7 Minutes in Heaven with: Emperor X
Artist Website: www.emperorx.net
Songwriter and noise pop saboteur Emperor X traded his pursuit of a master’s degree in physics for the life of an underground minstrel. For the past 10 years, C.R. Matheny has been traveling the country playing all ages shows and punk houses while self-releasing a string of albums that have quietly built him a devoted cult following. The Riverfront Times calls him a “heartfelt, imaginative song canon.” Paste recently dubbed Emperor X “The Mad Scientist” in their Most Likely to Succeed issue. Emperor X’s new album Western Teleport will be out Oct. 4.
Emperor X performs at The 567 Gallery Friday, September 9 with Space Ghost, The Front Bottoms and Grape Soda
1. Where are you from and how long have you been making music?
I was raised in Jacksonville, Florida. Since then I’ve called six different states home, so I have no allegiance to any particular region of the U.S., but recently I’ve been paying rent for the past two years in Los Angeles, so I guess you could say I’m from there. I’ve been writing songs since my grandfather taught me to play guitar chords when I was fourteen. The early ones were written on a karaoke machine and are predictably awful.
2. Describe your sound in 5 words.
Emo, emo, emo, math, emo.
3. Who would you say are your top 3 musical influences?
Claude Debussy, R.E.M., and Richard Holbrooke.
4. If you had to choose one song from your albums that our readers have to hear, what would it be and why?
“Hallelujah,” from _The Blythe Archives Volume One_, because it makes me sound like a really nice guy.
5. What were 5 of your favorite albums from 2010?
I’m gonna do the past year or two:
Fort Wife — _Elkie_
Major Lazer — _Guns Don’t Kill People…Lazers Do_
Charly Garcia — _Clics Modernos_ (alright, so it came out in 1982, but I stumbled on it last year and it was all I listened to for about two weeks straight)
Body Parts — _On Purpose_
Jon Barba a.k.a. Nicole Kidman — (whatever he does, ever, anywhere, including this song, “Thirst for God,” which totally slays.)
6. Name a band that we might not have heard of yet but should definitely check out.
7. What’s big and exciting for you in 2011?
Also, I’m putting out my next several releases on Bar/None Records, which is sort of like saying a long-lost platoon of paratroopers in World War II who utterly failed to take out the bridge they were assigned to demolish just survived six years in the forests of Axis-occupied France and got picked up by a swarm of laser-equipped Chinooks and AH-64A attack helicopter from a secret NATO Time Patrol raid from the future. God Bless America.