Episode · 2 months ago

Mouth-Off Episode 18: Matt Costa SPECIAL FEATURE: on the margins of the mainstream


Mouth-Off is a platform for marginalised groups to get their stories heard. Each episode covers a range of topics from disability, gender and religion, to substance abuse, mental health and race. In this episode we use the term 'marginalised' in its broadest sense.

As music plays a significant role in the Mouth-Off podcast, we have decided to do three part SPECIAL FEATURE entitled On the Margins of the Mainstream. During these episodes we will do a deep dive into the careers of three talented musical artists who are meandering on the margins of mainstream success.

Matt Costa is a Californian singer-songwriter who has been writing and recording music for over 20 years. He has 13 independent releases: 7 self-recorded EPs, 6 complete LPs, 4 of which are released via Jack Johnson's label Brushfire Records.

In this episode, Mouth-Off's host Clary Saddler will interview Matt. They discuss his eclectic musical taste and inspirations, lockdown, folk music as a genre and the transcendent power of music.


Intro Music - music by Clary Saddler

Lullaby - lyrics and music by Costa (featuring Johnson) taken from YouTube

Good Times - lyrics and music by Costa taken from YouTube 

Silver Sea - lyrics and music by Costa taken from YouTube 

Oh Dear - lyrics and music by Costa taken from YouTube 

Songs we Sing - lyrics and music by Costa taken from YouTube 

So I Say Goodbye - lyrics and music by Costa taken from YouTube 

Human Kinda Song - lyrics and music by Costa, featuring lyric contributions from fans taken from YouTube 

Savannah - lyrics and music by Costa taken from YouTube 

Ballad of Miss Kate - lyrics and music by Costa taken from YouTube 

Strings of Change - lyrics and music by Costa taken from YouTube 

Make that Change - lyrics and music by Costa taken from YouTube 

Shotgun - lyrics and music by Costa taken from YouTube 

Suicide is Painless (Theme from M.A.S.H) - music by Johnny Altman, lyrics by Mike Altman, taken from YouTube

Trying to Lose my Mind - lyrics and music by Costa taken from YouTube 

Call my Name - lyrics and music by Costa taken from YouTube 

Vienna - lyrics and music by Costa taken from YouTube 

Sunshine - lyrics and music by Costa taken from YouTube 

Outro Music - music by Clary Saddler 

Matt Costa Mouth-Off Spotify playlist

Follow us on Facebook @FMNproductionsUK

Follow us on Twitter @1_forget

Follow us on Instagram @forgetmenotclary

Like the episode? Leave us a review here

Welcome to mouth a podcast Bartus, Iforget me not productions. My name is Clare Sadden and so far on the series-I've inteed a range of people from all walks of life, whom I consider in somecapacity to represent marginalized groups or to be discussing marginalizedissues. Now. In this context, I use the word marginalized. Broadly, for example,I talk people about the substance, abuse ment of health issues, race,religion, gender, music, has and litis working class communities. The listgoes on over the next three episodes I'll be doing a feature on musicians,particularly musicians that are teacher on the margins of mainstream. Successwill be looking at the reasons for this, whether it's to do with things likegender race, economic background or if there are other factors that play first,that in this feature, I'll be interviewing Matt Coston, Matt costiveis an American Sing, a song writer hailing from Huntington Beach,California, he has thirteen independent releases,seven self recorded in peas, six complete outed for of which werereleased by a brush fire recorce Matt's. First Alban in five years, was SantaRosa Fans, which was released in May. Two Thousand and eighteen on dangerbird records. This was followed by a yellow coat, which was released inSeptember ths. Twenty Mat coster is enjoyed moderate successin the USA. In the summer of two thousand and five we opened Jack,Johnson's, Samatau and he's since toured with modest mouse oasis, BryanAdams and the Cardinals de Leven special sauce and death have acutely he offered Joint Jack Johnson for istwo thousand and six Europeans or, and he contributed his track. Lullaby toJack Johnson and friends juris George Santa He has appeared in the billboard toptwo hundred on two occasions. First with Jack Johnson, upon the song of letit be send which picked at number nineteen and then is a solo artist. Itis so mister pitiful, which pigged at number, twenty nine, as well as being atalented multi, instrumentalist Mat, is also a keen skateboarder, though hisdreams of becoming pro came to an end when he seriously injured his leg in askateboard in accident. When he was just eighteen, he had soon said that breaking his legled to the big break in the music industry, because it is during thistime when he was recuperating that he learnt to play the guitar and startedwriting. His first sounds with music. Is this new focus while he wasrecuperating Matt decided to record for Demos, one of which ended up in the hands ofTom Dumont, the guitarist of no doubt he liked what he heard so much that heoffered to produce Mat hoste's music? They ended up recording toindependently released EPS MATCO, the E P and the Elasmosaurus, as well as anearly version of the full length album songs. We Sing B Zport the attention ofbrush fight and record one Jack Johnson who signed into the label immediately.How are you doing I'm good? I'm? Actually my landlord save me because I was uplate last night. I couldn't sleep so then I was, Irecorded a song and put it on facebook and then and then my car, I wasblocking my landlord, and so she came a knock he's like I need to leave and Iwas like. Oh my God, I have to do this interview that I've been I've keptmissing for the last week. So I'm glad I'm glad we're finally worked out. Areyou got when do you have to you have like? Is that a base? Is that a Hoffnerve base? No, I wish no said Echo Echo base that same thing. So well,thanks for thanks for coming on the PODCAST, an ex for crans come on. It'salmost six fifteen here in the UK in South Wales. I am so what time is itthere for you? Well, it's ten yeah ten fifteen in the morning so yeah I'm just getting going like. Isaid I didn't get to sleep until like five o'clock last night I try. I was Ijust I had. I made the mistake of having a a late night coffee. I waslike I'm going to drink a coffee and go grocery shopping, and next thing I knowit's like a good in sleep. So so I got. I think I got a good fivehours, and- and here we are at ten o'clock in the morning, ready to takeon a new day and you'ree in wales, yeah...

