Author Matt Brady talks about his new book “The Science of Rick and Morty”

Matt Brady is a high school science teacher and pop culture writer based in North Carolina. Prior to working in education, Brady co-founded and was editor-in-chief of Newsarama, which received the first Eisner Award for Best Comics-related Journalism. Brady is also the founder of The Science Of…, a website that uses pop culture to help us better understand science. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Matt about his new book “The Science of Rick and Morty”.

Mike Gencarelli: When did you first encounter Cartoon Network’s Rick and Morty and why did it spark your interest?
Matt Brady: I think I found it like a lot of its audience – through the word of mouth of the internet – memes, clips and jokes. I got into it shortly after season 1 had wrapped so I inhaled that, and was waiting and then watching along with everyone else for season 2 and 3.

I dug it from the start due to the characters. I guess it’s probably not the best thing to say that every now and then, Rick would have a line or a comeback I wish I had – or rather, could – use with someone, and I love it. The dynamic between all the characters was something new, and went in directions that I hadn’t seen before – which made it even better.

The science was honestly, at the start, gravy. I really liked the call outs and the references to larger concepts with scientific footing, but yeah – it was the characters that hooked me, and the science that helped to keep me.

MG: Being a high school science teacher, tell us how and why you use pop culture, like Rick and Morty, in your classroom?
MB: After I left ten years or so ago, I went straight into teaching at a Title 1 high school. “Title 1” has nothing to do with athletics or honestly, anything that…braggy. It’s just a classification that schools are in when a set percentage of their students qualify for free and reduced lunch. In simpler words, it’s an index of poverty.

So there I was, a middle-aged white dude in a class of minority students who were giving me nothing but the side-eye. I figured out fast that I needed some kind of middle ground where we could all meet, and that was pop culture. I was still steeped in it, so I tried it out with my students…I think my first foray was a Flash problem set about velocity. Looking back on it, it was pretty rough, but hey – there was a sheet with a picture of The Flash on it, and some science stuff that they recognized.

Using pop culture helps to engage my kids with the material, and gives them a sense of “ownership” – they feel that they, in a way, “own” say, the CW’s Flash or Arrow (at that time, they were huge with my kids), so their attraction would pull them along. Moving on, I found The Fast and the Furious, Deadpool, Black Panther, Ant-Man, and loads more references that helped to engage my kids.

I mean, when you think about it – pop culture has no native language…it’s just cool. With some judicious picking of samples that are appropriate for your students and aligned to the science standard you’re teaching, you can have kids eating out of your hand. And on top of that, my kids started seeing me as a person, rather than “that white guy,” or just a “teacher,” something just a little bit better than a robot.

Bringing pop culture in was and has been one of the most rewarding things about teaching in my career to date.

MG: Which of Rick’s experiments were you most shocked about being able to becoming a reality?
MB: Easy – altering memories. Memories are largely structure – the connections between various neurons in the brain that make a pathway. Once that pathway is laid down, you’ve got a memory. Want to remember something? That pathway lights up again, either directly “p comes before t in the alphabet,” or indirectly like when you have to sing the alphabet song to find that piece of information. You’re coming in a side door to that particular memory.

But – the thing is, when those memories are being recalled – remembered – they’re vulnerable. They’re open to re-forming their pathways if you repeat the information that made them, but those pathways can re-form in different ways if new information is added in or swapped out for some of the original information. Do it subtly enough, and you can change people’s memories. I mean – not like to the point you’re remembering Hamurai or Cousin Nick who’ve always been around and part of the family, but in pretty insidious ways.

There’s evidence that some “repressed” memories that have put people in jail were memories that had been altered – innocently – by therapists in this fashion. Also, there was a study that was being conducted where the researchers were testing their ability to change the long-held memories of people, and they did it so well, they had to cancel the study, and assure the subjects that their original memories, which they were now questioning, were in fact, real.

It’s fun stuff when it shows up on Rick and Morty, but in real life…yikes.

MG: What do you think makes this show so popular?
MB: The characters and their relationships. They’re so rich, and have grown over the three seasons, and we still have no idea how much deeper they go.

Don’t get me wrong – the science is great, but if the characters weren’t who they are, no one would even tune in to hear about “concentrated dark matter” or uplifting Snowflake into a hyper-intelligent dog.

This show has such an expansive and complicated universe surrounding it. Did you ever this you would be discussing turning yourself into a pickle in the same sentence as dark matter and energy and intelligence hacking?

Well, honestly there were some things I did skip that were just waaaay too out there to consider – like turning yourself into a pickle. But yeah – dark matter and intelligence hacking are in there.

But all in all, I never thought I would end up covering such a wide swath of science, no. But that’s the show for you – anything’s possible, and whenever they can, Justin Roiland, Dan Harmon and the writers like to tag some real science mention to it that gives fans a hint of the real deal that gave the idea in the show its inspiration.

MG: What was your biggest challenge in writing The Science of Rick and Morty?
MB: Leaving stuff behind was one. You mentioned turning into a pickle. Given enough time, I could’ve probably finished thinking of a way to throw some science at it…maybe he placed just a replica of his brain in there, and then…hmmm…

Also – just getting what I got in there in the first place. A lot of the science in the show that I did pull into the book is at the fringes of what we think we might…someday be able to do with it, but that meant going to those fringes, talking to researchers there and turning what they said and what I read into something I could wrap my head around. There were days, after talking to some folks that literally felt like I was stoned, and maybe started to question reality a little too much.

MG: You are the founder of website. How did your idea for the site come about and what can readers learn from the site?
MB: The site is something that my wife and I started (she’s a science teacher too) when we realized that we could use it to reach other teachers who wanted to use methods similar to what we do, and also as a place where I could just write about pop culture meeting science. In all the articles there, I’m always careful to approach the subject so as not to rain on anyone’s parade. I’m not interested in telling people that Superman can’t fly, or Iron Man’s suit is impossible. That’s just not cool.

I want the science in pop culture to do for others what it did for me – inspire. I’m old enough to have watched Star Trek after school when I was young, and – along with a lot of other folks who went on to NASA, JPL and a lot of other places, dreamed about a world where communicators were real things, and we could visit other planets. I firmly believe that we imagine our collective future, and science fiction and pop culture is one of our most important guides. Why would I ever want to throw the door closed on someone who’s thinking that a world with Iron Man suits would be really cool, and is starting to play with their school’s 3D printer and some cardboard, along with some circuit boards and LEDs? I want that kid to build that suit, not have a dream crushed because someone smacked their hero with science. So yeah – please come on by and check out some of the articles. It’s not updated as frequently as I’d like, but hey…that classroom keeps me pretty busy, too.

