Bruce Mathiske

by the partae

Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?

I live in Newcastle but because I am a touring act I am not really part of the local scene however Newcastle is undergoing huge change I am led to believe it is developers with curfews versus  music venues and artists. But ultimately, I think change is good and I hope the scene will flourish again.

How did you first start playing music?

I used to watch my older cousin, Trev, strum a few chords. Then at age seven I started lessons and learnt those same chords, then wanted to play “that other fancy stuff” which was lead guitar. From that wherever I found a teacher, classical in Bendigo, Jazz on The Gold Coast and Sydney and whist still playing in rock bands, I just loved to play and learn.

How would you describe yourself as an artist and your musical styles – you have covered such a diverse range of music:

Guitarist/Composer with “world music” flavours, it’s a real melting pot but I like rhythmic music.

How did you come to compose for other instruments and an orchestra? What are the greatest challenges?

It’s all instinct and hearing a melody or counter melody then assigning the appropriate instrument. I do love the deeper instruments like Cello and Bassoon and the beautiful chords a brass section can play.

Was it a risk stepping outside the comfort zone of guitar?  Is that what appealed to you?

Rule 1 – Have no fear! As I really compose for myself first, I am pretty good at saying this is how it must be, it sounds and feels good.

Who are you listening to at the moment?

I don’t listen to much music as I like to keep my ears fresh. I hardly ever listen to guitar music. Currently in my car, I have Cold Chisel and Mumford & Sons.

What or who influences your songwriting process?

I love Ennio Morricones “The Mission” and Pink Floyds ‘The Wall”

Who are some of your favourite guitarists  both Australian and international and why?

Ian Moss for his tone and phrasing

Leo Kottke – I just love his pieces

Django Reinhardt – The raw gypsy energy

Who are some of your favourite composers and why?

Ennio Morricone and Roger Waters as they write very emotionally, sometimes dark. As a composer, I am not supposed to Like Andrew Lloyd Webber but sometimes it takes courage to write a simple, happy piece and not complicate it for the critics.

What do you have planned for 2018 / 2019?

2018, new solo album and tour and beyond that I don’t have any plans at all and I find that exciting!!

Favourite food and place to hangout?

I love hanging out at home with my wife and pooch and also riding my motorbike to the beach.

I seem to always end up at Thai when we dine out but sometimes you can’t beat a good old fashioned roast.



Bruce touring Australia April thru June – check website for details and tickets.

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