Episode · 1 year 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 the arts play 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 creative 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

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Welcome to Martha, a podcast brought you by forget me not productions. My name is Clary Sadlin and so far on the series I've interviewed a range of people from all walks of life whom I consider, in some capacity, to represent marginalized groups or to be discussing marginalized issues. Now, in this context I use the word marginalized broadly. For example, I've talked to people about substance abuse, mental health issues, race, religion, gender, music, the arts and Leitism, working class communities. The list goes on. Over the next three episodes, I'll be doing a feature on musicians, particularly musicians that are teaching on the margins of mainstream success. We'll be looking at the reasons for this, whether it's to do with things like gender, race, economic background, or if there are other factors at play. First up in this feature I'll be interviewing Matt Cost Matt Costa is an American singer songwriter hailing from Huntington Beach, California. He has thirteen independent releases, seven self recorded EPS, six complete lps, four of which were released by a brushfire records. Matt's first album in five years was Santa Rosa Fangs, which was released in a two thousand and eighteen on dangerbird records. This was followed by yellow coat, which was released in September two thousand and twenty. Matt coster is enjoyed moderate success in the USA. In the summer of two thousand and five, be opened Jack Johnson's summer tour and he since toured with modest mouse oasis, Ryan Adams and the cardinals, g leven special sauce and death cab qut. He also joined Jack Johnson for his two thousand and six European tour and he contributed his track Lullaby to Jack Johnson and friends curis George Soundtrack. He is appeared in the billboard top two hundred on two occasions, first with Jack Johnson on the song let it be sang, which peaked at number nineteen, and then as a solo artist with his song ms the pitiful, which peaked at number twenty nine. As well as being a talented multi instrumentalist, Matt is also a keen skateboarder, though his dreams are becoming pro came to an end when he seriously injured his leg in a skateboarding accident when he was just eighteen. He has since said that breaking his leg led to a big break in the music industry, because it is during this time when he was recuperating that he learned to play the guitar and started writing his first songs. With music is his new focus. While he was recuperating, Matt decided to record or for Demos, one of which ended up in the hands of Tom Dumont, the guitarist of no doubt. He liked what he heard so much that he offered to produce Matt Costs Music. They ended up recording to independently released EPS, Matt cost the EP and the Elasmosaurus, as well as an early version of the full length album songs we sing. The zps soon caught the attention of brushfire records owner 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 up late last night. I couldn't sleep, so then I was I recorded a song and put it on facebook and then and then my car I was blocking my landlord and so she came a knock because I I need to leave, and I was like, Oh my God, I have to do this interview. That I've been. I've kept missing for the last week. So I'm glad. I'm glad we're finally worked out. Are You got? What do you have? You have a is that a base? Is that a half nerbase? No, I wish know that Echo, ECHO base. Same thing. So well, thanks for thanks for coming on the PODCAST. Thus, thanks for creens to come on. But it's almost six hundred and fifteen here in the UK, in South Wales. I am so well, what time is it there for you? Well, it's ten. Yeah, ten and fifteen in the morning. So, yeah, I'm just getting going. Like I said, I didn't get to sleep until like five o'clock last night. I try, I was, I just I had I made the mistake of having a late night coffee. I was like I'm going to drink a coffee and go grocery shopping and next thing I know it's like I couldn't sleep. So so I got I think I got a good five hours and and here we are at ten o'clock in the morning, ready to take on a new day, and you're in Wales. Yeah, here in Wales.

