In the wake of last week’s deaths at the Philippine CloseUp Summer Festival, vocalist and DJ Matthew Koma has come out with his own thoughts about drug use in relation to the global dance music scene. In a press conference held with InterAksyon and others that followed his performance at club Chaos Manila on Friday, Koma described the needlessness of substances to enhance the experience of live events.
“I don’t drink. I don’t do drugs. I never have so I think there’s a way to be a part of it without having to do that sort of stuff and still completely enjoying it just in a different way. . . It’s not worth it in that respect especially when you hear stories like that and people losing their lives over it. It’s just heartbreaking and it’s silly.”
Koma said that despite having friends and family who drink, the perception of the EDM atmosphere being one of complete disregard for responsibility or moderation is far from the truth. He said he doesn’t find issue with using substances to a certain and safe degree, but that nothing worth losing a life over.
“I think that association probably is a bit of a misinterpretation at times because I do have a lot of friends in music who don’t party to that degree. . . It’s just about being comfortable with doing whatever works for you and doing it to a degree that is safe and mindful because none of it is worth losing a life over…not to a point where indulging becomes detrimental to your health. Everything in moderation.”
Even though the tragedy in the Philippines is something that weighs heavily on him, Koma said that it remains one of his favorite countries to perform in.
“I’m just happy to be here. I’ve always had an enthusiastic crowd, always been so super supportive since the very beginning especially online and on Twitter and being here, I also get to meet some of those people face to face.”