Thursday, 30 December 2010

Goals for 2011

To eat food that is healthy To drink liquid that makes me feel better not worse To write a blog post every day To take exercise every day Complete the Fierce and the Dead Album and play some gigs with them. To Complete my third instrumental album and complete "the trilogy" To post a video every month To continue to grow my music teaching and social media To only play gigs that are worthwhile to me musically (and not loose money doing them) (even if this mean only doing a few) To fund my music through other interesting work

Sunday, 5 December 2010

All about Tubeify

This morning I received an invite to a new music service - Tubeify. What it does is use the Last FM database to allow you to listen to virtually any song or entire album as long as its on Youtube (and most songs are). Its like Spotify with a much bigger catalogue, all the music you want streaming free to your computer. Where Spotify is limited by the albums it can license Tubeify streams them via Youtube so includes many of the artists that won't license to spotify ie The Beatles, Pink Floyd, etc. This is a very scary thing to the old music industry and I would imagine they are currently in the process of trying to shut it down. It is truly a global juke box, music as a service rather than a product.
Will this mean people will no longer download music? I think we will still, for mobile use (at the moment) but potentially this could be a really useful solution for people who just want to listen to music at home on their computers. Maybe this will make the major labels more willing to negotiate deals with the likes of Spotify. Tubeify is currently only available by invitation only but its worth emailing them on the site, apparently the invites are easy to get. Also the quality of the recording on Tubeify depends on how it was uploaded to youtube so sometimes its quite poor and volume levels can vary from song to song if you are listening to an entire album.
For indie artists it makes it even more important to have you songs available on Youtube - you don't need a video just a photo of you or your album and ideally your web address to accompany your music. Maybe Tubify is the future, maybe it isn't but someday something like it will be. The indie community can move faster than the majors who need to have every decision go through hundreds of people. This is potentially an opportunity for us DIY's to be ahead of the everyone else. You can share what you are listening to on Tubeify, wouldn't it be great if you were the first musician to become popular through Tubeify?

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Classic Rock Society Magazine review of Ghost

Great review of Ghost in the Classic Rock Society Magazine:

Matt Stevens – Ghost
This is an album of excellent instrumental acoustic guitar-led prog. Stevens hails from London and uses both internet and live performances to thoroughly promote himself. This is his second release. It is considered music, somehow diluting the essence of past decades into a captivating listen, giving you snippets of Fripp and Radiohead among others. I can only think of one other acoustic guitarist who pushes the boundaries, and that’s Steve Unruh (The Great Divide). The ten tracks have great intelligence and variety with common guitar loop technique, enhanced through crafted and inventive embellishment (dissonant riff, glockenspiel, bass, real & programmed drums) to create cinematic and atmospheric prog. From sparse and dark (‘Ghost’) to post-rock (‘8:19’), there’s plenty to savour. DP

Cheered me up :) - its been weird being off FB and Twitter, i've got more done to be honest but I miss the sense of community

Friday, 3 December 2010

Bob Lefsetz/Time Off FB/Twitter

I'm taking some time off Twitter and Facebook and Forums for a few days to spend some time with family but just wanted to post this highly useful list by the excellent industry commentator Bob Lefsetz:

1. Be really damn good. Great art makes up for a ton of ills. One can argue strongly if Mel Gibson makes a movie on his own dime and it's great, he can reemerge from the depths. We're a forgiving populace.

2. Don't fall on your sword. Your crime doesn't mean as much to people as the mainstream press says it does. Kevin Smith sat at home, depressed as the man labeled "too fat to fly", but eventually Tiger Woods crashed his car and Smith's foibles on Southwest, which were inaccurately reported, faded away. A career in the public eye is first and foremost about persistence, and perseverance.

3. Play the mainstream media game, die by the mainstream media game. News outlets don't care about you, they care about advertising, they care about ratings. Don't let the tail wag the dog. Katy Perry is in the news every damn day, but she still can't sell out an arena. Get your perspective right. Katy's handlers have got it totally wrong. What does showing off your tits have to do with music? Kanye's not the best-looking dude on the planet, but it doesn't matter, because people believe he's good.

4. If you're not willing to give away something for free, you're not willing to have a career. If Kanye can give away free tracks, why can't you? It's about your relationship with your fans. The song doesn't have to be on the album. You've got to know where in the food chain to charge, and it's not at every contact point.

5. Maintain contact. You're doing your own act. Now, with the Internet, you don't need permission to do it. You can perform on YouTube, you can tweet, less is more is history. Now you always give more, and the public decides how much it wants to graze in your neighborhood. Fans come and go, but you can't let it impact your art. You've got to do what you want to do, not what you think the audience wants.

6. Have a personality. If no one hates you, you're not doing it right.

7. Don't focus on the album release. Your marketing's got to go on for years. The Doobie Brothers released a new album. Straight to the dumper. There was no Twitter presence, no fan engagement, just a record most fans don't know exists and don't want anyway. And I only use the Doobies because they're an ancient act, and all the ancient acts don't know how to do it. You don't need a label and you don't need an album. You need fans, which you've got, and you need to know how to reach each and every one of them. Pat Simmons should have played acoustic in someone's house. The band should have done live performances of classics on YouTube. They should have gotten their fans involved. If Paul McCartney wants to sell a new album, he's gonna have to do it this way too. Unless you want to be a recluse, if you want to survive in the new world, you've got to get yourself out there. Don't pooh-pooh it as marketing, it's performing! And isn't that what you do! And it can be as much about music as you want it to be.

