This'll take me back to early 2013. I was only in my first couple of months writing for Brutal Resonance when I was brought to attention Day Twelve's The Hours EP. While now available in a complete, full album format, The Hours EP was nonetheless another album that further drew me into the darker side of electronics. That's why when I discovered that Kattman started a new project under her own name, I was more than excited to not only hear the music but to talk up the project with her. Not only is Kattman along for this ride, but her fiance Matt Echo is also joining her along for the ride! Speaking with both of them I found out more about their history, the album, and the closure of Day Twelve. Not only that, but we have a sneak peak of the next album right below! Check it out for yourselves!
Hello Mari! For anyone who was a fan of Day Twelve as well as fans of Psy'Aviah should know your name easily. Either way, give us a little introduction to yourself, what genre(s) you dabble in, and what your favorite kind of food is.
Mari: Hey Steven! The genres I dabble in are really anything that moves me. These days it's really anything from piano ballads to EBM, but I have also fronted a full five piece Pop Punk project when I was in high school. So I really have had my hands in a lot of styles! My favorite food ugh, that's a hard one. I would probably say Indian food on the rare occasion I get to eat out at a sit down restaurant!
Arguably, your most powerful instrument is your voice. It's tender, emotional, and powerful. On a list of my favorite singers, you're definitely up there. Did you develop your voice on your own or did you take classes to make it as perfect as it is today?
Mari: It is really a strange thing; when I was younger - I think 5th grade or so - my choral instructor recognized my voice in class and said it was good! I hadn’t really even thought of it before. I never really had vocal lessons until I was in high school. I actually studied mostly operatic techniques, I was certainly not cut out to be a true opera singer but the breath control and the knowledge of existing vocal registers is something that I use to this day. Learning when to give and take, how to vary in your volume, when to show strength and when to show weakness in your voice, that is something that only my hands on work has taught me. It's taken me quite a long time to find myself in my voice, I am still learning today!
Now that we got some history behind your vocals, let's talk instruments. You have a deep love for both electronic mayhem and classical instruments such as the piano (as surfaced on songs such as 'Blu Print'). Did you find yourself playing with classical instruments before electronic synths? And, if so, how did you find a love for electronic based music?
Mari: That is certainly a question that I would graciously extend over to my former partner and friend Joe Lindo should I of had the opportunity. He was truly the mastermind behind the piano that you heard on any of the Day Twelve composition.
Influences are always nice to hear. So, let's hear it. What musicians have influenced you throughout your career?
Mari: This is a complex question! When I was young it was Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, Eagles, Lou Reed from my dad. When I grew up I had a lot of major influences from female music projects like Tori Amos, Curve, Queen Adreena and Sleater- Kinney. I also loved hip hop and enjoyed listening to the Fugees, Mos Def, Missy Elliot and Dr. Dre among many others. Nine inch nails, Radiohead and Sneaker Pimps also played a major role in fueling my passion and love for music. In my late teens was my first ground breaking discovery of Peter Heppner and Wolfsheim, followed very closely by Neuroticfish, Assemblage 23 and Iris. It really blew my mind that this was a genre I had never heard of before that was comprised of nearly all electronic elements. The tightness of the work and the production was the best I have ever heard. It was true love at that moment.
Now, I know you for your solo career under your own name as well as Day Twelve, but what was before those two projects? Were you involved in any other bands that got anywhere or are still kicking to this day?
Mari: None that are still kicking, but I have been involved with quite a few. I think that I am guided by what feels right to me, and when those projects were finished in my mind, I was able to respectfully wave them on.
When was it that you decided to kick off your solo career? I remember your first EP 'The Hours' released back in 2013, but when was it that you really sat yourself down and said, “I want to do this as a career.”
Mari: Ha! A career in music…What does that mean today again? I would happily allow it to become a career someday. For now, I will leave it at this. Who I am is weaved in with the music I make and create. It is really the thing that is always nagging on my mind. It keeps me on my toes as I always feel like I am trying to outdo my best work all the time. I don’t think i could escape it ever. It's been with me since I was born. It is a blessing and a curse and hey, if I can make a few bucks along the way, sure, send them over.
Now, under Day Twelve, you were heavily praised by myself on the site. But, how did critics treat you elsewhere? Were they nice, or did you get hate?
Mari: To be honest, I wish I was criticized more! Its like, please listen and pay attention to me…Spit on me or hug me, but give me some attention. We didn’t get too much “official” feedback for the album is what I mean. The people who supported the release and all my friends though, I was so grateful to hear that they were enjoying it and you too Steven!
However, let's get off the subject of Day Twelve and talk about something much more exciting: Your new self-named project. Why did you decide to shut Day Twelve down and move onto a new named project?
Mari: Day Twelve had sort of lost its momentum. My music partner, Joe, at the time was going through a lot of life changes and didn’t really have the time to compose like he used to. We both decided to part ways, but it was me who had to be the one to bring it up so alas, it got a bit hairy towards the end. It was certainly time to move forward but at the time I was really unsure as to what was next!
