MISSIO Discusses Being Roommates and "Middle Fingers" in an Exclusive iEDM Interview
The beard gang is in good hands on the EDM frontline with MISSIO smoothly leading the pack.
The cool-looking and ever blunt electronic duo consists of Matthew Brue and David Butler. Matt holds down the vocals while David takes care of the instrumentals. Together, MISSIO is a true force to be reckoned with. What's scary is that they are just getting started.
First making waves out of Austin, during the SXSW festival in 2015, the producers have been tirelessly banging away to make a name for themselves. They found an incredible amount of rapid success with their first hit, "Middle Fingers," which took the airwaves by storm. In March of this year, MISSIO dropped their debut album, Loner, which received glowing reviews from both fans and critics alike.
MISSIO recently played a dynamic set at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City that got everyone in the audience buzzing. Before they took the stage to wow the crowd, Matthew and David sat down with us to discuss their careers, the rise of "Middle Fingers," and future goals in an exclusive iEDM interview.
iEDM: Thank you guys for joining me. I'm big on genuine friendships and it seems like you both really get along with each other. Can you explain to music fans how you two came together?
David: No problem! Essentially, I was working in the studio producing and engineering records. When we first met, Matt was in a different project and I wound up producing that project. We stayed in touch and had good chemistry. He then started writing for a solo thing and he hit me up to produce that. That went really well. In a random, unrelated thing, he ended up moving in to my place and we became roommates right after we did that first EP. We were talking about life and I was like, "Yeah, I'm looking for a new roommate," and Matt went, "Well dude, I'm looking for a new spot." I think that's what solidified us. We started to figure out how to play live and get people to respond to us. We started writing together. Here we are, still together to this day!
iEDM: Very cool. Naturally, my next question is about living together. I've been very lucky with my roommate. We went to college together and get along great. I know that's not the case with everyone. I've heard many roommate horror stories over the years. For people who are searching for a roommate, what's the best advice that you can give them?
Matthew: It works really well for us because I'm really introverted and David is married as well. They kind of do their own thing and I'm always kind of to myself. Everyone is clean and I get along with his wife really well. If I need my own space, I just shut down in my own room. It makes life pretty easy.
David: Yeah! I would say maybe move in with somebody who is the opposite of you. That's the best piece of advice I can think of.
iEDM: Solid. I think there is a lot of truth there. Don't fix something that isn't broken! For fans who want to really dive into your catalog, can you describe your style? How would you identify yourselves? I know "Middle Fingers" did very well on the 'Alternative Songs' chart while also killing it in the EDM world.
David: I mean, at a high level, I would say "alternative electronic." There are definitely some key things that are important to us though. There are a lot of elements of hip-hop in our music. You don't necessarily find a lot of that in the alternative space. Lyrically, there's a lot of real and dark stuff going on. It gets pretty dark. Our music talks about different concepts. People who are into lyrics will find a good home listening to MISSIO. I think that's something in the alternative space that can be hit or miss.
Matthew: I think it finally 'clicks' for people is when they see us perform in a live atmosphere. A lot of what we found is when people hear "Middle Fingers," they think they are going to get a show that just focuses on that. Then they see everything else that we do and go, "Whoah. I get it." I would hope that people would be able to come to a show and put their own spin on what we are.
iEDM: I was actually going to bring that up. I was going through your social media feeds and a lot of the commentary that I came across was incredibly positive. In fact, a lot of fans wrote that the headlining acts would have to step up their game after watching you perform! You guys had quite summer. You signed with RCA Records, and that's a big, big deal. Can you explain how that came to be? That is game-changing for any artist who is looking to get to the next level.
Matthew: I would credit Alt Nation for a lot of that because they are the ones that took the initial risks on putting the song out there into the world. Literally, on ad day for that song, my email was blowing up and so was our management's. I got 45 emails from other managers and different labels. I didn't know it was added that day so I was going, "What the fuck is going on? This is crazy." I think after being played on Alt Nation and seeing the response, that was when we started being able to meet with different labels. RCA seemed like the perfect fit for our personalities and where we were at the time.
iEDM: I think the future is going to look very bright for both of you. I'm a big concert person and love going to as many festivals as I possibly can. Are there any kind of venues or lineups that you would like to eventually play as your careers start to take off?
David: It's been interesting because we've been playing a ton of festivals. Then we started this run where we transitioned into clubs. I'm not sure if this is specifically answering your question, but it's been interesting to translate. That festival crowd is a totally different beast. There are these incredible moments that you have where thousands of people are watching you. Then, on the other hand, there are these incredible moments where you've got a couple of hundred people to a thousand people, depending on the venue, in a room, in a small club. It's a lot more intimate. You can say something not into the microphone and they would still hear it! You can hear them sing every word. There's something special about those moments too.
Matthew: While I don't have an emotional tie to a venue, I think there is something cool about the idea of getting the opportunity to have enough people come to a show that you can play an arena. That would be amazing.
David: We are getting our first taste. We've been doing a lot of festivals and have been supporting other artists during this run. We have headlining dates next year--in February and March. I would consider all of our headlining stuff that we have done to be a 'one shot deal' kind of thing. We've gotten a taste of that and it's been really special. To get the people who heard the record and they are there to see you. I don't know man, as a musician, I will never forget the first moment that it first happened. I was telling Matt that we believed in the music, from the moment that we wrote it, with all of our hearts. Everything. We knew it would translate to people. Until you sit in a room, and you hear all 400 people, sing not just the hits, but every song, that was on the bucket list man. That is a moment that I will never forget for the rest of my life.
iEDM: Where did that happen?
David: It was in Columbus. We played a couple of weeks ago. It all goes by so fast, man. Festivals are incredibly helpful as far as getting your name out there. We've had people come up to us and say, "I saw you guys play Lollapalooza. I saw you guys at Firefly. I make sure to see every show that you play at now."
iEDM: I like the phrase, "If you believe, they believe." Artists who are invested in what they do will always find a way to get their work out there to a wider audience.
David: Dude, if anything, getting back to the first question that you asked, it doesn't necessarily have to do with our friendship, but if there's an idea that you can hang over the birthing moment of us, it would be this: We both had been songwriters for a long time. We played in bands. We both experienced writing for other people. We would think, "Hey, these are the fans that we want to have. Let's write a song like this." We both had written different music. We had slightly disingenuous experiences. Something that we didn't really love. We were doing it to try to meet a goal. With MISSIO, we went, 'Eff that. Totally.' Matt started writing just for him, and we continued writing just for us. We did not care at all what anyone else thought of it. I say this all of the time, "It's ironic that this is the shit that people want to hear." You know?
iEDM: People are into it, that's for sure. Wrapping up, what are you guys most looking forward to in 2018? You are having a great run right now! What can fans expect in the future?
Matthew: I'm most looking forward to more music. I think my favorite spot to be in would be the studio, where we can be by ourselves, and letting our ideas reach their full potential. New music for sure is the most exciting thing to think about.
David: I share that thought. Growing. Trying to share what we do with more people. Honestly, we have been living on the road since around March. It's a grind but it's super rewarding. There's always low moments where you go, "What the hell am I doing out here?" But then there are moments where it just makes sense. It's easy to lose track of where you are if you just focus on the night. But when you step back and look at where you've come, it's really cool to see that. I just want to grow. I just want to play more shows and get in front of more people. I want to write new music because this is what we've been working for our whole lives. It's cool to actually do it.
You can follow MISSIO on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and SoundCloud. Check out more of your favorite artists in exclusive iEDM Interviews HERE.
Photos were provided by Timothy Saccenti.