A song that made you want to make music?
There are too many good ones to just single out one, but here’s a twist answer for you… In my first band (as the drummer), I had become increasingly unhappy by the material that the band’s principal songwriters were bringing in. It led me to buying my first bass and starting my own journey into songwriting. Sometimes it’s the bad songs that drive you.
Best rider you have had?
Any time there is ice-cold water backstage, it’s a win in my book!
Craziest moment in the band?
‘Crazy’ in the odd/unexpected sense was hearing that The Cure’s Lol Tolhurst liked my cover of “All I Want”. File that under things I never would have imagined as a young musician first discovering The Cure.
Deepest lyric one of your songs features?
I think a measure of ‘depth’ can only really be defined by the listener, but for me personally, it would most likely be these lines from the song “Fixation Fantasy.”
“I’ll break you
When fear controls me”
This passage taps into the evil that people do to one another, unintentionally, out of their own subconscious drive for emotional self-preservation. I have a deep connection to what this song and these lines portray.
Easiest song you wrote?
“Sick Fix” was a breeze relatively speaking. The music came together in just a few hours.
Favourite song in your set?
Probably “Sick Fix” – it’s one of those songs that just gets your energy up.
Guest you’d most like to feature on your record?
The easy answer would be Brian Molko because of how influential he has been on me but if I’m giving less of an “in your dreams” answer, I would love to have someone like Louise Post or Aimee Mann contribute some harmony vocals. I love both of their voices. Wish me luck!
Hardest thing about being in a band?
The frustration that comes when I’m unable to keep things moving along as quickly as I’d like. I constantly want to write more songs, release more songs, play more shows, etc. There’s just not enough time in the day to do it all.
Interesting fact about one of your members?
I love to travel and have been fortunate enough to have traveled quite a bit. Everywhere from Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Kenya, Tanzania, all over Europe… It’s a great big world out there and I try to experience as much of it as I can.
Jokes you have in the band?
Ha! Yes – the first one that comes to mind is the title of my imaginary book: “What Asshole Wrote This? – an autobiography by Matt Spatial”
Key to writing a song?
For me, the key is having an emotional connection to whatever it is I’m writing. If I can’t find an emotional connection in the instrumental component of a song then there is nothing for me to build off of.
Longest distance you’ve travelled to play a show?
800+ Miles, Atlanta to NYC
Most inspiring musician you’ve experienced?
Tough one… inspiring is a different question than influential, so as far as inspiring it would probably be someone like Prince or Trent Reznor. These are people that had the drive and the talent to write and record whole albums on their own. Sometimes you don’t always find the right people to work with so I can appreciate when someone has the perseverance and the vision to just do it on their own.
New band you’d recommend?
I’m the worst at this. Every time I hear a cool band for the first time, I inevitably find out that they’ve been around for years. I got really excited when I first heard The XX and thought they were this new up and coming band – Nope, I was just late to the party as usual. Oh well. The good thing when that happens though is that I have a whole catalogue of songs to start exploring whenever I do find these bands.
Place you’d most like to tour?
Hands down, Japan. It’s one of my most favourite countries I’ve ever travelled to.
Quote that you’d like to pass on to our readers?
John Hughes once wrote (via script), “We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at
hiding it, that’s all.” I always thought how true that was but even better was that some of us
don’t even bother trying to hide it.
Reason for the title of your forthcoming release?
The next song on the schedule is called “Holly”. The title came about because I was singing gibberish words to a melody when first working on the vocals. I kept singing, “Hollywood down” because it fit the cadence and number of syllables I was hearing in my head. There was no meaning to it at all but the words and phrasing stuck to where I couldn’t unhear it, so I morphed it slightly into the main lyric “Holly falls down.” From there, I instantly created a narrative in my head of a girl who is struggling to find herself and break free from the high expectations of a world she never really belonged in.
See us live at?
Currently, the next one on the books is January 27 here in Atlanta but hopefully, there will be
more to come before then.
The old days of music were better than the current, do you agree?
As much as I would agree, and part of me does, there is another part of me that feels indifferent. From a business/industry standpoint, hell yes, but from an artistic stand point, it feels like every decade or generation has its share of hidden gems – they are just usually hidden in an abyss of crap. While that abyss of crap is much larger than it once was, those hidden gems are still there. True artists will always be around making music somewhere, just as it was in the old days and as it still stands today.
Not yet, but open to ideas. Who’s got a good one?
Variations you’d like to do on one of your songs?
I’d love to have someone do a remix of a song at some point. I’m obsessively particular about the songs when writing/recording but giving someone else free reign to run with their
own interpretation would be a fun experience. Besides that, I recently had the ridiculous idea to swap out my own vocals with a text-to-speech program as an alternate version. I will likely let this idea slip quietly into the ridiculous idea graveyard.
What do your fans mean to you?
More than they could ever know. Time is precious and for someone to spend their time listening to something I have created is really special. It’s a very humbling thing. On the
flipside, it’s also really gratifying when something you’ve created resonates with others in a way that makes them admire or appreciative of you/your work in the same way that I feel about my favorite artists.
X-rays or any other treatments needed for band injuries?
Not touching this one for fear of jinxing myself!
You’re late for a show, whose fault is it?
Atlanta traffic – no question about it.
Zoo animal that best describes the personality of your band?
Hmm, Zoo animal… I must admit that I’m not up on the personality traits of Zoo animals to make a fair comparison so, if I may, I’ll swap this out with Zodiac sign (in still keeping with the A-to-Z theme.) I’m a Pisces through and through from the good traits to the less desirable ones: Creative, musical, emotional, overly-trusting, know-it-all… it all seems to fit me in one way or another and I think all of this comes out in the music.