Mick Rotella of Matrekis Interviewed

Matrekis was developed in October of 2009. The group formed with the goal of reviving and preserving the sound of roots metal. With influences ranging from the likes of Black Sabbath, Motorhead, Iron Maiden and Megadeth, Matrekis infuses power, drive and passion into every song. This produces an old-school metal sound that blends commanding vocals, heavy power chords, ripping guitar solos, thundering bass lines, and hammering drums into a unique variety of songs that leave you wanting more.

How did you first get in to music? Who turned you onto rock/metal?

Without a doubt it was KISS. Seeing them at 5 was life changing for me.My mom also always had the radio on and I can remember as far back as 2-3 years old hearing Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Led Zepplin and Aerosmith as well. Its stuck with me my whole life.

How did you become a guitarist? Are you proficient in any other instruments ?

After seeing KISS my mom got me a guitar for Christmas and that was the start.I still have that guitar by the way.Although its a little beat up. HAHA. After you learn one instrument, its easier to learn another. I can play drums a bit, Piano, Harmonica, I sing too. Violin would be my next one to pick up.Wonder if they make them in Purple? Ha

What was the local scene in Minnesota like in the beginning, was there a particular band you aspired to be like, favorite local bands back then, favorite local bands now?

The scene here in MN has always been pretty good. It has an ebb and flow to it.Its getting better, but not bad. We had bands like Slave Raider, Hurricane Alice and I was very much influenced by Prince. All of these bands were amazing. There is still a massive amount of talent here with bands like The GoodBars, Crashmatic, The Regenerators. Plus many more.

Has there been times when drugs and alcohol were beneficial to the band?

I cant speak for the rest of the band, but sometimes in writing and playing a few drinks loosens you up. But then Ive been known to have a few too many and pass out from drinking moonshine in a farm field.HAHA

How would you best describe your sound?

I would say we are a cross between Old Metallica, Motorhead, BLS and Pantera with dynamics and a modern edge.

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Is doing ticket pre-sales the same thing as pay to play?

No, usually if you dont sell all your tickets in PtP you DONT play. Pre sale is generally the bands pay.

What was the first music you bought and what have you bought more than once?

The very first single I bought was Earache my Eye by Cheech and Chong and Rhinestone Cowboy by Glen Campel. Wow. Weird huh? haha..I have bought Master of Puppets and Kiss Creatures of the Night several times.

DIY forever or signing with a label at first opportunity?

Sure we all would love the big record deal our heroes got, but that just don’t exist anymore. At least for metal bands. Plus we really don’t need record companies like we used too. DIY can be a great thing.

Whats the biggest show you have played so far and do you still get nervous before a gig?

I cant remember the biggest show, but we did just play RockFest with HellYeah and it was crazy. I dont really get nervous because being on stage is what I love to do.

Is commercial rock radio dead?

I would not say dead, just different. There are soo many avenues for music these days that you can find whatever you want and things you never heard so easily now.

Favorite songs on the new album and why?

Shotgun Jacket is one.I wrote that 20 years ago and to hear it now blows my mind. Also Devil On The Devils Shoulder. Its just a differnt song for us and has a great groove, plus there is a talk box solo, how can you go wrong with that? HAHA

Out of all your songs which one touches you the most when you perform it?

Brother. Its such an emotional song and many people connect with it on a deep level. We have had many people tell us they love it because their own lives fit into the song. That is the greatest thing as a song writer I could hope for.

Are there any political or social issues hidden in your solo songs or Matrekis songs ?

I honestly try to stay away from politics when writing, but social issues? Yes. I try to write things that people can connect with through my own expierences and trials. Things like Suicide, Social Judgement, and Breaking the chains of unhappiness. I get inspired from many different places and try to have a unique angle on it all.

What was the process of putting the songs in order?

We wanted to make it look like a V. start strong and get dynamic, then end strong.

What endorsements do you have and what endorsements do you still want?

Right now Im not endorsed by anyone. I play what I love, but if Jackson guitars and Mesa Boogie amps were calling, Id pick up. HAHA

Bands you would love to tour with and musician or artist you would like to meet and interrogate?

Well KISS and Metallica would be at the top to tour with. How could they not be right? Johnette Nopalitano from Concrete Blonde would be my favorite to Interrogate. I absolutely love her. Id also love to talk guitars with Paul Gilbert.

Song to be played at your funeral and 3 albums to take to your grave?

Highway to Hell and Shout at the Devil for sure. my three pics for grave albums are Creatures of the Night by KISS, Master of Puppets by Metallica and Sgt Pepper by the Beatles.


Final thoughts, shout outs, dirty jokes?

Thanks for listening to me blather on about all this junk, and GET LOUD!!!

Categories: Interviews

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