“Here we are concerned with the coexistence of dissimilars, and the central points where fusion occurs are many: the ears of the listeners wherever they are. This disharmony, to paraphrase Bergson‘s statement about disorder, is simply a harmony to which many are not accustomed. ”- John Cage, Silence: Lectures and Writings.
*Lee la versión original en Castellano en Clubbingspain *
Literature, music and cinema have always fed on that precious fetish conceived by joining two elements that, at first glance, seem distant, different. One morning at the Panorama Bar in Berlin, the life of two “dissimilar coexistences” would change forever. Those of Patrick Mason, the effervescent creative, a pillar of the artistic, fashionista and LGBTI scene in Berlin, and Matt Edwards the cerebral musical genius behind the mythical figure of Radio Slave.
What has been cooking and moving for more than a year, is an “emotional rollercoaster that slam dunks your desired needs for a good party!” These are ideas and patterns aligned. It is a way of understanding and living the music so similar, that these differences fade away when you hear the first beat of Elevate or The Yard Man. I have talked with this dynamic and magical duo that is SRVD. A pair that has arrived to serve and make us dance. The duo plans to release another EP later this year and its first remix, precisely, of one of Radio Slave‘s tunes, Another Club.
The story behind SRVD is that Patrick heard Matt playing at Berghain, then you guys met and developed this friendship/artistic relationship. How would be the story from each point of view:
Patrick: It’s a little bit like out of a scripted movie. It was one of those mellow Sunday mornings in Berghain, about 3 years ago. My friends and I had already danced for a couple hours, and the exhaustion was clearly recognizable in our movements, especially in our faces. I remember that day very well.
It was Sunday afternoon, and we were about to call it a day and leave the club. After checking the Line-up one last time, I recognized the name Radio Slave next up. I didn’t know him back then, and I was a bit amused about his choice of DJ Name. I convinced my friends to stay for just a little longer to check out the first 10-15 minutes of his set. Back then we had a regular spot where we used to dance in Panorama bar. It was in the right back corner by the subs.
When Matt entered the DJ booth, I was surprised about his appearance, but also very intrigued. As soon as he started, the before half-empty Panorama bar was filling up to its capacity. The heavy kicks filled the room and set your tired bodies in motion. We instantly moved from the back of the dance floor, right to the front of the DJ booth! And that’s where we stayed until his very last track.
I was captivated by the power and drive Matt layered into his set, by making it look so effortless at the same time. After his set, I invited him to the bar to have a shot with me. We started talking, and it just clicked. We became really good friends over a year. To that point, I was just beginning DJing, and Matt gave me some good advice and some unreleased tracks to spice up my sets.
One night he invited me over to his loft for dinner. I brought my laptop along because I wanted to ask him if he would be up for making a track for my upcoming fashion show which was taking place in Berghain. By accident, we came across an old video of me singing Purple Rain by Prince at Mauerpark. After seeing that video, Matt looked at me and said: “Why the hell didn’t you tell me you could sing?! We need to produce something right away!!” And a week later we finished the first demo versions of Elevate (REKIDS, 2018.)
I think we had a mutual feeling of excitement and passion for the same things. It just works. When we’re in the studio, working on new tracks, we instantly agree on the same patterns and ideas. We complete each other’s vision. Matt had the knowledge and the expertise, plus he’s a pure musical genius, and I add the spice! New, modern ideas, vocals, and new inspirations – together we build an unstoppable tag-team combo!
Matt: I usually don’t tend to do collaborations. This is mostly down to just not having enough time in the day, but I got such a good vibe from Patrick, and we just hit it off straight away. It’s difficult to describe, but when you know you just know, we really had fun making Elevate and that track kick-started a project which has become a massive part of my life!
How are things now, Could you tell us more about the album, the shows? What should we expect from SRVD in the coming months?
The production process was quite natural. We started producing music, tried it out in Berghain and developed the live show around it. I would say I’m born for the stage (Patrick), even as a young kid, I was always hogging all the attention with my singing, dancing and acting. It just comes very naturally to me. So it just makes so much sense, living my dream within SRVD!
The SRVD Live show is an experience for body, mind, and soul! It’s not just a typical live set, it’s a journey through House, Techno and Disco. An emotional rollercoaster that slam dunks your desired needs for a good party! Outfit changes, electronic drum pads, voice equalizers, –just to name a view aspects of the show–, will make this an experience you won’t forget that fast, and that’s a promise!
We are currently touring, literally around the world in our first year. That’s beyond amazing for me (Patrick), and I still can’t believe it. We’re playing for some of the most prestigious and refined parties and festivals from Tokyo to Ibiza. It’s crazy!