Nice. Yeah. So well, dive right in then. So I first became aware of your work and first sort of got into you I was traveling in Thailand and I had just like discovered Jack Johnson on that particular journey and it was through, I think it was just like curious George Soundtrack or one of those ones with your Song Lullaby. Yeah, when you're so lonely lying umber that's closed. It's yes, but you can't rass your head every want sleeping all through the house. You wish, you could dream, but I've got to somehow sing this love, yourself singing this love. So that was kind of where I sort of got into your stuff. So for maybe for our UK listeners that are less familiar with your work, do you want to just kind of describe yourself and your sound and your style, maybe in a nutshell and nutshell? Yeah, well, yeah, I'm a songwriter and most of my song start off with Acoustic Guitar Piano and from there then I then I elaborate on it, but they I I like for them all to hold their own in that format. So I'm a singer songwriter from southern California and I guess, I guess I have a California sound in a way I love. Actually, I'm really a big fan of a lot of a lot of British music, and so that's especially like the old folk stuff as far as for my fingerstyle guitar playing and even, you know, yeah, a lot of the British invasion stuff and all that. All those things have I feel like those are the always songs I'm going back to learning. Yeah, and but it's one of those things where I think it always kind of transforms itself into I can't help but being a Californ forny guy. Baby, we're running out of money, honey, we're running out of dough. I'm turning back to the man that I want, who study. Was Fun to fool them for a while. Finally, though, good terms are coming, those good times coming, good terms of coming to it in good tims are coming. Those goods are coming. Good Times are coming to everyone styles. And I also know, like I've had friends over there who are went and recorded a record one time, and I know this is long. When did I you told me to keep it in a nutshell, but okay, I recorded a record, a record in Glasgow one time with with some of the members of Belle and Sebastian and those love those guys. Yeah, yeah, they're great. And so 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, you know, thinking about spots where I went by a house where sandy denny had recorded some recordings and in Glasgow that's where Donovan's from and Bert Yange and all these and even I'll stewart and things like that on a more, you know, on the on the s soft rock pop side of it. And they were just like yeah, but you're from America, you know, like you, you live in California. It's so great over there. And and they equally were inspired saying that when they went to California for the first time. That's when they've, you know, got inspired to write songs. So I guess the grass is always greener and it's always a little more romantic on the other side of the pond. Yeah, some, yeah, definitely, Bill Builder ship for to in the waves. She'll get toss you, you know, wooden ship for do Silva. See, weave a thought. Those study sales kind pull us through. They was shredded and struck the great will with high food. This way off... you mentioned this, some of your influences, and I guess that's what I what I'm drawn to, and I listened to your stuff. So the sort of, I guess, like Retro Stamps that you have within your music. So that kind of s s you know that Beatles vibe sometimes and yeah, I can hear like influences of the kinks and the doors and that kind of thing. And of the doors are not British, but you know. And then you've mentioned the folk influences there as well, like Cat Stevens, Bob Dylan. I mean, would you say you consciously sort of where your musical influence is on your sleeve, or or is it just kind of like subconsciously influence you when you're writings of drum, of the months, of me the things? I should have laughed. So please give the words I use. My mother turns around, but where was small ideas? I want not one ahead. It turns a stray away. Sometimes I can't see the spite of all the things I said. Always, sometimes, sometimes. Yeah, I think that I've always been intrigued by where we're a lot of a lot of every artist that you named. Yeah, I've listened to those bands and those artists a lot and I think throughout my career I've always wanted to understand where they where their influences came from. So I dug. I've always dug deeper than just their sounds and and found inspirations where they had come from, whether it be lyrically, you like, poetry that they were inspired by or places that they're writing about or, yeah, even sort of guitar stylings, going back to like, yeah, like traditional music, even to you know, some of that. I think there's a big you know, that that's that's really influential. So I mean, for example, if there's, you know, a lot of American country songs or from sort of British ballads and things like that, and and the Appalachian sounds were brought over and so, but as far as retro sounding and things like that, I I just like a good song, you know, and I think that a good song can, no 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 I guess that's what I aim for and I guess we'll never know until I'm dead and gone. So yeah, so I mean you've been what released in musicsince like early two thousand, two thousand and two, two thousand and three. Yeah, yeah, I started recording in the probably around two thousand, two thousand and two thousand and one is when I started making my first recordings. So you kind of I mean the doing a little bit of research. So you like well into skating when you were younger and and kind of got into songwritesing as you were recovering from an injury. Is that right? Yeah, that's what I got into songwriting actually. Yeah, I'd played guitar before that. Yeah, I've got a guitar and a skateboard around the same year, when I was eleven or so. Yeah, and so, I mean that was the thing when I was after I was done with school, I'd go skate pudding with my friends and then each 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 for a second. Or when they were playing video games, I'd practice a nirvana song or something like that, and eventually I was like I got to get my own so, so I saved up a couple bucks, you know, I bought some and bought a bought a cheap guitar and then, yeah, but I eventually actually sold a bunch of my music stuff for for like, I my first guitar, I traded it for a skateboard in some shoes, because you wear through that stuff. MMM, and I didn't have a guitar for a while. But then when I broke my leg, I broke my leg skateboarding pretty bad. I was laid up for a while and that's when I started, when I started writings, when I started really diving into lyrically what songs were, were about and like on more of a,...

I guess, on on a deeper level and more or less of a surface level of just listening to music and then trying to understand and project that in my own yeah, in my own way. And do you think for you in the early days, it was like a way of working through, you know, in a stuff. Was it like, you know, almost like a little therapy session for you, or did you go out with this mission statements of I want to make music, you know, for the masses that everyone can enjoy? was that kind of always there even a mission statement now. Yeah, that's the thing. There 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 I am almost twenty years later and and I've made I've made a I've made a career of it. I mean, I was actually thinking about that. I was talking with my girlfriend last night about it. You know, when I wrote my when I wrote my first song, I was just excited to write a song and finish, finish the song. You know, it's sort of like Sisiphis. You you do it and then, well then what happens next? You got to 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 and it's the interesting thing is that, yeah, after remember that, it's a the goals and the expectations have only gotten more, you know, and it's only more on myself. You know, there's there's a lot more that I've done. So then I have to remember to to not put that much expectation on myself. I remember to just go back to the place where it is Cathartic and healing 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 got little dumble, got a jawful. Don't any these are melodies, simple harmonies. We see to see of the UNSHU live. Three, three. These are the songs that we see. These out the songs it ass these are the songs we see. These are songs us to make the day. So you were I don't know if it's fair to say you've been labeled a folk musician, you know, throughout your career, and I love folk myself. Sort of folk pop, I think, would probably be the style I would describe my own writing style. Right, I play guitar writ as well. But you know, I've noticed with the artist that I am into, you know, they're not real kind of massive in the mainstream, you know it. They may be lingering on the margins, particularly here in the UK, whereas like folk music isn't such a folk pop isn't such, you know, popular genre anymore. Obviously there's notable exceptions. In the past, Ye had great likes. I'm in a Garfuncle, you know, bobby L and Cat Stevens. I'm not dissing folk at all, but do you think you, do you personally embrace like that label as a folk artist, or do you try and, you know, remove yourself from it in 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 a lot, you know, and like you even like. How do you describe your sound? And and People Associal Cate names and genres with a style, you know, and those are symbols that we, you know, put onto something because we have to place it in a category. And the thing about folk music that I really like it's always it is I don't think it I don't think that it necessarily means you sit down with an only an acoustic guitar and just sing a song. I think for me the definition of folk music is it's music of of of the people you know,...

