It is hard to imagine what the Toledo music scene would be like without Citizen. So many bands and young musicians in the area have been influenced and inspired by Citizen. If you don't believe me try going to a Citizen show in Toledo - the last one sold out in ten hours! Their story is one of hard work, heavy touring, networking, and being in the right place at the right time. I was fortunate enough to sit down with front man and singer Mat Kerekes earlier this summer to talk about his musical journey. Kerekes, in addition to being a member of Citizen also has a successful solo career. His debut album Luna & The Wild Blue Everything came out earlier this year and has already accumulated millions of streams on Spotify. Now, Kerekes is in the final stages of recording a new LP in his brand new home studio.
I first met Mat while I was recording trumpet for his older brother Chris' band The Flats. Mat was doing all the recording for the album in his house at the time. We got to talking and about six months later I got a text from Mat asking to record for one of his solo songs as well.
The first time Mat recorded me we were basically in a repurposed bedroom. Six months later when I went to record again Mat had a full fledged studio in his garage. As you can see his new studio is one hell of an upgrade. Mat's garage is legit - sound proof, hard wood floors, panes of glass of different thickness for the recording booth (Mat says this is important). It seems like they thought of everything. One of the coolest things about Mat's new studio is how it came about. Like a true DIY king Mat built the studio himself with the help of his brother Chris and their Dad. Mat was fortunate to have many friends willing to help along the way as well. All in all the process took only six weeks!
After laying down some trumpet Mat agreed to a video interview in his new space and told us some great and hilarious stories about his journey as a musician from his high school days to now. I'd like to give a shout out to Dillon Vanzandt who did the video and editing work. Couldn't have done it without you, thanks for always being so willing to help.