Interview Series: The Matinee

This spring was the kick-off to radio talent search contests a-plenty, and none have garnered more buzz in the lower mainland of BC than The Shore 104.3FM Song Search and the PEAK Performance Project.  With the Shore’s Song Search right down to the Top 10 and the PEAK Performance Project down to the Top 20, there is one band that cruised onto both lists right under the radar.

But they’re not gonna be under anyone’s radar for long.  Just wait ’til you see them perform, because that’s exactly what they do.

They are The Matinee and the first time I saw them perform, they caught me quite off-guard.  These boys play a brand of roots/alt-country/folk/rock that summons the ghosts of Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Band.  I had the chance to catch up with Matt (the singer) and the other Matt (the guitar player/banjo Jesus) outside of the Biltmore Cabaret to ask them a few questions.

Check out what they had to say:

MoreThanAFeeling Music Interview with The Matinee

Dylan: I’m speaking with the two Matt’s from the Matinee. Is there any correlation between the name of the band and your names, first off?

The Matinee: A little, yea.  We were definitely trying to find a play off of the two Matt’s in the band.  When we started songwriting it was just Matt and I, so when it became a band, we wanted to have a band name, but still kind of represent us.  We did our first shows as “Matt & Matt”.  It was either “The Matinee” or “The Matlocks”.

Dylan: I like “The Matinee” better.

The Matinee: And actually a band called Treelines already had “Matt Lock”, so…

Dylan: As in Matt Lockhart? There ya go. I guess that’ll do it.  So how long have you guys, as “the Matinee” been writing/performing music?

The Matinee: Well, when me and Matt first started it was probably 4 years ago and it was just the two of us at the time.  Even when we did our first record we brought on a couple of the guys who are in the band now.  We didn’t really have a plan to start the group, we just needed people to record.  Out of the recording came the original Matinee, as a four-piece.  It’s been about 3 years we’ve been doing it with this group.

Dylan: So how did you guys get into writing and recording this genre of music? It’s kind of like, alt-country/folk/rock/roots/indie, if you wanna categorize it…

The Matinee: Everybody in the band, we all went to high school together and we were all in other bands out of high school: I was in a band with our bass player and Dave, our keyboard player; Matt was in a country band; Jeff was in a prog rock band, so we’ve all been all over the place musically, but when Matt and I started writing it definitely had an alt-country, roots-y tinge to the songs.  It started with that, but it’s been influenced by everybody else in the band.  If you were to ask us our influences, it’d be all over the map.

Dylan:  Well I was gonna actually ask you that…

The Matinee: So I don’t know what I could really narrow it down to other than “it’s what feels right for us”.

Dylan:  So where DO your inspirations lie?

The Matinee: There’s cool bands now, like Band of Horses, Dawes, I was into Grace Potter huge a year ago… I think what’s cool now, and most people would say this, is it’s just easier to find music these days.  I just heard The Head and the Heart on the radio today and I liked the song [Lost In My Mind], it was good!  But yea, classically, for us, we love The Band, a bit of Tom Petty, some Traveling Wilburys… Some classic, roots-y stuff.

Dylan: You can hear that style of songwriting in your tunes.

The Matinee: Yea, and everyone in the band plays more than one instrument, so there’s times where we switch it up on stage and… Everyone writes, everyone can sing and everyone does sing, and that’s awesome ‘cause it gives us a lot to play with.

Dylan:  How have your experiences in both the Shore Song Search and the PEAK Performance Project been?

The Matinee: They’ve been great! We were fortunate enough last year to be in the Shore Song Search as well, so we kinda knew what was going on with the contest this year.  It’s great because it’s part of building the family—you’re getting to know the radio people, the recording people, the other bands that are like-minded and that helps in building your own community.  You get to play these shows, getting the showcases, getting your songs on air, so that’s all awesome.  And this year, they’ve actually stepped it up in terms of the Shore contest; last year it was just songwriters and this year it’s open to bands, not just solo artists.  There’s great competition—it’s not even a competition, no, it’s just fun to be a part of!  And you know what’s cool is, being involved in these [Shore Song Search & PEAK Performance Project]: it really makes you step up your game.  You have to, you don’t wanna be embarrassed.

Dylan: So I saw you guys play live for the first time last week and you had that killer drum-off.  It was so tight and random, I just wanna know where that came from and who’s idea that was.

The Matinee: We can’t really take credit for that.  We’ve seen it done and we thought we should incorporate into our show.  I mean, we used to do that in high school, but now instead of doing it in the library we are doing it in the middle of our set.  Last year we came across a guy Tom Jackson who was working with the PEAK Performance Project.  He’s a live performance coach and he’s really awesome, like “blow your mind” with tips on how to make your show better.  That’s just one of the things we’ve been working on since last year is “creating moments”, bringing more to the table.  Not just playing your songs front to back—which is cool—but if you wanna stand out…

Dylan: Ok so wrapping it up—I won’t take any more of your time: to access your music, what’s the easiest way and where can people do that?

The Matinee:  At the shows is easiest, if you’re coming out to shows, we sell everything there.  We got a couple discs done and we’re working on our third album.  Or you can go to our website and link to iTunes, everything’s on iTunes.  And bandcamp.  I think we have a few free downloads on Soundcloud, too.  But go to iTunes and buy them [laughs]!

Dylan: Ok, and when is your next local gig?

The Matinee: August 3rd at Shorefest. Then August 5th we’re in North Van at the Lynn Valley Concert Series.  And the last weekend in July we are in Whistler playing two nights back-to-back with Daniel Wesley.

Dylan: Oh really? That will be an interesting combination of reggae/funk with a little bit of alt-country—

The Matinee: We might play some songs with him, we’ve done some songwriting with him already.  So yea, that’s the next one.  And actually—[looks to the other Matt] can I talk about that?—nevermind, I can’t talk about that! [laughs]

Dylan: Oh wow! I’ve been teased!

-Dylan

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~ by whet_hopped on July 24, 2011.

One Response to “Interview Series: The Matinee”

  1. i like it Dylan!

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