...and it's something that you do it by means of whatever you have at hand. So if you have a drum machine at hand and Electric Guitar and you're saying something that is relevant to your current situation, or maybe a social situation, or whatever it is, and it and it and has relevance. I think that that can be folk to you know, it's really just out of, 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, I think 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 down with a, we're an acoustic guitar and playing, yeah, folk songs and I think there's so much to be so much to be learned and that, you know, there's you know, I think there's there's a lot of people who, you know, in a preservation sort of way, you can there's a lot to be had there that can can be used for for self expression and and and ideas that have been handed down. You know, that's another thing with folk to it's like ideas that have been handed down from generations and centuries and then everyone puts their new twist on it for this for whatever contemporary society needs. You know. Yeah, definitely, that's a great answer. Yeah, I think that is that is it isn't in and you'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 that was interesting actually, when I did research on you last week, is that lots of genres kept popping up because actually, you do it just experiment, like you say, with might be that you start with a acoustic guitar and a piano one day, but you know, then what you choose to layer on it is whatever the song, I guess, you know, speaks to you and and asks you to do. I don't know if I don't know if you're a familiar with Tory a most it's role, but I always like hair analogy that the songs speak to her and she she is guided by what they say rather than rather than her being the driving foss 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 like we, 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 sit there and force it, but I think that, you know, inspiration is really complex and I think that it does it. It's not always something that we're conscious of and you know. That being said, you know, taking it back to I had a bit of coffee right before got on the phone. So these I'm giving really long explanations. But it's also the kind of thing where you, you know, you also can try really hard to to write the best song and and be successful whatever it is, but it's also it's really not up to it's not up to the individual. You can do everything you in your power to do all that, and really it's society demand, is whether it's relevant or not, and I think that's that's all. That's pop, that's folk, that's whatever it is. You know, it's like, if it's if it speaks to people, then that's really that's really out of out of out of everyone's control. You know. So and and that pertends to it. Torium was said, I guess. You know. Yeah, gotta just let the song speak to you and let the song speak to other people and if it does, then it does. And and I think that goes into that's what makes that's what makes music bigger than just an instrument, you know. HMM. It makes it something that is a that that's bigger than just music itself, you know. So, yeah, so, if we could talk about your most recent studio album, so yours, seventh album, full LP yellow coat, Uh Huh, which was released, was a lockdown album. Yeah, released in two thousand and twenty it was. Yeah, so, you know, it kind of reads a listen to the album for the first time recently and it it kind of, you know, looking at the lyrics, it reads like a journal. You know, you're almost...