Did you find leaving Day Twelve behind to be hard in any way? I would imagine that it caused a slight grief followed by happiness knowing that you're going onto something better.
Mari: Yes, leaving Day Twelve behind was hard, mostly because my music partner Joe and I had a falling out towards the end. I hate losing friends over music or technicalities. When you create art with someone it sort of binds you together forever as friends I think, or I hope.
When transitioning from Day Twelve to your new project, did you ever fear that you would lose followers or fans?
Mari: I'm not sure honestly, this is the first release under the Mari Kattman name. Matt and I have created something very different than what Day Twelve became. I have done so many things and this feels like the most solid style and project that I have ever done. It may not be Day Twelve, but it is here to stay, so I hope to gain and keep as many fans as possible. If you dig this style from me there is much more to come!
What's ever more exciting about your new project is that your new album “Hover” is due out for a July release date. Give us a little detail on this album; what was it that inspired you to write it, what is it about, and how does it differ in style from Day Twelve's work?
Mari: Yes it is! July 19th to be exact. This album is something I am so proud of. It mixes Matt and I’s love of electronic music and hip hop. This album begged to be written and I couldn’t be happier. I oftentimes feel like a vocal detective; people give me music and I find out what the song wants to say. The lyrics, the melody and the harmonies on all of these songs were so outspoken I barely needed to sit and mull them over or search them out. To be honest most of these songs were written in a few hours time, that is how fast and passionate they were.
Another thing that got my appetite whet for this new project is the fact that you have your fiance Matt Echo involved! First, congrats on the engagement (excuse me if I'm late on that sentiment, although it's the thought that counts). Second, I'm going to pull Matt from wherever he is right now and direct some questions towards him. So, Matt, I think I'll ask you the same question that I asked Mari in the beginning; give us a little introduction to yourself, what genre(s) you dabble in, and what your favorite kind of food is.
Matt: Hi, I'm Matt. I'm originally from NY and I met Mari through a mutual friend and by collaborating together on some music and sharing very many common interests. I found myself in Rhode Island with Mari working on this full length effort and I couldn't imagine my life any other way. I dabble in all genres. Nothing is really taboo when I'm behind my computer working on a new track. As for food, well I really quite like our local Asian take out spot.
Now, Matt, what bands have you been involved in so far? And how have your past experiences helped shape what is now Mari Kattman?
Matt: I am relatively new to making music so I've really just worked alone finding myself so to speak. When I met Mari, I was mainly working on fast paced electronic dance music. Along the way we found our sound which is basically heavy hip hop percussion with deep diving bass lines with very bright high end. We generalize ourselves as Trip Hop but really I think it's a sound all our own, I'd probably just call good music.
On a more humorous side note, since both your names begin with the letter M...Did you ever think of naming the project “M&M”?
Matt: Haha. That never came to mind. But I doubt we'd want to butt heads with any slim white rappers from Detroit.
And, this question can go to the both of you, but what is it like working with your fiance and loved one? Do you guys ever go completely mental on one another or is it a fairly smooth operation all around?
Matt: I’m fairly sensitive when it comes to critiques on my work so there is plenty going mental on one another, but at the end of the day we always find a common ground and work from there. Mari won't work on anything she can't jive with so there are times that compositions get lost, but the stuff she does choose to work on, she turns from gold to platinum so I can't really complain.
This question goes back to Mari. In all of the music you have produced under Day Twelve and this new project, where would you rank Hover. Is it your favorite album ever? Do you think there's room for improvement? Give me your own critique on your album.
Mari: I feel like with Hover I have finally been able to work on a style that is true to me. It is the best piece of work I've been able to do and hope people find the same joy in listening to it that I found in making it.
And what's next for the project after “Hover”? Are you planning on doing singles with a couple of remixes attached? Are you going to work on the next album?
Mari: We went right into production of the next album, just to keep the flow going. Matt periodically works on his own stuff which is faster paced electronic music but he always ends up back to working on our stuff. Every now and again I like one of his faster paced songs and steal it for our stuff. There is nothing we can't partner up on so it's always fun checking in on what he's doing.
What about live shows? Do you have any of those lined up yet? If so, where can we find the information online?
Mari: We are always looking to book shows. Any information on upcoming shows can always be found on our Facebook page.
And I think that about does it. Haha. I would like to thank you both for your time, I can't wait to review the new album, and the space below is yours for anything else you wish to say. Cheers!
Mari: Thanks so much for giving us a chance to share ourselves to your readers. We welcome fans from any where and any genre.
Mari Kattman's "Hover" is currently available for pre-order HERE!
The unfortunate thing about the "drama" that started is that it created an environment where people were choosing sides on if they liked the first album or the second. Our idea was just to give the fans a different angle to Die Sektor and we still loved all our fans from the first album. We were not trying to make people choose sides. Just make some new tunes for people to bump in the cars or whatever.
Die Sektor, May 30 2011
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
Share this interview