Coming from Los Angeles we find Kama Sutures, a band that looks to heal and create new doorways to music through their music. A 3 piece band currently that pushes a vibe of 90s alternative rock and avant-garde imagery and fashion to create an unusual yet inviting experience.

Engineer and guitar player Mattrix, along with the dynamic vocalistFrancesca sat down with me recently to discuss their passion for music and how their roots were always entrenched in the audible art that is music.

“Well I grew up an artist, I was always painting or creating stories, I even had this little kid animation thing I would do. Music was something was always around, it was this constant art form.” – Francesca

“Yeah I have just been around music my whole life so [laughs]” – Mattrix

Mattrix’ statement may have been the shortest but it was also the most understandable to a guy like me who has practically been so involved with music all his life. Either way I know these two are something special just from those opening statements. Things can only get better from here I think.

When considering but two of the three elements that make up Kama Sutures, it’s very easy to see and hear that they will no doubt go to interesting places in music and create some great visual experiences for live shows and music videos as well.

While I couldn’t fit all the laughs and questions, I would like to thank Kama Sutures for bringing this article together and being good sports when it came to my random questions. Also a big shout out to their manager Doug Newville who was able to get us scheduled for a video interview, that’s a Contrast Control first!

At the end of this interview the one thing to take from it all is: Don’t be afraid to venture out and listen to something that may sound weird or even uncomfortable to you, you don’t know what you’ll like until you give it a try.

Let’s all welcome Kama Sutures into the Contrast Control Family and keep on rocking ‘til the next article!

“Believe it or not this guy actually came up with it. [Francesca laughs as she passes the rest onto Mattrix]. Yeah I just wanted it to be a pun, we like puns. [Mattrix wraps up that thought nicely]” – Kama Sutures

“I thought it had a nice edge to it as well. Suture in Latin means ‘to mend’ so and I kinda liked that. It goes back to what I say about music being a very spiritual art form.” – Francesca

Naturally one look at the band can perplex many a passerby on Facebook or various social media, but one listen to Kama Sutures music can take you to a world of unique vocals, heavy instrumentation and body work focused on an almost 90s feel with a touch of that avant-garde that creates great music.

“I think everything from Stravinksy to public enemy. Just a bit of everything from me trying to squeeze it all onto one song. The goal is to create a new and interesting each time and not sound the same.” – Mattrix

“I am like matrix in that I kinda like everything from Public enemy, Mike Patton, Opera I’m huge Opera buff, Bach, Jazz and blues are some of my biggest music influences.” – Francesca

According to both Francesca and Mattrix, they are all over the place when it comes to musical taste and a bit of everything inspires them to push creative boundaries and put songs out there that can be left up to the listener to derive their own meaning from.

A note on Francesca’s vocals especially on a song entitled ‘Dead Leaves’ she really shows her Opera influence as her vocals rise and fall in a almost perfect structural manner. Mattrix’ ability to change up the timing and guitar from track to track as well is nothing short of an amazing feat.

- See more at: http://kamasutures.com.hostbaby.com/main/kama_sutures__the_way_to_mend_cc_exclusive/#sthash.2fkOpHlS.dpuf

 

Kama Sutures are exploding out of the LA music scene with a new album about to drop this summer which will be mixed and mastered by the legendary Logan Mader of Soulfly and Machine Head fame. Kama Sutures are currently a three piece who play eclectic and avant-garde modern rock.  Their musical experimentalism is never boring, sonically ground breaking and a breath of fresh air in the current stale state of music in general.

First off tell me about the players in Kama Sutures.  How did they come together? How were they discovered?

Guitarplayer Mattrix and Singer Francesca J worked together in Hollywood. After ignoring each other for months they realized they had but one thing in common, a mutual interest in Avante Garde and underground music. Desperate to get out of their cubes, they played the lottery together every week for a month but they couldn’t get even one matching number. They gave up and formed Kama Sutures. Xhie Lex worked downstairs from them. After seeing her play in Many of Odd Nature they convinced her to join them.

What are their roles in the band?

Francesca – Lead Vocals

Mattrix- feedback, noise programming

Xhie Lex – Bass, backup vox

What are the dynamics of song writing with everyone involved in the band?

Mattrix and Francesca J are the core song writers. Mattrix is the sonic architect.  Francesca toplines making the vocal melodies and lyrics. We have a system of pumping out as much material as possible in order to keep our creative muscles toned. We have about 65 songs written and more on the way. After realizing how much creativity Xhie Lex had to offer Kama Sutures we asked her to write with us. Mattrix brings the funk, Francesca brings the blues and Xhie Lex brings the metal.