...feeling like you read and your your own personal diary, you know, and it's, I guess, looking at the breakdown of a relationship of a long sort of, you know, a ten year or so relationship that's come to an end. So it's very like personal album. It's, you know, I feel like you're they listening into, you know, someone bearing their soul. But it does, you know, while it's sad, it does end on a nice positive vibe as well. So I really liked the track. So I say goodbye, which you know it again. It's its tinged with sadness, but got this this feeling of, you know, there are better times ahead, it's going to get better, which is quite fitting as well that it was released during lockdown, when where everyone was just hoping that things were going to get better. Did you? I guess what I'm trying to ask is, did you? Was it designed that way? Did you want to leave leaving on a high? Did you think, like I can't, I can't leave the song, the album, close it and it be kind of a negative feeling that let's just get a bit of positivity in there, you know, did it? What was it a happy chance, you know, happy accident? So sick? So say, just a slush as well? Yeah, I thought you're right. On the record, it definitely everything you described. It definitely is. It's really personal to me for that reason. But I think that the one thing I've always the one thing that I guess I've always tried felt that I've been drawn to and 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 or there's always some sort of wisdom that I'm discovering within the process of writing it, and I think that on this record it was. Yeah, I think there's always going to be challenges that were that were facing in our life, and this, this record, was, oh, I was coping with with a period in my life where, you know, there was some of that. I know they'll there will be more of that. And and everyone is going everyone was going through, you know, a massive change. I wrote this before I started writing it and wrote the record before the pandemic happen. I just so happened to release it during that time. But songs like make that change or let love heal, and so I say goodbye. I think and 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 think that the second that it that it defeats us, then we give up, you know, and and and this record actually did help me because when I started writing it I wasn't planning on I wasn't planning on writing a record. You know, it's funny. I you know, I'm I guess I'm songwriter and I make records. For a living, but it was the last thing that I really wanted to do. I was really just trying to trying to figure my life out, and so I when I wrote these songs, I just they were more like journal and trees and Cathartic and healing for myself. So when I sing let love heal, it was it's real, you know, and it was the idea that and there's two sides to it, you know, you have to, you do have to take the time to let your love heal, and also the thing that does heal it is more,... being open to more love and and so sometimes you have to say goodbye to the things that don't don't serve you anymore, and sometimes you don't have a choice. And that doesn't necessarily mean relationships. That just means maybe a relationship that you have with certain certain ideals in your life and ultimately for the better. So yeah, that's interesting. You said that you wrote the album before lockdown, because that was going to be my next question. Actually, it does feel like a lockdown album, you know. It's, like you say, speaks to it speaks to that change that we were all going through, and I guess I mean that's as you say the transformative power of music. You can kind of yeah, you can apply it to so many different circumstances. That's what why music is so universal. But yeah, I think it was the perfect lockdown album and it did. It did sort of speak to on that level as well as on the level of, you know, we've all been in relationships that have ended and we can all relate to that as well. But that sort of deeper level to it of we're going through this, but it will get better, which really kid. Thank you. Yeah, it is that, you know, and, like I said, it is it's a relationship with our own with our with our own vices and things that don't serve us, you know, things of making making, making things better. And and I was, I guess, yeah, when I wrote this record, I was on my own personal lockdown. Yeah, and and then truly I was and and and knowing that we all, we all, everyone's going through those at different times to let to greater and lesser degrees. And the thing with the with the pandemic, is that all of a sudden, you know, we all had something that we were we could everyone knew we were going through. You know, most of the time everyone's quiet about their own trials and and I think that, as difficult as it was, it was a way that I felt a strong when I release this record, I felt even more of a strong connection to I felt more of a strong connection and a need to reach out during during that time, you know, I even wrote a couple songs. There's one called human kind of song that I put a message out on the socials and had other had a bunch of, you know, fans send in lyrics and things. I got was overwhelmed by the the lyrics and overwhelmed by the amount of submissions. They just send them on them 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 did even on my other my records, because it's one thing when you write a song and you're like, okay, well, now you can interpret however you want, you 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 their expectations, then I felt like wow, I got a really I really have a I've really set myself up for one here, but I think that so I kind of flipped it then, what I normally do. But I think that that's the that's the goal with a with all of it, is that overcoming those things and and connection, you know, and and ever and connecting through communication. If a song is the means of communication, then so be it. I used to you for a time window by wanting. I'll take a seat by my son. Can you read the start? I'll tell the future. We have to bring it back again every day. We could so hold, hold the precious and the pain always sleep broke in again, beauty window of this train, but children say be happy, only they can have kill too. World that's lost the feeling...

...of the ones we reach Otful, so inspires rust, looking out to flipping the switch the lights all the time. Now we find that SL with the time to set us pray when we have what we don't want. So on the album there's a lot of I don't know if you call it Johenre hoppin. You know, I really like Savannah, which kind of has that a a reggae's scarf feel to it to me. Uh Huh. How did this kind of, you know, change in style come about? Did you think like why I want to write a scar influence song. Oh was it just like we set about, you know, Tori a moss, and the song kind of guide you where it guide you? Did it just kind of happen that way because of the lyrics and the I'm the sort of content of the song. That one. You know, I actually did. I did. It started off very different. It started off there's, it started off more like the track, the title track, Yellow Coat. It was a and it had more lyrics and it had and it was a very it was a completely different feel. Dear Mon, I can't remember the I can't remember the chords right now. Well, I won't. I won't play on the guitar because this is complicated. Get this. But it was basically the Song Savannah started as a yeah on Acoustic Guitar and I strummed some chords that went like this and Savanna, I loved you like mown so hard and blue, Dadda, Duda, Dadda. But I never good break through and I wrote a whole song on Acoustic Guitar like that, in a different time signature. And and then I was just my friend Adam Topel, who's a great drummer. I had asked him. I said we send me? Yeah, well, send me some sort of like a will you send me a rhythm? Just send me anything that you're that's on the top of your head right now. And so he sent me this very like yeah, like sort of Ska ish thing, and I was like all right. So then I I reinvented the song and I started singing. I played the chords differently and then I just started singing more chanting the the words Havanna, and then from there it became kind of more of a call and response thing and and really took on a whole new, whole new life, and I also think for that reason, to was it was. It's strangely like I've actually played live a couple times now in the last month and it's been my favorite one to play alive. Yeah, I didn't. I didn't expect that. You know. I was like, well, this actually is fun and I can people, you know, I can get people to sing along to the savannah part and then if they're singing that, then I can just go on top of it. You know, it really becomes a it becomes it and that sense it didn't really end even with the recording. You know, it still keeps going and evolves when I play alive. So it evolved and it continues to evolve. But yeah, that definitely that one came that one, that one transformed a lot and I start, I do always mess with songs and ideas of like trying to think about them and reinvent them in new ways, and it doesn't always work, but I think that's that's kind of the fun of it, because I felt like there was also something in the lyrics to obviously being a place Savannah. I felt like it could, we could really, we could really go someplace extra with it, lyrics lending itself to to a sound and sort of I guess they you know, sort of it's it's kind of like a vacation in a way, and said sort of sad ten to vacation within up beating rhythm. Do you think? you know that like Genre Hoppin and I...

