Mistura | Don’t feel bad if you don’t know what you’re doing, nobody else knows

Mistura have been around since 2012 and have just released their latest album ‘Regħbus’, last December. ‘Going against the chipper grain with an eclectic sound fusing blues and progressive rock’ is what this newspaper had to say about them. Bassist Matthew Agius and guitarist Antonio Olivari from the band answer our questions

Mistura released their latest album ‘Reghbus’ in December
Mistura released their latest album ‘Reghbus’ in December

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Matthew: Scratch.

Antonio: I re-enact the introduction of the first Fantozzi film if I can manage to avoid tragic unforeseen circumstances.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

M: Don’t read the comments under online articles. Also, as a kid fighting various bullies, my dad used to tell me to pick my battles. “The little fish never ate the big fish alone.” Not inspirational, but it’s the truth.

A: Never decide without first getting all the information/facts and second make a list of the different options. Also never lose sight of the big picture.

What do you never leave the house without?

M: A plan.

A: My sanity.

Pick three words that describe yourself

M: **** ****** *******

A: Curious. Foolish. Other people might say patient or calm which is the image I tend to project unknowingly most of the time.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

A: I was tempted to say “winning the sperm race” but let’s limit this to achievements I actually put some conscious effort on. That must be the fact that we still persist in playing, writing, rehearsing and recording music in our thirties in spite of having unrelated full-time jobs and a family that take most of our energy.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

M: Napping during the day when I can.

A: Not sure I’m guilty about any of the pleasures I get to experience.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

M: Keep your head down, keep on tabbing to your objective, let everything wash over you like water, everything is transitory.

A: What Matthew means is... we’re going to die very soon anyway, so why bother.

What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

M: A house, followed by a child. I didn’t buy the child but it’s like one of those offers where the product is free but you spend a lifetime paying for accessories and maintenance.

A: Ditto.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

M: Everybody’s just winging it. Don’t feel bad if you don’t know what you’re doing, because nobody else knows that you don’t know.

A: I’m not sure I want to tell my younger self that all the stability and certainty you feel as a child is just an illusion.

Who’s your inspiration? Why?

M: Depends on what the inspiration is for. Many people offer great inspiration for excelling, others for writing ballads, others for punching the bag really hard whilst working out.

What has been your biggest challenge?

M: Overcoming my memory problems (I have brain damage, no seriously). It’s never going to get any easier.

A: Answering these questions. Because... look at the questions.

Do you believe in God?

M: I honestly don’t know. Sometimes it feels like there’s someone out there looking out for me and other times...I mean, President Donald Trump. Oh fucking really. Great. Definitely if there is a God, he’s given up on Malta though. God be like, “Fuck this crazy place, enjoy your politician-gods. I’m out.”

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

M: Morrissey. He’s a fascinating character and a legendary wordsmith and vocalist for my favourite band of all time: the Smiths.

A: My son as an adult, something which I’m really looking forward to and which I hope to be still alive to experience.

What’s your worst habit?

M: Arriving early. I always end up an hour early wherever it is I’m supposed to go. No amount of leaving late ever works.

A: Arguing with Matthew when he arrives late for rehearsals.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

M: Beer makes me belligerent; whisky: sleepy; absinthe: disco-dancing ladykiller. I tend to get over-affectionate too.

A: I’ve realised how boring I am as I can’t even remember the last time I was drunk. More than one glass of wine and I fall asleep.

Who would you have play you in a film?

M: This is a thinly-disguised “who’s your favourite actor” question. Jake Gyllenhall. If you meant which film character do I look like most: Chewbacca apparently. They don’t call me the wookie for nothing.

A: I would want Tardar Sauce the grumpy cat, but unfortunately he hasn’t chosen acting as a career.

What traits do you most deplore in others?

M: Duplicity and ambition.

A: In Maltese there’s a saying about a very particular trait. It is “jibla l-ostji u jahra x-xjaten.”

What music would you have played at your funeral?

M: I once had a whole YouTube playlist called “play this if I die” (I can’t find it right now). Featured the Smashing Pumpkins, the Smiths, Bagpipes, Amazing Grace all kinds of shit.

A: Might be a good idea to compose something for the occasion.

What is your earliest memory?

M: Honey, I can barely remember where I parked my car. This is not a good question for me.

A: 64k on a Commodore 64.

When did you last cry, and why?

M: I don’t cry nearly as often as I should.

A: Some things should remain personal. This is one of them.

Who would you most like to meet?

M: Nigel Farage, so I could nut him.

What’s your favourite food?

M: I’ve been wowed by both 5-star chefs and street food vendors, but pizza remains the reliable and favourite source of nommage.

A: I wish I was vegetarian as a point of principle, but unfortunately I can’t say no to a fillet steak or to octopus.

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

M: Is that even still a thing? Social media celebrity is like tits on a fish: useless and attractive only to people who have something very wrong with them.

A: Henning Pauly, Lee Anderton, Mary Spender, Steve Terreberry. Thanks Matthew.

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

M: WW2. Always wanted to shoot a Nazi in the face.

A: To a time before Malta started being built up to see what we’ve lost.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

M: Stopping time. The shit I’d get away with...

A: Pressing ‘play’ for time to continue to annoy Matthew.

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

M: Play a stadium.

A: Live in a detached house by the sea away from it all… obviously without ruining some ODZ.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

M: Christmas carols and it’s doing my fucking head in.

A: I’m aware I’m late for the party but I just discovered Fabrizio De André. Lately I’ve had “Storia di un impiegato” on repeat – I had no idea he made concept albums.

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