As a Frenchman, co-owner of a restaurant, drummer and mastermind of the punishingly hard rock trio, WAKRAT, fronted by bassist Tim Commerford (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave) along with guitarist and fellow countryman Laurent Grangeon, Mathias Wakrat has but one job: play hard, play fast, and play loud. Everything else will sort itself out.
The band is fresh off of one of 2016’s most signature summer tours: the Make America Rage Again Tour with supergroup, Prophets of Rage. Tonight (November 16th) the Los Angeles-based band take on the Troubadour in West Hollywood, CA for their official album launch party. That gives us time to put five questions to Mathias:
The Wakrat band descriptor of “2 French Nationals; 1 American Anarchist” makes for interesting study, more so today than ever. Considering the inherent and aggressive social and political commentary in the songs, what is your general comfort level with anarchy, French, American, musical or otherwise?
“I’m anti everything, especially the system. I hate politics and religion – I think it’s what causes all this mess. The lyrics are Tim’s vision of the world we live in and the drum beats are mine.”
Now that you’re post-Make America Rage Again and you’ve had a moment to process that tour, how would you summarize the experience? Were there any particularly personal or unexpectedly powerful moments considering the nature of the tour and who Wakrat was touring with?
“The tour was an amazing experience, I’ve never toured in such great conditions, and they have probably the best crew on earth. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a band play over 30 times before because I watched every show and it was a blast. Chuck D is probably the biggest legend I’ve ever met and Morello, one of the nicest guys…too bad it had to end, the party’s over.”
Depending upon how you listen to music, certain elements of a composed song tend to stand out or resonate with you: that said, I hear drums as the literal foundation of a song. What is it about the instrument, itself, or its musical role that makes it your instrument of choice?
“I am a big fan of bass players, so drums were the instrument I choose to be close to these people, plus I like the way it looks, too.”
Since there’s not much of 2016 left, after your headlining show at the Troubadour, what’s next for Wakrat, short term and even into 2017?
“We are going to be touring and playing festivals in Mexico and all over Europe. To be honest, we have started working on the next record already so we will be recording a bunch, as well. If you thought the first record was violent, wait til you hear the new stuff.”
It seems logical to consult a restauranteur for dining advice, so if we were in search of a great dinner experience here in Los Angeles, what eateries would you recommend?
“Baco Mercat in downtown L.A is a really cool place. For Seafood I love Lure seafood restaurant in Westlake. For French, you cannot beat the Cafe Beaujolais in Eagle Rock.”
Photo Credit: Travis Shinn