MG: What can we expect next from you?
MB: More on the site – I hope…and hopefully, another book. Still working out some details now, but there is something definitely on that back burner that’s moving up to the front. I’ve also written science columns in Tom Peyer and Jamal Igle’s “The Wrong Earth” and have more coming up in the Dragonfly Man miniseries this fall. Bits and pieces of science and pop culture all over.

Matt will be signing copies of “The Science of Rick and Morty” at the Simon & Schuster booth at NYCC on 10/5 at 10:30 AM

And also be sure to follow him on social media:
Twitter: @Scienceof_org
FB: @thesciof


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The Haxans Matt Montgomery talks about the bands new album “Party Monsters”

Matt Montgomery aka Piggy D is probably best known for his work as the fanged four string player in Rob Zombie, a position he has helmed for over ten years. Matt’s latest project The Haxans is the culmination of three years of work which have resulted in the band’s debut full length “Party Monsters”. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Matt recently about the band, the albums creation and where things are at with the latest Rob Zombie album.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us how The Haxans initially came together?

Matt Montgomery: This was an idea I had kicking around for some time. I had been working on music with a girl back and forth for years. At first we started by sending CD’s with ideas on them to each other through the mail. It was very archaic. We had two songs under The Haxans name but it was just never really a good fit as we both were going in different directions musically. I knew in order to do this the way I had envisioned it I was going to have to make a change. By chance I met Ash Costello at an awards show through a mutual friend and thought she would get what the project could be. We started hanging out and finding out what stuck musically and that’s when things really started to take shape and become something.

AL: Is the “Party Monsters” album made up of all new material or does it contain ideas from the bands earlier incarnation?

MM: We started recording three years ago. What came out first was “Three Hits From Hell”. That was us trying to find our footing and musical finger print. The oldest song which is still kicking around is “Black Cat Bones” which Ash and I reworked and it made it on to “Party Monsters”. We tried a whole bunch of things both new and old for this record. Its funny how one person’s energy can change the room as I would pull some of the older songs out that I was excited about but after working on them a little bit they just didn’t have the same feel I had hoped for. We really tried to go for what made us both excited and that’s the stuff that kept making it through the filters. There was a lot of material we went through but we went with what made the clearest statement of what the record and we as a band were about.

AL: How does working on a project like The Haxans compare to the work you do with Rob Zombie or some of your other previous groups?

MM: Going back to my work with Wednesday 13 what people saw of me with that group was basically just from a live stand point. I never wrote any riffs or lyrics with them. With Rob I have wrote a little but not very much. There has been I think two songs on two records in the time I have been with him. I played on all the records but I wasn’t the guy sitting around for months figuring out where all the riffs would go. In a way “Party Monsters” is the first thing I have done since my first solo record that I did a long time ago. This album is in a way my first music statement since being a part of groups like Amen, Wednesday 13 and Rob Zombie.

AL: Can you tell us about the most recent video you filmed for the song “Young Blood”?

MM: This is our fifth video as a group and fourth for this album as we have done videos for “Vampira”, “Dirty Magic”, “Black Cat Bone” and “Lights Out” as well. We actually shot five videos in three days. “Young Blood” was shot during the first half of one of those days. We knew visually what we wanted for that one. I directed the last four videos and that made things easier as I knew what shots I wanted to get and where I wanted the camera. I only had to be in one so the rest of the time I was making sure we got coverage of everyone else. We story boarded everything beforehand but we still had to hurry to get everything done.

AL: How did you go about choosing which five songs were going to get video treatments?

MM: That was tough. You just have to listen through the songs and get everyone’s input as to which might be the ones to choose. Of course everyone has their own opinions so it can make things be a bit all over the place. The feedback I got from those who heard the songs all mentioned the songs we shot so we decided to start with those ones.

AL: Have there been any talks to do some live performances of this material?

MM: There has been a lot of talk about doing shows and we have made a few attempts however nothing has come together just yet. We were looking at options to tour in the first quarter of 2018 however schedules just are going to match up. Touring sort of goes hand and hand with why this record took three years to make. Ash and I are these two whirling tornadoes that randomly collided and that’s what we are trying to contain which is just impossible. (Laughs)

AL: Can you give us a quick update on where things are at with the new Rob Zombie album and anything else you might have in the works for 2018?

MM: I have heard things and it’s fucking nuts! It’s really awesome and that’s about all I am going to say. There is a lot of material and things are still in the demo stage so I have yet to go in and play my parts just yet. As for what else is in store for 2018 I am not sure. You would think after being in bands for so long the last thing I would want to do at my age is start another band but, I might, maybe I will start two! There are a lot of things on the list that have been there for some time but I think it’s that way for everyone. We will just have to wait and see.

Act of Defiance’s Matt Bachand talks about the bands new album “Old Scars, New Wounds”.

Matt Bachand is probably best known for his work with the heavy metal band Shadows Fall however since 2014 he has been a member of the band Act of Defiance which features former Megadeth members Shawn Drover and Chris Broderick along with former Scar the Martyr front man Henry Derek. The band is set to release their second full length album titled “Old Scars, New Wounds” and Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Matt about the release, his switch to bass guitar and the plans prospective tour plans.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us a little bit about the band’s new album “Old Scars, New Wounds”?

Matt Bachand: Everything was different for us this time around with this record. With the first record Chris and Shawn wrote a majority of the album and they did it pretty quickly. They went from not having a band at all to having a record out in a matter of months. When I came in the material was pretty much done. I did write some bass lines around things which was a bit different from me but it was fun to be doing something different. This time around we had a good chunk of time to work the material and provide input. We all wrote a bunch of stuff for the album and you can definitely tell that this is a band no and not just a project.

AL: Can you talk about the decision to record separately from one another?

MB: That was done more by necessity than anything. We didn’t have a budget that would allow us all to travel and stay in one place while we recorded so we worked on things in each of our own locations. With all of us living in different parts of the country the cost would have been astronomical just for travel not to mention studio time. Once everything was done we sent it to Dave Otero for mixing and after a few tweaks everything was sounding good. Dave was awesome to work with and gave us a great sounding product.

AL: What has the transition from guitar to bass been like for you?

MB: I had known Shawn for a long time going back to when Shadows Fall toured with King Diamond and he was a tech for them. He knew I played bass in a cover band around where I am from and also knew that Shadows Fall was going to be taking a break for awhile so they gave me a call. Even though I had played bass in a cover band I had never really written music from a bass perspective. I think part of the appeal for me in wanting to do this was it was something different from what I had been doing. On that first record I was basically just writing and playing around what had already been written. I was focusing on now being apart of the percussion section as opposed to just riffing. With the bass playing off of what the drums are doing I really wanted to make sure I locked in with Shawn first.

AL: What are the plans for the band to tour behind the release?