8. In a chaotic era you've got to go your own way, you've got to forge your own path. No one knows, certainly not the mainstream media guys or those at the label. They know how it used to be done. It's incumbent upon you to do it your own way, for yourself. The Eagles can't sell every ticket? How come Don Henley's not on Twitter, he's got opinions. Just putting tickets on sale is no longer enough. Hell, how do people even find out about the gig? Most people complain they didn't know you were playing. And if you're a new act? You've got to be good. And if your goal is to connect with the mainstream and have it do your bidding, you've got it wrong. It's about a career. And you build it. And it works because you've got fans. Your label doesn't own your fans, nor does the radio station, only you do. Start there.

Read this article, it's really well done:

Monday, 29 November 2010

Yonks and other recording projects

Hello Blog Readers :)

Hope you're good? Enjoying a cup of tea of or a light ale?

After the excitement of playing to hundreds of people at Islington Academy today I've being doing guitar part for Jessica Grace's new album - a track that features me, Kev from The Fierce and The Dead and Seb Roachford from Polar Bear/Acoustic Ladyland. Recording went well - played lots of different parts, some harmony bits and a lot of Johnny Marr-esque jangle on my Telecaster. Great tracking guitar thru a Fender Hotrod. I shall have to post the track when the album comes out.

Another recording project I'm working on is Yonks - with Lextrical. Mostly its improv stuff along to programmed parts by Lextrical - some stuff with him playing guitar in unusual tunings. Very modal/experimental/electronic. We're hoping to get an EP out soon and are playing at an exhibition of Mythical Taxidermy soon. Seriously!

Yonks in the Studio:


One last photo from the Islington gig:


Sunday, 28 November 2010

Lessons learned from the BJH support gig :)

The BJH support gig at Islington Academy was really fun - great crowd, the BJH guys were ace and they really looked after me - I had shepherds pie and beer!!

Some stuff I learned:

Playing in front of that many people is a weird experience, its actually less scary than a pub as you can only see the first few rows due to the lights being on you.

Don't use the toilet in front of the Academy as the entire audience are walking out of the venue. Its never easy to meet new fans when "doing your business" :)

BJH fans are amazingly loyal to the band - people had travelled from Japan, New York and Germany - JUST TO BE AT THIS GIG. Brilliant.

The audience were really nice people, they really seemed to enjoy my set, from the people I spoke to. I noticed a few people watching that had been to other gigs I'd done - which is really positive. I had a chance to speak to a few people who had discovered my music online seeing me play live for the first time - I'm really pleased its reaching people.

A few months ago I thought I'd never play live again due to my back injury so doing something on this scale really meant a lot to me :)

This is Kev from the Fierce and The Dead - he helped me so much at the gig - thanks mate:

Some Photos from the gig by Peter Marchant and Kevin Feazey and Me:
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I'm playing again on Thursday at the Millers in London with Furniture - I'm doing a longer set and its only £5 to get in - come down and have a beer :). On Wednesday I'm recording 2 more songs for album number 3 - thanks to everyone who has paid for my stuff and giving me the opportunity to make records.

If you want both my albums on CD for £8 - this is the last weekend to get them, order them here - due to rising manufacturing costs I'm going to have put the price up in December, frustrating but true.

See you all soon

Matt Stevens

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Whats happening ere then?

Hows it going? Hope you're good. I'm doing a free web stream gig tonight at 6.30 pm UK Time - its only an half hour set but you should stay around to watch the excellent James Corachea and Ernesto Schnack. You can watch it here: Would be awesome to see you there - the international times are here: Its a warm up for the Barclay James Harvest support gig on Friday - I can't wait - its the biggest venue I've ever played outside of festivals - the Islington Academy holds nearly 1000 people. If you want to get both my albums for £8(plus postage) the offer is ending at the end of the November. Order them here - thanks to everyone who has payed for CD's/downloads already - thanks to your support I have been able to book a day in the studio in Decembr. If you have got my music free please pass it on and copy it for your friends, I really appreciate it :) - Obscurity is the enemy, not piracy and all that. Thanks loads Matt Stevens

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Now listening to

I have man fu :(

Just had an email about appearing in a documentary about "social media musicians" - interesting, not sure I'm that.

Currently Listening To:

Draw - Foam/90's Demos
NIN - The Slip
Opeth - Still Life
Jesu - Conqueror
Fierce And The Dead - Demos
Zoe Keaing - Into The Trees
Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
Boards Of Canada - Music Ha The Right To Children
VoiVod - Angel Rat
Danny Elfman - Edward Scissorhands OST (its nearly christmas)

Along with shivering I'm doing some more writing today - you can never have too many songs.

