interview: the internet emerges as leaders of the new musical free world

July 23, 2015

From the depths of the eroding core of rhythm and blues, a 6-piece super-group has emerged to shed light on a genre with a flare that was once thought to be diminished. The Internet is a 6-person Soul band with an unrivaled sound that reaches into your chest and replaces your heartbeat with their infectious baselines and charming vibratos. Yes, that sounds dramatic, but if you’ve listened to their latest album, then you know why I’m so excited about these guys.


By Blaire Monroe, AFROPUNK Contributor 



The group – made up of Syd, Matt Martians, Patrick Paige II, Christopher Smith, Jameel Bruner, & Steve Lacy – recently released their third studio album, Ego Death, and from the sounds of it this is sure to be a major catalyst in their journey to becoming iconic. Aside from having allies like Janelle Monae, Tyler, the Creator, and Vic Mensa (all featured on Ego Death), The Internet stems from a strong foundation.


They originally started with two members, Syd (23) and Matt Martians (26), but have since grown and evolved in numerous ways. Syd has been penning music since she was very young, but she put writing on hold to become Odd Futures DJ and producer (a skill that was self taught at the age of 15). It wasnt until 2011 that she picked her own music back up and made her first studio album with Matt Martians, who she met on Myspace in 2008. Matt both produces and plays synths.



The Internet as a collective is unstoppable. Their lyrics are created from experiences and their production is clearly constructed from the ear of a higher power. But whats most alluring about the group is the individuality and dedication that power them. They make the kind of music that they want to hear. The Internet is beginning to emerge as leaders in the new musical free world with a spirit thats reminiscent of pioneers like Pharrell, Missy Elliot and Timbaland.


After playing Ego Death on repeat for that past couple of weeks, I got a chance to get up with Syd and Matt to talk about life after the release of Ego Death, creating outside of Odd Future, the repercussions of using real-life relationships as content, and more:


AFROPUNK: When did you first realize that creating music is what you wanted to do for the rest of your life?


SYD: For me, I guess I was 14 when I like really knew.


MATT: For me it was freshman year of college. I was 17 or 18 and I just got sick of waiting for people that I really liked to put out music, so I figured I would make my own.


Was there a process that got you to a point where you didn’t give a fuck about what anybody thought about your sound anymore and you just made what you felt?


SYD: Its a constant process.


MATT: A lot of people that we look up to – a lot of artists that we mold our band around – are known for constantly breaking boundaries and doing things that arent normal, and kind of marching to the beat of their own drum so its kind of in our DNA, man. Its like about being yourself and being different, as cliche as that is, its not as normal as you think. I would say just the people that influence us have a lot to do with it.


You released Ego Death recently and it’s getting rave reviews. How has life changed since it’s release?


Matt starts laughing.


SYD: Lifes good. Im chillin [laughs]. Im just trying to keep it going and not get caught up in the excitement. Trying to keep thinking about where to go next.


MATT: But to be honest I mean, to me, there were a lot of people that normally didnt get our music that are now telling me how much they like our music. I can tell the difference that its getting to a thicker crowd this time. Its getting to the trenches of your casual listener as opposed to it just being like a niche thing that was kind of cool and only guys that know about Odd Future know about it. So, thats the biggest change Ive noticed. I mean you obviously have people calling you that you havent heard form in a while and stuff like that. But part of what Ive seen with my own eyes, even being home in Atlanta, like its really hit a lot of people that it didnt hit last time. So, you know, its really interesting.



A lot of the album is clearly influenced by women. Were you in love or in a relationship during the making of Ego Death?


SYD: No, this was the first album [we made] where I was single. Matts in love, but Im single right now.


MATT: Thats why the album kind of sounds like – its kind of liberating – its kind of like saying stuff that youve always wanted to say but you kind of have the fuse to say it now. On the side, I caught a little flack from some of the songs we made from certain females that theyre about, soyeah.


SYD: Thankfully I havent [laughs].


It seems like everyone in Odd Future is doing their own thing right now. Has that given you more space to create?


SYD: I say its given us more freedom, like in the sense that people now know us as Syd and Matt from The Internet instead of Syd and Matt from Odd Future, which is just cool because I feel like were building our own fan-base now, finally. A lot of our fans in real life are Odd Future fans who know a lot about us because of Odd Future. We kind of just want to branch out and build our own fan[base] everywhere.


MATT: Yup.


If you could convert someone into a fan of The Internet by showing them only one song of yours, what would it be and why?


MATT: Me personally, Id pick Dontcha because that was the moment where we really came together and realized like, Hey we can really do something serious. You know, I loved the last album but Dontcha to me was the only song on there that was really, like, a 10 out of 10 complete song. Like, if you dont like Dontcha theres something wrong with you [laughs].


There are certain songs we have where its like, Okay, I understand why you wouldnt feel that part, but Dontcha is like, if you like Michael Jackson – and everybody likes Michael Jackson – and Im not comparing myself to Michael Jackson [laughs] but youve got to like to dance to this song. If you dont like it, theres something wrong with you.


SYD: Yeah, I agree.



You guys are going on tour in September. Is there anything specific that fans should expect from this tour?


SYD: More energy. Expect to give and receive more energy.


MATT: And to dance more. Its not going to be more-so you watching us play. We want people to come in sneakers and get ready to dance. Our shows usually have an interesting crowd race-wise and age-wise and just in general. We want everybody to just come in there and dance, all different types of people just getting down. Thats really all we want.


Syd, what is something that Matt has instilled in you that will stay with you forever?


SYD: Passion. Matt is really passionate and thats rubbed off on me a little bit and I appreciate it because hell fight a little harder than I will – you know – for certain things. Thats something I needed.


MATT: I just cried.


Matt, what is something that Syd has stilled in you that will stay with you forever?


MATT: Discipline. That was one of my biggest problems growing up: discipline, doing things the right way, how theyre supposed to be done. And like, not skipping steps is something that people really know Syd for. They really know that if shes going to do something, shes going to do it the right way and not skip any steps. Especially with me, lately its like Ive noticed that Ive gotten a lot done because of that trait. She makes sure things are right and doesnt half ass them and thats super important.



If you havent purchased Ego Death, CLICK HERE to get it.

Photo credit: Jabari Jacobs

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