MB: We are trying to pull some things together as we speak. We had a few things lined up but unfortunately they have fallen through so we are working as quickly as we can to remedy the situation. In the mean time we are working on some play through videos and things like that to keep things moving and to keep everyone involved with the band.

AL: Has there been any talk of Shadows Fall coming out of hiatus any time soon?

MB: Everyone is super busy right now so we haven’t really talked about it. Jason is playing with Overkill and Jon is with Anthrax and I am doing this project so everyone has a lot going on right now. A couple other guys in the band have families now so we have to figure out the timing. After 20 years of being in a band life eventually gets in the way so everyone has slowed down. Nothing is out of the question for us to play again it just has to be the right time for everyone.

For more info on Act of Defiance visit

CKY Bassist Matt Deis Discuss The Bands New Album “The Phoenix”.

Matt Deis is the bassist for the recently reformed CKY. The band is set to release a brand new album on June 16th titled “The Phoenix” and will performing on this year’s Warped Tour. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Matt recently to discuss the band getting back together, recording at the legendary Rancho De La Luna studio and what fans can expect from the band during this summer’s tour.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on the reformation of CKY?

Matt Deis: A couple of years ago I stepped away from the band. This was around 2009/2010. I was having trouble juggling things at the time and just couldn’t do the band anymore. A couple years went by and during that time Chad and Jess had started working with Daniel Davies on vocals. Matt Janaitis who replaced me in the band wasn’t going to be able to work with the band anymore so the guys who I had never stopped being friends with called and asked if I could fill in on a few shows. We did some shows with Daniel but ultimately he chose to step away but suggested Chad should sing. From there things just kept going I was glad to be working with them again?

AL: Was doing a new album pre-planned or did this evolve over time?

MD: Things kind of evolved out of doing those shows together. We didn’t really have a set plan outside of knowing that we wanted to play again. Music is something I just know and having worked with the guys for so long everything felt very natural and we just went from there.

AL: Being this is the bands first undertaking as a three piece. What was the writing and recording process like?

MD: We got in a room and just starting jamming as a three piece band. When we were a four piece things were kind of very, cut and paste. Ideas were just sort of thrown out and pieced together. For “The Phoenix” we went to into this dirty warehouse with a very minimal amount of gear and wrote songs that fit the three of us. We didn’t try to get too crazy with the layers or anything like that. We just tried to make things sound good as a three piece. That was the real focus throughout recording. Chad had a lot of song structures figured out going in but there were holes that we all helped to fill in. We locked ourselves in the studio we rented for pre-production and just played. Everything was very natural.

AL: What was it like recording at the legendary Rancho De La Luna?

MD: For me personally I was just amazed that we got this opportunity. I had always seen it as this magical place for a select group of musicians so to be able to step foot there was a childhood dream. A lot of albums I grew up listening to were recorded there. Needless to say I was geeking out quite a bit. How it initially came about was Chad had gone out there with some friends and ended up falling in love with the place. When he brought it up about going out there both Jess and I were quick to say yes.

AL: The bands previous album “Carver City” had a unique concept to as it does “The Phoenix”. Can you tell us about that?

MD: The past albums did have a number of lyrical ideas and concepts attached to them. We didn’t do that consciously with “The Phoenix”. The phoenix in its most open interpretation is a mythical creature that rises from its ashes. That was sort of us as a band. We all had some things we needed to work through so there is a lot of re-growth and us individually over coming what we each had going on.

AL: Tell us about the bands first single “Days of Self Destruction”?

MD: We hadn’t intended on that song to be a single of any kind really. After meeting with our record label they felt that would be a good track to give out to fans. There really was no plan to give it the treatment like you would a single however the reception it received was so good that we just went from there. That song definitely has all the classic elements of CKY. It’s probably our most straight forward track off the album as it has big riffs, a big chorus and a big guitar solo at the end. For someone who has never heard CKY before the song is a good primer as it kind of showcases what we are all about.

AL: Can you tell us about the plans for the bands run on this year’s Warped Tour?

MD: I am really excited as I think this is one of the only remaining traveling tours of this size still happening. I remember being in High School and trying to see CKY on their first Warped Tour run in 1999. Things came full circle as Kevin Lyman the tours founder brought it up as he wanted to bring back bands from years past. We were in the early stages of recording at that point but the opportunity was too good to pass up. We figured everything was going to line up with the album release so we said yes immediately. The tour starts in Seattle so we are going to do a run through Canada before hand and just work our way over. We have such great Canadian fans so it should be a lot of fun. Coming off such a great UK run where 12 of the 13 shows sold out we really can’t wait to get out there here in the States. I think there are going to be a lot of people who get to see that maybe up until now only knew of us from an older sibling. Warped Tour tends to be a younger crowd and we aren’t sure who likes us these days (laughs) so this is going to be a great opportunity for us to meet a lot of new fans.

For more info on CKY head over to

Matt Sorum talks about solo project Fierce Joy and album “Stratosphere”

Matt Sorum has been the drummer for such legendary bands as The Cult, Velvet Revolver and Gun’s N’ Roses. Matt’s newest musical endeavor is a solo project titled “Matt Sorum’s Fierce Joy”. The album simply titled “Stratosphere” comes out of Matt’s desire to give back while also addressing his past with startling insight and maturity. Media Mikes had the pleasure of speaking with Matt recently about the creation of the album and his evolution as a musician and person.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on how you started working on this new album?
Matt Sorum: I have always been a fan of acoustic guitar. I will generally sit down and write a song when I am having some sort of emotional feeling. That is my outlet. I have acoustic guitars all around my house. I will just pick them up and start playing. A lot of this record was compiled from cassette tapes I had made as I used to keep a cassette player around to record these ideas when I had them. When I got ready to put this album together I knew I wanted it to be around my other love of music that is a bit separate from my love of rock and roll. I love artists like Tom Petty, Lou Reed and Joni Mitchell. I have this whole other set of music that I love and I wanted to do something in that vein. When I started putting everything together I noticed that my style was geared more towards that type of Americana writing. I grew up on progressive music and that is another influence that came out on this record. I spent a week out in the desert with these riffs and ideas and wrote 8 or 9 of the tracks. I didn’t have any distractions and I was able to just write. Things worked out well and I had this great channel of energy. I stumbled on to a way of writing which allowed me to really flow. In the past I had a collaborator help me with the writing but on this new record I did most of it myself. It felt really good to be able to do that. When it came time to put the record out I knew I could record it at my home studio and I could bring in musicians but there was more a lot more to it. I ended up starting my own label with an investor friend of mine and we called it Rok Dok Recordings. We did everything ourselves and it was a lot of fun. This was just a great experience all the way around. Having total control of your music is a great feeling.

