We had the good fortune of connecting with Matt Pittman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Matt, what can you share with us about your relationship with your siblings? How has it evolved over time?
My brother and I grew up in Montana. Will Pittman was born just 958 days after me, but our personalities could be considered light years apart. As young kids outside of Helena, we scaled the granite boulders behind our house day and night, built forts from tall grass and Ponderosa pine branches, and played war games with pinecone grenades. Will was born in November and embodies the Scorpio characteristics of loyalty, honesty and mystery. Introverted and a bit of a loner but with a heart of gold, Will was picked on as a kid and throughout middle school. I was born in March and possess the independence and fiery characteristics of the Aries Ram. Being more extroverted than Will, I was able to navigate the social ebbs and flows of adolescence with ease. Will and I shared a room when we were young. I was the big brother who enjoyed being the prankster and picking on my younger brother. I recall the animal crackers from Costco that were covered in white yogurt and had pink and blue sprinkles on them. One day when I was by myself in our bedroom, having just finished an entire bag of animal crackers by myself, I tossed the leftover sprinkles all over my Will’s sheets. When he got in bed that evening, the sprinkles melted, making a gooey mess in his bed. I don’t remember if Will was angry with me or if he stayed silent knowing I would get in trouble. But I do recall my parents making me do a quick and earnest apology and clean up the mess. They followed up with the lesson that while friends may come and go, brothers are forever and should treat each other well. Recalling that incident reminds me that I was not the best big brother back then and that I was sometimes downright mean to Will for no apparent reason. Will and I moved to Missoula with our mother during the summer before I entered middle school. We left the comfort and familiarity of our small neighborhood and school to live in a bigger town with new kids and challenges. It was a difficult time for us, entering a new school and scaling a new social ladder. We shared a common feeling of uncertainty about what the future held but we found comfort and solace in our new home. Our new neighborhood was a cocoon-like respite for us, full of warm and welcoming families who looked out for each other. Will and I were warmly accepted by the neighborhood kids, shooting hoops, riding bikes and hiking the hills nearby. I felt sure that the transition to our new community would continue to be smooth for both of us. As I entered 7th grade, my curiosity for action and adventure allowed me to make friends and receive invites to gatherings with friends. Will finished his 5th grade year at a separate school and did not find the ease of inclusion that I did. Our middle school years found us moving along separate paths. I was social and involved while Will was less comfortable mixing with groups and activities. In high school, I was active in sports and student government. Since I had two years under my belt by the time Will became a freshman, I felt well connected and sure of myself. I was not unlike most self-absorbed teenagers in that I was not always aware of the chasm that had formed between me and my brother. Many kids were taken off guard to learn that I had a younger brother, even more so when they heard that it was Will. We were very different. I recall feeling that he was always wanting to tag along with me and my friends and at the time I felt like he was some sort of burden. In my heart, I knew that I cared more about what my friends thought of me than what my brother thought. I took our relationship for granted until we grew a bit older and came to a deeper appreciation of our bond. During this period my parents pushed me to look out for Will, stand up for him, and be his champion. They said that life is a long journey and that having a brother is a gift. The notion that friends come and go but family is forever was a frequent lesson they would teach. I was learning that while Will and I march to the beat of different drums and could be seen as different in some people’s eyes, he was my family and always would be. I took their words to heart and I was fortunate enough to make friends who did the same. It was during this period that I began to accept my brother for who he is, unconditionally. After high school I attended college at Montana State University in Bozeman. Will made frequent visits there where my college friends would warmly welcome him. During my junior year, I applied for a study abroad program in Sweden. Will made the journey to Europe on his own after his high school graduation. That he would travel overseas to see me was very meaningful and truly solidified our bond. He was becoming his own person, making his own path. The people who met Will in Bozeman and Sweden found him to be warm, funny and engaging. They could see we were very different people but they welcomed him as my brother and their friend. As far as I know, Will recalls that trip to Europe fondly. He had a great time in spite of getting lost in Germany. He learned that his discomfort with unfamiliar places can get the better of him. But hey! What is a Euro trip without at least one of those situations? I am now in my early 30’s and my brother recently celebrated his 30th birthday. Although our lives have gone different ways our bond as brothers and as family is like nothing else. He is my best man and I am his. He has been there for me through the highs and lows, through the fake friends and faulty romances. I am there for him whenever he needs me, which, come to think of it, is not very often. He is an independent man, holds down a steady job and is buying his own home. He has a life of familiarity and comfort with a few friends to count on and family nearby. I, on the other hand, continue to enjoy mixing it up with people and places. We both know beyond a doubt that we will always have each other’s backs and best interests in mind. As I get older it becomes clearer that no matter where our lives take us, Will and I share a common path of brotherhood. I love him dearly. He is a gift that I have been given and I do not take that for granted.