...guess, being a musical Jack of all trades, does that make it? I don't know. I guess it takes a lot of verse, you know, versatility on your part to be able to go from saying, I don't know, a Surf Rock kind of vibe, Californian sound, as you described earlier to something, you know, more upbeat, scart or something just acoustic folk. You know, does that make it easier or harder in terms of expectations, like expectations for the fans, expectations from, I don't know, record company, expectation from you, like pressure that you put on yourself to do something maybe different every time? Or does it just make it fun that you can dabble with this genre or that genre? Yeah, I think it's fun. I mean for me it's it's really just I always find it, 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 new things, 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 go through that whole process of it just shifts me in a different mindset and so from there I pulled different melodies out of it. Maybe there's a lyric or something that evolves from that process and then, and if it works, then then it works, and if it doesn't work, then then I can go back and play it in the original form. I try not to be too connected to or attached, I think, to two ideas, because I know that ideas and a song and all of that. I really it's really an emotional connection that we form when we write the song, and so the emotional connection has really nothing. 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 from that time and place, knowing that there's a new time and place, you know, today is the new today is the new emotion and the new thing I'm going to grasp onto and when it hits your ears, you know that's a you know, probably a whole year and a half, two years later, I'm in a completely different place. Who knows where you're at, you know, or anyone's apt for a better or for worse. It's like you can't control that. So I try to just I try, I try to think of it that way. And and even still, like I said, when I play it live, well, there's a whole new who knows what happens that day? Maybe there was whateverone. Everyone on the way to the show went through a whole different experience and HMM, and wherever they're at, you know they're it's you got to be in the present. So and if you know, if you need to, if you can always go back to an acoustic guitar, and that's and to the original form. But I think pushing through and becoming having it become new is is always yield something, whether whether it sticks or not. You know. Yeah, that's why. That's why I do it. Hopefully that's I know. My answers are along and you can edit me up. Everyone that's cut it up and make me sound made me sound nice. I was a going back to what you just said about you can always go back to the Acoustic Guitar. I think that's really important and I've quoted this on the podcast for and I probably miss quoting, but I'm sure it was sheryl crow that said that. She calls it the Dolly Parton effect or the Dolly Parton Challenge, where you if you want to know how song sounds after you've recorded it and have you been in the studio while and added various layers and instrumentation and whatnot. What she always does, and I'm sure it's Sheryl Crows. I apologize if I miss coding and it's not her, but anyway, I heard this quote that says she just picks up the acoustic, plays it, strums it and sings it and sees if she still likes the sound of the sir, and if it kind of needs all the layers and the flowers and the you know and the frills to be a good song, then it obviously wasn't that good to start with. So if you can just strip it back and and do it on the acoustic and still be pleased with what you've created, what you've...

...produced, then you know you're onto a winner. You gave your word, then you took your word back. Once I had a face. Now all I see is black block. I'll give you on rather than giving it. Once there was for shoots fallen to sin. gave me. You can't run, can't Shuck, but you won't get away. Yeah, I think we'll just quote you on that. It's what. Yeah, Crow, it's your quote now, but I totally agree. I mean, that's that is the that is the thing, because and that's that's essentially how how I work too. You know, it's like you can and it's it's really just all the other layers and things that you add to it. They're just other you know, I we're limited with them. When we sit down with an Acoustic Guitar, we have our voice and you've got two hands. You know. Then you start adding these other things. Yeah, maybe there's melodies that 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 a lot more to work with when you take it down to your back to the acoustic form. But that that is the that is ultimate test. If it doesn't work that way, if it sounds if it sounds off, then then either either you're not the right singer for it and you wrote a song that's be you know, sometimes I'll write songs that are beyond it, beyond me. You know. I'll be like try to do something and I'm just not there yet. So sometimes it'll take me. I'll try an idea of a you know, certain a certain vibe or something, and I just I'm not there yet, and so sometimes it takes me another five years to get there. I come and then five years later I'm like, Oh, there was I remember the seedling of that and I'm able to execute it. But you know, yeah, and that's my that's the thing for early or young, younger songwriters and people who are getting into producing, that that they that I that I try to implement to and I work with them or talk with them. It's I mean, I we can do all this stuff. I have tons 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 people singing backups with you and man, it's like really crazy sounding. And but yeah, it's like I think if it's going to connect with people, it's going to connect with people. It's going to connect with people either way. So, yeah, what's The I was listening to that. I was I sent it to my friend. He wanted he was working on some song and I just sent him that old whatever, the old food fighters song. That was like their massive hit when they just did it on the Acoustic Acoustic Guitar. I forget the I forget the title of it, but it was a big me. So that one is it is it that one. I feel like I'm so I'm so terrible at the song titles. But you know, I was like yeah, look, you know, it's like, yeah, you can play it like with tons of distorted guitars and backup vocals, but it sounds great like this, and actually you can. It stands it stands out more. So yeah, try not. I try not to, try not to forget that. That's going to be a good lesson today for me when I sit down to write my songs. I had hell, yeah, it's easy to forget because it's fun, you know, you get carried away, you just start making sounds. So...