“Dead Leaves” if my favorite song of yours so far. Please tell me about the song’s creation

Mattrix –  “I was trying to cram as many genres as possible into a cohesive whole.”

Francesca J – “I was in an Edgar Allan Poe mood. The chords Mattrix had written felt very suspenseful. I was feeling mysteries, secrets and paranoia. The first melodies and lyrics I wrote weren’t good. I went to bed and awoke with a sinking feeling I had created art no one should know about. I immediately went to my notebook with and rewrote the whole thing in about 10 minutes. It just poured out at that point, no thought or effort needed.”

You are working on a new album. Sonically, how would you describe it?

We don’t quite fit into one genre. You’ll hear elements of Blues, Jazz, Rock, Funk, even Opera. We have Asian melodies, Metal Thrash and even an Avante Garde Colotura solo, but always in a rock format.  We’re trying to push the boundaries of modern rock in a way that brings people along. We want to discover things that haven’t been done before.

Do you have a drop date yet?

Rumor has it June or July.

What was the recording process like?

KS FrancescaFrancesca – It was a tremendous amount of time and work but we tried to make it fun. Mattrix pulled out some old Industrial tricks that captured some amazing sounds. We were banging on all kinds of objects for texture. Some of my favorite moments include singing in the bath tub and under a comforter-like tent with Xhie Lex. We also have some amazing handball court acoustics sampled throughout the album. There’s no place to sing like a handball court. I got so into it I actually threw my back out on the last day of recording. I didn’t think that was even possible but it’s a testament to my vocal coach Eduardo Diamante that I threw my back out and not my voice. We had a schedule though and I had to finish Black Cat. This is the song Xhie Lex wrote for the album so it was an interesting way to merge with her creation. After a couple hours of painkillers,  heating pad and stretching I just went for it. I sang the majority of the song sitting or sprawled on the floor in horrendous pain though. At the tail end of the song I finally had enough composure to sing standing. The song speaks for itself when you hear it though and it has a piece of me I didn’t know I could give.

Are you working with a producer?

Mattrix – I produced it. In the future we hope to work with many producers.  We had some excellent help from Chris Wozner with our drum tracking and formalizing what we were trying to achieve vocally.

If so, what was that like?

Mattrix – We are into an aesthetic of ultimate eclecticism and we tried very hard to bring a lot of Avant guarde ideas and make them very catchy and accessible in a way that people will like.  We want to make music important in people’s lives again.  We want to reward music fans and casual listeners a like.  If you want to dance you can dance, if you want to go deep, you can go deep.  It was my job to find that balance but everyone in the band helped a lot in this task.

Any special guest players?

Mattrix -Yes, we had an awesome drummer by the name of Dan Kashuck. Dan came in and killed it on every song and got exactly what we were going for. Also several songs feature Nancy Kuo on violin and cello.  I overdubbed her into a one woman string orchestra.  If we would have known how good she was I would have written more string parts for her.

Does the album have a name yet?

KAMA SUTURES 1.

How did you come up with the title?

Mattrix – Same way we came up the name of the band except we added a 1.

How many songs are on the album?

12 to 14 nobody knows.

Tell me about a few of your personal favorites, Francesca. How about you, The Mattrix?

KS Xhie and MattrixFrancesca – The Space Song is my fav. I listen to that song whenever I need energy. It helps me not sweat the small stuff too. Sonya hits me hard every time though. The energy that wrote Sonya is grief I haven’t been able shake yet. It’s our darkest song with some of the most meaningful lyrics I’ve ever written. It’s about a real person and real human suffering that none of us are above.

Mattrix –  Don’t Be Alarmed because it’s the stupidest song I ever wrote.

Xhie Lex – Night Without Song because I find it haunting and comforting at the same time. There is a nostalgia that really hit home and resonated with my soul when I heard it.

Lyrically, Francesca, what subjects do you cover on the album? Are there any threads or themes running through the songs?

It’s the usual adventures of consciousness, yin, yang, drugs and bad choices. I try not to have too many intentions with songs however. I like to feel out the themes rather than think it over. Regardless, my dominate thoughts are pretty philosophical. I’ve studied the I Ching now for years. You’ll hear some esoteric lines here and there. I’m a slave to the melody however which is why I’m a singer, not just a writer. I want to sing words worth saying but first and foremost, I want to sing melodies worth feeling.

The Mattrix, you create some unique yet hooky riffs. When do you know something is done and the “Aha!” moment has occurred?

I like to put down my first impressions and move on.  About 99% of the guitar you hear on the album is me playing that guitar part for the first time.   It’s a gift that I can do that.  The curse part is that I have to go back when the process is done and figure out what I played.  The key to working this way is to make sure your guitars are tuned at all time.  There are a million sounds and notes on the guitar waiting to be discovered.