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Since I can remember, music has always played a significant role in my life. My parents enrolled me in Bluegrass guitar lessons when I was eight years old. Throughout high school I participated in band, playing the Alto saxophone. My first time in Los Angeles was marching in the Rose Bowl Parade. In college I studied abroad in Sweden where I was introduced to the electronic music scene. Once I graduated I moved to Los Angeles and pursued music production. Once in Los Angeles I was fortunate to have the opportunity to intern with Mario Caldato Jr., also known as Mario C. A Brazilian-American record producer and studio engineer best known for his work with the Beastie Boys and Jack Johnson. While I was interning with Mario C. I was working part-time as a valet at the W Hotel in Westwood. It was during this period that one of my good friends offered me the position as a production assistant on a music video set. From there things began to snowball and after a crash course of what a Film Producer actually does, I quickly found myself producing music videos, commercials, and short films. At this point Funny Or Die sought me out and I accepted a position as the Head of Branded Production. Film Production has been one the most collaborative experiences of my life, and the job is not for the faint of heart. Since leaving Funny Or Die to start my own production company I’ve been searching for ways to get back to the music. Music for me is independent, personal, and my creative release. I’ve learned many lessons along the way and I would recommend choosing your team wisely. Everyone has their own agenda and you never can be sure of what it might entail. That being said, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and make mistakes. Opportunity is in the eye of the beholder and you miss all the shots you don’t take. With Covid 19 rocking the film industry over the past few months I’ve been refocusing on my music. I’ve been releasing a weekly podcast called PITTMIX where I record my live DJ sets of new House and Techno music. I’ve gotten back to producing music and I’m planning on releasing my second EP this upcoming spring.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
For eats my classic go-to’s are breakfast tacos at HomeState followed by some lunch at Jon & Vinny’s (ask for Joe, tell him Pittman sent you), and El Compadres in Hollywood for some authentic Mexican food. For fun I’m all about hitting Hollywood Boulders in the morning for a quick climb and a sauna. Followed by a round of go-kart racing in Burbank at Racers Edge. Then hitting the driving range at the Los Feliz Golf Course. If it is a Tuesday I’ll always swing by Temple Tuesday at Pattern Bar to support my brother Ray Kash for some top notch house music and a Mezcal margarita. If it is a weekend you can find me in the warehouse district at a SBCLTR or BORDERLESS party or on the rooftop of the Standard in DTLA. I also highly recommend the Melrose Trading Post flea market on Fairfax followed by brunch at Hyperion Public in Silverlake. And if you have the time, definitely take a day to get out of the city and cruise out to Joshua Tree for a night of camping and rock climbing. You gotta hit Pappy & Harriet’s for a beer and a burger on the way back to the concrete jungle.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Success is always a team effort. In my work as a film producer and DJ every project and event that I have played a role in creating has been an intricate collaboration of people, personalities, and attitudes. There are always challenges and unforeseen obstacles that come up but those are the situations when you have to rely on your team and your collective insight to resolve the issue. However, sometimes things fall apart. The crowd doesn’t show or the client doesn’t like the final product. Or people who you considered to be your friends ultimately turn out to be nothing short of machiavellian. It is during these moments in particular that you must summon the inner strength inside of yourself to keep moving forward. Stay curious about the wonder that the world has to offer, be aware of the voice in your head, focus on positive self-talk, and call your family. My parents and my brother have always been there for me through the good times and the bad. They have supported me with words of encouragement and sessions of present listening. A couple books that I would highly recommend are The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, by Eckhart Tolle, The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida, and Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness by Epictetus. I’d also like to give a shout out to my brother Will, my parents Maggie and Dan, and my amazing girlfriend Kerstin for their unconditional love. And to Alex King and Brendan Beyerbach some of my dearest friends who have been there for me through it all.