...definitely, yeah, I can get carried away in the studio. You know, put in the synth pot zone and had an added a horn section. Just seeing the synthesize sounds. I'm like, well, yeah, be better if I had an actual brass score that here to play it for me. So that's actually I ran it. I've run into that same I've run into the same things. Yeah, MMM, and then you're like okay, well then, let's get a horn section done here. Meanwhile, though, I mean that's the one, the one thing I think about, you know, especially now, I think that changing the subject a little bit. Is that, with the evolution of recording and technology and home recordings, you can still go into studio and waste your money for months and mom and months on end if you want. But I think that having the luxury of doing things at home, you can you can try all that stuff out and and not break the bank. You know that's not a good thing, but you can also fall into the pitfall of just actually never ever completing anything either. So, you know, it's like you just like that song. It's like I've had ever, I'm working on this record for ten years. Eventually I'm going to put it out. It's I know I'm going to find the right thing for it and I yeah, that's another thing too. Is like sometimes you just got it, even if it's like whatever it is like, you know, like we've talked about this thing. If it's if you think it's tear, you know, if you're if you think it's amazing when you write it, if you think it's not up to your not up to whatever your expectations are, I think just like doing it, you know, and moving on to the next thing, because the next song will come if you want it to come. So but having a home studio affords that luxury, 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 songwriter, which is always a good thing. Yeah, that's good. Move off the land. Some grow tired of the Yo, guess the sub and stages along way. Some hool in tramp on a desert song all the drink and rown. Some long here in a since swarms of crown some givefir them mother's feats. I'm steving and three. So this this podcast mouth off, I guess it started life really is trying to get a platform out there for marginalized groups to get, you know, their stories heard. And I use the words marginalized here, I guess, in the broadest of context, because you know, a lot of things would come under that, under that heading. So we featured a lot of music, a lot of musicians on whether it be that they're talking about issues such as, you 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 a great thing about music is that you know the themes are usually so universal while also not being it not be an unusual you know, for example, an artist like pink will often bear her in a demons in her music, whether that be to do with things like, you know, her trouble past and so on. Do you think, or can you think of any examples in your music where you've maybe traded to tackle a specific issue, whether it be something like, I don't know, homelessness or Someston's abuse or, you know, equality. I mean anything that that you've yeah, more of an issue based, issue based Song that you may have written in the past. There's nothing still, there's nothing thinking, there's nothing to dig yourn off every S, there's nothing to help. It's look at, consider it. There's nothing like...

...yesterday to take you with from your to you got to make that change. That's gotta got start steps to make that change, to see at yeah, that well, on this last record there's the song, the song make that change. I've had several friends who are dealing with substance 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, and there's a I wrote A. I wrote a song, basically who's off of a record that I a self titled Record was called Shotgun and and that sort of based on them gun control and that sort of thing. And obviously it's a real issue here here. Yeah, but I wrote it. Yeah, when I recorded that one, it was a 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 like, what's going on over there? It's a mad house in America with the with the guns and things and feeling now gambling fool. They're all sort of for tackle those, those topics and I'm trying to think of some other there's a I guess I'm having to go back through my catalog. I forget. I forget some of the certain ones that had a certain ones that had done. Those are the two offhand that I can that I can think about. Yeah, funny enough. I'd I'd made a note of that one off the of the previous record make the change as one that I'd I'd noted that. I was at also curious as to why you chose to cover suicide is painless. That's a really nice cover. That you've did of that song. Is that? Does that hold any significance to you, or is it just a song you've always always liked singing to early morn and fall us see visions of the things to be, the things it always held for me. Ohia laws, and I can see that's who sudd ist. Painless brings on many changes and I can...

