On paper, the association of a cookbook author/restorer and a grammys-nominated pop producer might seem a little strange. On camera, the result is a beautiful juxtaposition between these two worlds, made possible by years of friendship and unparalleled chemistry. However, for Matty Mathesonwho is best known for his 2018 New York Times bestselling cookbookhosting shows on the VICE network and an array of hit pop-up restaurants, even he admits this friendship was completely unexpected to begin with.
Matheson admits he didn’t even know who the producer/composer was Benny White until he met nearly a decade ago on a fateful evening at Toronto’s legendary Parts & Labour. Unbeknownst to Matheson, Blanco had previously written hit singles with superstars such as Ed Sheeran, justin bieber, Katy Perry and Brown 5.
Read more: FINNEAS on adopting transparency to make their debut album
This is something Matheson would otherwise never have paid attention to, as his roots are more in tune with punk music while growing up in the dynamic end of Canada ’90 hardcore stage. However, the two quickly bonded over their shared love of great food, good conversation, and over-the-top comedy. This resulted in a now almost brotherly relationship which is displayed on the hilarious and heartfelt digital series they co-host together, Matty and Benny eat out America.
Where are you now ?
MATTY MATHESON: I’m just down the alley from a new restaurant I’m opening in Toronto called Fonda Balam. I once did a pop-up called Birria Balam, and from there I partnered with my friends Julio [Guajardo] and kate [Chomyshyn], great chefs from gastronomy, to launch this new restaurant. We’re about two weeks away from launch, so [I’m] just do a bunch of shit.
BENNY WHITE: It’s Yom Kippur today, and I said I wasn’t going to work today, but when Matty tells me we’re doing something, I do it, no questions asked.
How did you first meet?
MATHESON: Benny was a huge fan of mine. I didn’t even know who he was. I don’t listen to this pop music situation here. Benny got a reservation at [legendary Toronto restaurant] Parts and labor. He wanted to see what real funk was. Now it’s been about nine years, and the rest is history.
WHITE : I’m going to tell you something crazy. At the beginning of our first meeting, I said to Matty, “I want to take my friend to the restaurant”, and he said to me, “OK, who is your friend? I said to myself: “He is an artist. Her name is Ed Sheeran.” Matty’s like, “Who’s Ed Sheeran?” He had no idea, even though Ed was playing in town at the time at the Toronto arena. Ed ultimately couldn’t get in, but we thought, “We have to get him a burger anyway.” I took the burger and brought it to the concert. Afterwards, I told Matty to come out and hang out with us. Matty doesn’t go out much but decided to come this time.
When he arrived he ended up pulling around the back of the arena in a huge van, not knowing how famous Ed was, and actually got stuck where there was a barricade with hundreds of kids waiting to meet Ed. The kids ended up jumping on his truck, and Matty had passengers in the front of the car, so I’m not kidding, Ed Sheeran and I had to jump into the set of the van to escape us. As we drove, the children clung to the car. Matty ended up going over the median, trying to lose the kids as he drove 70 mph while Ed and I lay on our backs drinking beer. To this day people are talking about it and I can say it was the first time Matty embarrassed me.
It’s really cool to see how involved you are in all aspects of making your show Eating out in America. Where does this do-it-yourself philosophy come from?
MATHESON: It’s because it’s our show. There is a producer and really just us. There is no director. For this new season, we have an AP for the first time, because we didn’t even have one for the first season. There are two cameramen, and sometimes we go out with our iPhones and film funny stuff. We don’t even have a driver. Most of the time Benny and I just have to Uber to the next filming location.
We like to keep our shit small so no one gets in our way, and then we can do what we really want to do. All of our mates are part of the process of making this show, and to be honest, the team is the show. You don’t need a ton of money – you just need ideas and friends. Benny was able to make it easy to get the guests and we were able to capture some great moments, especially our friendship.
Benny, is it true that once a year you take the bus across the country? If so, did you plan to film the series during this trip across the country?
WHITE : It’s true that I don’t fly, and when I travel, I take the bus or I ask Matty to drive me in a Tesla as a driver. It was our original idea to film the show on the road, but it hasn’t come to fruition yet.
MATHESON: It costs too much to travel like that. We cannot afford gasoline.
Matty, I know you have a large collection of vintage t-shirts. Where do you usually do your shopping?
MATHESON: Well, sometimes I have to buy duplicates of the shirts I find because I rip them all up. Buying vintage and being half a moose like me, when I pull my shirts off my body they rip in half. I got this crazy suicidal tendencies shirt, and it was one of the most expensive shirts I’ve ever bought, and I destroyed it. Same thing for so many others. I really go everywhere to find vintage. Anyway, I don’t care. Sometimes I watch, sometimes not. It’s like that.
You’ve had great musical guests like FINNEAS, Diplo, and Lil Dicky on the show, and the interactions are truly hilarious. How was it?
WHITE : It’s not even a joke for the camera, but Matty can’t even name four songs that I did as a producer or artist, so he didn’t even know who half of those people on the show were. All he wants to listen to are Japanese ambient music pressings of the ’70 and 80 years Where kennedy dead.
What’s the last song you listened to on purpose?
MATHESON: “Metal in your ass” by Skourge. Also, kudos to Section 8, out of LA too. This group is killing him. New Turnstile registration SHINE ON is tall. It’s bananas. It makes the whole world feel good. It looks like everyone is giving a damn about them, and that’s great to see. In fact, they used to crash into my floor on tour when they couldn’t afford to buy hotels.
MATHESON: Path of the dead? It’s early 2000s cocaine music for people with deep Vs and bandanas around their necks.
What did you listen to growing up?
MATHESON: In high school, I listened strictly New York hardcore and emo. Emo side, I listened Get up children, Confessional Dashboard, Apple Seed Cast, coffin lottery and all the emo shit from the Midwest. For the hardcore I listened Side by side, Cro-Mags and really everything. I also liked Pantera and deicide.
WHITE : When I started listening to music, I was lucky that my parents had really good taste. They were in Prince and real background music, really good shit. When I first started listening to music, it was in the early 90s, when I was 4 or 5, and instantly I became obsessed. I would save my money and buy singles. I remember buying Nas‘ “The world belongs to you“ and at the same time “I swear” by All-4-One. I started collecting vinyl pretty early too and just became a sponge for different types of music. Growing up near DC, we had a huge hardcore scene there, but also a great go-go scene. It was really a special time for music in this area.
You are hard workers, but what you put out into the world is full of love and levity. The content you create together is so encouraging, with a message to be yourself and be silly. I just want to say that it is a very beautiful thing.
WHITE : For me, all my favorite people in the world are the ones who don’t take themselves too seriously. Life is full of a bunch of bullshit that’s gonna be awesome and bullshit that’s gonna piss you off. As a goofball, that’s how I deal with reality. Maybe our show can encourage kids to find a way out of their anxiety, depression, or whatever else they’re feeling through creativity. I can’t wait to see whatever another kid comes out that will make me laugh or cry or all of the above.