I took this on Tuesday morning in North London


Speak soon

Matt Stevens

Sunday, 14 November 2010

BJH Support - news and all that


News and all that:

My current album Ghost is back in stock on CD, filling my living room (apparently they make lovely christmas presents) as is my first album Echo - if you do want one in time for Christmas please order early - it would be hugely appreciated and it helps us to fund the recording of a my third solo album - most of the songs are written now and I can't wait to record them.

The gig on Tuesday went well - the warm up stage is now complete! I'm now ready for this gig in London on the 26th - my biggest gig to date supporting Barclay James Harvest at London Islington Academy - I'm on at 7pm - would be amazing to see you there tickets are £20 plus booking and available here. Apparently there are people coming from across Europe to the gig(for BJH)!!

Also I'm playing at the Miller in London with the excellent Jazz trio Furniture - hopefully we're going to try jamming on some songs together as well - its £5 to get in and there are tickets are available here.

On my Podcast there are now 41 tracks subscribe with 11 more still to come, enough to fill a Sunday. This weeks song is a remake of my track "As We Fall" by the ambient artist Ambienteer, there is a new track(a demo, a remix or live track) every week.

Thanks so much for all your support - if it wasn't for you buying the albums I wouldn't be able to continue doing this.

Speak soon
Matt Stevens

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Matt Stevens Flyer A5

I've just had 2.5K of these printed! I will be handing these out at gigs and Denmark street etc - if you fancy putting some up for me I'd really appreciate it. Let me know if you can help me distribute them - email me at and I'll send you some :)

Thanks :)

Friday, 5 November 2010



Its been an odd week - all the sunday looping gigs are done,. Was fun to play the gigs - thanks so much to everyone who watched. I shall miss the community of people who watched them.

The interview I did for Alarm Press is one of their most read - which is cool. Its a very cool site and I'm not :) Read it at:

I'm going to focus on getting ready to do the Barclay James Harvest support @ the end of the month - really looking forward to it. I'm doing another little warm up at an acoustic night next Tuesday if you fancy coming down for a pint its at Biddle Brothers - cool little east london venue.

I recorded this little electronic thing this week while trying to demo some stuff - i thought it might grow into something but it didn't. Its called Summerhill:

Powered by

Early December I'm doing this gig with Furniture - my friend Phill's excellent new jazz trio:


Saturday, 30 October 2010

Alarm magazine feature and webstream tomorrow


Hope you're good?

I'm really pleased there is a feature on me in the US Alarm magazine - you can read the feature and interview right here: Once again its thanks to the support of people who read this that the buzz has grown.

I did my first gig in ages at The Peel this week, was fun and a moderate success! The open mic:


Always good to play again, just 4 songs but I've missed it so much and the audience were really appreciative so thats good. The journey was 3 hours there and 3 back, a trek from one side of London to another. Worth it and amazing to think only 3 months ago I thought I'd never play live again due to my back injury. I'm doing another warm up in a couple of weeks.

This Sunday I'm doing a final UStream gig of my month run at Cafe Noodle - streaming free on the web here. Its at 8pm UK time at:

International times are here:

If you want a copy of my B-Sides album its available until tomorrow as a pay what you want download here, when its going to be deleted. Thanks to everyone who have downloaded it so far - with the money raised I'm recording another track for album number 3 - probably one called Up, which is a new upbeat "Big Sky" type song with Kevin Feazey soon.

Speak soon
Matt Stevens

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Adrian Belew Power Trio live London

On Sunday I went to see the Adrian Belew Power Trio. The gig was amazing - incredible trio - Julie Slick is a brilliant bass player. They did a load of Crimson stuff Dinosaur, Three Of A Perfect Pair, Indiscipline - loads. They played the majority of the power trios's new record - the title track was a real highlight - interesting to see Adrian doing loops and all his FX run off a laptop. I have since found out from Steve Lawson that he was using Mobius running on his laptop for loops. It was Tobias the drummer's second gig with the band - incredible to see - excellent drummer. Almost like seeing Crimson without Fripp.

The venue was about 50% full but the audience where incredibly enthusiastic and really enjoyed it - even moving in time to the odd timings. Best gig I've been to since Sigur Ros. I got a chance to talk to Twitter friends Steve Lawson and Jerry and my old work colleague Ben - I went with Fierce and Deadly Mr Feazey (thanks for driving mate). Unfortunately I missed the Tinyfish guys, James and Wilf - next time deffo :)
Adrian Belew playing in LondonAdrian Belew and Tobias Ralph in LondonJulie Slick playing with the Adrian Belew Power Trio in London
This gig really meant a lot to me because when I brought the ticket my back was really, really f'd and i wasn't sure if i would be able to go and thanks to my brilliant osteopath I was able to attend and stand up and enjoy it.

