Interview with ‘Green’ aka Mel from The Greenmatics
By Debbie Stevens from Flip Side To Music

You won’t hear this music anywhere, not unless you have your ears glued to the radio! The Greenmatics, already known around the music circuit,currently making their presence known on a much broader scale with songs like “Wait No More”, “Talk” and the ever popular track, “She Fell So Well”. Up beat and excited, The Greenmatics take their blend of New wave, mix it up with today’s synthesized sound and set it loose! Thank God for modern technology!

FSM: How would you describe your sound for new listeners?

G: Really, really fun live electro/pop/new wave, it’s extremely catchy and it gets stuck in your head, but not in an annoying way.

FSM: When did you form your band, and where do you all hail from?

G: Back in 2003 in a small City called Christchurch (New Zealand) I had the crazy idea of starting my own band instead of having to rely on joining other bands that always fall to pieces. I had to come up with the whole concept myself and all I knew was that I wanted people to dance to the music and I wanted to have lots of fun and see the world.

So I made a few lo-fi-electro tunes on my laptop (which I bought with some money I had made from a very safe clinical drug trial), to my surprise they got played on the radio in NZ, then after moving up to Auckland to find band members we got nominated for ‘Most Promising New Act’ in The 2005 bNet Music Awards, we finished a huge NZ tour, got videos on Nationwide TV, one song even made it to #27 in the New Zealand Top 100 Alternative Charts for the whole of 2005, the song was the highest self release! Then I got bored of NZ and moved over to Australia to start again with a new lineup. Ant (plays the very awesome 80’s Roland electronic drum kit) is Lithuanian and Tippa (bass) is Greek, our previous bassist Gordo is English, he’s our sound guy now and we’ve all made lovely Melbourne our home.

FSM: What is your music background and how did you all meet?

G: Thankfully my mum forced me to take classical piano lessons from a very young age for many, many years which I didn’t really like all that much at the time, but now I’m incredibly grateful that she had done that because the knowledge helps with the song writing process and I can also understand what Ant is talking about most of the time - he has a degree in music technology, so does Gordo actually. Oh and I can’t leave out my beloved musicals, I was exposed to loads of musicals as a child and grew up singing along to Christine in Phantom of the Opera and Florence in Chess, I always try to go and see musicals when they’re playing in Melbourne.

The story about how I found Ant for the band is the most amusing. When I eventually moved over here from New Zealand, I had put an adup around the streets in the Fitzroy area of Melbourne which said ‘electro pop backing band wanted’, the only person to reply to the ad was Ant and it took him about a month to email me about it because he had lost the little pull off email address from the ad…. I made them too tiny, bad mistake…. probably why only 1 person replied but at least it was the right person! I found Tippa on and had found Gordo through an ad in Beat Magazine.

FSM: Is there any story behind the name “The Greenmatics”?

G: Yes there is, it’s a rather long one, but long story short is that I used to work as a photographer and band co-ordinator for some music publications back in NZ, I had decided to leave and just concentrate on music full time, so they did an interview with me and I needed a band name asap…. unfortunately I didn’t come up with a very ‘electro’ sounding name and chose ‘Emerald Green’.

The name never fitted the music, so I spent a good year writing down about 1000 or so words that could be used in the new name. Eventually I settled on ‘The’ to make it sound more like a band name, then kept ‘Green’ so people may realize that we used to be ‘Emerald Green’ and lastly I added ‘Matics’ because it had an electro feel to it. After all that effort I’m pleased to say that I LOVE the band name so much :)

FSM: Please share with our FSM readers any previous music connections or bands.

G: There’s a band from Christchurch called Shocking Pinks, I was the first vocalist in that band and they’re now signed to DFA. Ant has been in a few bands, one was an old Melbourne electro/new wave band called ‘Zah Zah Zah’ and Tippa sometimes plays in Melbourne band ‘Jeff Marni’.

FSM: Where have you traveled to promote your music and has it opened other doors?

G: The band in various forms has toured all around NZ and the East Coast of Australia. On the Australian Tour we met with the head of Silver Sneaker Records and they now release some of our remixes, plus they’ve done some of the remixes themselves. We met with the girls from my in Sydney and they helped out with support bands for our tour. Pretty much every gig we play has opened doors or enabled us to network with people who do various things in the music industry.

FSM: Share some of your musical influences/inspirations?