...yeah here in my ls yeah, so well i'll die right in then so i first became aware of your work andfirst sort of got into you. I was traveling in thailand and i i dislikediscovered jack johnson on that particular journey and it was through.I think it was just like curious, george, soundtrack or one of those oneswith your long lullaby yeah when you are so lonely. Lin in bedthat's closed its eyes, but you countess your head ever one sleeping all through the house,you wish you could dream, but folk got to somehow. I tell self sing this love, so that was kind ofewhere. I sort of got into your stuff, so for maybe forour uk listeners that are are less familiar with your work. You want tojust kind of describe yourself and your sound in your style, maybe in a nutshell that show yeah well yeah, i'm a song writer and most of mysong start off with acoustic guitar piano and from there. Then i am an ielaborate on it, but i like for them all to hold their ownin that format. So i'm a sing, a song rider from southerncalifornia, and i guess i guess i have the californiasound in a way. I love, actually i'm really a big fan of a lot of a lot of british music, and so that'sespecially like the old folk stuff. As far as for my fingerstyle guitarplaying and even you know, yeah a lot of the british invasionstuff and all that all those things have i feel like those are, he alwayssongs and going back to learning, and but it's one of those things where ithink it always kind of transforms itself into. I can't help, but being a california guy baby were running out of money. Honey were running out of dog, i'm turning back to the land that iwant was, but it was put to see them for a while final out, o o o, and i also know like i've had friendsover there who i went and recorded a record one time,and i know this is long winded. I told me to keep it on that shell, but irecorded, i recorded a record in glasgow one time with with some of themembers of balan sebastian. Yeahs love those guys yeah yeah they're great, andso it's funny, though, because when i went over there i was so excited to be.I'm always excited to be there, but i was excited to be in glasgow, and youknow thinking about spots where i went by a house where sandy denny hadrecorded some recordings and in glasgow. That's where donovans from and burtyang. You know all these and even l, stewart and things like that on a more you know on the on the s, soft rock pop side of it, and theywere just like yeah but you're from america. You know like you, you live incalifornia, it's so great over there and- and they equally were inspiredsaying that when they went to california for the first time, that'swhen they've you know got inspired to write song. So i guess the grass isalways greener and it's always a little more romantic on the other side of thepond. Yease yeah. Definitely bilisht she'll get to she. For you see, see we ve no tityans shredded as the raso. Youmentioned that some of your influences-...

...and i guess that's what i what i'mdrawn to- and i listen to your stuff. So the sort of i guess, like retrostamps that you have within your music, so that kind of sixties. You know thatbeatles vibe, sometimes and yeah. I can hear like influences ofthe kinks and the doors, and that kind of thing i know the dogs are are notbritish, but you know, and then you've mentioned thefolk influences there as well like cat stevens, bob dillon, i mean, would yousay you consciously sort of wear your musical influence is on your sleeve oror is it just kind of like subconsciously influence you whenyou're writing a cloud of pineth things a shto? Pleasegive the word again. The mother tone were made. I had it tend to span way. Sometimes ican't see he. Despite of all the things i sat a eyah.I think that i've always been intrigued by where we're a lot of a lot of everyartist that you named yeah. I've listened to those bands and thoseartists a lot and i think throughout my career, i'vealways wanted to understand where they, where their influences came from. So adog i've always dug deeper than just their sounds and and found inspirations where they had come from,whether it be lyrically, the like poetry, that they're inspired byor places that they're writing about or yeah even sort of guitar stylings goingback to like yeah like traditional music. Even toyou know some. Some of that i think, there's a big! You know that that's that's reallyinfluential, so i mean, for example, if there's you know, a lot of american countrysongs are from sort of british ballads and things likethat and and appelation sounds were brought over, and so, but as far as retro sounding and thingslike that, i just like a good song. You know and i think that a good song canno matter what era it's in, no matter how you produce it or whatever it'll always, hopefully stand the test of time, and- and iguess that's what i aim for- and i guess we'll never know until i'm deadand gone so yeah. So i mean you've been whatrelease in music since, like early to sand, two thousand and two two thousandand three yeah yeah, i started recording in probably around twothousand two thousand and two thousand and one is when i started making myfirst recordings, so you were kind of i mean the doing a little bit of research.You were like well into skating when you were younger and and kind of gotinto some whiting, as you were recovering from an injury, is thatright, yeah? That's when i got intosongwriting actually yeah. I played guitar before that yeahi've got a guitar and a skateboard around the same year when i was likeeleven or so yeah, and so i mean that was the thing when i wasafter i was done with school. I'd go skate putting with my friends and theneach one of them had a guitar in their room. You know, or a couple of them did,and so when they'd fall off their board, i'd chase after them and jump on the board and skate around fora second or when they were playing video games. I'd practice. A nirvanasong, or something like that and actually i was like i got to get my own.So so i saved up a couple bucks you know and bought some in, but a bought acheap guitar and then yeah, but i eventually actually sold abunch of my music stuff for, for, like i had my first guitar, i traded it fora skateboard and some shoes because you wear through that stuff m and i didn'thave a guitar for a while. But then, when i broke my leg, i brokemy leg: skateboarding pretty bad. I was laid up for a whileand that's when i started when i started writing when i startedreally diving into lyrically what songswere...