All the photos from the gig are by Steve Lawson

Today I'm rehearsing my tight 20 min set for the gig on Thursday I'm doing at the Peel. Trying not to wander off too far with the improv (no 10 mins tracks!). Also i'm learning to play standing up which I couldn't do a few months back either. I'm only taking one pedal and a guitar for the next few gigs so thats weird as well. If you fancy coming down give me a shout and we'll have a pint.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Interview in Acoustic magazine

Evening all

Its all go here - there is a full page interview with me in the new Acoustic magazine - really odd - I wandered into my local WH Smiths and it was in there. I felt a right prat in the shop, reading it!! Weird getting national press - i am really pleased :)

Matt Stevens Interview In Acoustic Magazine
On Friday me and Kev were recording again for my next solo album, it was electric guitars and some Squarepusher/Aphex drum loops - I managed to get Kev on bass again so thats good. We got some great tape delay sounds. Its a bit Tortoise a bit Summers/Fripp and a bit dropping bits like the Pixies. I shall look forward to playing it to you - its called 20 GOTO 10. And we used the "Husker Du" thunderbird bass - cool :)

This Sunday I'm doing a load of Covers/Esterica/Improv and some other stuff on UStream at 5pm - would be great to see you there. The reason its a bit earlier is that I'm off to the Islington Academy to see Adrian Belew that night - seems crazy to think I'll be playing there next month supporting Barclay James Harvest. Belew is brilliant one of my favorite guitar players. I just had a look at the Academy - its bloody massive - holds nearly 1000 people - Look:


Big - my mate Kev has been briefing me on the "tight half hour set" which is quite hard to get down from the 3 hours of material I have acquired in the last 4 years. And that doesn't include the improv stuff. Blimey.

Speak soon

Matt Stevens

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Web Stream Gig Tonight and BJH Support


Tonight at 8pm tonight I will be webstreaming. I'll be playing my album Ghost in full, would be great if you could join us(its free).

The international times are:

and you can watch at:

Also I have been confirmed as the support act for the John Lees Barclay James Harvest at the London Islington Academy - I'm on at 7pm on the 26th November here - tickets are £20.00 plus booking:

Thanks for your support - its been a great year for me in terms of my music and its all down the to the support of the listeners here. Thank you - if you like the music here please tell a friend, burn them a CD or invite them to the Facebook page. Its hugely appreciated.

Speak soon

Matt Stevens

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Like my CD? Burn one for your friends


Something great happened yesterday. An old friend of mine said he was burning copies of my album Ghost to give to fellow students who go to the local guitar teacher. This is great - brilliant opportunity to get this odd esoteric music across to a niche audience, brilliant. Hopefully some of these students will burn CD's for their friends and it will continue to grow. Now if I play live in the Northants area I have more chance of having an audience. Another friend in South Africa said he does the same,burning CD's.

Some people would probably argue that this is piracy but i believe its more important to develop an audience than fight for copyright you can't hope to protect in 2010. Once you have an audience its far easier for musicians to earn a living rather than playing to no one.

What I have learned this year is not everyone likes what I do - its a niche interest, Thats fine with me because the people who like what i do are really into it and make an effort to tell their friends. The supportive emails, tweets and facebook messages from the frankly bloody lovely audience I've gained really mean a l lot to me, i feel lucky to have an audience and most of this is thru "free" music. This audience also helped to pay my costs by buying my CD's/downloads - they choose to pay because they like the music and want to hear more of it

I think when you realise that people want to support music they enjoy piracy becomes far less scary. So please do share my music on torrents, burn CD's and swop files etc - you're helping me to grow my audience :)

Thank you

Matt Stevens

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Streaming gig tomorrow


Its Saturday night and what am I doing? Yup sending an email to everyone on my mailing list - rock n roll(I am having a crafty Guinness thou)!!

I've been rehearsing all day getting ready for the Ustream streaming gig tomorrow(Sunday)  - 2pm UK time at there is a facebook event for it here and the international times are here. I'm playing the whole of my album Echo (my first one), in full. Some of the songs I've not played for a couple of years and I might never do again to be honest. If you want to record it there are instructions here.

I'm proud to say my fiend Alun Vaughan the solo bassist has made an album for the Multiple Sclerosis Society which features a glorious cover of my song Big Sky - really great.

I found this on youtube today - amazing Delia Derbyshire stuff - I love the BBC Radiophonic Workshop(shes most famous for the Doctor Who theme).

Also weirdly Ghost is about to sell out on CD again - I really need to sort it out and keep it in stock. Esoteric(which is an album of B-Sides and stuff) will be deleated soon so if you want that you can get it here.

I'm just about to confirm some gigs - if they come off will be very cool - biggest ones i've done - I'm not allowed to talk about it yet!

Speak soon

Matt Stevens

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

The Problem With Music Retail

I was reading a tweet yesterday moaning about a major UK retailer of CD's not stocking new bands. Here is the truth of the situation:

High Street CD retailers would LOVE to carry stock of EVERY band that their customers want.

But they can't because they don't have the stock budget and the shelf space to make it possible. Footage of CD's has been reduced in all retailers to allow in T-Shirts,Ipods and other more profitable items. There are a lot of people in music retail who are really big music fans, its often what got them into the job, decent people.

You could argue that they could take chances and promote new bands, but this is a risky business. The music scene is moving too fast for the the high street, if a track is big on Twitter and blogs by the time it gets into the shops its often old news. The only people buying CD's on the high street are people after convenience,collectors and people are who don't use the web (and they are less likely to be into new music). If people want fresh new music they look online, there has been a cultural shift.

