After having played in multiple bands before, Neill Matharoo has decided to embarked on a different route. A solo project which goes by the name of Soundstatues. We were lucky enough to have an interview with Neill which went a little like this!
When did you know that music was what you wanted to get into? Did you have that one particular moment, or was it a gradual process?
I was a violinist as a child, but music didn’t really affect me deeply until I heard early-nineties rock music when I was a teenager. There wasn’t one particular moment, but I was lucky to have been an impressionable kid in those magical few years which gave us Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, and so on.
So, I quickly ditched the violin, bought a cheap electric guitar, and taught myself to play by studying an instruction book I got from the public library. And ever since the very beginning, I felt I had something to say with music, that creating music was a sort of calling.
Is there a meaning or story behind the name Soundstatues?
There’s no special meaning, other than I thought it sounded not too ridiculous!
I like alliteration in general, and I’m obsessed with the number three; Soundstatues features alliteration with three S’s, which pleases me. After coming up with the name, I realized “Soundstatues” is an analogy for “music.” After all, music is just sculpting with sound rather than marble.
You have a doctorate degree, that’s pretty interesting! What was it in? Is there possibly a dream beyond music?
It’s in the physical sciences, and without a doubt, I’d love to devote a part of my life to science as well. My dream is to be a research scientist at a major university when I’m too old for the life of a rock musician. In particular, I love energy science, because that’s humanity’s lifeline: the production of energy.
What else would be a strange or interesting fact that not many people know about you, or would be surprised to find out?
I exhibit strong left-eye ocular dominance, which isn’t too common!
For those who haven’t heard your music, how would you describe your overall sound using 3 imaginative words?
Who would you say are your main influences? Who would you compare yourself to?
When I first got into rock music as a kid, I learned all of “Nevermind” by Nirvana. Then one day when I was 16, I heard “Paradise City” by Guns n’ Roses. That was it for me—I had to be Slash. The album “Appetite for Destruction” was 10 years old at that point, but it was new to me, and it affected me very strongly. To this day, when I play guitar, I hear myself trying to be Slash (and failing). The only other album which influenced me as heavily is “Mellon Collie” by The Smashing Pumpkins.
When I got serious about actual songwriting, I studied The Mountain Goats and Ween very intensely for a year, deconstructing the songs and figuring out why they work. And only a few years ago, I became enthralled with Mozart (the Linz symphony is my favorite).
As for comparing myself to someone, I honestly don’t know. My fans have widely ranging tastes, and I can’t seem to find a common thread (other than my fans kick ass!).
Is there one song in particular, by any existing band or artist, that you wish you’d written?
“Message in a Bottle” by The Police. It’s such a perfect piece of music—catchy, succinct, and evocative.
Is there anything that inspires you when you are writing the music and lyrics to your songs?
There’s such a wide range of things which inspire me. Sometimes, it’ll be a guitar effect or tone which catches my attention; sometimes, I’m going through a difficult time and writing music is my way to cope. And sometimes I just try to imitate a style which I find particularly interesting, such as 80s new wave or Baroque classical.
After having worked in the traditional band format for so long, what was it like recording for your album, Inhumanize, as a solo artist?
It was so incredible! I wasn’t tied down or being held back. That was the absolute worst aspect of having a band—no one wanted to work as hard as I do, yet they wanted to have creative control. And, universally, every single time, allowing a bandmate to have creative input on my work results in disaster. I’d love to collaborate with musicians again, but it needs to be the right people, not just any random idiot I find on the internet.
Is there a particular reason as to why you chose to name the album Inhumanize?
I view the writing of music as the process of becoming something other than human, to tap into an inhuman aspect of reality. Hence, Inhumanize. Also, it could be interpreted as “In Human Eyes,” which is a great contrast, I believe.
Is there a message or a particular sense of feeling which you want people to take away from listening to your music?
I view music as something wholly subjective: there is no single true meaning. The meaning of the music depends on the person listening to the piece. So, it’s my hope that people can perhaps find a personal meaning or some type of refuge in the music I write, because that’s how I listen to music.
If you could choose to go on tour with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I’d love to go on tour with Queen! They’re such phenomenal musicians, and they didn’t shy away from a sense of larger-than-life. I don’t respond well to music which tries to be small; I like my music huge and powerful, and Queen did it so well. And, I wish I could bring Freddie Mercury on stage to sing one of my songs.
What do you hope to have achieved in 10, maybe 15 years?
I really hope I’ve achieved a larger presence with my music and have gone on world-spanning tours. I didn’t get into this to be a small, forever-unknown musician. Also, I’d love to score the soundtrack to a feature motion picture!
What do you hope the rest of 2013 brings for you? Anything in store for your fans?
I’m still trying to set up a tour for 2013, and while I’ve talked to a few agencies, nothing has come through yet. It’s very difficult to set up a tour as an independent artist, especially since I need to hire a band. But I’m hopeful, and I have perhaps a few surprises in store for the fans. I’m thinking of releasing some B-sides, some live bootlegs, or maybe even a cover of a favorite song.
Make sure to check Soundstatues out on
You can also download a free EP at