...were about and like on more of a, iguess, on on a deeper level and more or lessof a surface level of just listening to music and then trying to understand andproject that in my own yeah in my own way, and do you think for you in theearly days it was like a way of working through you know, inner stuff was itlike. You know almost like a little therapysession for you, or did you go out with this mission statement of i want tomake music. You know for the masses that everyone can enjoy. It was theirkind of always there even a mission statement, no yeah, that's the thingthere wasn't and i guess that there's still there still isn't. I think that you know i'm kind of amazed that here iam almost twenty years later and and i've made i've made a i've made a career of it. I mean i wasactually thinking about that. I was talking with my girlfriend last nightabout it. You know when i wrote my when i wrote my first song. I was just excited to write a song andfinish finish his song. You know it's sort of like sisiphus, you you do itand then well then what happens? Next, you gotto climb up that you got to push that rock up, that mountain again and and- and i kept doing it- and here i am-and and and it's the interesting thing is that yeah after remember that it's the goals and the expectations haveonly gotten more, you know, and it's only more on myself. You know, there'sthere's a lot more, that i've done so than i have to remember to to not put that much expectation ofmyself. I remember to just go back to the place where it is cathartic andhealing and fun. You know, that's that's the thing is like it's always,it's always been fun and it's always been a it's always been healing for that way.So, yeah we have gone down. I got a a fontes, are melodies simple?How many a you see of the habitings season be see to make the day? So you are, i don't know if it's fairto say, you've been labeled, a folk musician. You know throughout your career and ilove folk myself sort of folk pop, i think, would probably be the style. Iwould describe my own writing style right. I play guitar right as well, butyou know i've noticed with the artist that i am into you know then they'renot real kind of massive in the main stream. You know they may be lingeringon the margins, particularly here in the uk, whereas, like folk music, isn'tsuch a folk part. Isn't such you know popular genre, any more,obviously, there's notable exceptions in the past you great, like simon, agaff unkor. You know bob sellin cat stevens, i'm not dising folk at all, but do you think you do you personally embrace like thatlabel as a folk artist, or do you try and you know, remove yourself from itin order to progress as an artist? Well, that i guess that question takes me,you know, there's always yeah. There's always people do ask alot. You know like you even like how do you describe your sound and and peopleassociate names and genres with a style. You know,and those are symbols that we you know put on to something, because we have toplace it in a category and the thing about folk music that i really like, orit's always it is. I don't think it. I don't think that it necessarily meansyou sit down with an only an acoustic guitar and just sing a song. I thinkfor me the definition of folk music is it's music of t of the of the people. You know,and it's something that you do it by...

...means of whatever you have at hand. Soif you have a drum machine at hand, an electricguitar and you're saying something that is relevant to your current situationor maybe a social situation or whatever it is, and it and it and it hasrelevance. I think that that can be folk too. You know it's really just outof. I think necessity is where i think, where the term folk music comes from,and and and a group or something can i identify with it. So in that case, ithink that folk can be any type of music yeah, but yeah i mean i do love going back to it. I think that traditionally i do like sitting downwith a with an acoustic guitar and playing blowing folk songs, and i thinkthere's so much to be so much to be learned in that you know. There's youknow i think, there's a there's a lot of people who you know in apreservation sort of way. You can there's a lot to be had there that can can be used for for self expression andand an ideas that have been handed down. You know that's another thing with folkto it's like ideas that have been handed down from generations andcenturies, and then everyone puts their new twist on it for this, for whatevercontemporary society needs, you know yeah. Definitely that's a great answer y. I think that is that is, it is in andyou're right people do feel like they need to. I don't know,label stuff, because i like this artist. So therefore, i must like you know,country, music or whatever, and actually yeah it can be whatever it can be, and i think thatwas interesting. Actually, when i did research on you last week, is that lotsof genres kept popping up, because actually you do just experiment likeyou say with it might be that you start with a acoustic, guitar and a piano oneday, but you know, then what you choose to layer on. It is whatever the song. Iguess you know, speaks to you and asks you to do. I don't know if i don't know if you're familiar withtorama all, but i always like her analogy that the songs speak to her andshe she is guided by what they say rather than rather than her being thedriving pass, and i was quite like that, as a you know, as an approach to songwriting yeah, i think that's, i think, she's right in that. I also think yeah,sometimes yeah you got to just you have to just let it let it breathe. You know- and it's likewe, you know all of our unconsciously we've developed all these things,whether you practice your scales or your life experience or whatever it is,and you can sit there and try to muscle something into a song which is work. Sometimes you know you can sitthere and force it, but i think that you know inspiration isreally complex and i think that it doesn't it's not always something thatwe're conscious of, and you know that being said, you knowtaking it back to. I had a bit of coffee right before i got on the phone,so these i'm giving really long explanations. It's also the kind of thing where you you know. You also can try really hardto write the best song and be successful or whatever it is. But it'salso it's really not up to it's not up to the individual. You can doeverything you in your power to do all that and really it's society demands whether it's relevantor not, and i think that's, that's all that's pop. That's folk! That'swhatever it is! You know it's like if it's if it speaks to people, thenthat's really that's really out of out of out ofeveryone's control. You know so and and that pertains to what toriasaid. I guess you know you got to just let the song speak to you and let thesong speak to other people and if it does, then it does and- and i thinkthat goes into that's what makes that's what makes music bigger thanjust an instrument. You know it makes it something that is a that that's bigger than just music itself.You know yeah, so if we could talk about your mostrecent studio album, so your seventh album for lp, yellow coat, which was released, was a lock downalbum y, a released in two thousand and twenty it was yeah. So you know i kind of reads: i listen tothe album for the first time recently and it kind of you know. Looking at thelyrics t, it reads like a journal, you...

