Thursday, May 13, 2010

Who is Matt Powers? I had the questions, he's got the answers!

1.     What’s your favorite moment on stage?

My favorite moment on stage would have to be when I threw a guitar, caught it by its base inches from a friend's (the drummer's) face. It must have looked amazing... no pictures or video. It was early days. It was either that or when one of my friends I was in a band with years ago showed up at The Continental piss drunk on cheap whiskey and went from rhythm guitar to singer. Half way through a drunken rant he fell off stage and a mini accordion and a plastic bottle of whiskey fell out. He was then asked to leave. He jumped back on stage and dove into the drum kit. It was epic. I think I was pissed at the time but everyone present was convinced it was our best show. lol. Can those be my favorite? :D

2.     What's a goal for your music?
I want to be able to feed myself again with just music for starters. That would be great. I'm not a school sub by choice. I would be happy if I could support my family on just my solo music and not a hodge podge of jobs and bass playing for hire work. I've been playing bass for other people's bands for all my career for money. I just want to be able to do my own music and have the choice to work on other things. Relative success for sure. I'm not looking for Lady Gaga dimensions (a fellow NYU grad, duly noted) of success but I want to generate enough cash to pay for normal things like healthcare, a back-breaking proposition for any musician with a family or illness. My own wife has had cancer twice so paying for things is difficult at times.

3.     What band do you listen to for inspiration?
I listen to The Beatles, Kings of Leon, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Os Mutantes... and so many more... I think I listen to either something old or something new for inspiration. I tend to write several types of music so I like to have a diaspora of influences. Lately I've been listening to Peter Gabriel for inspiration. I haven't listened to him for years (since high school). I oscillate so I don't stale. If all I listened to was Sonic Youth all day all the time, I'd sound like them. By continuously rotating my listening but keeping the bar high, I get a well rounded set of good influences. Much like Aphex Twin's claim to listen to only his music to prevent influence, I try and balance influence by variety and rotation.  I have a lot of music at home....

4.     Do you have a place you would like to play a show, but haven’t had chance? 
Yes, I want to play Madison Square Garden. I know its crazy and presumptuous, but that is my desire. I love big stages. I played with this band The Cringe in '04 opening for Ian Ashbury with the Doors and there was close to 10,000 people there for them. When we started our set there was close to 1000 folks out there, but when we finished it was well over 5,000. Biggest crowd ever. Very thrilling. I've played many outdoor stages since and its only made me more fixated on big stages. I love them! My immediate goal is to play the Viper Room with a band, but I first need to get a band back together. Mine broke up in Sept '09. I've been doing solo work since. Getting into the Viper Room is not a great feat by any standard though, and that's why I look more to the A level circuit for gigging (like House of Blues, MSG, etc). I want to break out of the bar gig circuit. I think its a dead end, created specifically with a ceiling that keeps those inside from leaving.

5.     Do you ever get stage fright?
I don't get stage fright. I always knew I'd be a musician. I do get nervous when I don't have an instrument in my hand. I feel naked. I feel indestructible with a bass in my hands. (I did a 2 year stint at NYC's Continental doing a biweekly solo bass show that was mostly improvised so I like the uncertain). I knew from a very early age that I'd be playing music. My family didn't recognize my seriousness. I used to hide my lyrics in elementary school in my mattress because if found my brothers would no doubt destroy them and take the stuffing out of me. Music was a compulsion. I can remember wearing out my Who tape around the time my little brother was born so I was 6 or 7 years old.

6.     What’s your drink of choice when on stage/ pre-performence?

Hm. I don't drink alcohol anymore. Most of my friends thought I wouldn't live to see 30. They were very surprised when I managed to quit. My current drink of choice: Yerba Mate (the latin American herbal tea that has more antioxidants than Green Tea & Pomegranate juice combined!). My fav brand: Guayaki, its Fair Trade & Organic. It helps sustain the rainforests of South America as well. It causes euphoria in some people. I drink it everyday... But I'm not entirely euphoric on a day-to-day basis...

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