AL: Can you tell us about some of the musicians who played on the album?
MS: I knew stylistically where I wanted to go with this and it was going to be in a different wheel house so to speak. If I wanted to make a rock album that would have been pretty easy but with the sound I was going for with “Stratosphere” things were a little different. I picked the drummer because I didn’t play drums on the album. That was probably the hardest thing for me. I started with Paul Ill on bass. He has played with everyone from Tina Turner to Linda Perry. Paul was very instrumental in putting the band together. He brought in some really great players that have played with tons of people and appeared on a lot of great albums. The guys who played on the record are going to be the same group I take out on the road with me when that time comes. These guys put their hearts and souls in to this record I really appreciate that.

AL: Can you tell us about the webisodes you created to document the creation of the album?
MS: I was trying to come up with a way to get the material out there and make people aware of it. Even before I did the album I knew I was going to shoot all of from the rehearsals to the actual recording. I have seen this idea done before and I know people want to be invested in a project or have a part of it. I ended up doing a series of 5 episodes that will be released over a period of time prior to the album release. After the album comes out there will continue to be new episodes being released. We want to be able to just keep building momentum. We have a tone of stuff recorded that we want to share with the fans.

AL: What do you feel is going to be the biggest challenge in getting fans to see you outside of your normal “rock” element?
MS: I could have easily sat back and made a rock album. I know rock and roll very well so that probably wouldn’t have taken very long. It’s easy for me to write rock songs but it never feels as satisfying to me. I like rock and roll as an energy and a feeling that is separate from what I felt when I was writing the material on this new record. I don’t feel I could have written rock songs that go as deep in to my psyche as these songs do as it’s a different energy. I hope fans look at it as either being good music or bad music. They don’t know me as a singer so I just hope they like the different style and notice that I can sing. I hope people who have known me or have been a fan of me for a long time will sit down and give this record a chance. I want people to be able to see me in a different light.

AL: Do you feel you are past the point now of ever doing Gun’s N Roses again?
MS: I think you have to be past it. I have been past it for a long time now. The expectations will just kick your ass if you don’t move on. There’s not a day in my life that I don’t get asked about the band. I look at that as two fold. It’s sort of a blessing and a curse. (Laughs) It’s really more of a blessing. Being a part of that legacy for the time that I was a part of it was a blessing. That time really paved the way for the rest of my life. That was a great experience in my life and was one of the greatest rock bands ever! I have to look at it with respect and thank the fans and the other band members for including me. I will look back at the height of things with the band which I was there for and say “I did it”. That might be the way it should be left. We all have other things going on outside of Gun’s N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver that we are very happy doing.

AL: What other projects to do you have in the works?
MS: I really need to get this stuff with Fierce Joy out there. This project is where I can really show my artistic roots. It’s a cathartic thing that you have to do. Some people write in a book or diary or maybe go to a shrink. (Laughs) For me I chose to do that with this record. My band Kings of Chaos are going to be going out on the road and were set to break off a bunch of new stuff for this summer. We are going to be doing something called “The Celebration of Rock and Roll”. This will be with guys I have known for 25/30 years. We are going to be in a lot of different places with that. I am going to try and do all of this.

Matt Thompson talks about writing, directing and starring in “Bloodline”

It worked for Sylvester Stallone. It worked for Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. And, if things go well, it’s going to work for Matt Thompson. An actor who does so much more, Thompson found himself in a quandary. You can’t get noticed in Hollywood unless you’re in something but unless you’re in something you can’t get noticed. So he took it upon himself to write and direct the new film, “Bloodline,” which opens today (9/27). He then cast himself in the lead. Take that, Hollywood! While taking time off from his next project Thompson took time out to talk with Media Mikes about his current one.

Mike Smith: Can you give us a quick introduction to “Bloodline?:
Matt Thompson: “Bloodline” is about a seminary student named Brett Ethos, who I play. He falls away from the church only to find out that his bloodline has been cursed, ironically, a couple of hundred years earlier.

MS: What inspired you to write the script?
MT: It was about 10 years ago when I was just starting out. I had talked to a producer and had told him how frustrating it was sometimes. How you have to have something to be in something yet you have to be in something to have something in this industry. It’s truly a Catch 22. I was taking an acting class at the time. He told me that I should write myself into something so I did exactly that. I looked at the horror/thriller genre’ and found it to be incredibly fascinating. It’s one of my favorite genres…it can grip you like no other can. Being from Northern California I had a great interest in Native American legends…I mean you can literally walk out into your back yard and find a grinding stone. It was really a natural fit, to piece together the Native Americans and the settlers and piece together the “Bloodline” idea…to tie in with the Native American legends.

MS: Did you write the film with the intention of both appearing in it and directing as well?
MT: Exactly! You have to have something to be in something. The whole idea was to basically create a vehicle that I could put myself in. In the interim I had written a short film called “Fallen Soldier,” which I also directed. When it was completed friends would encourage me to direct and explore that side of my creativity more.

MS: Is it hard wearing two hats on the set? To concentrate on your performance as an actor while concentrating on everything else as a director?
MT: Oh my God, it’s an incredible task! You kind of have to be schizophrenic in a sense, jumping in and out of, a., being an actor and, b., being a director. In one frame you have to be completely emotionally invested with your co-stars while in another you’re out of the shot and worrying if the lighting is right…if the camera is in the right place. Are the actors delivering? And on top of all that you have to deal with all of these people. You’re not only their co-star and friend but you’re also their boss. There are a hundred different facets in acting and directing at the same time.

MS: You recently completed a run on stage as Stanley Kowalski in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” a role considered one of the most iconic ever on the American stage. Is there pressure as an actor to take on a role that well known and so well associated with another actor? And do you take a look at the way other actors have done the role in previous performances?
MT: I knew how big the role was but I didn’t watch the movie. In fact, I didn’t watch the movie until I finished my last performance because I wanted to give Stanley my own spin. He was much more devious…more of a maniacal character. I actually prefer that version at the end of the day, more so then the movie. I mean, of course, hats off. In the movie Brando gives one of the best performances on film of all time, in my opinion. And I did the part because I really wanted to put myself out of my comfort zone and do something that was just really, really hard before going into production on “Bloodline.” I have so much respect for stage actors. Once you’re in that role…in that character….you’re there for two straight hours. There are no cuts…no one is laughing with you at the outtakes. You’re invested. And that’s the kind of discipline I wanted to have when I went after that role.

MS: Great answer. I played Moss in “Glengarry Glen Ross” several years ago..
MT: Nice!
MS:..and I purposely didn’t watch the film until the run was over. And when I watched it there was so much stuff I wish I had done…I could have stole that bit, I could have done that…but then I realized that if I had I would have just been doing an imitation of Ed Harris instead of making the role my own.
MT: (laughs) Exactly!

