Mathlete (1997-2000)

Mathlete was Dan Marsden and Mike Downey. Our first recordings together, just a few months prior to the whole Mathlete idea coming to life, were documented as My First Flat

 Mathlete existed parallel to Wolfie and acted as an outlet for the songs I was doing that didn’t really fit there. I had known Dan since high school and, plain to say, we just clicked. We liked the same bands, we went to same shows and we both had a passion for home recording. 

I trusted Dan’s opinion and I would give him tapes of songs I had been working on and he would do the same. There were a lot of common threads here, but what probably set Mathlete in motion was that we both really liked anchoring songs around cheapo keyboards and, above all, got off on anything low tech. We agreed that the impending year 2000 was as hilarious as it was a reality. In my opinion Mathlete was a true product of its time and wouldn’t have been possible given any of circumstances had been different.

We were mainly a recording project but couldn’t resist playing live. For our early shows we played to a cassette deck backtrack. We graduated to a minidisc. A constant push and pull win/lose battle with technology; exactly the way we liked it.

In 2000 Mike Marsden joined us on 2nd guitar and we began to draw up plans to bring Mathlete out of the bedroom and into the studio for a bigger sound, which could’ve yeilded something really great. In the end it was a rock band we all wanted. By 2001 we were ready to move forward so Dan and I redesigned Mathlete as The National Splits and shortly after started The New Constitution along with Mike Marsden.

Dan and I did an interview with Ink19 in 2000 that does a lot of the explaining.