Mattie Safer on life after the Rapture

Un-Rapture-d! G’point musician trades dance-punk stardom for soul

for The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Dance-punk’s not dead — it is just playing R&B in Bushwick.

As the bass player for Brooklyn indie band the Rapture, Mattie Safer achieved the kind of success most musicians can only dream of — international tours, magazine covers, awards, and a major-label record deal. But in 2009, after a decade in the band, Safer felt like he had hit a wall creatively. So he did what most musicians would never dream of — he quit.

“It was one of the most freeing things that I’ve ever done,” said the Greenpoint resident. “It was hard to walk away, but once I did I felt like I was standing up straight again.”

Five years later, Safer may not be selling out arenas, but he said he has found his own musical voice, trading in post-punk party songs for the sounds of soul and R&B that have comforted and inspired him since his teens.

“When I’m chilling at home, I’m listening to Earth Wind & Fire and Mary J. Blige,” Safer said. “That’s what feels most natural to me.”

The work he has recorded to date has a ’70s sheen to it, reminiscent of some of Stevie Wonder’s best work and given a warm glow thanks to his bubbly bass work and emotive vocals.

Safer said it is a platform that has allowed him to express some of his deepest fears and greatest aspirations.

“Everything I’ve been writing is really about waking up and figuring out how to really live and live a life that has meaning to me,” he said.

So far, Safer has only made a few scattered tracks available online, otherwise keeping himself busy with DJ gigs and production work. But now the 33-year-old musician is getting ready to step back into the spotlight.

He is putting the finishing touches on his first solo album, which will be released in spring of next year through Wolf Tone, the label of big-time record producer Paul Epworth, who has worked on songs and albums for Coldplay, Bruno Mars, and Paul McCartney (and also co-wrote a little track you might have heard once or twice called “Rolling in the Deep.”)

In the meantime, Safer plans to build momentum with more live shows. On Aug. 23, he will play an art party called Kaleidoscopic at event space Lot 45 in Bushwick, and he currently has a monthly residency at the Flat in Williamsburg.

By the time his album drops, Brooklyn will hopefully have a better idea of who he is — beyond “that guy from the Rapture.” And Safer hopes he will, too.

“I just want to continue to build an audience and continue to expand and to get to know myself a little better doing that,” he said.

Mattie Safer plays Kaleidoscopic at Lot 45 (411 Troutman St. between Wyckoff and St. Nicholas avenues in Bushwick, Aug. 23 at 6 pm. $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

Posted 12:00 am, August 21, 2014
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!