X Factor alumnus Reece Mastin is back with his new EP Rebel And The Reason. We had a chat to him about inspirations, being an ambassador for charity – and his embarrassing moments.


What has the experience of creating Rebel And The Reason been like?

It was good. I got to pick my own band and go into my own studio and record. It was good for me as I hadn’t recorded that way before and that really altered the sound of the record.  It’s more rock. It’s been a big change but it’s definitely what I want to do and where I want to be; so I’m happy.


I’ve heard it’s a new sound for you, that may surprise some people. Can you describe your new EP in five words?

Guitars, guitars, guitars, guitars, guitars.


What inspires your song lyrics?

Anything and everything. There’s a lot of anger and heartache, emotions that run high. I wanted not to write about anything lukewarm. I wanted it to be very direct; it was easier for me to be honest lyrically. That’s the best thing you can do, is to be as honest as you can, lay it out on the table.


What’s your favourite song to perform live and what’s the song you’re most proud of?

I just wrote a track in LA that’s going to be really cool to perform live. I’m going to chuck that in the new set for my tour back in Australia. Sleep When You’re Dead or I’m Not Ready to Die from the new EP, it’s got such a good groove.

I’m really proud of Rebel And The Reason lyrically, there’s a lot of heart in it and I think it can help a lot of people. It deals with domestic violence. I’m working with a charity called White Ribbon to try and stop it. Hopefully it can be a guiding light for people.


It’s NZ Music Month here; are you familiar with any Kiwi musicians? Who do you love?

I used to listen to Goodnight Nurse. I was just checking out Sol3 Mio. There’s [sic] a few guys. New Zealand is like Australia; we just pop up and nobody knows we’re New Zealanders or Australians.


What has been your biggest ‘I can’t believe this is happening to me’ moment so far?

I get it regularly. Even when I’m just sitting in the studio and I realise I’ve been doing this for four years. Looking back, so much crazy stuff has happened and not many people will ever get to experience it. The more I go through it, the more ridiculously inconceivable it gets in my brain. Things like this interview – wouldn’t normally be happening.


X Factor NZ has just finished over here. What advice would you give to people wanting to do X Factor?

Don’t be scared. Music isn’t something you should be scared of ever and if you are, maybe you should look at doing something else. Stay true and honest to yourself – don’t try make anyone else happy. Be happy with yourself first.


Have you ever had an embarrassing moment on stage?

I did an entire set with my fly down. I did the Kids Choice Awards. It wasn’t live, but we were in the slime and I fell down, there was no punter barrier so they grabbed me, I had rips all over my pants and they pulled my pants off. I stood on stage with little short shorts on. There were 2,000 people there, and there I was half naked.


What’s coming up next for you? Can we expect you down here for shows in the near future?

We’re trying to book some shows in. I’ve just done part of the album in the States so going to come back over here and tour with the new album.


Quickfire Questions

Most used emoji: The red woman.
Go-to karaoke song: I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston.
Dream collaboration: Joe Perry from Aerosmith. He’s a blues guitarist and he’s on point. We could cook something up.
Song you wish you’d written: Janie’s Got A Gun by Aerosmith, or Kissing My Love by Bill Withers.
Theme song for your life: Stayin’ Alive by The Bee Gees.
Favourite holiday destination: I went to the Caribbean a couple of times as a kid and that was awesome. Then Ireland. I really love Ireland and a lot of people don’t – I don’t know why, maybe because it’s cold. Caribbean then Ireland.
Last movie you saw: Last movie I saw that was decent… I binge watch Apple TV so I’m always looking for something to watch. It was Shrek – I watched 1, 2 and 3.


Reece Mastin’s new EP Rebel And The Reason is out now on iTunes, at JB Hi-Fi and The Warehouse.