We’re stoked to have Mark aka Somatoast back in Fayetteville this Friday June, 8th at George’s Majestic Lounge with local support from Fractal Sky and jonteal. The last time the Vibes crew saw him was opening for Tipper at the beginning of the year in New Orleans. We are more than excited to see what funky journey beats he has in store for us.
We got the opportunity to catch up with him and talk about his project.
: Welcome back to Fayetteville! This will be your third time playing in town – how has your experience been the last couple of times and are you excited to play George’s Majestic Lounge this time around?
Somatoast: George’s has always been the venue I hear about in Fayetteville so I am very excited I get to play there. I’ve always had an affinity for Fayetteville and the past 2 shows went over well.
: You’re currently on a summer tour, how has it been? What has been your favorite stop so far? We see you have a suped up van complete with a mobile studio – that’s incredibly rad. Has this been in the works for a while or did something specific motivate you to take the road on in this fashion?
ST: I didn’t necessarily intend to make a tour van but I got the idea for a mobile studio a few years ago when I realized I wanted to be able to simultaneously lose myself in music production and go on mind blowing hikes during any given work week. Life isn’t really affordable in resort towns, but national forest is free! I bought my van in December of 2016 and have been building it ever since. The near completion lined up with my summer tour so it only made sense.
The tour has been amazing and Psychedelic Sleepover has probably been my favorite stop, but that’s a hard decision to make because pretty much all the stops have left me smiling. I was pleasantly surprised by the scenes happening in Tulsa and Richmond. Asheville was of course lovely.
: What is the meaning/inspiration behind the name ‘Somatoast’?
ST: There are a few meanings behind it and I can’t really decide which meaning is the one and only meaning. Soma is an ancient brew written about in Vedic texts. It has been called “the elixir of the gods”. Toast in that sense is the action of toasting.
Soma is also greek for “body” (somatics, dancing) and also refers to the cell body of a neuron.
Unfortunately there is also a muscle relaxer called “Soma.” The inspiration for the name has nothing to do with muscle relaxers. Totes not heady, bro.
: How long have you been producing and what influenced you into producing electronic music?
ST: I’ve started recording music when I was about 14 or 15. I produced punk and metal bands. When I was 16 I started smoking weed and dropped out of punk culture and began producing my own reggae, playing and recording each instrument myself. Then in 2010 I found Ableton which opened me up to the rabbit hole of synthesis and music technology.
: How would you describe your music to someone who may not have listened to it yet?
ST: Funkadelic journey-jazz and robotic deepfart dub
: You’ve been collaborating with Zonra, how did you guys meet and tell us a bit about how you guys work together?
ST: We met over the internet. The first time i heard his music I immediately knew we would click musically. I think he knew the same. We work together any way we can– sometimes it’s sending projects back and forth. But when we are together we do take advantage of that. We can both play multiple instruments so we end up doing a lot of live jamming together, sometimes just for fun without making a track. Jackson is one of the few people I can sit in the studio with for hours and maintain inspiration.
: Describe your production process.
ST: No real formula really. I just play with whatever until i feel inspired. I guess the most consistent part of my process is getting in a playful mood where the final outcome is completely out of mind. It’s hard to get back to that state under the pressure of fulfilling the expectation of being “Somatoast.” So every session is like an attempt at ego loss. The mind has to be clear.
: Who are some of your most influential artists that have helped shape your sound?
ST: Electronically, I was the most inspired by the musicality of Bluetech & Kilowatts, and their ability to include classical composition on the dancefloor. Of course there’s Tipper. I always said I wanted to have the classical journey elements of those artist mixed with high fidelity sound design and reggae-dub. I also really enjoy jazz, string music, and the Grateful Dead.
: What is your spirit animal?
ST: Spongebob squarepants.
In the meantime check out his ‘Don’t worry, Be Happy’ re-dub below. –