...know you're almost feeling, like youreading your your own personal diary, you know, and it's i guess, looking atthe breakdown of a relationship of a of a long sort of you know the tenure orso relationship. That's come to an end, so it's very like personal album. It'syou know feel like you're listening into you know someone bearing theirsoul, but it does you know, while it's sad, it does end on a nice positivevalue as well. So i really liked the track, so i say goodbye which you knowagain it's his tinge with sadness, but got this. This feeling of you knowthere are better times ahead. It's going to get better, which is quitefitting as well that it was released during lockdown when wherever one wasjust hoping that things were going to get better. Did you, i guess what i'mtrying to ask is: did you was it designed that way? Did you wantto leave leaving on a high? Did you think like i can't i can't leave thesong, the album close it and it be kind of a negative feeling that let's justget a bit of positivity in there, you know did it. What was it a happy chance?You know: have you accident, so i see the baystate l yeah you'reright on the record. It definitely everything you described. It definitelyis it's really personal to me for that reason, but i think that the one thing i've always the one thingthat i guess i've always tried, felt that i've been drawn to an in music is,you know, transcendent quality, and so, when i sit down to write a song, it does. It's always elevated me from a mood orthere's always some sort of wisdom that i'm discovering within the process ofwriting it, and i think that, on this record it was yeah. I think, there's always going tobe challenges that were that were facing in our life and this this recordwasho. I was coping with with a period in my life where you know there wassome of that. I know there will be more of that and-and everyone was going- everyone was going through. You know a massivechange. I wrote this before. I started. Writing it and wrote the record beforethe pandemic happened. I just so happened to release it during that time,but songs like make that change or let love heal, and so i say good bye. Ithink, and more of them on there, too are about just embracing embracing embracing the change and not letting it not letting it defeat you, and i thinkthat the second that it that it defeats us, then we give up you know and and- and this record actually did helpme because when i started writing it, i wasn't planning on. I wasn't planningon writing a record. You know it's funny, i you know i'm. I guess i'm asong writer and i make records for a living, but it was the last thing thati really wanted to do. I was welly just trying to trying to figure my life out, and so i, when iwrote these songs, i just they were more like journal entries and catharticand healing for myself. So when i sing let love heal, it was it's real, you know, and it wasthe idea that and there's two sides to it. You know you have to you: do haveto take the time to let your love heal, and i also the thing that does heal itis more, is being open to more love and-...

...and so sometimes you have to say goodbye to the things that don't don't serve you any more, and sometimes youdon't have a choice and that doesn't necessarily mean relationships. Thatjust means maybe the relationship that you have with certain certain ideals in your life and ultimately for the better yeah. That's interesting. You said thatyou, you wrote the album before lock down, because that was going to be mynext question. Actually it does feel like a lock down album. You know, it'slike i said, speaks to. It speaks to that change that we were all goingthrough, and i guess i mean that's. As you say, the transformative power ofmusic. You can kind of yeah. You can apply it to so many differentcircumstances. That's what why music is so universal but yeah. I think it wasthe perfect lockdown album and it did. It did sort of speak to you on thatlevel, as well as on the level of you know, we've all been in relationshipsthat have ended and we can all relate to that as well, but that sort ofdeeper level to it of we're going through this, but it will get betterwhich a really good. Thank you yeah. It is that you know and like i said it isit's a relationship with our own, with our with our own vices and thingsthat don't serve us, you know, thinks makimaki, making things better and- andi was i guess, yeah when i wrote this record, i was on my own personallockdown, yeah and, and then truly i was and and and knowing that we all we alleveryone's going through those at different times to let to greater andlesser degrees. The thing with the with the pandemic is that all of a suddenyou know we all had something that we were. We could everyone knew we weregoing to. You know most of the time, everyone's quiet about their own trialsand- and i think that as difficult as it was, it was a waythat i felt a strong. When i release this record, i felt evenmore of a strong connection to i felt more of a strong connection andin need to to reach out during during that time. You know ieven wrote a couple: songs, there's one called human kind of song that i put amessage out on the socials and had other. I had a bunch of you know: fans send inlyrics and things i guy was overwhelmed by the the lyrics and overwhelmed bythe amount of submissions they just send em manum on instagram and it was,i was actually really surprised and then i actually felt more more pressure to do well on that than i dideven on my my records, because it's one thing when you write a song and you'relike okay. Well now you can interpret. However, you wantyou know, and and but when someone writes their own personal words to it,and then i have to do it justice and then make it make it live up to theirexpectations. Then i felt like wow. I got a really. I really have a i've really set myselfup for one here, but i think that so i kind of flipped it than what inormally do, but i think that that's the that's the goal with with all of itis that overcoming those things and and connection you know and and ever andconnecting through communication, if a song is the means of communication,then so be it out for me when nobody want and take a seat by a s, can you read the start, whatell thefuture and he found acto bringing back again every day i bessand the pain always see, mingan o his, i dream children say the ha only they can havekill to worlds of the feeling...