G: We love the dancey synth pop sound of the 80’s from bands like Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, Duran Duran, Human League, Joy Division/New Order etc. We also like what The Presets, Justice, Ladytron, Cut Copy, Crystal Castles and Minuit (to name just a few) are doing. So we basically took the 80’s sound that we love but took a more modern approach, gave it a more ‘doof doof’ kind of a feel and voila, that’s The Greenmatics. Our live show is way more ‘doof doof’ than the tracks you can hear on, you’d have to come along sometime so you can see what I mean.

FSM: Do you collaborate on lyrics? Who is more likely to do the composing?

G: Ahhh people beware, I get my lyrics from conversations I have with random people, or from things I see or read. Everything has possible lyrical content and it doesn’t have to make sense. Drunk people say amusing things, so I try to hangout with drunken people as much as possible (haha). Reading the dictionary gives me a lot of ideas too. I always write lyrics on the back of receipts and they all end up in a big bag, then I stick my hand in and pull out a few random pieces of paper and make a song out of them. Probably about 99.9% of the lyrics are by me.

FSM: “She Fell So Well”, “Wait no More”, “Talk”-Do these songs represent anything in particular? Perhaps sharing a common theme?

G: Actually no, they’re just lyrics from random conversations (see answer to previous question). I never set out to write about a particular topic like ‘relationships’ for example, infact I try not to write about that because so many songs are all about love and I just want to do something different, more light hearted and fun.

The line ‘She Fell So Well’ came about when we saw a woman carrying a glass of red wine and she tripped up but managed to catch herself, so we said that she fell so well. “She fell so well, didn’t break the red (wine), falling so well just to get ahead, she fell so well”, that’s the chorus in the latest single. Actually I should admit that a couple of songs were influenced by certain people, but I do usually tell them about it.

FSM: The Greenmatics are not new to stage performance, is there any event that stands out from the rest?

G: We played at Revolver in Melbourne and Brian from Pseudo Echo saw us play, then before we knew it we were supporting them a couple of months later! Our drummer Ant was especially excited about playing with them and was able to cross it off his list of things to do in his lifetime. We’re now working with Brian, the vocalist from Pseudo Echo, he’s producing our tracks and they’re sounding very big. Because of the work with Brian, we’ve had more radio play and don’t get me wrong, we were extremely happy with the amount of radio play we had before, but now there’s even more and it’s pretty much exceeded all our expectations.

We’re not in the band to make money or get well known, we just love playing gigs and are happy with the success we’ve had, but our main goal is to be happy, have fun and play lots of gigs around the world, but we do also treat it like a business so that maybe one day we can make a living off it and not have to keep up the day jobs.

FSM: Is there any preferred venue when it comes to performing ‘live’?

G: Revolver in Melbourne is terrific. The Sidney Myer Music Bowl is also great because the engineers we had were so professional and got us a great sound for outdoors. Roxanne Parlour in Melbourne, oh and East Brunswick Club, they won awards because the venue is so amazing!

I also loved playing at Sol Bar in Coollum (QLD) and Step Inn (QLD), plus Lansdowne Hotel in Sydney had a great vibe because 100’s and 100’s of students from the Uni across the road came to watch on the night we played and they were all in costumes, a couple of drunken students got up onstage and tried to join in but they were pulled of very quickly by security, ahhh tour memories.

FSM: How would you define the word “success”? Are there any downsides?

G: I guess it depends on what a persons goals are…. some may have unreachable goals and others may have more realistic goals that are achievable and when they reach their goal they’re successful to themselves but maybe not to others. Having goals in life is so important because it gives you something to concentrate on and to work towards…. otherwise you can go slightly mental!

FSM: In your own opinion, judging the amount of attention certain high profiled celebrities receive, when is enough, enough?

G: In Australia we’re lucky, we can see famous Aussies doing their groceries, walking the dog and just doing normal things and they can do that here. But overseas things seem to have been blown way out of proportion, I can’t see how people would strive to be famous when they see how people like Brittany Spears can’t even leave the house without an army of paparazzi following her, I mean what kind of life would that be?? People taking photos of you every time you go to the shop because you had a craving for pizza and then the next day there will be photos plastered all over the gossip magazines saying that you’re pigging out.

FSM: You have a new album coming soon, what can we expect to hear and isthis under the same label? Any other exciting projects lined up?

G: Hmmmmm, the album will be out this year but I don’t know when. Unfortunately I usually work at night, Tippa works during the day and Ant can work either day or night…. so it’s pretty hard to get together and actually spend quality time recording. If we didn’t have to pay rent, bills and buy food then we’d be able to record it in no time at all…. but we do pay rent and do have to eat… ughhhhh
The album will be more like our live sound, more ‘doof doof’ than the recordings that are on the websites. We’re aiming for a stomping electro album that people can dance too and thoroughly enjoy.