MS: What are you currently working on?
MT: I’m working on a few things. I have a couple of pilots right now that I’m getting ready to shoot. The biggest project I’m working on now is a crime drama that fits in the realm of “Blow,” “The Departed,” “The Town” and some other movies. It’s about a sheriff’s deputy that goes undercover in a multi-million dollar drug ring, becoming the right hand man to the guy that’s importing all of the cocaine from South America to California. He basically starts out as the shiny penny hero and becomes corrupt in the process. There’s instance after instance and decision after decision where you think “I’ll follow this guy all the way to the dark side.” I’m a big “Breaking Bad” fan and the film is akin to it, I think.

MS: Is this something you would also direct or do you just plan to appear in it?
MT: Right now I’m just concentrating on getting it green lit. I’m not opposed to having someone else direct it as long as they have great credits and a really great vision for the film. This is a project where I’d really like to concentrate on the acting portion so I probably won’t end up directing it. But there’s always the chance.


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Dream Theater’s James LaBrie talks about solo project with Matt Guillory titled “Impermanent Resonance”

James LaBrie is probably best known for his work as the vocalist for the progressive rock band Dream Theater. Outside of his work with Dream Theater, James is also a successful solo artist. Together with keyboardist Matt Guillory, James has released a new solo album titled “Impermanent Resonance” and Media Mikes had the chance to recently to speak with both of the guys about what it was like working on the album.

Adam Lawton: What can you tell us about the new album “Impermanent Resonance”?
Matt Guillory: The album is a continuation of what we establish with the “Elements of Persuasion” album and more so with the “Static Impulse” album. With the new album we tried to make everything more heavy and melodic. We really wanted to push the melodic side of things by strengthening the hooks and melodies. I also believe that “Impermanent Resonance” is a much more dynamic and diverse.

AL: At what point of the writing/recording process James do you bring in your lyrics?
James LaBrie: There are two ways that we go about things. Matt will often approach things by writing lyrics or subject matter ahead of time prior to the music being written. He also works the more traditional way as well in that you craft the lyrics to fit the melody. That is the way in which I will usually write. I like everything to be established. It’s much easier for me to wrap things around a preconceived melody. The process can sometimes take 3 different stages in that I may present an idea to Matt and he takes what he wants from there. Matt is the main composer so he is the one creating where the song is going to go. The 3rd stage is one where we bring in other writers to collaborate with. On the new album we brought in Peter Wichers to help with a few songs. We have a few different ways in which we write.

AL: Is this also the way that your work when writing material for Dream Theater?
JL: Yes. We use three different stages when it comes to the Dream Theater material. Things may come out of jams we do during sound checks. Other times we all just sit down in the studio and start showing each other ideas we have stored on our iphones. A lot of the material really is created through our interactions with one another and bouncing those ideas back and forth.

AL: Matt for you what was it like bringing in outside writers?
MG: It was really seamless. We have done this before in the past but things went really great this time around. Bringing in Peter Wichers was great. His contribution with riff writing and ideas for verses was a very nice collaboration.

AL: Do each of you try to bring in a finished product before presenting to the other guys or is it more of a collaborative effort during the creating process?
MG: Before I present something to anyone else I try and get it pretty well developed. Most of my ideas start as vocal melodies that I then build everything else around. I try to have things pretty solid before sending the song out. From there it becomes more about tweaking the song.
JL: When Matt and I decide that it’s the right time to start putting together ideas for another album we do like to feel like we are starting fresh. We want to basically have a new canvas to paint on. I think it is always important for Matt and me to feel that we are representing ourselves musically with what we are creating. It’s definitely a combination of things.

AL: Did having the same line up for this album and the last album makes things easier from a writing/recording standpoint?
MG: Absolutely. It was really cool to do another record with the same line up. I love consistency. I think it’s cool how everyone has their own unique identity as a player that they bring to the table. It makes things really special. Everyone is such a high caliber musician that it made things super easy. I feel very fortunate to be working with such a great group of people.

AL: Are there plans to tour in support of the album?
JL: I think ultimately we want to do a tour that would be considered extensive. I think the immediate situation is that I have an obligation to Dream Theater and we start a world tour come January. This band that Matt and I have is one that has to be a little more patient. Everyone is behind wanting to tour the album but that won’t probably start to become a reality until the Dream Theater to conclude. We are definitely going to do a tour and try to get into as many areas as possible.

AL: With both of you having other priorities is it hard to put something like this on the back burner because of those commitments?
MG: It is for me. When I poor my heart and soul into something that is what I want to do. I have to try and stay focused. Working that way is better for me even though at times I feel like I have bitten off more than I can chew. This is so important to me and I want to make it the best it can be.
JL: The same stands for me. Dream Theater is my main gig but this thing Matt and I have is something that has developed over 14 years. We are both very much committed to it. I think every time there is a release it shows that it is in fact a priority for us. This is something we are both dedicated to as we realize that you are only as good as your last outing. It is something that fortunately we are able to let things develop. We feel this release is complete and probably our best album to date.

Matt Lanter chats about voicing Anakin Skywalker in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”

Matt Lanter is currently the voice of Anakin Skywalker in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”. The show is entering its fifth season starting on September 29, 2012. He also co-stars as Liam on The CW’s “90210”. Media Mikes had a chance to meet up with Matt during the recent Star Wars Celebration VI and got to chat “Star Wars” with him.

Mike Gencarelli: When you are preparing to voice Anakin, what do you use as your inspiration to get into character?
Matt Lanter: Well we’ve been doing it for seven years now. We have been living with the character for a lot of time. So there is no ritual that I do to actually get into character. When I read the script, I just let my imagination take off into that world. The movies and the prior episodes are always in my head. When we go to record an episode, Dave (Filoni) is also there to give me notes. With Anakin, we always have an on-going discussing of where is he at right now. Has he changed as far as his awareness to manipulation. Is he losing patience for Obi-Wan or the counsel? Also how much do we want to show of them each season? There is a lot of that kind of prep prior to recording.

MG: Any new characters that you will be voicing this season?
ML: In the premiere episode this season, I get to also voice Hondo’s right hand man, a pirate called Jiro. He actually has a substantial role in the episode. He speaks with this Australian accent. I also have done a bunch of other stuff but you probably can’t tell since I really try to change it up. You just know Anakin’s voice so well. Dave is really letting me get in there and do more and more, which I love. It is great to be one of the James Arnold Taylor’s or Dee Bradley Baker’s on the show.

MG: Did you realize you had such range when voicing other characters?
ML: I think I learned more with going to different places and being around these guys. They talk about being elevate due to the acting part of it. But I am really elevated by them with the range of voicing that they can do. Like how to place with a pitch or tone for a voice, I have really learned a lot from them. I think if you look back through the series, I think you will be surprised that I have played numerous characters throughout. Bounty Hunters, Pirates and all sorts of cool things.