...o s by to lipsiae time. I the time to set us crewels on the album.There's a lot of. I don't know if you call it genre hopin, you know i ireally like savannah, which kind of has, i don't know. Reggie scar feel to it tome. How did this kind of you know changing style come about. Did youthink like i, i want to write a scar influence song or was it just like we said about, you, know toriousand the song kind of gauge you where it gae you did it just kind of happenedthat way, because of the lyrics and the and the sort of content of the song that one you know i actually did. I did it started off very different. Itstarted off. There's it started off more like the track, the title track:yellow coat. It was, and it had more lyrics and it had a- and it was a very it was a completelydifferent feel. I can't remember the i can't rememberthe cords right now. Well, i won't, i won't play on the guitar, because thisis complicated to get this, but it was basically the song savannah started as yeah on acoustic guitar and i strummedsome chords that went like this and savannah loved you, like my own, as sohard and blue, that a a a do, a dam, but i never couldbreak through and i wrote a whole sol, an acoustic guitar like that. In adifferent time, signature and- and then i was just my friend, adam topo, who's, a greatdrummer. I had asked him. I said we send me yeah.We send me some sort of like a will. You send me a rhythm tosend me anything that that's on the top of your head right now, and so he sentme this very like yeah, like sort of scar is thing, and i was like all rightso then i i reinvented the song and i started singing. I played the chordsdifferently and then i just started singing more chanting, the the words of anna and then from there.It became kind of more of a call in response thing and and really took on awhole new whole new life, and i also think for that reason too. It was it was it's strangely, like i've actuallyplayed live a couple times now in the last month, and it's been my favorite one to playalive yeah. I didn't. I didn't expect that you know i was like well, thisactually is fun and i people say you know i can get people to sing along tothe savannah part and then, if they're singing that, then i can just go on topof it and it really becomes a it becomes it in that sense, it didn'treally end. Even with the recording. You know it still keeps going andevolves when i play alive, so it evolved and it continues to evolve, but yeah that definitely that one came that one that onetransformed a lot, and i start i do always mess with songs and ideas oflike trying to think about them and reinvent them in new ways, and itdoesn't always work, but i think that's that's kind of the fun of it because i felt like there was also something inthe lyrics to obviously being a play savannah i felt like it could we could really.We could really go some place extra with it lyrics lending itself to to a sound and sort of. I guess they.You know sort of it's kind of like a vacation in a way in sad sort of sadtage vacation with an upbeat rhythm. I... you think you know that, like genre hoppin and iguess being a a music called jack of all trades, does that make it? I don't know i guess it takes a lot ofverse. You know versatility on your part to be able to go from, say a. Idon't know a surf rock kind of vibe california and sound as you describedearlier to something you know more upbeat, scart or something justacoustic folk. You know it does that make it easier or harder in terms of expectations like expectations for thefans expectations from, i don't know, record company expectation from you,like pressure that you put on yourself to do something may be different everytime or does it just make it fun that you can dabble with this genre or thatgenre yeah? I think it's fun, i mean for me, it's it's really just i always find that i can always go. You can always go back.You know if you have, if i have, if i want to just go back to original idea,can always just do that. You know i think, pushing forward and trying newthings. You don't know. What's going to happen,you don't know where you're going to end up with it. Sometimes i'll gothrough that whole process of it just shifts me in a different mindset, andso from there i pull different melodies out of it. Maybe there's a lyric orsomething that evolves from that process and then and if it works, thenthen it works and if it doesn't work then then i can go back and play it inthe original form. I try not to be too connected to or attached, i think, to two ideas, because i know that ideasand a song- and all of that are really it's really an emotional connectionthat we form when we write the song. So the emotional connection has reallynothing has has something to do with the chords and the lyrics, obviously,but it really has to do with time and place, and so when i remove myself fromthat time and place, knowing that there's a new time in place, you knowtoday is the new. Today is the new emotion and the new thing i'm going tograsp on to and when it hits your ears. You know, that's a you know, probably awhole year and a half two years later, i'm in a completely different place.Who knows where your ave, you know or anyone's that for better or for worse?It's like you, can't control that. So i try tojust i try. I try to think of it that wayand and even still like, i said when i playalive well, there's a whole new who knows what happens that day. Maybethere was whatever one ever went on the way tothe show went through a whole different experience and and wherever they're at you know thereit's you got to be in the present so and if you know, if you need to, if youcan always go back to an acoustic guitar and that's and to the originalform, but i think pushing through and becoming having it become new is is always yield something whetherwhether it's sticks or not. You know so yeah. That's why that's why i do it.Hopefully that's i know my answer is are long and you can edit me up.However, you want just cut it up and make me sound. Make me sound nice. I was going back to what you just saidabout. You can always go back to a cisti guitar. I think that's reallyimportant and i've quoted this on the podcast before and i probably missquoting, but i'm sure it was sheryl crow. That said that she calls it thedolly part, an effect or the dolly parten challenge where you, if you wantto know how a song sounds after you've recordedit and have you been in the studio while and added various layers andinstrumentation, and what not what she aways dies and i'm sure it's sherylcrows. I apologize if i miss coton and it's not her, but anyway i heard thisquote. This says she just picks up the acoustic, plays it strums it and singsit and sees if she still likes the sound of the song and if it kind ofneeds all the layers and the flounts and the you know, and the frills to be a good song. Then it obviouslywasn't that good to start with. So if you can just strip it back and and dooit on the acoustic and still be pleased...

...with what you've created and whatyou've produced, then you know you're on to a winner, and you gave your one. Then i took yourwet back, but once i had a faith now all i see is black. I gave you a a then given in the onethat was feruling to sing me. You can run an trobus, aneta yeah. Ithink we'll just quote you on that is we go it. You quote now, but i totallyagree i mean that's. That is he. That is the thing because and that's that'sessentially how how i work to you know it's like you can and it's it's reallyjust all the other layers and things you add to it. They're just other you know were limited with when we sitdown with an acoustic guitar. We have our voice and you've got two hands. Youknow, then you start adding these other things yeah, maybe there's melodiesthat come from it. Maybe those become a bridge. Maybe they become a harmony.You know whatever it is and so from there a song can evolve and then you have alot more to work with when you take it down to your back to the acoustic form,but that that is the that is the ultimate test if it doesn't work thatway. If it sounds, if it sounds off, then then either either you're, not the right singer forit, and you wrote a song, that's be, you know sometimes i'll write, songsthat are beyond it beyond me. You know i'll be like try to do something andi'm just not there yet so sometimes it'll. Take me i'll. Try an idea of youknow certain a certain vibe or something, and i justi'm not there yet, and so sometimes it takes me another five years to getthere come and then five years later i'm like oh there was, i remember, theseedling of that and i'm able to execute it. But you know yeah and that's my that's the thing forearly or young, younger song, writers andpeople who are getting into producing that that they, that that i try to implement to when iwork with them or talk with them. It's i mean we can do all this stuff. I havetons of tricks. You know i can sit there and put a delay on everything and or i can add a synthesizer or put seven hundred layers on it and yeah.It's going to sound full and there's like seven sounds like seventy peoplesinging back ups with you and man, it's like really crazy, sounding and but yeah. It's like. I think, if it's goingto connect with people, it's going to connect with people, it's going toconnect with people either way so yeah. What's the i was listening tothat, i was, i sent it to my friend. He want he was working on some song and ijust sent him that old, whatever the old foo fighters song,that was like their massive hit when they just did it on the acousticacoustic guitar. I forget the. I forget the title of it, but it was a big me sothat one is it is it that one i feel like i'm, so i'm so terrible at thesong titles, but you know i was like yeah look. You know it's like yeah. Youcan play it like with tons of distorta, guitars and bag of focals, but soundsgreat like this, and actually you can it stands. It stands out more so for try not. I try not to try not to forgetthat. That's going to be a good lesson today for me, when i sit down to rat mysongs, a yeah, it's easy to forget because it's fun, you know you getcarried away and just start making...

