Matchbook Romance

By paul

PT: Hi Andy, how’s the tour been going so far?
AJ: Yeah it’s been great. We’ve never played in such big rooms in the UK before, or the US as a matter of fact, it’s been a blast. We got to see some of Europe again and seeing the UK when you’re playing such big rooms is also a lot of fun as well. We’ve been kicking some ass!

PT: You did a headlining show in Newport the other day. How different was that to the rest of the tour?
AJ: Yeh, it was cool but the fact of the matter was there wasn’t a big turnout at all. People keep saying they don’t know about the shows. They’ve been saying they have been having a hard time with shows out there so I don’t really know what’s going on with that. It was a good show nonetheless.

PT: Have you had much of a chance to hang out with the guys from the other bands?
AJ: Ah yeah we’ve been hanging out with those guys like every night. Last night we got to see our friends in Motion City Soundtrack and the Matches and we got to meet OKGo and we all hung last night and partied!

PT: What have been the highlights and lowlights of the tour so far?
AJ: Highlights would be getting to see Europe again, I’ve got some friends out in Europe so it was really nice to go and visit them and just all of us hanging out in a foreign country’s pretty cool. One of the lowlights was definitely hanging out in France because everybody was just straight up rude to us all the time. The taxi driver’s were really crazy man.

PT: Yeah they’ve got a bit of a reputation.
AJ: Yeh they were insane, they got us almost into some heated situations but it ended up ok.

PT: Have you guys got any plans to come back and do your own tour any time soon?
AJ: Yeah, we’re hoping that with this tour we would have dragged some kids in our direction and they’ll want to come see us again. We’re hoping to get back out here in like four months or so and do some headlining shows and see what we can grab.

PT: About your albums – both ‘Voices’ and ‘Stories and Alibis’ each have their own sound. Was this intention; did you sit down and say ‘this is how we want voices to sound’ or was it more of a natural process?
AJ: It was definitely more of a natural progression. You know there was a three year gap between releasing S&A and ‘Voices’. When we recorded the first album we had never even toured before. We were all green to the whole situation of being in a band and what it’s all about. As we toured and stuff like that, all of us just playing together all the time, every single day kind of makes you want to take it to a further level.
PT: Yeah, you’re still learning all the time.
AJ: Yeah, we all learned new techniques and exercises and things and the next thing you know you kind of have a new sound! The best example I can use is that three years ago you probably didn’t even dress like that, probably didn’t have your hair like that or wear those glasses. It’s just a natural thing that at some point you’re like ‘I want to try this out’ and that’s how it kind of worked.

PT: Have you started writing anything for the follow-up to ‘Voices’ yet?
AJ: Yeah, we’re actually hoping to record that coming this New Year. As soon as it comes around we want to get out another record and not have to make kids wait.
PT: How’s it sounding?
AJ: Well we just realty started, but it’s sounding cool I think it’s going to be a little more action-packed but it’s definitely still gonna have the vibe and the mood of our older stuff!

PT: Good stuff man, can you name for us your favourite and least favourite Matchbook Romance Songs.
AJ: Favourite songs? Uhm, ‘Goody-like two shoes’, ‘Surrender’, ‘you can run but we’ll find you’. From the old album I love ‘Promise’, I love ‘If all else fails‘ and ‘Your stories, My Alibis’. Least favourites would have to be ‘My Eyes Burn’. It’s good but we’ve played it for so long now it’s getting a bit stale.
PT: It’s probably one of the songs you’ve played more than any else.
AJ: Yeah, we’re kind of over it. My absolute most hated song is ‘She’ll Never Understand’. We never play it, and I don’t think we ever have.

PT: What’s the deal with all the hidden secrets on the albums? In voices you had the plastic thing that confused a lot of people!
AJ: Haha, well what you do with the plastic thing, is you take it and put it over the wallpapers in the background. It says all over the album ‘there are voices in the walls’, and if you take the plastic and put it over them, there’s all these messages in the walls. It’s just for fun really.
PT: It’s pretty cool to add something else to just the music.
AJ: Yeah, and that’s kind of the angle we were going for. We always want to have something else to offer other than the music, something to let you climb in a little bit deeper.

PT: Yeah in some of the songs you had like a reverse lyric thing going on as well.
(Ryan Kienle adds from the other side of the room) Yeah, I heard about that on our message board. We didn’t do any of that intentionally; I think our first producer put a load of hidden shit on our first CD!

PT: How do you feel about the emo/punk genres getting the attention they have recently with bands like Fall Out Boy and Taking Back Sunday getting so big?
AJ: I think it’s great you know, just as long as everybody’s keeping it real and not trying to rip off each other. If everybody’s seriously writing from the heart and actually trying to contribute to the music world, and not trying to reiterate the same bullshit then it’s cool. I think it’s lame when people just do it for fame or whatever, and those people should be burned at the stake! Other than that, I think it’s great. Everybody works their ass of – I know Fall Out Boy work their asses off, and TBS work their asses off. It’s your job y’know, and it’s what you do.

PT: What albums have you been listening to recently?
AJ: Oh, I’ve been listening to a lot of Queen…
Ryan adds: The new Muse record is awesome. And Gnarls Barkley!
AJ: Haha yeh. I’m still listening to Blonde Redhead, Misery is a Butterfly, always listening to Radiohead.
RK: The new David Gilmour, Wolfmother! That shit is like it’s been put in a time capsule from 1968!

PT: Cheers, guys thanks for your time, have an awesome show.
AJ: No worries man, it’s been fun. Enjoy the show!

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]