Interview with Radio Free Chicago
RFC Interview: Theory Anesthetic
Debuting Friday night at Sylvie's, is a brand new downtempo electronic project called Theory Anesthetic. The brainchild of local artist Mandy Matz, Theory Anesthetic is a mix of dreampop, dark electronica and Eno-esque ambience. A classically trained musician, Matz first began experimenting with electronic music while living in Eau Claire, WI. One day while surfing through message boards on-line, a DJ at a local community radio station recommended she check out a couple of bands that she hadn't heard before, Massive Attack and The Chemical Brothers. Burnt out from the stale structure of her recent music theory studies at UW-Eau Claire, Matz found solace in this new musical discovery and began applying her classical piano and voice training to creating electronic music. After being stuck at a boring corporate job for a couple of years in a small town not exactly known for its bustling music scene, last year Matz abruptly decided to pack up shop and head to Chicago in an effort to further pursue her new musical endeavors. After a few months of isolating herself in her new studio apartment in Chicago, Matz eventually produced enough material for an entire album and started to post her work as "Theory Anesthetic" on MySpace. Much to her surprise, the music of Theory Anesthetic really started to take off, with her MySpace page getting numerous hits and glowing accolades from fans across the country. Matz attributes much of her on-line success due to overwhelming support from an unlikely source, legendary comic book author Warren Ellis. Best known as the creator of the "Wolverine" comic, Ellis found the Theory Anesthetic page on MySpace and soon began raving about Matz's work on his website and live journal page. In fact, Ellis even contacted Matz directly for permission to use a Theory Anesthetic track on his radio blog. Practically overnight, hits to the Theory Anesthetic page doubled thanks to the shout-outs from Ellis. It was also via Ellis that Matz discovered Mperia.com, an independent site where artists can post their tracks for sellable downloads. Once she posted her tracks, Ellis' again extolled the virtues of Matz's work and Theory Anesthetic MP3's shot up to the top of the Mperia charts. Despite all of the accolades and attention, Matz still wasn't expecting to do much more with Theory Anesthetic (at least not in the near future) until someone recently approached her about playing a live gig. She eventually agreed, found a guitarist to augment her live and is now scheduled to headline Friday night at Sylvie's. Talking with Matz about her music, she seems a bit sheepish about all the praise she has received for Theory Anesthetic and still insists that it's "just an experiment." However, if her live act develops into something as good as her recorded work, I think this "experiment" could last quite a few years.