FSM: Please list the websites our readers can locate you, along with your music details.|pe1|S8LTM0LdsaSgY1GwZWs

FSM: Any final words for FSM readers?

1. My plan is going to plan.
2. It’s normal for most and a luxury for others - that line is about insomnia and how sleep is a normal thing that most people can do, but for others it’s a luxury. For all the fellow insomniacs out there, don’t give up, we will sleep one day!!




Full name and role in band: Mel Smith aka 'Green'. I play Novatron the synth and do vocals.

How did the band form? I understand you're all from different parts of the world?

Well The Greenmatics came about in Christchurch, New Zealand after I departed ways with Shocking Pinks (now signed to DFA). I had so much musical energy in me that I'd been wanting to get out for years, but I'd been relying on joining an established band. I discovered that it's sometimes easier to start from scratch and be my own boss! So I started writing songs on my laptop, they were very low-fi but the bNet Music stations around NZ were extremely supportive. All of a sudden, things really took off and the band got nominated for 'Most Promising New Act' in the 2005 bNet Music Awards, the singles got to #1 on bNet Stations, our videos were on TV and everything! Things were happening really fast, but I really felt that I needed the right lineup to be complete. After moving from Christchurch to Auckland, I decided to sell all my belongings and move to Melbourne. I had to start from scratch again here, but it was worth it because I found Gordo through Beat Magazine (a Melbourne street-press). His email reply to the ad was crazy because he's a crazy English guy if ya knoooo wot I mean…. And I found Ant (he's Lithuanian) with one of those ads with little pull off email addresses. It was very tiny and got lost in his wallet but he eventually found it and emailed me - he was also the only one to respond to the ad!

So began the musical journey of Green, Gordo & Ant.

Tell me about the latest recording Out of Limbo…What were some of the main ideas or inspirations behind it?

'Out Of Limbo' was released last year, the first track 'I Love Technology' has just been reproduced by Brian Canham from Pseudo Echo. We played with them late last year in Melbourne; he liked what we were doing and was keen to work with us. The EP was titled 'Out Of Limbo' because it felt like I was living in limbo: nowhere felt like home, I couldn't find the right band members, I'd done as much as I could alone and now I needed to share the responsibility with a band. Gordo (bass) and Ant (electronic drumkit) are the most fun, awesome, talented, crazy people I've ever had the honour of meeting. The musical creativity and production levels they've bought to the band were really what The Greenmatics were missing. They're also incredibly fun guys to hangout with and I wouldn't want to be doing the band thing with anybody else. Awwwwww….

How has the reception been to the EP so far?
New Zealand got behind it instantly:
it got on Top 10 countdowns and everyone there has been incredibly supportive. It's taken a bit longer in Australia because we've had to build a profile from scratch and there are so many more bands here. Lindsay from The New Zealand Show and the rest of 4ZZZ in Brisbane have been amazing and everyone else seems to be quickly following in their lead. Even overseas it's been doing well. Ryan Beehre (Minuit) did a remix for us and it got released on a compilation through French Label Agoon Agoon and DJs even play it in Clubs in the UK! I only discovered that when I was googling the band. I don't do that much though, I was just bored one day *shifty look*. We get emails from people all around the world saying they like what we're doing, it's a great feeling to know the music is spreading all over the place.

Do you think technology is something to be embraced?
Without technology the world would be so different, it has helped us progress in so many ways, but it has also produced a heck of a lot of waste. At work there are piles of old, broken computers that are just sitting there gathering dust, some of them have had smiley faces etched into the dust by humans. But I do really love technology, so much so that I had to write a song about it…. It all came about one day when I was pretending to be a robot and was going round saying "I love tech-no-logy" in a monotone robotic voice and I kinda liked the way it sounded, so I wrote down the idea and put it in my bag of song ideas - it's filled with little scraps of paper that have lyrical ideas on them. Then I eventually wrote some music to fit around the lyrics. You know, in New Zealand it is actually pronounced 'Tech-no-logy'!! Hahahaa, nah I'm joking.

How are you guys looking forward to your east coast tour of Australia? Anything you're really looking forward to or dreading?
Oh actually, I'm quite looking forward to the first plane we catch from Melbourne to Brisbane, I haven't been on a plane since moving to Australia and I love that feeling when it lifts off from the ground. Musically, it'll be fun trying out new dance moves at all the gigs and scaring everyone with our complete lack of coordination. Meeting a bunch of new faces, trying to remember everyone's name… it'll all be one big priceless memory.

