PHOTO CREDIT: Taylor Harford Photography
Matthew Gordon Price
HIS E.P., Rivalry, is out on 30th March…
and promises to be something very special. I have been speaking with Matthew Gordon Price about it and the stories that go into the tracks – and whether there is a song that stands out in his mind. He discusses the artists who have impacted him; what tour dates he has coming up; some new artists to watch carefully – how his current material differs from 2016’s The Bird & the Tree.
Price talks about idols like Damien Rice and which artists he was exposed to at a young age; what his personal aims are for this year; whether there is a favourite memory from his time in music; whether we can expect a single from the Rivalry E.P. – the talented songwriter tells me the three albums he holds dearest.
Hi Matthew. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi Sam. It’s been a bit mental, not going to lie. Working hard at the moment trying to get myself ready for the new release and, as an independent artist, it’s a difficult task organising everything - but I love doing it so can’t really complain.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m Matthew. I’m originally from a small seaside town called Burnham-on-Sea in Somerset - but now based in Plymouth. My music has been labelled Indie/Alt-Folk. I’ve been compared to Damien Rice, Glenn Hansard; Marcus Mumford, Keaton Henson and others alike.
Your E.P., Rivalry, is out on 30th March. Can you reveal the themes and ideas that are investigated throughout?
Honestly, I’d like to keep that a thought for the audience...
But, overall the E.P. is about showing everyone a new sound…a new direction and a new me, I suppose? The songs, themselves, are about more recent events in my life - but I think the lyrics paint a better picture than me spilling all the goods.
Is there a standout song from the E.P. that is particularly special?
Personally, they all mean a lot to me in different ways - but Sweet as Stone, when I first wrote that, meant a lot. It hurt to write it and it still does to sing it...although Numb is close behind.
Will you release a single from the E.P.? Can we see anything arrive before the end of March?
Yes. Sweet as Stone will be available from 2nd March. (Fingers crossed).
How does your current material differ to 2016’s The Bird & the Tree?
I still like performing the old stuff but my overall sound has changed dramatically. Vocally and band-wise I’ve gained a bigger and tighter sound - which I’m proud of – and am always striving for better, though, with recordings - as many musicians will probably agree.
You have made changes since then. You play with a full band. What was the decision behind recruiting members? How did you find them all?
I recorded my first E.P. with my drummer (Dan Johnson) and really from there it has grown. I found most of the other musicians through the local music scene or friends…
What kind of music did you grow up around? Do you have a first memory of music?
Anything my parents used to play in the house/car: mainly 1960s and 1970s music like The Beatles, The Kinks; Queen, Manfred Mann; T.Rex, The Hollies; Bob Dylan etc.
You have been compared to the likes of Damien Rice and Glenn Hansard. Are these artists important to you?
Damien Rice is a big inspiration for me - so I understand why people can sometimes say it comes across in my music. Glenn Hansard, on the other hand; people think I sound like him, vocally, which I have picked up on - and have listened to him more since.
IN THIS PHOTO: Jamie Jost
If you had to choose the three albums that mean the most; which would they be and why?
Damien Rice - O
Noah Gundersen - Carry the Ghost
Keaton Henson – Kindly Now
PHOTO CREDIT: RYWSessions
Can we see you tour soon? What gigs do you have coming up?
I’ve got a mini-London-tour in Feb. Then, working on an August tour with the band alongside supporting tour bands.
13th Feb: The Lucky Pig, London (7 P.M.)
15th Feb: The Pack & Carriage, London (7 P.M.)
7th April: EP LAUNCH: The Junction, Plymouth (8 P.M.)
20th April: The Spice of Life, London (7 P.M.)
PHOTO CREDIT: RYWSessions
If someone came to one of your gigs; what could they expect in terms of the material played and the stage set-up?
I like to put on a ‘show’ - and I don’t mean entertainment with Jazz hands: I mean, musically, I like to start ambient then hit hard with a Rock-y sound. Then, I’ll bring it down after a few numbers for an intimate solo set; then bring the band back on to perform the new E.P.
I’m usually a very quiet person on stage - but that’s something I’m working on.
What do you hope to achieve, personally, in 2018?
Personally, I just want to gain a following that loves my music; wants to watch me perform at intimate venues and that I could do house gigs/small events with. I’m not looking for fame or fortune: give me enough money to get by and I’ll be happy doing what I’m doing.
Obviously, more festivals would be good too, though – they are always a good laugh.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
Busking…no matter where, when or who with. I’ve busked with many different musicians and there is nothing like it. You get some real weirdoes, sometimes, who come up to you and chat – but, sometimes, you get really down-to-earth, lovely people.
I had a guy come up to us once, crying, saying what he heard was “so moving”. It’s those moments that you say to yourself: “This is what it’s about” - and I don’t mean making people cry. It’s about connecting with someone else and, even though they don’t know you; they don’t know the reasons you wrote the music – they connect with you.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Noah Gundersen – Cigarettes
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