MG: You said you’ve watched the Star Wars Saga, Have you ever met Hayden Christiansen?
ML: No I have never met Hayden, no. He is about the only one I have met.

MG: Do you have a favorite character and can’t say Anakin?
ML: [Laughs] I love Han Solo. He is the man. He get’s the girl. He is witty. Han Solo has a big influence voicing Anakin for me. So I’ll go with Han Solo…and R2-D2.

MG: Do you feel that as Anakin gets closer to his role in “Revenge of the Sith” that it is becoming more challenging for you?
ML: Yeah, it will be a challenge. It is always a challenge though, but a fun challenge to accept to take him to that place. What is going to be challenging is how to show that in a natural way and not just go all the way out. we need to find the moments to show that stuff. Cause even in “Revenge of the Sith”, he is not a monster or anything. So we have to naturally segue that in. But with Dave and the great writing team with have, they have it under control.

MG: With fellow “Clone Wars”, Catherine Taber, Dee Bradley Baker and Anthony Daniels having voice roles in “Star Wars: Detours”, any chance you’ll appear as well?
ML: I would love to. I saw some of the stuff from the trailer and it looks like they are really having a blast with it. I am not sure what they would use me for but I would definitely love to.

MG: Do you own any of your own merchandise?
ML: Yeah, I do actually. I own a bit of Anakin stuff. I try not to get crazy with it. I got some really cool figurines form Gentle Giant. After a few seasons with the show, they gave us all a “Clone Wars” head thanking us for three years of service. That was really cool, especially since that was a cast/crew only thing.

MG: How is it for you going from such an intense role in “Star Wars The Clone Wars” to “90210”?
ML: Like I said, I have been doing both for a while now. It is just a different head space, when I am driving to work to “Clone Wars”, I am usually thinking about something that happened on a previous episode or a cool image or just being in a “Star Wars” state-of-mind. With “90210”, I have a long drive to that show. So I have a lot of time to think about that show and my character.

MG: If Liam from “90210” and Anakin from “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” met, what would they talk about?
ML: [laughs] Probably about fixing a car or a speed-bike. Cause that is Anakin and Liam in the first season was all about his car. So I think they would find some common ground there [laughs].


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Matt Bush talks about film’s “HIGH School” & “Piranha 3DD”

Matt Bush has had a busy year so far in 2012 working on films like “HIGH School” & “Piranha 3DD”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Matt about those films and also what he has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: How was it working with such a great cast like Adrien Brody, Michael Chiklis and Colin Hanks on “HIGH School”?
Matt Bush: These are great guys. These are people I respect. It was great getting to act and have fun with them. It was overall such a great experience. It was an education that I couldn’t get anywhere else.

MG: What was your biggest challenge on this project?
MB: We shot it a couple of years ago, and at the time it was the first film where I had the lead. It was certainly a lot more responsibility. When you are in that role you have to take on more of a leadership role. So I wouldn’t necessilarily call it a challenge but it was new experience and was fun. I am grateful it was my first.

MG: Both being released by Anchor Bay, how was it going from “HIGH School” to “Piranha 3DD”?
MB: [laughs] It was definitely a weird year. I didn’t jump from “HIGH School” to “Piranha 3DD”, I had a few things in between there but they came out the same time. “Piranha 3DD” was a fun time and it certainly doesn’t take itself seriously.

MG: Was the 3D a difficulty at all during shooting?
MB: No, really it wasn’t. You would think so since you have a whole other dimension to worry about. It was just a larger rig with two lenses next to each other. There were certain things you have to keep in mind when shooting. One day wanted to showcase the trident/trash picker as a 3D effect, like it was coming ot the camera. So they asked me to throw it literally at the camer…but don’t hit the camera. [laughs] I didn’t have trident through class during gym class. So I did my best. For the most part it was like a regular shoot.

MG: What else do you have in the cards upcoming?
MB: I got an indie called “The Kitchen”. We just had our premiere at the 2012 Gen Art Film Festival. I am actually very proud of that. I got a film called “Trouble with the Curve”, which is Clint Eastwood’s newest film. I have a small role but it was an amazing experience to work with such a legend. I am really grateful for that.

Be sure to follow Matt on Twitter – @ItsMattBush


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The Treatment’s Matt Jones talks about debut album and touring with Motley Crue and Kiss

Matt Jones is the vocalist for the British rock band The Treatment. Media Mikes talked with Matt recently about the band’s debut album titled “This Might Hurt” and what they are most looking forward to this summer touring with Motley Crue and Kiss.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on the band?
Matt Jones: Dhani Mansworth our drummer started the band when he was 14 and still in school. He kind of brought us in from all different areas. He found Ben Brookland our guitar player first and then it was like a snowball effect after that. Ben knew Rick and then Rick knew Tag Grey. They found me on Myspace when that was still doing stuff. Over the last couple years we have just gone from there really.

AL: How would you describe the band’s sound?
MJ: We are a straight up hard rock band. You can kind of here some of our influences like Judas Priest and AC/DC in our sound. People call us classic rock all the time which is fine. That is a great genre of music and it’s what we all listen to.

AL: Can you tell us about the band’s debut album?
MJ: We released it here in England last September. It took about a year to record prior to that. It has been a long going thing for us. It will be brand new for those people in the States which is great. The album has been well received so far and we have been having a lot of fun playing the tunes.

AL: What type of writing approach does the band generally take?
MJ: We all kind of work as a group. Ideas seem to come from everywhere and we actually record as we are writing. When someone has an idea we press record on the computer. We will record the guitars and then just build up from there. When we listen back to it is when we may decide to make changes. It is a really sort of slow building process.

AL: Does the band write all the time or do you set aside specific times to get together and write?
MJ: We write all the time as we are lucky enough to all live together. We live with our manager’s family as our drummers dad is our manager. As soon as we have ideas we just get together and start jamming. We are always working on something.

AL: What are the video/single release plans for the album?
MJ: We just released a video for the song “Nothing to Lose”. Fans can check that out on YouTube. The video is a bit of a performance piece as we rented out a recording studio and gave the video a real old school vibe. We wanted it to look like when all thebands that we like we’re doing things. It’s a real fun video.

AL: What can you tell us about your upcoming tour with Motley Crue and Kiss?
MJ: This will be the bands first trip to the U.S. and we are really excited. This is a huge tour. For us being an English band that gets to come to the U.S.A. it’s just amazing. Bands from the UK have been going over to you guys for some time now. It’s kind of like the promise land. (Laughs) Nikki Sixx has been a massive supporter of ours even though we don’t know how he really came across us. Ever since he did he has been very good to us. We are really grateful for all of his support. It’s going to be great playing our songs and getting to see Motley Crue and Kiss every night.


