on the road like her and her family, especially since they’re all musicians and incredible people.
Going independent and taking a different direction in your music must have been challenging but refreshing. Where are you hoping to go and has it been therapeutic?
Since we’re beginning to record my album next week, we’re flying over to LA to try and get everything rolling. At this point in time, it’s really about trying to stay on this path that I want to follow. My music’s direction has taken more form from the guitars and the overall vibes of rock ‘n’ roll. I always say that music is like a diary, you know, where it becomes a lot easy to let things out. You can yell and you can express yourself and you can get yourself in trouble, but it’s definitely therapeutic if you can sing it. It’s a different way of thinking about things that trouble you and it feels a lot more powerful. For me, it makes me feel more in control about the situations I’m in, even when I’ve not been physically or verbally able to say anything or speak my truth.
For an artist like you to step back and focus on being independent is a big call. Is there a level of empowerment you’ve felt from taking time off and focusing on what you want?
In general I feel a lot freer and optimistic. I feel like I know myself more. I didn’t think about this more so a couple of years ago – actually I didn’t think about it at all – but now, looking back and knowing how I was feeling I definitely feel happy. I’m starting to do what I want to do and that’s what’s important. You get to explore yourself and you become you 100%, and sure, you get scared, but I think everyone does at some point. It’s just nice to know I can sit in a meeting and talk to people about what I want to see done and we can all talk about it, especially with people who are passionate about the real you. It’s been brilliant working with SFR, just trying to amplify what I’m doing and being able to communicate my feelings.
What was the inspiration for your single ‘Rebel and The Reason’? Is this the overall sound of your upcoming EP?
SFC and I kinda started with this track, which incorporated a drum beat and a few chords, and actually, I like to mumble when I’m writing songs and only have the melody. I’ll either have lyrics and I’ll write them or I’ll have a melody and I mumble it – it’s practically my go-to songwriting skill. With the ‘Rebel and The Reason’, it was this one time that I started mumbling when I was with my producer Ben Rodgers. We were at the computer and he was typing down every now and again a key word along my melodies. It was then we picked out ‘Rebel’ and the ‘Reason’ from the chorus I was mumbling and we decided to play with it. Then it was really about trying to find a story around it, where we focused on myself in the sense of innocence to heartache and then back out again through the light. I wanted to make sure that it could be relatable to as many people’s lives as possible who share the same feelings I do. Whether it’s abuse involved to which we’ve incorporated in the upcoming film clip we’re doing or about an addiction that’s detrimental to a person’s core.
For me, I wanted to try and get something out of the bat that people could relate to, yet it’s still quite personal and true to myself. I’m hoping that’s what ‘Rebel’ has done and hopefully, since the rest of the EP is a little harder and upbeat, the single will balance it out. The overall sound of my EP has a little bite in it, with some tracks just going back to the five-piece band aesthetic with rock. It’s good because it’s in the moment music to which people can enjoy that’s a little edgier and a little more grime when it comes to my sound. I’m nervous for my upcoming tour, but I’m also pumped and excited about what people will think.
The first single ‘Rebel and The Reason‘ will be available now from iTunes. The EP of the same name will be released on Friday 1 May 2015 – available at iTunes, JB Hi-Fi and Sanity, through Social Family Records.
‘Rebel and The Reason’ EP Launch Tour
+ Special Guests TBA
Friday 12th June (All Ages)
Factory Theatre, Marrickville, NSW
Saturday 13th June (All Ages)
Waves, Wollongong, NSW
Sunday 14th June (All Ages)
Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 19th June (All Ages)
Capitol Theatre, Bendigo
Saturday 20th June (All Ages)
Prince Bandroom, St Kilda Vic
Sunday 21st June (All Ages)
Esso BHP Wellington Entertainment Centre, Sale VIC
Friday 26th June (All Ages)
Old Museum Concert Hall, Brisbane, Qld
Saturday 27th June (All Ages)
Sunshine Coast Function Centre, Caloundra, Qld
Sunday 28th June (All Ages)
Church Theatre, Toowoomba, Qld
Tickets available via www.reecemastinofficial.com