How has your music evolved since you first began playing together?

Francesca – When Mattrix and I formed Kama Sutures, I hadn’t been in a band for a couple years. Training, I had extended my range several octaves but I hadn’t actually found “my voice.” It took me a while to realize what I could do. Our later stuff has much more complex melodies than our earlier stuff because I’m more aware of my artistic palate. I write melodies playfully. I feel like a vocal acrobat flying through time and space sometimes. I hope I never lose my sense of curiosity, artistically. One of my biggest influences is Yma Sumac. I still have a lot to learn.

Mattrix – I think we keep getting more catchy and accessible.  Francesca is getting better at solidifying her melodic ideas.  Xhie Lex has brought extra dimensions with her songwriting, background vocals and textural ideas.  Everyone is learning how to think of themselves as creators of music and not a predefined role.

What’s coming up next for Kama Sutures?

We plan on finishing the album and hitting the road!

Any tours in the works?

We don’t have any set dates, but hope to go out before the year is up.

If you were able to sit under the table and listen to any two people speak, who would it be?

Mattrix – Edward de Vere and William Shakspar. Why? So they can fight it out and see which one is the true bard.

Francesca – I would love to listen to Sopranos Renee Fleming and Anna Netrebko. I just want to be in their presence.

Xhie Lex – Why can’t I sit at the table?

Anything else you would like to say?

Mattrix – I am sorry I went so HAM.

- See more at: http://kamasutures.com.hostbaby.com/main/hollywood_music_magazine_interview/#sthash.kJy6hU2m.dpuf

Kama Sutures, a Two-Piece, Plays Eclectic Sounds

It’s fairly rare these days to find musical artists who aren’t completely obsessed with how fast they can fill their wallet with the next big hit royalties lottery win and are willing to follow a crazy muse down an untrodden path.  Kama Sutures from Los Angeles definitely follow their heart and are anything but boring in the tunes that they write.  Challenging, fierce and still grounded in the classics, they are cutting their own way through the musical high weeds. The two parts of this musical solution are Francesca on vocals who owns a four-and-a-half octave range, and Mattrix, who writes and performs their tunes of eclectic chaos.

Give their single “Dead Leaves” a listen here.

Do you work together on the vocal phrasings and hooks or is it all you, Francesca?

It’s all me.  So all the melodies and I think part of the thing is that I have classical training and a good four and a half plus octaves so for that reason I have a lot of agility.  So I write my parts because I know what my voice can do and sometimes I will do something ambitious for myself that I have never done and if I can hear it I know I can hit it.   It’s really just a matter of getting the muscle memory sometimes when I’m doing something really acrobatic.  Sometimes when we are trying to lay stuff down it’s something that is just so bizarre and there’s a muscle memory thing like the song “Pura Vida” which is on our web site. That song is pretty difficult to sing because I am changing registers and I’m just flowing through it.  Sometimes it takes a little bit for me to get the muscle memory and Mattrix has to sit there and listen to me work through the kinks but it really feels like a hydraulic moving between parts and it just flows.  But if I hear it in my head I can sing it.

Vocally who do you think you sound like?

I’ve been told by my vocal coach that I have an Yma Sumac kind of voice.  So I sort of think of myself as the rock-and-roll Yma Sumac. When he told me that, I didn’t know who the heck she was. She has a very low voice that is a little growly and she’s actually a little lower than me and then she can sing all the way an octave above high C which is pretty much where I can sing.  I really like what she does because she gets into this surreal expression with her voice.  I remember Billie Holiday talking about how she feels when she’s singing that she feels like a horn and more like an instrument with her voice rather than a day-to-day communication device.  (Billie) let her voice come out abstractly and Yma Sumac does that even more.  If you want to hear Yma Sumac listen to the “Inca Waltz”. Since being introduced to her work I have bought all her records.

What about collectively? How do you together perceive your sound?

Mattrix: I think we sound like everything and that’s what we are going for.  We do have our own distinct sound and one thing we do that’s catchy is we try to have every song have a chorus. We try to have hooks and have it interesting but I don’t think we follow any particular style or sound exactly like anybody.  On a particular song by song basis you could this song sounds maybe like someone and this song sounds like another but as a whole we just try to break things up so we don’t sound like other people and I think that’s the strength of our band.  We can go from very heavy to very happy, very mellow to very aggressive.  We try to be able to seamlessly move between these things.  Most people try and put a lot of different influences in their music and make it eclectic but they lose sight of the wholeness and their identity.

Are you working on any new music?