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“Aqua Teen Hunger Force” co-creator Matt Maiellaro chats about new season

Matt Maiellaro is the co-creator of “Aqua Teen Hunger Force”, titled “Aqua Something You Know Whatever” this season.  Matt was also the producer/writer on such Adult Swim shows as “Space Ghost Coast to Ghost”, Sealab 2021 and “12 Oz. Mouse”.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Matt about the new season and what we can expect.

Mike Gencarelli:
Tell us about the title change for this season to “Aqua Something You Know Whatever”?
Matt Maiellaro: We had four baskets filled with pieces of paper with one word on them. We just reached into each basket and whatever we picked was going to be the title [laughs]. Our ratings have been so incredibly high that we’ve been embarassing the other shows. So we decided to change the title of the show and no one will be able to find it, which would cause our ratings to drop. It didn’t work though, we are still doing good. People are seeking us out despite the title change [laughs].

MG: What we can expect from this season of show?
MM: Just making fun of everybody’s stuff [laughs]. Seth MacFarlane was going to re-imagine “The Flintstones” and we did a whole parody on that. We did a parody of “Titus Maxium”, because we love the show. We are spoofing “The Human Centipede”. We are kind of all over the map but we they are really good this year. It is the first time we reached out and messed with other peoples material but we are having fun with it.

MG: After 100 episodes, what did you find was your biggest challenge to overcome this season?
MM: There is no challenge. This show is so easy to make. Well, the biggest challenge is actually what hotel I am going to stay at when I fly into Atlanta to meet with Dave (Willis) [laughs]. That is pretty much it.

MG: What is your favorite episode this season?
MM: Shoot man, everyone is so good. We got to work with Queensryche and Mastadon, so that was pretty cool. That is a hard call though honestly.

MG: What has been your favorite voice to do for the show to date?
MM: Well, doing Err is pretty fun because he is just drunk and yells stuff. He has really bad ideas. In fact when we write a show we don’t even write Err in the script. I just go in and hell stuff out. I haven’t done the Cybernetic Ghost in a while. My fee has gone up enormously for that character, since it really hurts my throat [laughs].

MG: What can we expect from the future of the series?
MM: We are just going to continue making the thing till America realizes that they don’t want to watch it anymore. We are digging it.

MG: Are you shocked that it has been on for so long?
MM: I do, when I tell someone about it and they go “Shit, 12 years?!” I am just glad we are still at it. It is fun to do. Whatever makes Dave and I laugh we just do it and it’s been successful. It is one of the longest running shows…I mean we beat “M.A.S.H” [laughs].

MG: Any update on the second “Aqua” movie “Death Fighter”?
MM: It is all written and great. We are just trying to convince the network do it again. The first one was such a cash cow for them, not just box office but also ad sales in the movie. So it is kind of a no-brainer. So hopefully one day.

MG: What else do you have planned upcoming?
MM: I have a pilot with Disney XD that is real kid friendly. My show is broke the mold with pilots, it is went really well. So right now it is testing and it is called “Shred Force”. So keep an eye out hopefully.

Matt Skiba and the Sekrets “Babylon” CD Giveaway [ENDED]


To celebrate the release of Matt Skiba and the Sekrets debut album “Babylon” Media Mikes and Century Media Records want to giveaway 2 copies of the album and 1 signed poster. If you would like to enter to win one of these great prizes leave us a comment below or send us an email telling us the first album you ever owned. The giveaway will be open until Monday May 15th at Noon Eastern Time and is only open to residents of the United States. Only one entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Once the giveaway ends Media Mikes will randomly select one of the winners and notify them via email.

“Babylon” is the album debut from Alkaline Trio founding member Matt Skiba’s solo venture. With a large variety of musical influences contributing to the impeccable album, similarities to Alkaline Trio’s trademark sound are highlighted and combined with 80’s post punk elements. The result being a ten-track offering of addictively dancy rock and sing-a-long melodies. The Sekrets are made up of AFI bassist Hunter Burgan and My Chemical Romance Drummer Jarrod Alexander who both played on the album.


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Interview with Dropkick Murphys’ Matt Kelly

Matt Kelly is the drummer for the Irish tinged punk rock band Dropkick Murphys. On March 13th the band will release a new live album that was recorded at historic Fenway Park located in Boston, Mass. Media Mikes had a chance to talk with Matt about the new album and the bands current tour.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the new “Live at Fenway Park” album?
Matt Kelly: We did a couple shows at the hallowed grounds of Fenway Park in September of 2011 and we figured what better way to commemorate the even than to record/release the shows to the fans. We used choice cuts taken from the two nights as well as throwing in a few other things here and there. The release will also be available on vinyl which I highly recommend picking up. I have yet to see the video footage of the show but I had been told it’s amazing. The guys who worked on one of the live Foo Fighters DVDs worked on this one as well. Those two nights were amazing! When you are twelve years old playing in punk bands you never dream of playing to 10,000 people at Fenway Park. We were all really psyched and honored.

AL: Were the shows something of your own doing or were you guys asked to perform at the park?
MK: We have a lot of connection within the organization. Since day one of 2004 the Red Sox organization has just rolled out the red carpet for us. The band had been kicking around the idea of playing the park for awhile but I am not sure how it all actually worked out. There was a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes as we had never done something like this before. Our crew along with the grounds crew at the park really made everything work and it was awesome! I think everything was a collaborative effort.

AL: Can you tell us about the bands current tour?
MK: We are currently out on tour with The Mahones and, Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls. The shows have been great and everyone has been getting great crowd responses. Our crowd can be kind of tough as our fans are just rabid. They are very supportive but not always of the other bands we are playing with. Everything on this tour has gone great! We have been having a blast. We will wrap the tour up with our annual St. Patrick’s Day shows in Mass. We will be playing 3 nights at the House of Blues in Boston, 2 gigs on Saturday in Lowell, Mass. and on Sunday of that weekend we are playing the Brighton Music Hall which used to be called Harper’s Ferry. The Sunday night show you will only be able to get tickets the day of the show at the door. It’s going to be really cool because the venue only holds around 400 people or so.

AL: Have there been any talks about a new studio album?
MK: Around April 1st of this year we will be going into the studio to record the new album. We have a bunch of stuff already written. We have been playing one new song live and it has gotten some good responses. I am not sure if we are going to put it on the record or just release it as a single. We will record April into May and depending on how things go it should be out towards the end of 2012 or early 2013.

