Welcome to our weekly show recommendation column RSVP HERE – your source for the best NYC shows and interviews with some of our favorite local live bands.
My first impression of Mattie Safer, bassist/frontman of the new disco-punk project Safer, is that he has a much calmer presence than you would expect from someone who has been living and working as a musician in NYC for 20 years. Along with pursuing his solo project, he’s the bassist and singer in Poolside (who recently toured with Kasey Musgraves), and was a pivotal member of the The Rapture from 1999-2009, in which he played bass and shared vocal duties with founding member Luke Jenner. Safer released debut EP Sleepless Nights earlier this year and their latest single “Countercultural Savior” came out last month. He will be celebrating his birthday on the rooftop of Our Wicked Lady on Wednesday, December 11th with The Wants, Godcaster and Extra Special, and we got to chat with him about what he would want to hear on his ideal birthday party playlist, craziest moment on tour and what’s next for him in 2020…
AF: Who are your favorite bassists? What are your favorite dance moves? Favorite style of hat?
MS: Favorite bass players are James Jamerson, Verdine White, Tina Weymouth, Robbie Shakespeare, and Deborah Scroggins. Favorite dance move, I keep it to a simple two step for the most part, but if could do the Harlem Shake or had a sturdy milly rock I would definitely break them out. With hats it’s really the bigger the better. Why stop at ten gallons?
AF: What’s been your craziest moment on stage? Craziest moment on tour this year?
MS: I mean, there have been amps that blew up and stage invasions, but the craziest thing that happened to me on stage happened this year, playing at a festival with Poolside in Mexico City. We finished “Harvest Moon” and the crowd just kept cheering and getting louder, and we let it run for couple of minutes, not really sure of what to do, but it wasn’t letting up and we had one more song to play so Vito just started it up. It was an incredibly touching moment, to feel that kind of connection and joy with a crowd of ten thousand plus people. Transformative.
AF: Someone throws you a surprise party — what’s on the playlist?
MS: I want to hear some Earth, Wind & Fire, some Marvin Gaye, Cymande, Janet Jackson, SWV, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Diana Ross, Chaka Khan… Basically a lot of things that make me want to put my hands up in the air and sing along like a diva. Oh, and who doesn’t love the B-52s?
AF: What’s the saddest disco song you know?
MS: The Donna Summer version of “MacArthur Park”.
AF: What are your plans for Safer and any other projects in the next decade? Lastly, if you could choose any brand of coffee can as an instrument, what would it be?
MS: There is a finished Safer album that is looking for a home. I just want to keep making music, performing and connecting with audiences. More touring – there’s still a lot of places I haven’t been, and a lot of cool cities that have changed a lot since I was last in them. As far as coffee cans go, some people like Café Bustelo, but I really feel like the resonance on a Chock full o’Nuts can is something magical that deserves more shine and attention.
More great shows this week: