Chaser‘ was one f the coolest alternative tunes that I have heard this year. Check out my interview below with the F-use mastermind, Matthew Estevez.

1. First, I’d like to congratulate you on such a catchy alternative tune. Tell me, how the idea of forming a solo project started?
Thank you so much! I really appreciate that. There wasn’t really a decision to “go solo” at any point in my life. My first instrument was the drums, I played in my brothers’ band for a while in middle school. After falling more in love with music I really wanted to start writing, so I did. My mom bought me a dinky 4 track recorder and I would just layer each instrument as I came up with them and eventually was able to form full songs by myself. After doing that same process with better equipment and songwriting, I am where I’m at now. I’ve always been more focused on releasing the best music I can and knew that getting a live band together would be its own challenge whenever it came down to it. I think once I get a band together, they’ll understand my process and mainly want to be in the band for the fun of performing instead of being a part of the writing process. An unconventional band in some ways, but at the end of the day, we’ll be rocking.

2. Also, what do you mean by The F-use?
When I first started writing music, I needed an artist’s name. I couldn’t come up with anything, so I asked my mom if she could think of something. This was back in middle school when I was super into punk and metal, so The F-use means “The F*** You’s” but in a non-offensive way, haha. There’s no crazy deep meaning there, it just stuck!

3. Behind such energetic vibes, I felt there’s a deeper inner feeling. Can you tell me more about its topic?
For this song specifically, it has a loose meaning of someone I used to be really close to, who (I later learned) was acting like a different person around everyone they were around. It was really toxic, I didn’t know who I was really talking to. After sharing some vulnerable times with them – I felt betrayed. So, there’s a mix of anger from the situation and story of someone chasing something/somebody they’re not.

4. I loved your vocal style, have you used any effects to reach such signature vocals?
Whenever I have screams on a song, I always track them with a crazy distortion so I can hear and feel how chaotic it could sound. For this one, tracking the vocals took two or so weeks because every line I’d scream as hard as I could and kept throwing my voice out! There are a few screams that I layered with extremely distorted whispers which helps get a really high scream sound which I can’t really do with one take. Other than that – just aggression and tons of takes.

5. Well, this is your first single this year, is it a part of an album that is coming up soon?
After releasing a full album last October I’m really focusing on just doing singles this year – maybe an EP later in the year if I end up with a good amount of solid songs! I got pretty stressed only planning on singles this year, but with an album less than a year old I realized that any amount of new music is good in the long run. Especially since bands tour after releasing albums and then usually take a year or two to put out anything new, I feel like two new singles a few months after an album is doing me greatly!

6. Going solo is a bit of a challenge for many artists, don’t you think that it could be a lack for your progress over time?
Going solo hasn’t really been a plan or big decision; I’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember. From recording in my bonus room in middle school with a 4-track to playing a whole album by myself; it’s a part of my process that I’m proud of. I’m not currently worried about booking gigs or playing live with the whole pandemic still going on. I’m mainly wanting to build the strongest discography I can and then find people who are down to play the songs live and have a good time. I’ve encountered a few egos getting in the way when I’m trying to explain the way I hear the song – but I look at other artists and bands who do this same thing and get some comfort and peace from it.

● Finally, since the COVID effect still exists, how do you plan to promote the album?
This has honestly been a learning experience rather than a well-executed and thought-out master plan. Since putting my debut album out last October, I’ve learned a lot of interesting ways to reach out to people without shows. Going on Reddit was definitely a huge part of my career in the past year. I’ve joined and been active in a lot of different groups that talk, share, and support music from artists all around the world. I’ve learned that it’s more about building a community and fanbase than throwing hundreds of dollars into ads and shoving your music into random social media feeds.

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