AL: What else does the band have planned for 2012?
MK: We will be playing the Shamrock Festival in Washington D.C. March 24th. We also will be heading over to Europe in June for a bunch of festival shows. We will also be doing some smaller shows while we are there as well. All the guys in the band are really excited about playing Rome for the first time. A lot of us want to try and see Vatican City while we are there. When we are in Europe we usually play Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands. It will be nice to see some new places and meet some new people. There might also be some stuff in the works for September and October however, nothing has been confirmed yet.


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Interview with Emery’s Matt Carter

Matt Carter is the lead guitarist for the South Carolina based band Emery. Emery released their 5th studio album earlier this year titled “We Do What We Want”.  Media Mikes caught up with Mike at this year’s iMatter festival to talk about the release as well as the bands future plans.

Adam Lawton: How did you guys first get involved with the iMatter festival?
Matt Carter: I’m not really sure how that all worked out. As a band we love to go out and play festivals in the summertime. We really like being in that type of setting and we try to play as many as we can. With iMatter being a newer festival we really wanted to play it.

AL: Can you tell us about the band’s latest release “We Do What We Want”?
MC: The album came out earlier this year and it has been received really well by the fans. It a little bit heavier than our previous records. When we first came out as a band we were very heavy and we were trying to push those limits. However in the last 10 years since we have been writing songs together certain things have changed in music. We want to continue to stay cutting edge so we decided to push things further than writing regular verses and choruses. We really pushed ourselves and that’s what this record is about.

AL: Can you tell us any great stories from being on the road with the band?
MC: My favorite moment would have to be probably the worst tour moment as well. We had purchased a bus that had no air conditioning. We put fans…but the generator never worked either. We were crossing the desert and at one point we stopped. All we had were these two roof vents for air, so it was like being in a tin can. It was about 120 degrees in this thing at night. It was early on when we first got this bus, so we didn’t have beds or anything like that made up and people were just lying around.  People were complaining so much that it made it almost enjoyable for me to sit and listen to them. I really had joy in that moment. (Laughs)

AL: If you could pick one band to share a stage with whom would it be and why?
MC: We would love to play a show with Weezer. They are one of our favorite bands.  They are a large band and they are still making music. It would be really fun and they are our heroes for getting to music on a long term basis.

AL: What are the bands upcoming plans?
MC: We are going to begin planning for a new record. We haven’t written it yet but we are going to start doing all the pre-planning stuff such as where and when are we going to be doing the album. It will take awhile as we currently don’t have any plans to write just yet.  We will be starting to make plans for which direction we want the album to go and what tours we want to get on.

Interview with Matt Mercer

Matt Mercer is voicing the character Tygra in the 2011 reboot of “Thundercats”. Matt has also done voice work for animes including “Akira” to “Ninja Scroll” to “Fist of the North Star”. Movie Mikes took out some time to chat with Matt about “Thundercats” as well as his other projects.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get started doing voice work?
Mathew Mercer: I always had a fascination with cartoons and video games growing up. As far back as Mel Blanc, and some of the older cartoons I just loved the characterizations and the ability to perform multiple voices through one person. I never thought it was a viable option for a living let alone a career until about 4 years ago. I was doing a lot of theater and making some network connections and just decided to give it a shot. I left my day job and went to a bunch of classes and workshops where I worked my ass off and lived on top ramen for awhile. I did a lot of hard work and was prepared for opportunities and the rest is history!

MG: Can you tell us about how you got involved with your latest project “Thundercats”?
MM: I had gotten an email from my agent regarding a secret project that no one could talk about even with other actors at the agency but she was having people come in an audition for the project. I saw the word Lion-O on the script and my inner 6 year old started freaking out. I went in and read for Lion-O and Tygra. I kept telling myself that I had to book this and went over the copies a bunch of times. I even went into the booth directors to tell them that they had to help me book this because I needed it! I went in and read for it and gave it my all. I didn’t hear anything for some time and was pretty sure I didn’t get it. I got a call from my agent and she told me they had a new nick name for me at the office. I figured they had just gotten drunk at the last office party and came up with something. They proceeded to tell me that it was Tygra. I did kart wheels like an actual 6 year old and it’s been a wild ride ever since.

MG: Did you go back and re-watch some of the old episodes in preparation?
MM: Oh yeah! I got together with some friends and writing partners and we watched the first six episodes or so. It was a wonderful evening of nostalgia.

MG: You also worked on a number of anime series, can you tell us about that and do you have a current anime series favorite?
MM: Those were some of the first projects I had ever worked on. They really wet my appetite. At the time I was a really big anime fan. Getting to be a part of “Ninja Scroll” and “Akira” to name a few was very fulfilling as a geek. It was a really fun process to be involved with and I met a lot of people that I am still working with today. As far as my favorite anime I am a big fan Hayao Miyazaki’s work as far as films goes. As far as series I would have to go with “Cowboy Bebop”. It has just such great characters and writing. It’s a perfect example of blending styles that you wouldn’t expect together. The music its self made the project. It created its own atmosphere that hasn’t been rivaled since.

MG: Tell us about your work on “Fist of the North Star” and “Akira”. Were those early in your career as well?
MM: Oh yeah. “Akira” was technically the first main character I got to work on. I did a few one off characters like on “Fist of the North Star” where you spent 3 hours shouting till your explodes which was a lot of fun. It roughed the voice up for the next morning. “Akira” was cool because I was a fan of the original film. When I heard they were doing a re-dub with up dated translation I asked the director specifically if I could audition because of my personal interest. Getting to be a part of that was majestic and exciting.

MG: More recently you voiced Stryker in the new “Mortal Kombat” video game. Do you feel working on video games differs from films or television shows?
MM: It very much differs. There is a whole different feel than when you are on camera. When you’re shooting in front of a camera the other actors are there as well as you have costumes and rehearsals. Voice over most of the time is cold reading in a booth where you are isolated from everyone and everything else. You have to kind of create the world on your mind and give a believable performance. You have to be a little crazy for voice over work.

MG: What can you tell us about the film “Dead Inside”?
MM: It’s a psychological, thriller, horror film that was directed by Pearry Teo. I am really excited about this film because it’s an ensemble piece that takes the classic “teens in a house” horror film and puts a unique and intense spin on that with great story arc. Unlike a lot of horror films today that relies on jump scares and splashy gore this film is very reminiscent of the original “Aliens”. It’s more about what you don’t see and what’s in the shadows. This film lets your mind fill in the blanks thus making it more scary. I am really excited about this film and I think it’s going to be debuting at Sundance.

MG: You directed the web series “There Will Be Brawl”. Any future plans for more directing?
MM: I have a few projects in the works. “There Will Be Brawl” was a pretty intense year of my life. A lot of creative energy went into that project and most of my free time went towards all of the different aspects of that project. I was burned out for about a year. I got the bug back recently and have a few projects in pre-production. Keep your eyes open for stuff to start popping up.


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