Musicians like me who make their music available online free/pay what you want are a real problem for music retailers because I can't afford to give away my royalties from my albums purely for distribution that I can do myself online. They don't really have a lot to offer me(apart from access to an offline audience how have never heard of me). Now me as an individual not selling my music thru the high street matters little, but there are thousands of artists taking thousands of pounds out of high street music retail. This is a big dent and its only going to get bigger.

The only way music retailers can hope to keep going is to diversify product and make the in store experience FANTASTIC. Unique goods and in store events are the way forward - think experience rather than shelf stacking. Empower local communities with events and make people WANT to spend money in the shops. Support charities and build goodwill - make the store a hub with band performances and signings and knowledgeable, passionate staff(hint - offer them incentives). Only by making it exciting for customers can they hope to continue and even then I think the days are numbered. At the end of the day musicians and listeners no longer need them.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Can you record my next live album for me?

I'm not recording the gigs I'm playing live on the internet every Sunday this month, but you can. Here how to do it - please feel free tape what you like :) - its easy!!

See you all tomorrow, hopefully.


How to record a ustream:
You can use Audacity on PC - here is a Wiki on how to do it on the Mac - its pretty easy.
Here is a live bootleg of a recent gig of mine to get you started - download it here
or watch it here and record it yourself!!!

Share and torrent all you like as long as its for non commercial purposes.Post links on the forum at Cafenoodle

I'm doing streaming gigs on the Cafe Noodle site over the course of the next few weeks to get myself back in to playing live after messing my back up. Watch live every Sunday in October here:

or on ustream at:

International times for the first gig are here:

Download my music free/pay what you want here:

Live Streaming Ustream gigs on the web
Every Sunday in October 2010 - A series of themed gigs

3rd October - 8pm UK
10th October - 2pm UK (playing Echo)
17th October - 8pm UK (playing Ghost)
24th October - 5pm UK(playing Covers and Esoterica)
31st October - 8pm UK(Halloween)

Friday, 1 October 2010

World Tour Of The Internet

Happy Friday!!!

I am proud to announce the world tour of the internet!!! :) - Playing live online getting ready to play live in the real world/

World Tour copy

My album Ghost is back in stock again on CD, finally - you can order it here for £5, unfortunately its running low again now - I really need to sort that out. Also you can both my albums for £8 plus postage as well until the end of October.

This weekend I'm doing a streaming gig at - would be great to see you there at 8pm UK time on Sunday - its free on UStream. It's part of my world tour of internet - I'm playing live on the web every sunday in October, some weeks I'll be doing specific albums or covers or just a normal set. Facebook event is here - world times are here.

Please tell your friends, this music only really works as a word of mouth thing(and its been amazing the way its worked so far).

Thanks again


Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Ghost Trak By Track Part 5 (final part)


The last song I wrote for the album - its in a very odd time signature - the original version was even odder. I must relearn this. The guitars are tuned to drop B. The middle part is a melodica - bit Yann Tierson. The percussion and handclaps are Kev. We recorded this at my house when i couldn't travel due to my back injury. I really like the lead part on this. There is a backwards Glockenspiel on this one, we really got our money's worth with that. More faded in guitar chords at the end. The title is not about the supernatural its about the people you don't notice in society.


Its a bit Nick Drake at the start, tuned down a semi-tone - the only folky thing on Ghost. Glock again on the chorus. I really like the inversions coming out of the first chorus. It all goes a bit metal at the end. Stuart Marshall plays drums - it was recorded at the same sessions at Pinna as the first Fierce And The Dead EP - busy day! I like the solo at the end. It was the last thing i recorded before my back injury got really bad.

Kev mastered/mixed the album next and I approved stuff via the web.

I was really conscious of using only a few different timbres so i tried to get the running order as different as possible, different key signatures and time signatures next to each other to create a feeling of variety. The running order took me ages to come up with - i used a chart with the BPM and Key Signature and put the album together like that. Nerdy but worth it!!!!

And thats how we made ghost. Done. And it only took nearly 2 years.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

My Album Track By Track Part 4 a song for my wife


This is a song I wrote for my wife, it was written around 2005-2006. Its about the way she walks. We didn't come up with the glockenspiel part until when we recorded it, the melody was on guitar on the earlier versions. The chorus part had different chords at first, I added some more inversions, as usual. There is another guitar at the end, a volume faded and looped part, for the fake string effect a bit like at the end of Chasing The Sun off Echo. I played this at our Wedding Reception when i did a little set.


When I was a lad(too long ago) messing around in Spencer Park i got my alarm on my watch jammed at 8.19pm - it would go off at that time every day, I couldn't stop it. In Withnail and I they say even a broken clock twice a day. This song is about people getting stuck in the past. The guitar part is played with an ebow and the guitars are layered up in multiple harmonies. I must TAB this out one day. Kev the producer plays drums in the choruses, the drums at the end is my mate Stuart Marshall playing a drum loop and we cut it up.

This is my favorite song on the album, although that changes from day to day. The noise part at the end is me and Kev both attacking a Squier Jagmaster guitar - we really should have made a video of that. This song has a kind of Johnny Marr/Sigur Ros feel. Some people thought it was in an odd timing but really its the Pixies trick of not looping things in 4's. There is a dirtier version of this on Esoteric.