...sounds so definitely yeah. I can get carriedaway in the studio you know put in the synth parts on and had in it adding ahorn section just using the synthesized sounds. I'm like well, yeah i'd bebetter if i had an actual brass or at here to play it for me. So actually iran it. I run into that same. I run to the same things, yeah m and then you'relike okay. Well, then, let's get a horn section on here. Meanwhile, though imean that's the one, the one thing i think about you know, especially now. I think thatchanging the subject a little bit is that, with the evolution of recording and technology and homerecordings, you can still go into studio and wasteyour money for months and mom and bunts on end. If you want, but i think that having the luxury of doingthings at home, you can you can try all that stuff out and andnot break the bank. You know that's not a good thing, but you can also fallinto the pitfall of just actually never ever completing anything either. So youknow it's like you just like that song. It's like i've had ever i'm working onthis record for ten years. Eventually, i'm going to put it out at time. Nowi'm going to find the right thing for it and i heah that's another thing toois like sometimes you just got it even if it's like whatever it is like you know like we talked about thisthing. If it's, if you think it's te, you know if you're, if you think it'samazing, when you write it, if you think it's not up to your not up towhatever your expectations are, i think just like doing it. You know and moving on to thenext thing, because the next song will come if you wantedto come so, but having a home studio affords thatluxury the luxury of time for better or for worse yeah. That's definitely true,i think- and it's made me a little bit more experimental as a song writer,which is always a good thing. Yeah, that's good, live off the land, some pro tire of the yogees along way, some on a jam on a desert change somefor we can own lontin the same on the crowd. So i bitthem my the fee, i'm stemming at the street, so this this podcast mouth off. I guessit started. Life really is trying to get a platform out there formarginalized groups to get you know their stories heard, and i use the wordmarginalized here. I guess in the broadest of context, because you know alot of things would come under that under that head in so we've fiturse a lot of music of alot of musicians on whether it be that they're talking about issues such asyou know, substance abuse, alcoholism, mental health issues, disability rights,you know, there's been, you know, wide range of topics we've covered and i mean that's the great thing about music.Is that the the you know the themes are usually so universal while also not being it not be anunusual. You know, for example, an artist like pink will often bear herinner demons in her music, whether that be to do with things like you know hertrouble past and so on. Do you think, or can you think of anyexamples in your music where you've maybe prayed to tackle a specific issue,whether it be something like i don't know, homelessness or substance abuse? So you know equality? I mean anything that thatyou've yeah more of an issue base issue based song that you may have written inthe past. There's nothing like thin. There's. Nothing left me to dig your mine eye. Nothing like i.

I looking like today to take you way from your to o a yeah that well on this last record.There's the song the song make that change. I've had several friends who were dealing withsubstance abuse and so that song yeah was inspired by you know what was inspired by by those trials and- and specifically, i guess, that's the most-the most recent andthe a i wrote- i wrote a song. Basically, it was off a record that i,a self title record, was called shock, gun and and that sortof based on the gun, control and and that sort of thing, and obviously it'sa real issue here- an here ye, but i wrote it yeah when i recordedthat one it was i recorded in scotland and yeah. I got it, you know my you know.Obviously my producer was. He was feeling that one because he was likewhat's going on over there. It's a mad house in america with the with the guns and things, and i i there all sort of tackle thosethose topics and i'm trying to think of some otherthere's a. I guess i'm having to go back to my catalog. Iforget i forget some of the certain ones that i'd certain ones that i had done. I those are the two off hand that i canthat i can think about yeah funny enough i'd. I'd made a note ofthat. One of the of the previous record make the change as one that i'd. Inoted that i was at also curious as to why you chose to cover suicide aspainless. A that's. A really nice cover that you've did of that song. Is that?Does that hole any significance to you or is it just a song you've alwaysalways liked singing to ly morning fall. I see. Visions are the things to be than thatalways o on me hurlies and i can see that's to sites pale. It brings on manychanges. I can take one... well yeah that i guess you're right. I meanthat that's not an original, that's not an original song of mine, and i it's. Ithink that, and it was when as a kid, i grew up here inthe melody on the on the mass yeah yeah, so my dad my dad would put that show onand and it was this melon you know he related to it because he was in the hewas in the you, know, vietnam, war, and so so. For me, though, it was just seeingthe seeing the depiction of. I know it's obviously like a com you know comedic take on on, but seeing yeah, seeing that and then hearing thatmelody always put me in in sort of yeah, strange, head space and and but themelody always stuck with me, and so as i when i first started learning andwriting songs. I wanted to learn that song and when ilearned it i realized you know. I heard what the learn the lyrics more and thelyrics are in the actual movie. When you watch the original original film,they sing the words and it's in this. It's in a seat. There's a suicide sceneor a mock suicide tin, but i think that one i was sort of also. I think i was compelled to do itbecause there was you know you get sort of locked into these tragic. You know thetragic hero you know when you're being, i guess, an artist, you know, there'sthe the tragic hero becomes idolized, you know it's like where the elliotsmiths or their kirk, co, banes or the people who you know lost their livesyoung or took their lives young and- and i think for me that it sort of it that always i played i recorded it. For that reason,because i was always conflicted with that idea. You know that you know idolizing people who who decided to take their take theirlives and it seems like it's really. It's really sad and it'sreally conflicting with decem, with the where it's people have to feel that way.They needed out so bad that they have to end their lives, and i know i'mgetting an i'm kind of ovver, my head and this youknow in this topic right now, but i think that as a young person, you know we need to be careful who we idolize, because sometimes youidolize the things that are not not the things that make them great.You know you know, because someone does heroin or because someone does tooktheir life or because they, you know over abuse, something that's that's the demon that prohibited them from continuing to begreat, you know, and they would be great without it. I believe, and so i think that that's that's one ofthe reasons why i covered that song and more is just i was young too, when i,when i covered it and so yeah, i idolize those you know, idolize thosepeople and it's weird to see that as a kid you know when you're, when i wasreally young. Seeing you know hearing, however old i waslike ten or eleven or twelve or something here when kirkup in had took his life. You know as a kid you'relike, oh here, i love this music and you see that and then you just it'sconfusing, and i think that yeah that when i, when i learned thatsong, that's obviously the thoughts that ithat i was contemplating an that's. Why i coveredas well, because i was sort of conflicted in it as well too, and ialso wrote a song called trying to lose my mind, which is on my second record,which also sort of like goes into that as well, where it's likeis it? Do you have to? Are you you know? Doyou have to go o off the deep end to...

