Mcbaise is the yacht-rock project curated by Matthew Bessudo (better known as Mcbess). His last release with Mcbaise in 2014 (Seabass) features a unique dreamy sound heavily influenced by artists such as Connan Mockasin and Mac Demarco. Matthew also plays in The Dead Pirates, a psychedelic-rock-a-billy project. Aside from his plentiful musical efforts, he primarily works as a pretty established illustrator: Mcbess.
Matthew took some time to chat with me about his artistic background, the origins of Mcbaise, his production process, and Mcbaise’s newest project, Windowsill:
Hi! thank you for taking the time to talk with me today. I’d love to start just by hearing about how Mcbaise started.
Well I started it kind of as a joke, because I’m an illustrator and Mcbess is my illustrator name. So I decided to go “Baise” because of the baseline I use – and it means kiss in French – it was just a stupid play on words.
Were there any groups that you were a part of before Mcbaise started?
Yes, there’s another band I’m in called The Dead Pirates.
What is the production process like?
Seabass was all done on my laptop. The new album (Windowsill) is all real instruments – real drums, guitar, and there’s a few other instruments. It’s all recorded in a studio as well.
Who would you say are your biggest musical influences?
For this one, I would say Connan Mockasin. He’s a New Zealand artist/guitarist and his stuff’s amazing. I also really like Mac Demarco – but I think it really started when I started listening to Jazz and that sort of thing.
What is your favorite song from Seabass?
I think it might be Grand Dada.
That’s a good one. And what was the process of writing that album?
I’m from Cannes – it’s a bit like Southern California – there’s palm trees and a coast. I wrote it when I was at home during Christmas break because I had nothing to do. It’s not really all that personal – it was really like stupid and it was more for fun than anything else.
Is that where the Seabass name came from? The name and the cover art does have a sort of vacation-seaside-beachy vibe.
Yeah, the thing about that project is that I love writing baseline, so it’s just a lot of baseline. It’s like a “tropical baseline” if you could say.
Your music is very… Can I say sexy? It’s has a very romantic sound and it makes me want to slow dance.
Yeah (laughs) that’s the goal – if you need to. It’s like a tropical-day-at-the-beach type of feel. That’s what I was trying to get at.
What made you want to play this kind of music / where did this sound come from?
I played in a few rock bands (such as The Dead Pirates) so I wanted something more groovy and a bit more relaxed. I don’t know, I really like the chill tunes. So I started to play on my own and experimented with a little more distortion and less fuzz.
How would you explain your sound to people who have never heard of it?
I guess… you know the expression Yacht Rock? It’s like this sweet sound and it’s groovy and swagger-ish.
So, you are originally from France and now you’re in London?
Yeah, I’ve been in London for 10 years. My job is as an illustrator and London seemed like the place to go. It was either that or Paris, and I didn’t want to go to Paris.
What’s the music scene like over in London?
It’s very changing. It’s going back to a bit of rock. I mean there’s so much stuff and there’s so many big bands. It’s hard as a smaller artist but we find ways and and it’s fun – there’s always people around.
When are you expecting the new album to be released?
For Windowsill we’re hoping for September but maybe sooner. We’re going to try to do three singles – the first would be next month, then hopefully one in July and one in August.
I’m looking forward to having some new summer tunes to listen to. Where did the name Windowsill come from?
Well, I wanted the idea of a window in the woods. You know how in the cartoons they would leave a pie on the windowsill to cool off? And it’s always like these quiet houses and it’s sunny – like the background of a Tom and Jerry cartoon, that sort of thing. That’s what the mood was like in France, and I decided that’s how I wanted this album to feel.
Do you have any shows lined up in the next few months?
Yeah, we’re doing a small tour in France next month and then playing few places in London – it’s going to be a little bit of a mixture.
Would you consider doing a tour out in America?
I would love to. We’re kind of training first here – we really want to make a good impression if we’re going to be traveling that far.
Mcbess has also done several complete music video illustrations for The Dead Pirates, such as the video for Woods.
For a little preview of Matthew’s art and music: check out this mashup of Mcbaise + Mcbess.
Give Seabass a listen on Bandcamp below:
Stay up to date on the artist’s activity and upcoming releases through the following social links:
Matt also does some awesome illustrations – check out his work on Mcbess.com
And be sure to check out Matt’s DIY label – Dirty Melody Records
THIS INTERVIEW WAS EDITED AND CONDENSED FOR CLARITY