Monday, 27 September 2010

My Album Ghost Track By Track 3

Burnt Out Car

This is in 4/4 tuned down a semi tone to Eb - the intro is quite Pumpkins/Hendrix riff into a Sonic Youth bit in the middle. Kev is playing hand percussion on this, I think its a shaker egg. It was recorded at my house in the front room with overdubs and mixed at The Map Room, North London. The heavy bit at the start reminds me of Kind Crimson - Larks Tongues. To be honest if you took off the percussion this could have been on my first album although it was written in early 2010 lying on the floor with my messed up back. If only I'd seen an Osteopath back then :)

Lakeman - 4/4 a bit Depeche Mode/Pink Floyd. I really like this one - it was the first we recorded for Ghost towards the end of 2008 at Pinna Studios. The first sounds is a backwards chord on an acoustic guitar.The electro hits and bass are all off the Kaossilator and the Sleigh bells(I think) I'm playing. I remember used to play this live thru 2008/2009. The effects in the chorus were added later its a bit of distort and tremolo then we overdub a Mellodica melody. The Mellotron bits in the middle remind me of King Crimson Starless off Red(2 crimson references in a row) which was a major influence on me but I didn't realise until later, when someone said on Twitter. The Mellotron and the music box are both VST instruments. The drums are a loop of Stewart Marshall that Kev cut up. The solos on this were also created by cutting up longer takes. I'd really like to reassemble this to play it live again. Recorded in late 2008 just after we finished Echo, it took so long to make Ghost, nearly 2 years off and on in dead time at Pinna and at my house.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Classic Rock Presents Prog Review


Sunday Free Noodle 33 - A Rushden Jam

Sunday Free Noodle 32 is:

Rushden Ascension - Live 2010 on UStream

This is a live jam improvised bit recorded on UStream this weekend at the Cafe Noodle live stream event- thanks to all you amazing people who donated money and all those who watched and performed - in total we raised £540 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society - thanks so much. To be honest i get a bit emotional thinking about it!!

Powered by

By the way for those who are interested this is the equipment i used at the Livestream(as requested)

Monday, 20 September 2010

Free Live Album and Post Cafe Noodle


Wow - that was an amazing weekend - we raised £515 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society and lots of amazing people played, it was brilliant - if you want to donate you still can here. I will post a full blog soon. In the meantime yesterday I promised if we did over £500 I'd post a free live album of the UStream gig I did over the weekend - the audience were all online - I'm talking to them in the chat room. You can download the album here.

Thanks so much - I was blown away by the generosity and community spirit - wow.

Speak soon


Friday, 17 September 2010

Webstream Festival and a message from the monkey

Thanks to everyone who has blogged, podcasted and even made a video about the Web Streamed festival this weekend. Greatly appreciated :)

Here is video from the the space monkey about the festival:

Updated line-up for the 18 and 19th web streamed festival here with donations in aid of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

The first act will be on at 3pm BST on both days - International times are here

Running Order:

18th Sept

3pm - Nick Tann
4pm - Steve Moyes
5pm - Rainer Straschill
6pm - Tracy Shaun
7pm - Chrissie Caulfield
8pm - Samm Neiland
9pm - Alun Vaughan
10pm - James Sera
11pm - Thanks and running total of money raised

19th Sept

3pm - Tom Slatter
4pm - Usit
5pm - Ernesto Schnack
6pm - Darren Nelsen
7pm - Matt Stevens
8pm - Pierre Masse
9pm - James Corachea
10pm - Stephen Goodman
11pm - Diana Zook
12pm - Thanks and end :)

I can't wait to see if it all works and we raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Speak soon


Thursday, 16 September 2010

Full Line Up for the Ustream this weekend


Finally we have the line up for the Ustream festival this weekend - I'm really excited about this. 14 Performers from across the globe coming together to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society - wonderful.

If you have a blog PLEASE help us by blogging about the event or tweet or tell your mates on facebook.

The full line up is

18th Sept

3pm - Nick Tann
4pm - Steve Moyes
5pm - Rainer Straschill
6pm - Tracy Shaun
7pm Chrissie Caulfield
8pm Samm Neiland
9pm Alun Vaughan
10pm James Sera

19th Sept

3pm - Tom Slatter
4pm - Usit
5pm - Ernesto Schnack
6pm - Darren Nelsen
7pm Matt Stevens
8pm - Pierre Masse
9pm - James Corachea

Today I will be playing live and having a chat a few times today here(no idea what times, check twitter if you want to watch!!) to promote the gig

You can chat to me here:

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Album Number 3 Day 1 - Electric Guitars

Its started again and its tough because I'm still recovering from the back injury but we've started recording again. Album number 3. I just hope this one doesn't take a couple of years like the last 2!

And the first change is we're using this to track guitars - my Fierce and The Dead Telecaster. The song is called Scapegoat.


The time signature is 7/8 then 6/8 for one loop then 7/8 then 6/8 then two more bars of 7/8, then an extra bar of 7. Its really melodic so it doesn't sound too odd thou!

Genius @ work - its that man Kevin Feazey again.