...really find the great stuff or or is it there all along? You know yeahand that's a it can. If you think that you know idon't know it's sad, it's sad to think that people lose themselves in that wayand the charlie parkers and everyone you know, and even outside of music too.You know. So i talk with my friend over the phoneand scared to say things that don't know n be wrong and words always soundmuch better in a someone it in a song alonim tryingto use my mind when it's gone, to tell you where we an about these tanto thisday, an stramacon, you not an make it so with the host that you pay loose. Yeah t like you kind of familiar withthat as a theme from mash and just the malady, which you know. I always kindof this juxtaposition of the fact that that was a comedy series and you hadthis sort of jolly sound in instrumental tune. Butthen, when i heard the lyrics for the first time and when i, when i sat thereand because i sort of need to digest lyrics, like poetry as well, so youknow i listen to them with the song. But i need to read them as well toreally let them sink in and speak to me. And then you know. Those lyrics inparticular are so moving. And when i found out that you know the film writerjohnny mandell, it was his son who's like fourteen at the time, michael mandel, i think his name wasthat wrote the lyrics and he just did it in like five minutes like how do youi mean it's amazing, you know the potential in young people, i mean i, iprobably started writing as about twelve thirteen, so i don't think icould have written a lyric like that, though, and then yeah that just addedanother lyric another level to it. Like you just said, being young and seeingyou know your idols kind of on whether you idolize him for thewrong reasons are not and then to think that this fourteen year old was able tocome up with lyrics of that level. You know yeah yeah. I know it's one ofthose things where yeah i mean. I guess it's easier. Ithink, as in as an adult, we can really overthink things, and you know i think,if you were, you know whatever at thirty or forty years old. Now, i'm youknow you. Could you probably be more apt to write an essay on it orsomething then put it into a concise? You know three three stanzas or something so yeah. I know that's a it is it is. It is interesting. Today i was thinkingof writing a song. I was out with my when i moved my carbefore this, which woke me up to do this interview. My landlord was outhere and she's she's she's she's, like seventy, seventy,eight or so, and but she'sh stays. You know she stays young. You know she's,really active she's like there's some hills around here and she's, alwaysscaling them like doing her gardening and things, and and and and seeing even my parents area little bit younger than her, but yeah they're dealing with some health issuesand things and- and so... know she just she has told me tokeep young this morning, so i was going to write a song and keep young. Youknow, i think, there's always there's something to it. You know it's likeforever. Young bob dylan has that you know, but i don't know i was thinkingabout writing an upbeat song call keep you young yeah, so maybe we can writethat one together, so i mean for any nubes discovery nowhere in the uk through this podcast. Where should they begin, like? Ipersonally have a soft spot for songs that we sing as well, probably mainlybecause it reminds me of my year away traveling, which is when you know, lineby the pool side in thailand just listening to these cedes that theywould put on there. Is there an album that you're most proud of i mean that's,always a difficult? What is it because, generally, the one that you've justworked on, probably is the one you feel most proud of, but or perhaps the way ishould ask it is that is there one that you think is most accessible? You knowfor a you know, average joe yeah. Well i mean what is average. Youknow, i feel like we're all complex beings. So, but i mean that's my that's my firstrecord songs. We sing and i i really do have a. I love that record. I think that the only the only thing that i think myonly qualm with it, i would say as far as is that, once i've finished it, then irealized all the potential for more songs. So then my whole career afterthat has been like. Well, what else can i do you know? So i guess if you start there and thenyou can see the evolution or you can, you can go backwards, start here andand go backwards and see start with a yellow code and see where that takesyou but yeah. I would maybe start thebeginning or start at the end which, where we want to go, but actually you know what you can't, ithink, maybe for a listeners if you if people wanted to check out, maybe justlike tying into this conversation on my youtube channel mac cost a tv. I'vebeen posting a lot of the songs on there just with the means of what i have in myroom here and so sometimes i'll. Do it just acoustic and then sometimes i'lllay her in i'll do multiple mes playing. Basically, how i work up a song. Youknow i play the base or i play these things these and some are very fresh and new they're not released yetand some they spanned the whole. They spend my whole career but they'rebroken down into a way where it's as as pretty much as strip down as canbe and and the songs are there. So maybe, if you want to start there, youcan actually like it's. You can actually see me doing it. If you don'twant to look at me, then just put on one of the records or something anddrive around or whatever you do, but i don't do it both don't put it onand watch me as you're driving a that's dangerous, definitely ill. I don't wantto take responsibility for that to stay focus, stay focus. I honestly yeah. Imean it's yeah, i've, that's dangerous, so i don't condonethat activity e o need. You love some bad. Since i find you want, no one else ranto need your love and i can on holding need your love. Need your love tatutis in your fat toflow around me e yoroyoro on o o. Don't worry me, i is compy gotta. Doit my name? Oh thank you so much for your timetonight or this morning for you. So i guess finally, just just to ask: isthere anything that you'd like to plug? I was a little bit difficult here ofthe uk and now you've done some like online virtual shows but the time andhas been such that it would have been kind of like four am for me. So a bigenough to be things i catch. You know retrospect ively, but yeah. Is thereanything you'd like to plug coming up?...

