Grave Concerns sits down with the brainchild of SPLENDOR PROJEKT. Matty is easy access to us here as one of our own staff writers and he is primed for a breakthrough in the music world as well. He will tell us about the latest with the highly anticipated SP album and some of his other endeavors. We’ll discuss his life outside of music and tackle some other fascinating topics as well.
GC: Hey, Matt! Welcome back….
Matt: It must be really slow at Grave Concerns for you to want to talk to me. *laughs* … I’ll have to line up some better interviews for us.
GC: What have you been up to these days since our last conversation?
Matt: Well, we just wrapped up the album; which now has been turned over to our label for mastering and pressing. Still no official release date as of yet but, we will keep you all posted. There are also some other great forthcoming announcements soon…
GC: Tell us what prompted you and jean Michel to sign with Section 44 Records?
Matt: Oh, yes… Back in March we were signed to Section 44. Label owner Steven Cochran was very instrumental in getting us aboard. We had offers from a label in Germany; as well as another American based label. But, in the end… we were quite comfortable with the idea of being a part of this label. There have been so many great releases from Section44 artists such as Fake the Envy, Royal Visionaries, Provision, Eight to Infinity, and Empire State Human. Jean Michel’ and I are thrilled to be a part of such a great catalogue of work.
GC: Why doesn’t Jean Michel do a lot of interviews?
Matt: I think that it is because a number of reasons. I have told him that his English is not as bad as he thinks. I think that I have become more or less the spokesperson for our band almost by default. Although, He has done some cool radio plugs for us for a few radio stations out there. He truly loves everyone and appreciates the attention we are getting.
GC: Turning away from music for a minute; we heard a rumor that you are a teacher and a social worker? Tell us about your work when your away from the synthesizer?
Matt: True. Actually, I am a para-educator. Which in my case… is a special education teacher. I am also an operations manager at a residential treatment center for children. I’ve worked with kids who have a variable amount of disabilities from autism to anxiety disorder. I also work with kids who have come from detention centers and protective service. I have a place in my heart for society’s underdogs. It is in most ways my life’s work. I wake up every day with the feeling that this is why I’m here, you know?
GC: How does the musician persona go over at work?
Matt: *Laughs* Ummm… I’d say it is non-existent. I’m like the type of guy that will trip and fall on my face in public the very minute I start thinking I am larger than life itself. I am just not very good at putting up that sort of image.
Really, it is everything I have come to hate about people in the music business…. And besides, the music industry has shifted to where it is not all champagne and limos anymore. Bands are now more interactive with their fans than ever and usually go completely broke making records and touring.
As far as in the work world goes…. A lot of the people I work with have no idea about the music. Most of my co-workers could have easily been my teacher as a kid. Aside from that, I am glad that I am attractive to kids. They seem to identify with me. I understand there is a high level of responsibility that comes with that. I want kids to know that it’s ok to have principles; it’s ok to pursue your dreams, and it is ok to think outside of the box and be different....
GC: Tell us about your fascination with Lou reed and The Velvets?
I like “The Velvets” (The Velvet Underground) for many reasons. When they came on the scene back in the 60’s, everyone else was into flower power and the hippy movement. They were wearing black and taking a completely different approach to music. Their pairing up with Andy Warhol certainly took them to another level. The band took on an experimental multimedia effect in combining art, music, and film in a creative way that wasn’t anything like what anyone else was doing at the time. When I discovered them around 1992, it impacted me immediately. I do obviously think the Warhol drug culture that surrounded the band was not very healthy and proved to be self destructive. I did hear that Lou has been sober for quite some time now which is great. I like Lou’s song writing approach. If you listen to the words, it’s a very urban New York type experience. He really takes you there! His “Transformer” album is one of my personal favorites to this day.
GC: You have made it clear about your stance on the drug scene. What drove you to be so outspoken about this issue?
Well… to be honest. I am not really all that outspoken about it. I’d say it is more of an inward commitment on my part. I understand that as a musician, it is kinda uncool to say you are “drug-free” but, I am not concerned about keeping some sort of image. As a father and as a teacher, I want my kids and other people’s kids to know that you can still be cool and creative without drugs.
I have lost two kids that I have worked with to drug overdoses. This has changed me forever. I actually wrote a song called “I Remember You” that tackles the issue. I don’t walk around expecting other people to think and feel the same way I do. I am not self-righteous and judgmental around those who choose to make other lifestyle choices, but at the same time, I know what my principles are and what I stand for as a person. I’m truly “indie”… *laughs*. There’s no mind-altering chemical hacking my brain to control my thoughts, actions, and feelings.
GC: Here’s a question just for fun… Which is better GOTH or EMO?
Matt: You know… Julie, I am not very big on these types of labels. I think they are a cheap marketing ploy from the people of Hot Topic clothing outlet. *laughs*… No, seriously. I think it’s all very silly to tell you the truth. My advice, kids… Be your own culture. Don’t worry about obeying the opinions of others. There is no one as unique as YOU. In fact, there is only one YOU in existence. Try and make friends in every circle. Be careful…There are so many cute and clever adjectives floating around out there. It‘s really comical.
GC: As we wait for the upcoming Splendor Projekt album; can you tell us how the other projects are going?
Matt: Ooooh… umm… ok! I have finished writing the first 4 chapters of my book “The programmed kid”. I have also been working on another music project with a friend of mine called “Elastic Souls”. Expect it to be different from SP. These are very slow moving efforts that are on the back burner but, every now and then, I stir them up. And… Of course, I also write for this brilliant operation (Grave Concerns) in my spare time as well.
GC: Any “shout outs” you want to give to our readers and your fans out there?
Matt: I just want to thank all of the people out there who are listening to our songs. We also want to send big hugs to the SP fans in Europe and South America! And… Thank you guys here at Grave Concerns for having me back.
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