Also, what can fans expect at your shows? Anything super special?
Well asides from having way too much fun onstage, we also use a lot of retro electro gear - Ant's drumkit is an 80's Roland Electronic Drumkit, but he actually just got an old Simmons one which he'll be bringing on the tour, mainly because it's lighter and with all the weight restrictions on the planes it'll mean more room for hair products *very serious face* hahaaa! We'll also have to work extra hard onstage to make up for the fact that our silver spandex superhero costumes won't fit in our suitcases.




Listen to our Interview with Jacinta on RRR's Local and or General (06/2007)


Interview with TSM Radio by Aynz

Friday, 10 August 2007
Its safety in numbers this time round as Aussie based electro popsters. Gordo, Green and Ant who are The Greenmatics take on the lunatic questioning of the unfathered bastard that is the internet community.

Q1. Adult Diapers, are you with or against?
- Fuck yeah and do they come in plaid? - (Gordo)
- I'm all for it man, reckon they could come in handy whilst comatose on booze.- (Green)
- Shit man that would really handy on stage during a 45 Min set. - (Ant).

Q2. Depeche Mode's best songs?
- Policy of truth/Never let me down again/Behind the wheel...Infact all of the Violator Album - (Gordo).
- Enjoy the silence, 1990 Depeche mode stuff rocks - (Green)
- Encore at Melbourne Devotional tour was Stripped, otherwise Behind the wheel, Question of time, Feel you, Never let me down again. I could go on all day. - (Ant).

Q3. How different is the U.K. from the U.S.?
- Warm beer, stone circles, chavs, squat parties, sense of humour, original teeth - (Gordo)
- Just one letter different actually, "K" (Green)
- The music scene says it all. - (Ant)

Q4. Fancy Dress? - What shall I go as?
- A pagan sheep - (Gordo)
- A dinosaur - (Green)
- One of the Wiggles. - (Ant)

Q5. When do you hit the "PANIC" button?
- Whenever I hear the word sport - (Gordo)
- I completely and utterly agree with Gordo - (Green)
- When they call "Last Drinks" at the bar. - (Ant)

Q6. You claim to love technology but TV, Internet or IPod, which can you not live without?
- I suppose the internet, but does take up far too much of my time ya know - (Gordo)
- The Interweb is my friend and nobody's gonna take it away from me mannnnn! - (Green)
- Out of those three, definately the Internet, as you can watch TV and Listen to music on the Internet. My Favourite technolgy toy is my 80's Electro Roland Drumkit. Dododoo DOo do DUM dumm Splish. - (Ant)

Q7. What's the best way to entertain a pretty woman with a sprained ankle?
- Cocaine - (Gordo)
- Hopscotch - (Green)
- Put her in a wheelbarrow and go for a walk down to the Pub. - (Ant)

Q8. Best opening line of a song ever?

- Oh yeah! Ahhh! You're gonna wake up one morning as the sun greets the dawn. You're gonna look around in your mind girl, you're ognna find that i'm gone -You're Gonna Miss Me by 13th Floor Elevators - (Gordo)
- They only want you when you're seventeen, when you're twenty-one, You're not fun. They take a polaroid and let you go, say they'll let you know, so come on - 17 by Ladytron. - (Green)
- Radio, video. Boogie with a suitcase. Your livin' in a disco. Forget about the rat race - Pop Music, 'M' - (Ant)

Q9. Ever stuck your finger(s) in somewhere where you shouldn't have?
- Nope, nowhere is forbidden - (Gordo)
- Yup, it was forbidden, but very fun. - (Green)
- I dont mind a 240 Volt jolt every now and then. - (Ant)

Q10. I've been storing petrol in my flat for a fortnight and wake dizzy and pukey in the morning. Am I pregnant?
- Not likely, but do ya have a light? - (Gordo)
- Gordo you cRaZy English firebug!!!!!!!! - (Green)
- You look a little pregnant Gordo, didnt want to say anything. - (Ant)



Interview with Arcady Magazine

Click here to see original Arcady interview or read it below.

Issue #003 - 18/05/2007
Olivia Desianti

As nu-rave filters down to the metro/Chapel St/undesirable end of popular culture spectrum, a new electro pop group with proper influences from the 80s are starting to emerge from Melbourne.

Over a year ago, The Greenmatics were a New Zealand band which had four singles reaching the number 1 in various Top 10 radio countdowns. The core member of The Greenmatics, Mel Green, has now moved to Melbourne and after a few line up changes, she's settled down with the current members to release a new upcoming EP, Out of Limbo.