Mattrix: This is what I do.  If I don’t go out and enjoy myself I work on music and all my spare time is just that working on music.  I’m constantly working on new stuff and Francesca is constantly getting new music to work on.

Francesca: We do need to spend some time with music videos for the stuff we have.  Yeah, I’m ready to write some more but music videos would be nice to complete and get on YouTube.

Do you prefer the mini-film or the performance music video?

Mattrix: I say mini-film.  Performance videos are hard to pull off correctly and not be boring.  That’s the main goal: not be boring.  If I’m not bored the band is good.  The only time I can sit still is when I am working on music.

What ultimately brought you to music and the arts?

Francesca: We love what we do and we love making music and we do it because it is what makes our heart beat.  I think it is good to share a passion on a philosophical level and that’s what the arts are good for society.  Elevating yourself above the simple struggle for survival to the point where life has meaning and is a celebration and is appreciated.  That’s my main thing when I am performing is just being in the moment and just completely in love with what I am doing and in a state of joy.

 

The newest must hear sound in the indie industrial rock world is Kama Sutures out of Los Angeles, California.   With a sensual sound assault that crosses many genres over the last several decades the Kama Sutures find their musical soul from the modern bands like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the old school like the B52’s, X , Nina Hagen and Siouxie and the Banshees with a base constructed out of Nine Inch Nails and Ministry. The creative duality that compose the Kama Sutures are vocalist Francesca who has an incredibly vast vocal range that when combined with her lyrical hooks, phrasing and tone mesh in perfection with the musical mastery of Mattrix the mad architect behind the Kama Sutures endlessly unique vibe, feel and sound. 

Here’s Francesca and Mattrix on how they created their unique band name:

Francesca,” Finding a band name was actually extremely challenging. We had gone on for months and written 40 songs already and people were asking us what our band name was and all we could say is “That’s a good question can you think of any cool band names that aren’t already taken?”   It was a couple months ago right before we copyrighted everything Mattrix came up with it and we couldn’t believe it wasn’t already taken. 

Mattrix, “I wanted it to be “Karma Sutures” but I accidently pronounced it the right way.” (Laughs)

Francesca, “It’s better this way because Kama means “Desire” and “Sutures” in Latin means “To Mend” and I like that “The way to mend” because music is a very healing modality.

The Kama Sutures break new ground with every tune they write.  This is what Mattrix has to say on creating these new tonal landscapes.

Mattrix, “I do a lot of different approaches I have been doing this for so long and I like everything that is underground and I kind of just mix it all together.  My main goal with writing music is just to do something that is not boring in each part.  I take a cliché and then I break that cliché.  I always try to break new ground and do things a little bit different from what I have heard.  Combine different elements and take new risks.  Musically what makes us stand out are very different note patterns that people don’t normally do and tonally I don’t follow any specific mode and it’s a tricky thing.  Sometimes there’s just one note you can sing for any given part for it to work and it’s hard to find that one note but Francesca always seems to find it. 

Vocally Francesca has a four-and-a-half octave range and here’s how she meshes her singing with Mattrix’s music.

Francesca, “That comes together in different ways. I am kind of like a topliner so he gives me the music and I topline off that on my own and I try to come up with something that is not going to bore Mattrix.  I come up with vocal melodies and lyrics in different ways.  For example when I was doing “Periscope” I heard the instrumentals and I got this theme in my mind and I started seeing the story this ghost who was trying to come back and talk to her lover who is still alive and she is in this torment.  It was the weirdest thing because it was like watching a movie in my mind and the song kind of wrote itself.  And sometimes I will hear a song and I will ask what colors are involved or what is the taste of the song or what is the feel of it. I’m very sensual in my approach and I let it be created through me rather than having an agenda.”

Kama Sutures are set to take on the global stage with massive tours in the works, far reaching radio campaigns, lots of new music coming, videos, a full line of merch all packaged with a live show that will raise the bar for fans higher than ever before.  The Kama Sutures have signed a management deal with Shawn Barusch of Music Gallery International one of the most respected names in the industry. 

For more info on Kama Sutures contact:

Management: Shawn Barusch  hpmgmt@gmail.com

Publicity: Groovey Groovey@groovey.tv

- See more at: http://kamasutures.com.hostbaby.com/main/interviewed_by_the_one_and_only_groovey/#sthash.zQQiEGb8.dpuf

....the intriguing Kama Sutures, who enraptured the crowd with their gorgeous, indie alternative tunes. Fronted by the captivating Francesca J who danced and sang her way into the psyche on the Whisky crowd hell-bent to rock, the entire Kama Sutures membership presented an exotic show of the avant-garde variety that was absolutely thrilling to witness.

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