...take all. Leave it, fuck please. Well, yeah, that I guess you're right. I mean, that's not an original. That's not an original song of mine and I it's I think that and I it was. Mean as a kid, I grew up here in the melody on the on the match. So, yeah, my Dad, my dad would put that show on and and it was this melank you know, he related to it because he was in the he was in the, you know, Vietnam War, and so so for me, though, it was just seeing the seeing the depiction of I know it's obviously like a common, you know, a comedic take on on it, but seeing, yeah, seeing that and then hearing that melody always put me in a in sort of, yeah, strange headspace. And and but the melody always stuck with me. And so as I when I first started learning and writing songs. I wanted to learn that song and when I learned it I realized, you know, I heard what the learn the lyrics more and the lyrics 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 scene or a mock suicide, but I think that one I was sort of also, I think I was compelled to do it because there was, you know, you get sort of locked into these tragic you know, the tragic hero. You know, when you're being, I guess, an artist, you know there's the the tragic hero becomes idolized. You know, it's like where the elliotts smiths or their kirkcob Baines or the people who, you know, lost their lives young or took their lives young and and I think for me that it's 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 their lives, and it seems like it's really it's really sad. It's really conflicting with these with the where it's people have to feel that way, they need it out so bad that they have to end their lives. And I know I'm getting in, I'm kind of over my head and this, you know, 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 you idolize the things that are not not the things that make them great. You know, we you know, because someone does heroin or because someone does took their life or because they, you know, over abuse something that's that's the demon that prohibited them from continuing to be great, you know, and they would be great without it, I believe. And so I think that that's that's one of the reasons why I covered that song and more is just I was young too when I when I covered it, and so, yeah, idolize those you know, idolize those people, and it's weird to see that as a kid, you know, when you're when I was really young, seeing, you know, hearing, however old I was, like ten or eleven or twelve or something here when Kerk Copain had took his life. You know, as a kid, you like, Oh, here, I love this music, and you see that and then you just it's confusing and I think that, yeah, that when I cur when I learned that song, that's obviously the thoughts that I that I was contemplating when that's why I covered as well, because I was sort of conflicted in it as well too. And I also 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 like, is it do you have to are you you know? Do you have to go off the deep end to really find the great stuff? or or or is... they're all along, you know? Yeah, and that's a it can if you think that, you know, I don't know. It's sad. It's sad to think that people lose themselves in that way and the Charlie parkers that everyone you know, and even outside of music to you know. So I a talk with my friend over the phone. I'm scared to say things. I don't know. Me Wrong and words are sound much better coming out of someone, but put it in a song, can get along. I'm trying to use my mind when it's gonna tell you where it plans about the stands of it. Stay strum a few cards and use my voice and make it a song with the hopes that you play alive those. Yeah, like you kind of familiar with that as the theme from Mash and just the melody, which you know, always kind of this juxtaposition of the fact that that was a comedy series and you had this sort of jolly sounding instrumental tune. But then when I heard the lyrics for the first time, I when I when I sat there, because I I sort of I need to digest lyrics like poetry as well. So, you know, I listen to them with the song, but I need to read them as well to really let them sink in and speak to me. And then, you know, those lyrics in particular of so moving. And when I found out that, you know, the song writer Johnny Mandel, it was his son, who's like fourteen at the time, Michael Mandel, I think his name was, that wrote the lyrics and he just did it in like five minutes, like how do you? I mean amazing. You know, I think the potential in young people. I mean I probably started writing when I was about twelve thirteen, so I don't think I could have written a lyric like that, though. Yeah, that just added another lyric, another level to it. Like you just said, being young and seeing, you know, your idols kind of on whether you idolize them for the wrong reasons, are not. And then to think that this fourteen year old was able to come up with lyrics of that level. You know, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. It's one of those things where, yeah, I mean, I guess it's easier. I think as an a, as an adult, we can really overthink things and, you know, I think if you were, you know whatever, at at thirty or forty years old, now I'm, you know, you could be probably be more apt to write an essay on it or something then put it into a concise, you know, three, three stanzas or something, you know. So, yeah, I know, that's a it is it is a it is interesting. Today I was thinking of writing a song. I was out with my when I move my car before this, which woke me up to do this interview, my landlord was out here and she's she's a she's like seventy, seventy eight or so, and but she's she stays, you know, she stays young. You know, she's really active. She's like there's some hills around here and she's always scaling them, like doing her gardening and things, and and and and seeing. Even my parents are a little bit younger than her, but you know, they're dealing with some health issues and things and and so, you know, she just she's told me to keep young this morning. So I was...

...going to write a songs and keep young. You know, I think I was always there's something to it, you know, it's like forever young. Bob Dylan has that, you know, but I don't know. I was thinking about writing in a beat song called Keep Young. Yeah, so maybe we can write that one together. So I mean, for any newbies discovering new here in the UK through this podcast, where should they begin? Like I personally have a soft spot for songs that we sing as well, probably mainly because it reminds me of my year away traveling, which is when, you know, line by the pool side in Thailand, just listening to these CDs that they were put on there. Is there an album that you're most proud of? I mean, that's always a difficult isn't it, because generally the one that you've just worked on probably is the one you feel most proud of. But perhaps the way I should ask it is that. Is there one that you think is most accessible, you know, for a you know, average joe? Yeah, well, I mean, what is average? You know? I feel like we're all complex beings. So, but I mean that's my that's my first record. Songs we seeing and and I get I really do have a I love that record. I think that the only the only thing that I think my only qualm with it, I would say, as far as is that once I've finished it, then I realized all the potential for more songs. So then my whole career after that has been like, well, what else can I do? You know? Yeah, so I guess if you start there and then you can see the evolution, or you can you can go backwards, start here and and go backwards and see. Start with a yellow code and see where that takes you. But yeah, I would maybe start the beginning or started the end, which where we want to go. But actually, you know, you can't. I think maybe for a listeners, if you if people wanted to check out, maybe just like tying into this conversation. On my Youtube Channel, MATT COST TO TV, I've been posting a lot of the songs on there, just with the means of what I have in my room here, and so sometimes I'll do it just acoustic and then sometimes I'll layer in, I'll do multiple me's playing basically how I work up a song. You know, I play the bass or I play these things, these and some are very fresh and new, they're not released yet, and some they span the whole they spend my whole career. But they're broken down into a way where it's as as pretty much as stripped down as can be and and the songs are there. So maybe if you want to start there, you can actually like it's you can actually see me doing it. Yeah, if you don't want to look at me, then just put on one of the records or something and drive around or whatever you do. I don't do it both. Don't put it on a watch me as you're driving. Yeah, that's dangerous. So definitely I'll I don't want to take responsibility for that. Stay Focus. Stay Focus. I honestly, I mean it's yeah, I've that's dangerous. So I don't condone that activity. I need your love, need your loves badly since I've fun you wanting no one else around me. Me Your love and I'm calling on you. o Holy Oh the night. Need Your love, need your loves badly. What a dream it's been. Your fun flowing around me, your love, and I'm calling on you almost hold me now. You don't worry, baby, how has come to you. All you gotta do is cool and Oh, thank you so much for your time tonight, all this morning for you. So I guess. Finally, just just to ask, is there anything that you'd like to plug as a little bit difficult here in the UK now you've done some like online virtual shows, but the time and has been such that it would have been kind of like four am for me. That's so yeah, big enough to be things I catch, you know, retrospectively. But yeah, is there anything you'd like to plug coming...

