Stateless were formed in 2003 by singer-songwriter Chris James, who enlisted band members Kidkanevil (programming, samplers, turntables), Rod Buchanan-Dunlop (keys, FX), James Sturdy (drums) and John Taylor (bass) to bring his compositions to life. In true rock-fairytale style, their first demo, 'Prism #1', was picked up and playlisted by Radio 1, leading to a record deal with Sony. When Sony merged with BMG, though, the band found themselves in limbo and chose to move to respected Berlin label !K7, who released the album internationally in July 2007. Stateless toured the album all over Europe with new band members Justin Percival (bass/vocals), and Dave Levin (drums), coming to the attention of legendary producer DJ Shadow, who enlisted Chris to sing on two songs on his album, 'The Outsider'. This was followed by a huge world tour with over 80 shows in 20 countries.
For their follow-up 'Matilda', the band, along with the help of producer Damian Taylor (Bjork, the Prodigy), decided to push their combination of classic songwriting and story-telling into deeper electronic territory. Soon after meeting Taylor backstage at a Bjork show on her Volta tour, James sent him some of the new Stateless demos, which Taylor loved, and they began working on the album. The process was complex. The band recorded their parts either at home or in a recording studio in Hackney, London, and then would send all the parts to Taylor in Vancouver, who would start applying his production techniques. “I think I got overly obsessive,” confides James. “I got really bad insomnia. I literally couldn't stop thinking about it. It wasn't a very healthy place at all, it was quite a dark time.” Towards the end of 2009 James flew out to Vancouver to record in Taylor’s studio in the forest on the Sunshine Coast, and it was here that the pair did the final production work on the album.
But it wasn’t just in terms of technology that things changed with this record. As James explains, “The production is much more electronic on this album but the songwriting is quite different from the first album, too. It's more based on surreal stories and characters, it's much more cinematic. It really blurs the lines between fantasy and reality.” It’s a record he’s rightly very proud of, both for the passion and commitment that went into making it, but also for the result. “It’s like a strange and beautiful dreamscape, “ he says. “It's dark, surreal, mysterious, full of weird and wonderful characters. It's a big piece of work. I hope that people get that, when they hear it. I think it's gonna take quite a few listens before it really sinks in. It's a proper album, it works as a whole. I want people to do the Pink Floyd thing, and listen to it from start to finish really loud on good headphones.”