No, i mean, i think, that i justplugged it you know, and it's more out of just excitement. It's my on myyoutube channel mat cost of tv, i'm always on there, whether it be late at night or i work something abouti'm going to start doing. I've actually got a couple collaborations that i'vebeen working on with different artists and it's another platform i feel like. Thatis a little bit. That's a little more off the cuff, andso i can just sit here in my room and work up an old song or a new song or acover and and i've really gotten a kick out of that. I mean over the the onething that i think the that the last yeah the last year and a half i thinkhas yielded among many other things you know, but as far as as far as on a service level, it's like the theability to and the means of creating those i've really dove into doing that,and that's something that i'm not going to stop. And so it's a new it's a newplatform for me, and i think that if you want to check that out, it's ireally have a blast doing it so definitely yeah viani. Can ye hear me the easing on the aften. He show thaingen to get no back so inga in bringing thing be bigger to me. So let us so i set me bianola all the trains and he toinbringing the ring to bring it in a bring it to me o. I definitely check that out myself andyeah best of luck with it all as well. Sothank you so much for agreeing to do this. We got there in the end. We did get there in the end. Yeah. Weonly got it. It all comes around. You know. I think i think for me yea the most the mostimportant thing about it. I c n. I guess, if i were to, if i can leavewith a leave with leave with something a note, i guess is yeah. I think that music for me is transcendent and, andi'm concern it is for everyone you know, and to some in some degree, but it'sthe thing that i realized that in my life it started off as an idea. Iwanted to play music. I didn't know where it would lead me, and i didn't. Ihad no idea that i would actually become my life even now. The most ofthe people who have are in my life, if interactive withwhether they play music or not and directly or indirectly, music, has ledme to them and whether it be even just because of common interests that are outside ofmusic and those things, but it's something that i think is just really opened up my mind and opened up my lifeto new ways and new thoughts and ideas, and for that reason i'm really reallygrateful and really really excited to see what the futurefuture yields. Because of even this, this interaction here you know we'regetting into some other topics that are outside of music and if it wasn't forthe music, then we wouldn't have been talking about them. So thank you, yeah.Thank you. Okay, well, cheers thinks very muchyeah. I know i'll be in touch i'll, let... know when it's when it's beenlaunched, the episode. Okay, so sounds good. Keep a rocking okay, you to takecare; okay, okay, how about bye, bye, matho brought to you by forget me notproductions. We specialize in working withindividuals with complex physical and or cognitive disabilities. We useassisted technology such as witches touch, green devices or i gays toenable individuals with the most complex needs to take partindependently in our activities. In fact, the podcast mouth off startedlife as a as a passion project. I was working with an individual he's. A song,ricer musician composer he's also used, i gas to make works of art to filmmusic videos, and basically, i gaze is a tablet device. That's mounted on hiswheel, chair with a camera in the front that tracks his eye movement and hecommunicates using his eyes right songs using his eyes. So it's really openedup a new world for him and within our fashions we looked at creating a podcast, so he's nonverbaland he uses a wheel chair so no use of his hands. So he planned a podcast thatwas about the first one he did with about gary barlow ver, the musicianthat he really looks up to and the second one that we then did back infebruary. Two thousand and nineteen i think it was that was about arianagrande, was another musician that he really inspires him. I'm really from there it's justdeveloped into the podcast that it is today and we wouldn't be continuing withoutthe support of listeners like you. So this is your time to have your saynow you can follow us on our social, so we're on twitter. You need to go toforget me not with a page which is a handle, is at one. That's the numberone at one underscore forget or follow us on instagram, the all lower case.Its forget me not clary that clary, my name, the l, a r y and that's all lowercase. One word forget me: not clary. That's on the instagram i'll find us onfacebook. Forget me not productions based in ton a revel, not the filmcompany based in new york and yeah. Just just drop us a message.I mean it really be great: to get feedback to have some reviews onfacebook or on twitter, or just suggestions for upcoming episodes. Newtopics. You bonus, episode, special features, whatever you want to hearmore of. If you've got any recommended stories or guess that we couldinterview, please do drop us a line or leave us a message on on our website.Www dot, forget hyphen me typhon, not hyphen productions coda uk and if youwant something a bit more in debt to say, then please send me an email, i'llread it out on the show. My another dress is clary. That's the la r y atthe guet typhon me hyphen, not hyphen productions, cod! A! U k thanks againfor listening and join us next time when i interview sally curtis and wehave a chat all about the three principals. Thank you so rlila to tell you o my satyr guy doonjine. How can i get etosha la la lialia, so you will get the best of beyond we an i lie in my bed and i always know it,but the rest now shall love my love. I i live.

In-Stream Audio Search


Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (27)