...up? No, I mean, I think that I just plugged it, you know, and it's more out of just excitement. It's my on my Youtube Channel, Matt cost a TV I. I'm always on there, whether it be late at night or I work something about I'm going to start doing. I've actually got a couple collaborations that I've been working on with different artists and it's another platform. I feel like that is a little bit that's a little more off the cuff, and so I can just sit here in my room and and work up an old song or a new song or a cover and and I've really gotten a kick out of that. I mean it over, the one thing that I think the that the last, yeah, the last year and a half, I think, has yielded among many other things, you know, but as far as as far as on a service level, it's like the the ability 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 new platform for me and I think that if you want to check that out, I it's I really have a blast doing it. So definitely, yeah, Vienna, can you hear me? Lads in on the afternoon, he roll, bringing ringing, ringing, ringing, bringing the sun when together, knowing back, some bringing back to bring, bring, bring, bringer, bring it to me. So let us so be luck in B and I lost most the streets. Call it all the trains in your love to bring, bring, bring, bring it, to bring it to me. But I definitely check that out myself and yeah, best of luck with it all as well. So thank you so much for agreeing to do this. We got there in the end. We did get there in the end. Yeah, we really got it. It all comes around, you know, I think. I think for me, yeah, the most the most important thing about it, I guess, if I were to if I can leave with a leave, with leave with something, a note, I guess is yeah, I think that music for me is transcendent and and I concerned. It is for everyone, you know, and to some in some degree. But it's the thing that I realized that in my life it started off as an idea. I wanted to play music. I didn't know where would lead me and I didn't I had no idea that I would actually become my life. Even now, the most of the people who are are in my life I've interacted with, whether they play music or not, and directly or indirectly, music has led me to them and whether it be even just because of common interest that are outside of music, in those things, but it's something that I think is just really opened up my mind and opened up my life to new ways and new thoughts and ideas and for that reason I'm really, really grateful and really really excited to see what the future, future yields because of even this this interaction here. You know, we're getting into some other topics that are outside of music and if it wasn't for the music, then we wouldn't have been talking about them. So thank you. Yeah, thank you. Okay, we'll cheer. Thanks very much. Yeah, and I'll be in touch all let you know when it's, when it's being launched the episode. Okay, sounds sounds good. Keeper...

...rocking. Okay, you too. Thank you. Okay, bye bye, bye. Bay. Mouth off was brought to by forget me not productions. We specialize in working with individuals with complex physical and or cognitive disabilities. We use assistive technology, such as which is, touchscreen devices or eye gaze to enable individuals with the most complex needs to take part independently in arts activities. In fact, the podcast mouth or started life as a as a passion project. I was working with an individual. He's a songwriter, musician, composer. He's also used I gaze to make works of art, to film music videos and basically I gaze is a tablet device that's mounted on his wheelchair with a camera in the front that tracks his eye movements and he communicates using his eyes right songs using his eyes. So it's really opened up a new world for him and within our sessions we looked at creating a podcast. So he's nonverbal and he uses a wheelchair, so no use of his hands. So he planned a podcast that was about. First one he did was about Gary Barlow, who's a musician that he really looks up to, and the second one that we then did back in February, two thousand and nineteen, I think it was, was about Ariana Grande, who was another musician that he really inspires him. I'm really from there. It's just developed into the podcast that it is today and we wouldn't be continuing without the support of listeners like you. So this is your time to have your say. Now you can follow us on our socials. So we're on twitter. You need to go to forget me not twitter page, which is the handle is at one. That's the number one at one underscore forget, or follow us on instagram. So all lowercase. It's forget me, not clary. That's Clarry. My Name See la ARY, and that's all lowercase. One word. Forget me, not clary. That's on the Instagram, or find us on facebook. Forget me not productions based in Tono rebel, not the film company based in New York. And Yeah, just just drop us a message. I mean really be great to get feedback, to have some reviews on facebook or on twitter, or just suggestions for upcoming episodes, new topics, new bonus episode, special features, whatever you want to hear more of. If you've got any recommended stories or guests that we could interview, please do drop us a line or leave us a message on on our website, www dot forget me not productions dot co dot UK. And if you want something a bit more in depth to say, then please send me an email. I'll read it out on the show. My email address is clary. That's the La are why at forget me not productions DOT CO DOT UK. Thanks again for listening and join US next time when I interview Sally Curtis and we have a chat all about the three principles. Thank you. So I really luck, I tell you. O, my son, though, your scars of blue, your giant of my bed. How can I get it rest now? Shall Day you will get the best of me. All the problem when gay, I'm lying in my bed and I was soon there but to rest now shall.

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