The current line-up consists of Green, Gordo and Ant, hailing from New Zealand, UK and Lithuania, respectively. I guess a more fitting name for them would be Expatriate… but, I guess that was taken…

The recording processes of the new EP have differed from the past, “We re-recorded some tracks recently at Ant's studio. I recorded stuff before really badly on my laptop, I didn't know what I was doing,” Mel explains.

The sound itself has changed, “we made the songs our own. Doron (past member) made it sound rocky/indie; we made it more electro again. And it's REAL. Because we've got real drums!” “It sounds more live” Gordo pipes up. And they're having fun mucking around with this new electronic drum kit it seems, Ant laughs, “It's REALLY cool” and mimics the sound of an electronic drum.

As the interview nears an end, Mel takes out carrot sticks to eat from her handbag offering me one. Conversation quickly switches from their upcoming EP to what exactly lies within Mel's handbag. As the boys starts questioning, she holds it possessively to her body making us more curious. “Oh you know, girls' stuff!” Mel defends herself. We found out shortly after, that girls' stuff means lipstick, band aids and… condoms? But personal life aside, the three members forms a solid group, always joking around and bouncing off each other's ideas.

So move over nu-rave, the REAL electro pop is back and here to stay.

Catch The Greenmatics at their EP launch on June 16th at Blue Tile Lounge.

Olivia Desianti



Interview for Indie Initiative

1. Can you please give us your name, name of your band and instrument you play?

Green - We're 'The Greenmatics', I do vocals & play an injured Korg Prophecy.
Gordo - No mess, no fuss, just bass
Ant - "The Greenmatics" not "Greenmatics", I play a really cool funky Electro Kit, triggering D5 Samples. Lots of chicachicachica, Dooom Chaaa Doooom Chaaa, Doo Doo D Doo

2. Describe your band in five words.

Green - Electro synth dance pop FUN
Gordo - Fun, stupid, pukey, top banana.
Ant - Too much Fun guys, I take fizzy electro pop very seriously. Electro X 5

3. Who you most like to sit next to on a long flight?

Green - Gordo and Ant, because they're awesome.
Gordo - Not Ant and Green, but Reginald Perrin.
Ant - Someone that was like pillow, so after the 20th Drambuie, I could pass out comfortably.

4. What do you think is your band's greatest strength?

- The 3 of us, because we each bring a unique quality to the band, we're all professionals, we respect each other and we know how to have fun, lots and lots of fun.
Gordo - We all add our own individual styles to The Greenmatics sound, we don't step on each others toes or egos and it's FUN.
Ant - Talented, witty, creative, hard working, and very down to earth. (i.e smartarse free zone.)

5. If you could time travel back to any gig in history which would it be and why?

- Maybe some early Duran Duran gig would be cool, or Joy Division, Human League… something like that.
Gordo - Pink Floyd at The UFO Club1966, because they were the future….
Ant - Flock of Seagulls in the 80's, Especially when his hairspray melted on stage.

6. What movie do you think your music would best accompany and why?

Green - The 5th Element, because it's crazy, fun, colourful and unique.
Gordo - Logan's Run because I think our music should be playing when the people are on the carousel and they get zapped.
Ant - Matrix 4, Like the Movie our music is clever, well produced, slick, digital and retrograde but futuristic.

7. What are the band's plans for the immediate future?

Green - Write songs as a triangle (in joke)… do more gigs, record.
Gordo - To do gigs without smashing the synth on stage and to constantly evolve.
Ant - Write more stuff, remix, record, produce, check into the betty ford clinic. Hopefully do a Gig at the betty ford clinic.

8. What song do you most associate with?

Green - If you asked me that a couple of years ago I would've said Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles, because I used to do everything alone, but now it'd be our track 'I Love Technology' because I really, really, really love technology.
Gordo - Joe The Lion by Bowie because I like going to bars.
Ant - "Sit on my Face" by Monty python, I've, got it as my Ring tone.

9. Favourite food.

Green - Curry & rice, good salads, avocado, pizza, oranges, cashews.
Gordo - Hot curry and loads of Lager.
Ant - Satay chicken noodle from Red Rice, Gatorade, and packet of Nurofens, maybe twisties.

10. Favourite hangover cure.

Green - Travel sickness pills, they stop the nausea. Also lots of water and fizzy drinks.
Gordo - Bloody fucking Marys, hot curry and lager.
Ant - Satay chicken noodle from Red Rice, Gatorade, and packet of Nurofens, maybe twisties.