And if you're going to use on pedal, its that one again:

Ghost type photo taken on Sunday in the best pub on Green Lanes - using Hipstamatic on the iphone(not that I'm drinking cause of the pain killers):

I wrote this today for the live unsigned blog - Remixes for musicians.

And I'm getting ready for the ustream festival on Saturday and Sunday to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society - its all very exciting :)

Speak soon


Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Ustream Gig This Weekend and album number 3

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who downloaded my mini album Esoteric in the last few weeks. This means i can pay for studio time so I've started on the next studio album with Kev. This really means a lot to me to be able to keep making this music, I'm going to try some electric guitar on this one but its still loop based.
On The 18 and 19th of September we will be holding a web streamed festival at:

With donations in aid of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Confirmed acts include - Alun Vaughan, Matt Stevens,Nick Tann, Rainer Straschill,Tracy Shaun, Chrissie Caulfield, Sam Neiland, USit, Steve Moyes and many more...

If you could also do us a massive favor and tell your friends and blog about this about this that would be awesome :)

The first act will be on at 3pm BST on both days - International times are at:
Also my second album Ghost is once again available to order on CD after the limited edition one sold out - you can order it here.

See you all at the streaming gig - would be great to have your support and raise some money for a very good cause.
Thanks loads
Speak soon

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

What's your favorite genre of music?

Dunno - i like chords really maybe Pop music - Beatles, Radiohead,stuff like the that :)

Ask me anything

Monday, 6 September 2010

Ghost Track By Track Part 2

Ghost Track By Track - Part 2


11/8 over 4/4 - Glockenspiel melody into quite bluesy soloing for me. We put this together by editing down a 7 minute guitar solo and cutting out the best bits, which I believe is something Dave Gilmour used to do in Floyd. The sounds at the end aren't synths, they are volume swelled acoustic guitars for a fake string sound. A harmony part to the first part comes in at the end, it sounds really percussive but it is tonal. We got the Glockenspiel for £25 in Macaris on Charing Cross road in London before it moved to Denmark Street. Thats a great shop. Its never quite the same when shops move is it?


A tribute to one of my favorite bands Draw. Draw were an incredible band from Northants who i was lucky enough to see live in the early 90's many times. Russ, the guitarist was a major inspiration in his use of delay, he used to change the speed of the delay with his feet. Hopefully me and Russ will be doing a record together, we've been talking about it via Twitter.

This is in 6/8 with me playing bass, drum programming by Mr Kevin Feazey. There was originally an acoustic rhythm part(which if you saw me play live was there). We stacked the lead guitar as a harmony part for the verse then into those ascending chords in the chorus. Thats Kev playing real drums on the chorus. Some of my favorite lead playing on the album is the lead bit at the end of the song over the second chorus(its more of melody really).

This went through many revisions - there is a different version on the podcast feed with Fuzz bass. There are some backwards parts at the end and parts played through my Line 6 Filter modeller, quite Frippy, analogue guitar synth parts. I'm not sure if the end is too long to be honest. There is a school of thought that records are abandoned rather than finished. Thats why its good to have a producer, if it was up to me we'd still be making Ghost.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Sunday Free Noodle 31

Sunday Free Noodle 31 is:

Burning Bandstands(Bootleg Quality) - Live 2008 at Spratton Gathering - M Stevens Guitar and Loops -

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This is a live version of Burning Bandstands from my first album recorded at the Spratton Gathering 2008:

“The Spratton Gathering - The 3rd in a series of events organised by the AFCollective - was a huge success where many friendships were made or reaffirmed and jamming, drinking and joking were the order of the day. This event was done in conjunction with the Spratton Folk Festival - thanks for all your help (” AF Collective
Please let me know what you think of this and if you would like to do a remix or collaborate give me a shout.

More noodles next week

Subscribe to my podcast feed here and get the Sunday Free Noodle every week: subscribe_itunes_a

If you like this you get get my albums as a "pay what you want" download here

About The Sunday Free Noodle

The Sunday Free Noodle project is a free MP3 ever week - remixes, collaborations, live stuff, spoken word stuff and other odd things - for the next year. 52 MP3’s (thats alot). I think it will be a challenge to keep this going and I’m really looking forward to doing it - please subscribe to the podcast feed on itunes to get it free every week and tell me what you think(yes you can say if you think if its crap). I hope you enjoy it.

This project has only really come about because i have injured my back and have had a chance to go through my hard drives whilst lying on the floor with the laptop on my chest. Odd how things happen.

I really it want to be a collaborative process. Let me know - if you are a remixer, cellist, vocalist, percussionist, film maker,trumpet player or visual artist or anything else let me know(although I draw the line at juggling) . Perhaps i could send you some stuff(loops and noodles) to add something to?

Speak soon

Speak Soon

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

A new Mini Album and Sunday Free Noodle 30

Thanks loads to all the people who've downloaded this already - much appreciated:

I've made a new Mini Album - its called Esoteric - An Introduction To The Sunday Free Noodle:

If you are new to this music, this isn't the best place to start!(Try Ghost first).

Immediate download of 9-track album in your choice of 320k mp3, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire.

The idea of releasing this Mini Album is to introduce the Sunday Free Noodle Podcast series and raise some funds for the recording of my 3rd solo album. This download will be available for a limited time only and features extensive liner notes.

