On the spot is how Matt Mascarenas otherwise known in the music realm as Westing likes to work, or at least that’s how things unfolded when he took to writing and recording his November release; Rough Year. Like many who share his passion for putting art into the world he says, “Creating makes me feels good.” With that we talked his process, what’s next and when he calmed down…
Kendra: Before we start, what made you want to go by the moniker Westing instead of your actual name?
Westing: I guess I never really thought of my name as an option. I’ve started several projects over my time but this was the first that I started on my own.
Kendra: For a lot of people 2016 really hasn’t been the best, was this the year you thought of when composing Rough Year?
Westing: Absolutely. The title of this EP was the last thing I came up with. This was an impromptu recording session, so I found myself writing the lyrics the night before any vocal session and didn’t allow myself the time to second guess anything, and the title Rough Year sort of stuck. It wasn’t insinuating any type of defeat, rather acknowledge a year that I hadn’t anticipated.
Kendra: You sing in “Calm Down,” “I can’t be angry anymore.” Was that the point in which you felt you had to turn that rough year around – when you wrote that line?
Westing: Yes it was. I knew that I had to become more focused on creating better opportunities for happiness or I wouldn’t feel any better.
Kendra: With that, was this record more about the therapy it’d be or being creative?
Westing: It absolutely was. I didn’t have plans to make this. I had anticipated being on tour, but then my schedule completely cleared within a few day period, so I booked a couple days at Archive Recordings and gave myself a reason to write. Another therapeutic aspect of this EP was that I had no expectations of what these songs were going to sound like. I originally wrote them as acoustic songs, then changed my mind once we were set up to record. I had no real intention on releasing this until going back into record “I Am Here” a couple months later. It truly did change my perspective and I feel myself again.
Kendra: Four songs deep, were there tracks that didn’t make the cut that we may hear in the future?
Westing: I didn’t have any to cut since I wrote these on the spot. This did motivate me to keep writing. In fact, I just finished recording another record and I’ll have details about that sometime next year.
Kendra: Maybe it’s too soon to be talking about another release but perhaps you’ve got your mind on shows. Will fans be seeing you on stage soon?
Westing: Yes and with a full band. We played our first full band show a few weeks ago and I’m excited to continue on with the loud shows. I’ve got a few solo shows lined up throughout the winter as well.
Kendra: Lastly, what’s to come with 2017 for you?
Westing: New music, a ton more shows, and making it better than this year.