The Tall Poppy Interview - Matthew Nish-Lapidus, Musician
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The Tall Poppy Interview – Matthew Nish-Lapidus, Musician

mn-l.jpgThe first time I met Matthew Nish-Lapidus (MN-L) in the summer of 2004, he wasn’t very busy. He was running his own nameless company doing web development and graphic design for the art community mostly and working on an album, but not too much was happening.
Since then Nish-Lapidus has released of his album Marathon Hangout, played countless shows, and started playing more frequently with a band called Three Ring Circuits with Dean Williams from QuasiMojo and Jonny Dovercourt. He’s been pictured in Eye Weekly and heard on CBC Radio 3. Nish-Lapidus took some time to talk with Torontoist about his music, his company, and a bit about electronic music.
Three Ring Circuits will be playing May 12th at The Music Gallery.
How long have you been making music under the MN-L name? How did you get started?
I’ve been making music as mn-l for about five years. Before that I was in a number of punk bands and was making some electronic music at home. MN-L got started when I began mixing my experience in punk rock with my new (at the time) interest in electronic music . . . plus I couldn’t find anybody to start a new band with me.

You released Marathon Hangout last September. How have sales been? Do you have any grand plans for the album?
Sales have been pretty good, I sold out of the first pressing. It’s still available at rotate this. Distribution has been hard, as I’m just doing it myself. That’s one of the downsides to self-releasing. For now the CD is only available at rotate and through my website and shows. I’m hoping that my next album will find a home at a label, or at least some proper distribution.
As for plans, well, i just hope that people hear it and like it. That’s about as grand as my plans get. Can we expect any new material soon?
Absolutely. I’m always working on new material and have started laying down some new tracks for another album. Hopefully I’ll have a few new mp3s for my web site soon. As for a new album, it’s coming, but I’m not sure when.
You’ve recently been pictured in Eye and heard on CBC Radio 3. Are you going to be on any other shows any time soon?
Well, I played at the Music Gallery in January as part of the “one man band” show. It was recorded for Brave New Waves and should be on there sometime soon. Patti Schmidt at brave new waves has been really good so far, she play tracks from Marathon Hangout all the time.
How did you end up joining Three Ring Circuits? What’s that band all about?
Three Ring Circuits has been a long-standing and always changing collaboration that eventually became a steady band with fixed members. The band is Jonny Dovercourt, Dean Williams, and myself. We’ve played a few shows in and around Toronto over the last year… we’re still trying to find our place though. We’re an instrumental band consisting of bass, guitar, drums, and electronics. The music is hard to describe… you’ll just have to come to the next show.
We’re playing May 12 at The Music Gallery with Rol Jui and Original
Recipe, which should be great.
What’s your unnamed company all about?
For my “day job,” I’m a web developer and graphic designer. Mostly I work with art organizations like the CFMDC, InterAccess, and Akimbo. Just recently I took a job at Trapeze Media and will be working there full time, so my entrepreneurial ventures are being pushed to the sidelines for a little bit. As a web designer you would think that I should have a good web site, but I don’t. (laughs). Sometimes it’s hard to find time to work on my own sites, but I’ll get there eventually.
Where’s the best place in town to get electronic music equipment? What kind of equipment do you use?
I use mostly software. I use a program called PD, which is a programming language for artists. I also use Tracktion, a sequencer, and Reaktor for some synthesis type stuff. In terms of hardware I’ve got a Motu 828mkII firewire audio interface, which I love, and a line6 podXT that I use for recording guitar and other instruments. I actually use it live as well, as a preamp for my marshal 4×10 cab and gallien-kruger guitar amp.
I used to be a real hardware addict, but I’ve managed to get it under control and find software that does everything I need. The best place to get it though? I go all over the place, mostly wherever has what I want in stock. I don’t have any patience for special orders.