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Guys on Clothes

Matteo Pavesi

This week Guys on Clothes has a randezvouz in Berlin’s independent music scene! Matteo Pavesi is a young composer and multi-instrumentalist with a thing for quality socks. While finishing his bachelor’s in political philosophy at the FU Berlin, the Italian whizzkid started producing and touring with artists Alice Phoebe Lou and Kyson, and – with the support of the Berlin-based label Average Negative – began arranging into song-form the synths jams and recordings made during his travels around the world under the moniker Pavlov. Here’s what he had to say about clothes and having a strong image in the music industry.

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ΠMagazine: Do you care about fashion?

Matteo: Yes, I think I do because I like to wear nice things. You know what I mean?

ΠMagazine: Not really. Explain.

Matteo: (laughs) What I mean is that I’m not familiar with brands or labels but when I’m wearing colors and shapes that compliment my body or skin tone, it feels nice.

ΠMagazine: What do you personally pay the most attention to when you get dressed in the morning?

Matteo: Shoes are very important. Actually they are the most important thing. I could be wearing my favorite clothes with shoes that I don’t really dig and it just wouldn’t feel right. And it’s a fucking tragedy because I’ve owned shoes that convinced me only twice in my life. These shoes right here, I love. A friend got them for me and when I wear them, they just make everything look better. My priority scale goes from bottom to top so it’s like: shoes – damn important, pants – pretty important, and then whatever happens on top is okay!

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ΠMagazine: (laughs) Do you have a favorite piece of clothing?

Matteo: Apart from the shoes? I really like this jumper.

ΠMagazine: And what do you like about it?

Matteo: I like the shape and pattern. It’s also very comfortable. Although I’m never sure what people mean when they say something is comfortable. Most things I wear, are just nice, nice to look at I a mean. And I feel like if you wear something nice, you don’t really think about whether it’s comfortable or not. I would never wear like gym pants. Maybe, maaaaaybe on a sunday. But then it’s just like wearing pajamas.

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ΠMagazine: Why is that so unappealing?

Matteo: I guess the day just doesn’t really start for me if I don’t change into something that feels presentable. This is quite important actually because when I’m in Berlin and not touring, I sometimes work from home, and unlike other people that who would just wear comfy stuff, I need to get dressed to focus.

Œ Magazine: That’s interesting. Is there anything you wear everyday you would feel weird not wearing or leaving the house without?

Matteo: I used to have this beautiful bracelet and wear it everyday. It was making me look a bit “grown up” or “serious”. I’m also usually wearing calzedonia socks! They are just amazing (laughs). I have them in many colors, but I try not to match them with the rest of the outfit. 

ΠMagazine: What do you think your style says about you?

Matteo: I don’t know. It’s something I don’t really understand. Usually, when I like to look at myself in the mirror, it means that I’m wearing something nice. And sometimes that happens. But that’s it. It kind of stops there, you know?

Œ Magazine: Are you sure about that? Along with the music you are curating the design – video and graphics – of your solo project, which means you must spend a lot of time thinking about the aesthetics…

Matteo: Sure, but my project is hardly related to my own looks. I don’t want to have my face in your face… So even in my short movie, which is coming out with the EP, I didn’t readapt the way I look. I want to put the music in front. In general though, I think it really depends. There are clearly different ways of doing it. Sometimes the gap between the personality behind a project and the project is significant, sometimes nonexistent. You know, there are a lot of artists who take pleasure by in playing with their masks with amusing results. Just look at some of the personas that were built in the history of pop music! But then on the other hand, there are artists who want to be completely detached from the music they are making, so they try to have the music and then a normal life. Just think of Daft Punk…

ΠMagazine: I see. And how would you describe the relationship between fashion and music?

Matteo: I just think that when you see a person performing you also acknowledge the way that person presents him- or herself and that has an impact on your enjoyment of the moment and the sound. Personally though, I don’t actively factor that in. I’m not thinking “I’m gonna wear this shirt because I want people to feel the groove a bit more.” I don’t have this kind of functional approach…

ΠMagazine: Do you see any typical sound-style combinations in Berlin?

Matteo: I know that’s what you’re after, but, when I think about the people I meet, they hardly match any stereotypes. I mean, the guy I share my studio with is also a great techno producer and, dude, he is not what you would imagine!

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ΠMagazine: What do you think people would imagine?

Matteo: Not sure. But these artists are all so different. And so many times you hear their music before meeting them and imagine them being super hip and close to the aesthetics of the people who go out on their music, but they are totally not! I met people who were incredibly random looking or had my grandfather’s taste, but made the best music!

ΠMagazine: What do you think a strong look adds to a good musician then?

Matteo: I think it just adds a little quality and confidence. When you meet someone with a strong style and good taste you think wow okay, this guy must have some clear ideas about his music as well!

ΠMagazine: Is this something you ever discussed with your guy friends? Do you ever talk about fashion with them?

Matteo: I don’t, but my friends do. I know it’s sounds weird given that I’m talking to you about it, but to me, fashion is almost something private.

ΠMagazine: What do you mean by private?

Matteo: Maybe that the meaning behind some choices is known or relevant only to me. I have a lot of clothes of my father that I still wear and I remember quite clearly trying on my parents stuff when I used to live back home. That was a time in which when I was trying things out and experimenting a little with my body type to kind of figure out what made sense on me.

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ΠMagazine: Do you feel like it underwent further changes or experimentation since you moved to Berlin?

Matteo: Not significant ones. But yes, maybe I’m more relaxed about my look since now that I live here. It’s very different compared to the place I grew up in. But maybe the point is that in Berlin no one gives a fuck about what you’re wearing. There is no weirdness or rather, there is so much weirdness that it takes an extra dose of weirdness to actually strike you, which I find to be very cool. People would never comment on your outfit in a critical way. Instead, when I go back to my hometown in Italy people are often making observations.

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ΠMagazine: So in Berlin you never feel self-conscious about your look?

Matteo: No, it still happens sometimes. Every now and then I’m not feeling the things I’m wearing and that definitely affects my confidence, but then I feel like my clothes are just a part of a larger kind of aesthetic ensemble. The way people talk and move is just as important.

ΠMagazine: Oh, absolutely! Is there anything you pimp your outfit with on these days, something with the power of balancing out the aesthetic ensemble of Matteo Pavesi?

Matteo: My red Calzedonia socks usually save the day!

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