Whose House: Rusty’s House

No temporary resident: Imaginary Cities member Rusty Matyas calls Winnipeg home, and that’s not changing any time soon

Kaitlyn Emslie Farrell

Dana “Rusty” Matyas recently let the Uniter into his home to show us all his cool stuff. The 33-year-old Winnipegger is a video game fanatic, a backyard bonfire enthusiast and a Heinz tomato ketchup addict, but you probably know him from somewhere else.

Along with vocalist Marti Sarbit, Matyas is the co-leader of a little band called Imaginary Cities. The multi-instrumentalist/songwriter/producer/non-stop music machine is also known for his work with the Waking Eyes and his occasional appearances with the Weakerthans.  

“Each band is a different beast for sure,” Matyas says. “With Imaginary Cities I take on the role of a musical director. In the Weakerthans I just do whatever they want me to do and in the Waking Eyes it was very much a four-person collaboration. It’s all great experiences and you grow from each one.”

Imaginary Cities, which released its sophomore album Fall of Romance last year, will be playing with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra March 28-30 as part of its Pops series. Additionally, Matyas has played a few solo gigs with plans to record his debut solo album soon. 

“I’ve been writing music for 15 years but it’s always been part of a greater thing, so it’d be nice to just be totally selfish and make a solo record,” Matyas says.

With Imaginary Cities gaining popularity across Canada, the U.S. and overseas, you have to wonder, Rusty, why Winnipeg?

“There’s no pretense when it comes to the people and the attitude here,” Matyas says. “We don’t have any sort of cool factor to live up to. We know Winnipeg’s not super cool.”

1) TV/couch area

“I definitely spend some time on this couch watching TV every day or playing XBox.”

2) Music/recording room

“To be able to have any sort of room where I can record stuff has always been a long time coming and now to have it is pretty awesome.”

3) Video game cave

“This is my little cave of video game consoles I’ve got from the ‘90s. I always sit down here and play video games.”

4) Wedding sign

“This was the sign/backsplash from our wedding that I really liked. It was hand made by a guy in Winnipeg.”

5) Piano

“Obviously this piano.”

6) Barbeque 

“I cook, like, every day on this thing. Even when it’s -50, I’m out cooking on here. There’s something about the process itself. It’s stupidly primal, I just love it.”

7) Rum decanter

“It’s totally pointless, I could just pour it out of the bottle, but it feels so much cooler coming out of this decanter. It looks classy but really it’s from Value Village.”

Published in Volume 68, Number 16 of The Uniter (January 15, 2014)

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