As for the album, we decided to postpone it just a little bit more, to give you guys something proper to gag over! 😉 Our focus right now is on the live shows and releasing strong EP’s! Our currently most played banger The Yard Man is being played by almost everyone around the globe, setting dance floors on fire. I’m still in awe every time someone sends me a video when Amelie Lens, Carl Cox or Len Faki is playing it out. But we’ve got more coming! So we are focusing this year to nail all our live shows and set a strong statement within the industry – WE ARE HERE! AND WE SERVED!
SRVD is inspiring by the term to serve, and serving is bringing the 110% – it’s more than only looks, it’s an attitude. How can you translate this into SRVD as a project?
Matt: We talk, we listen to a lot of music, and we both have very strong ideas when it comes to music and especially what makes you dance. That X factor that gives you goosebumps. That’s what we’re looking for, and we have a lot of fun getting to that point!
Patrick: The best way to get the whole idea behind the concept is to simply come to our show, and you will get it right away! Bottom line is: We came here to dance, to feel, to connect with each other and to put all negativity aside. Music has incredible power, and we unlock that power by entertaining the sh** out of the crowd!
From the visual to the musical side of things, What are the sources of inspiration as SRVD?
Patrick: A big inspiration is always the Vogue scene in the late 80s in New York. I always mention Paris is Burning in that context. What we are doing is merely a translation of the expression of self-love and identity and empowerment into our times and of course San Francisco, Chicago House, and the UK.
We tend to look for the rawness in ideas. The beauty in imperfection and everything that comes with it. Especially in times like these, where completely distorted beauty ideals are dictated by social media, we are looking for raw and pure force.
Matt: The influences are so broad from Grace Jones to hard-hitting techno, and this is what makes the whole SRVD project so unique and diverse. Patrick is such a fantastic performer, and our show is this melting pot of sounds, and it really works at the Panorama Bar. That’s our home and where this project was born.
Talking about queerness and the perception of beauty, drag queens becoming mainstream and big companies embracing pride month: What are your thoughts? Are those steps toward honest improvement? How can someone embrace their uniqueness, truly?
Of course, it’s not! It’s super tiring seeing these big companies jumping on the Gay Pride bandwagon, waving their rainbow flags while flashing a hypocritical smile. Especially now, worse than ever. You only see those campaigns during pride month… but what about the other 11 months in the year? If you’re not able to appreciate, tolerate and embrace the whole LGBTQ community 365 days of the year, then might as well don’t do it at all, at least you don’t become a phoney and sell out.
To truly know yourself, you need to be broken. You need to crawl through the dirt, eat shit and learn from each and every time… get back up, fix your tiara and keep on walking with your head held high. It’s a constant process of self-observation, development, and growth. It’s essential for me to always question myself, question what and foremost how I handle certain situations. I’m in a state of constant movement and transformation. Coming to a stop equals defeat! At least for me.
Your ego needs to be broken into a thousand little pieces, so you can reassemble them into a new mosaic, revealing your true self. By looking at every part individually, it shows you your flaws and strengths, and you get to acknowledge and appreciate them. From that fundament, you build your personality.
The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlour game popularized by Marcel Proust, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature. I’ve chosen some of the questions to be answered by you –individually or as SVRD:
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Patrick: Living without fear, sorrow, doubt, and problems.
What is your greatest fear?
Patrick: Failure as a friend, a son, a father, and a human.
Matt: Being called “Old Man” (By Patrick).
What is your greatest extravagance?
Patrick: Me being alive!
Matt: My records!
What is your current state of mind?
Patrick: Excited like a Mofo.
Matt: Being boiled. It’s way too hot in Berlin this week.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Patrick: IT IS WHAT IT IS!!
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Patrick: That is yet to come! So line up boys!!!!! I’M OPEN FOR BUSINESS! *Extends Arm, waving my ring hand into your face*
Matt: My wife of course!
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Patrick: My height! I’d love to be 6’3/6’4 but oh well…. that’s why I get to wear heels!
Matt: I’d stop drinking again. This is something I’d really like to do this year, and I loved being sober back in 2013-2015. It’s the best way to clear the mind.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
Patrick: Oh, I would come back as a badass, fierce Demon from hell, in Margiela heels and a red leather whip, haunting the shit out of all the people who annoyed me in my past life!
Matt: I always think it’d be great to come back like a cat and to be owned by a rich old lady.
Who is your hero of fiction?
Patrick: I don’t believe in heroes.
Matt: John Wick
Who are your heroes in real life?
Patrick: Still, don’t believe in Heroes.
Matt: I used to be a big fan of Dennis Hopper. These days its entrepreneurs like David Chang.
How would you like to die?
Patrick: While climaxing having sex with a Jake Gyllenhaal look alike!
Matt: Wow. What a question. I guess without knowing.
What is your motto?
Patrick: “Oh well, IT IS WHAT IT IS!”
Matt: Life, Art & Music.