‘Organic, explorative, and influenced’ | Interview with Matt Fasullo

Here no-one’s kind. No-one’s kind to Video99.
Matt Fasullo teams up with Janel Rae for  Video99, a gentle, guitar centric rock production with a strong sense of  sentimentality.

Describe your sound in 3 words

I could mull over this for a month and still think my answer sounds stupid, but I guess if I had to choose three words, it’d be “Organic, explorative, and influenced”

Tell us a few things about Video99. What is the story behind it?

Video99 was an old video rental store in Stouffville. My hometown. I have the layout of that place burned into my mind and miss it dearly. There’s something about the vibe and atmosphere of an old video store that sticks with you. On the other side, that era of my life holds a lot of memories I’m less than fond of. Let’s just say that getting yelled at wasn’t very fun. In terms of the actual production, I wanted to create a song that was strange and groovy. My dad played a lot of blues guitar when I was younger, and I wanted to capture that without actually writing a blues song. So I went into it asking, what exactly makes a blues song without that typical chord pattern?

How Did You Meet Janel Rae?

Janel and I met when we both worked at a restaurant in Toronto. I very much related to her passion for producing her own music. She did it the exact same way I did. Pushing so hard through all the bullshit and self-doubt till all your work is out in the open. After we both left our job, we stayed in touch and eventually started playing together. I accompany her at her shows, and she does the same for me! All around just a wonderful friend who I was happy to have feature her beautiful voice on this tune.

If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?

It really feels like as an artist, if you don’t play the game, then you get left behind. You have to make sure you’re hopping on the hottest trends otherwise the algorithm disregards you. Feels like you have to force yourself into a mold of some manufactured personality. I probably sound like I’m on acid.

Artists and people that have influenced you?

I’d say Ethan Gruska and Bon Iver have had the most significant impact on my sound. They really changed the way I approach music production in general. Bon Iver specifically has changed the way I view collaboration. I was always open to it, but I was always very protective of songs. I realized that there’s a lot of value in letting another person’s brain draw all over your creations. You get this amalgamation of identity.

Your sound has nostalgia elements. If a time machine could take you anywhere (past/future) for a day, when/where would you go?

It’s kinda funny. Nostalgia makes me really sad. I remember watching some home videos a couple years ago of me at my fifth birthday party, and I just started sobbing. Looking at a simpler time for me, before the daily struggle of pushing back against depression and worry. I don’t know if I would go there though if only for a day. I might just come back more fucked up. I opt to go to the future to hang out with a sentient ChatGPT.

If Video99 was a Nintendo game, which one would it be?

Oh it’s 100% Space Station Silicon Valley for the N64. It just has this liminal space kind of vibe. A place you want to go, but don’t want to at the same time. Something is just… off. It’s also an amazing game. Highly recommend it if you can get your hands on a copy.

What is the most common stereotype about Canada and its people?

That we’re unequivocally nice. I will admit, a lot of us put on a nice face, but there’s a lot beneath the surface that you don’t see. Just listen to how that idiot Doug Ford composes himself and you’ll see what I mean. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of nice people out there. In fact I think people are inherently good. But that stereotype is definitely wrong. We’re all people, and acting nice and being nice are two very different things.

Thank you!

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