AAA Music Approved: Matt Stevens
aaamusic | On 09, Apr 2014
AAAmusic: Who are you and where are you from?
Matt Stevens. I’m from a place called Rushden but I now live London.
I’ve been doing the solo stuff since 2006, I made an EP in 2007 and Lucid is my fourth solo record and my first for the Esoteric label. Lucid took three years as I really wanted to make this one a significant step up from the previous albums. It’s inspired by a bit of a dark time, but hopefully it’s an uplifting record. I’m so proud of the people who played on it, working with people like Pat Mastelotto on drums from King Crimson and Jem Godfrey from Frost* was amazing, but all the players really were outstanding. Stuart Marshall (Fierce And The Dead) and Charlie Cawood (Knifeworld) were the rhythm section for a lot of the tracks. And it was great to have Chrissie back who played violin on the previous record. It’s a record that reflects my love of Jesu and Celtic Frost as much as the Mahavishnu Orchestra and King Crimson or even Peter Gabriel and I’m really proud of it. If you’re not going to take risks and try and do something interesting, what’s the point?
Initially, it was me and an acoustic guitar and a loop pedal is and now it’s me and whoever I want to play with. Live it’s still me and a guitar and a pedal.
I also play in the rock band The Fierce And The Dead, lots of noise formed in 2010. It’s a four piece instrumental rock outfit and we brought out our last record Spooky Action in 2013.
AAAmusic: What inspired you to get into music?
My influences are people like Husker Du, Carcass, Voivod, The Beatles, King Crimson, Helmet, Nick Drake, The Mahavishnu Orchestra and The Dead Kennedys. I like energy, passion and interesting chords. I was inspired by people like Guns ‘N Roses and Iron maiden when I was a kid but I was lucky enough to have a brilliant guitar teacher who was into weird stuff like Bruford and The Mahavisnu. So it all sort of combined there, mixed with American Hardcore bands, Death Metal, some folky stuff. All sorts of things. Power Pop, John Barry. All sorts.
AAAmusic: What have you done?
Solo, I’ve opened for people like Jon Gomm, RM Hubbert, Fish, Thomas Leeb, lots of prog people. I play a lot of gigs all over the UK. Signed to a decent indie label.
AAAmusic: What are you like live?
I love playing live – for the solo show it’s just me and an acoustic guitar and I build up the loops.
With The Fierce And The Dead it’s a noisy rock band. Very energetic.
AAAmusic: What makes you different?
No vocals, some people say prog meets punk meets soundtracks. That sort of thing. I get math rock or post rock. It’s just rock music with no singing. Not loads of solos or any of that. The audience is a split between people who have discovered the music on social media, prog fans and post-rock people. All sorts.
AAAmusic: Physical vs Downloading vs Streaming…How do you listen to music?
I listen to CDs sometimes, or streams or downloads. A mix. I’m not bothered as long as I can hear the tunes.
AAAmusic: What have you been listening to?
I’m currently well into Neil Young and Miles Davis. And some 60s pop. I’m not sure what that says. I like St Vincent and Oaf and Knifeworld. I mostly listen to the music my friends make to be honest, I don’t have time to listen to much else.
AAAmusic: What are your aspirations for the future?
Touring and recording with some interesting collaborators basically. I want to get this record heard. I think Lucid is a really special record because of the amazing people who played on it and I’m going to work my arse off to make sure people hear it.
Questions answered by: Matt Stevens of The Fierce And The Dead…