Kama Sutures, a Two-Piece, Plays Eclectic Sounds
It’s fairly rare these days to find musical artists who aren’t completely obsessed with how fast they can fill their wallet with the next big hit royalties lottery win and are willing to follow a crazy muse down an untrodden path. Kama Sutures from Los Angeles definitely follow their heart and are anything but boring in the tunes that they write. Challenging, fierce and still grounded in the classics, they are cutting their own way through the musical high weeds. The two parts of this musical solution are Francesca on vocals who owns a four-and-a-half octave range, and Mattrix, who writes and performs their tunes of eclectic chaos.
Give their single “Dead Leaves” a listen here.
Do you work together on the vocal phrasings and hooks or is it all you, Francesca?
It’s all me. So all the melodies and I think part of the thing is that I have classical training and a good four and a half plus octaves so for that reason I have a lot of agility. So I write my parts because I know what my voice can do and sometimes I will do something ambitious for myself that I have never done and if I can hear it I know I can hit it. It’s really just a matter of getting the muscle memory sometimes when I’m doing something really acrobatic. Sometimes when we are trying to lay stuff down it’s something that is just so bizarre and there’s a muscle memory thing like the song “Pura Vida” which is on our web site. That song is pretty difficult to sing because I am changing registers and I’m just flowing through it. Sometimes it takes a little bit for me to get the muscle memory and Mattrix has to sit there and listen to me work through the kinks but it really feels like a hydraulic moving between parts and it just flows. But if I hear it in my head I can sing it.
Vocally who do you think you sound like?
I’ve been told by my vocal coach that I have an Yma Sumac kind of voice. So I sort of think of myself as the rock-and-roll Yma Sumac. When he told me that, I didn’t know who the heck she was. She has a very low voice that is a little growly and she’s actually a little lower than me and then she can sing all the way an octave above high C which is pretty much where I can sing. I really like what she does because she gets into this surreal expression with her voice. I remember Billie Holiday talking about how she feels when she’s singing that she feels like a horn and more like an instrument with her voice rather than a day-to-day communication device. (Billie) let her voice come out abstractly and Yma Sumac does that even more. If you want to hear Yma Sumac listen to the “Inca Waltz”. Since being introduced to her work I have bought all her records.
What about collectively? How do you together perceive your sound?
Mattrix: I think we sound like everything and that’s what we are going for. We do have our own distinct sound and one thing we do that’s catchy is we try to have every song have a chorus. We try to have hooks and have it interesting but I don’t think we follow any particular style or sound exactly like anybody. On a particular song by song basis you could this song sounds maybe like someone and this song sounds like another but as a whole we just try to break things up so we don’t sound like other people and I think that’s the strength of our band. We can go from very heavy to very happy, very mellow to very aggressive. We try to be able to seamlessly move between these things. Most people try and put a lot of different influences in their music and make it eclectic but they lose sight of the wholeness and their identity.
Are you working on any new music?
Mattrix: This is what I do. If I don’t go out and enjoy myself I work on music and all my spare time is just that working on music. I’m constantly working on new stuff and Francesca is constantly getting new music to work on.
Francesca: We do need to spend some time with music videos for the stuff we have. Yeah, I’m ready to write some more but music videos would be nice to complete and get on YouTube.
Do you prefer the mini-film or the performance music video?
Mattrix: I say mini-film. Performance videos are hard to pull off correctly and not be boring. That’s the main goal: not be boring. If I’m not bored the band is good. The only time I can sit still is when I am working on music.
What ultimately brought you to music and the arts?
Francesca: We love what we do and we love making music and we do it because it is what makes our heart beat. I think it is good to share a passion on a philosophical level and that’s what the arts are good for society. Elevating yourself above the simple struggle for survival to the point where life has meaning and is a celebration and is appreciated. That’s my main thing when I am performing is just being in the moment and just completely in love with what I am doing and in a state of joy.