Pay what you want, what you think its worth. Free is also great, but please tell a friend. You can also download MP3's of these songs completely free from the itunes podcast free on my site.

For podcast sunscribers - this week’s noodle is:

Matt Stevens(guitars/loops)- Intermission

4 Ambient Live Loops Played Together, some backwards, some forwards – I faded in the bits I wanted, in and out. One part is in 3/4 one in 4/4.

About The Sunday Free Noodle:

The Sunday Free Noodle project is a free MP3 every week - remixes, collaborations, live stuff, spoken word stuff and other odd things - for the next year. It was started in Feb 2010.52 MP3’s. I think it will be a challenge to keep this going and I’m really looking forward to doing it - please subscribe to the podcast feed on itunes to get it free every week and tell me what you think(yes you can say if you think if its crap). I hope you enjoy it.

This project has only really come about because i have injured my back and have had a chance to go through my hard drives whilst lying on the floor with the laptop on my chest. Odd how things happen.

I really it want to be a collaborative process. Let me know - if you are a remixer, cellist, vocalist, percussionist, film maker,trumpet player or visual artist or anything else let me know(although I draw the line at juggling) . Perhaps i could send you some stuff(loops and noodles) to add something to?

Monday, 30 August 2010

Would you have invested so much effort in online marketing strategies if your back injury hadn't kept you from playing music instead?

Brilliant question. I wouldn't have had time to be honest. So no - i mean I'd rather be player loads but it really means a lot to me to have this relationship with the audience and the only way to do that is to build it up online.

I've met some really lovely people along the way and acquired lots of useful skills as well, so i am glad I did it. I don't really see it as marketing as much as doing interesting stuff to keep me sane. There is no hard sell there and most of the stuff i do makes no money directly but hopefully builds goodwill and you get this honest relationship with the listeners.

I've also learned how supportive people can be if they like you and your music, amazing really. I've been lucky with the audience I've got.

Ask me anything

Saturday, 28 August 2010

How many languages can you speak?

Just English with a really dodgy Northamptonshire accent. I maintain I haven't got an accent but my wife assures me I have. Its really bad when I talk to other people from Rushden "alright moi duch aaaws it going? Oive got somfin on moi forrid"

Ask me anything

Ghost Track By Track Part 1

As of today there are 2 CD copies of ghost left - if you want one let me know!!

My album Ghost track by track

Into The Sea

5/8 - into 4/4. Latin to post rock? I like the melody on the second bit. Kev who produced Ghost played some percussion on found objects, bottles and tables and we added the reversed guitar part going into the coda section. One of the last songs we recorded for the record and one of the songs we recorded at my house rather than in Pinna Studios. I'm really pleased with the way this came out.

I think the end is a bit ELO, with one of those Discipline era King Crimson type guitar parts running thru it!! I have to be careful with the odd timings/arpeggios thing as I don't want it to become a cliche but with the percussion i think we got away with it, moving away from the verse chorus verse chorus solo out structure.

I don't think I've ever played this one live but will try it in gigs once my back is sorted. I'm really happy with the way it lifts into the bridge section. No guitar solo on this one, which was something i wanted to move away from as i'd done a lot of that on Echo, the previous album.

All the guitar parts were played on my broken Ibanez acoustic and mic'd up using I think a Rhodes NT mic.

Big Sky

The closest thing to a rock song on Ghost - it reminds me a bit of Sugar and Bob Mould and My Bloody Valentine, the melody part is played on a whammy pedal, set to an up an octave up sweep.

Live i do the backwards end using the reverse button on the Line 6 DL4 pedal and drink a beer, its the only time in the set I get to have a drink. A few people said the backwards section was a bit too much, but i really wanted the woozy/psychedelic backwards feel.

I wanted to get a real feeling of joy to it. Some people have compared it to the Arcade Fire which I can kind of see that.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Guitar Player Review and all that


Its been a interesting week. Been writing songs for the 3rd album - pretty much half way thru now. I might do it as a pre order funding thing - i asked the people of Twitter and they seemed keen - what do you think?

Last Friday Ghost(my new album) got reviewed on the new Guitar Player website - this meant a lot to me as I've been reading that magazine since I was 14! They said:

"He's an experimental guitarist with lots of fresh ideas and new takes on loop-based guitar composition.

(A)quirky, inventive, mostly upbeat, and entirely delightful instrumental album...
While the music occupies its own creative zone, I found myself free associating names such as Brian Eno, John Martyn, Tom Verlaine, Anthony Phillips, Yo La Tengo, Steve Tibbetts, and even Radiohead while listening" Guitar Player Magazine US

Which is nice. Also there is a really cool in depth track by track break down of the album here on the Reviewbru site.

I went to the Osteopath(I've done me back in) he said to play in 20-30 minute bursts and ease my self back into playing that way so thats what I'm doing - gives me hope!

The Video Project is still going strong - if you missed it the idea is for the community here to make videos for every track on my album ghost - the more videos the better - I announced it a couple of weeks ago and have had lots of interest, which is amazing and the lots of talent involved. Steadicams to Iphones its all cool. I will publish some of them on the blog next week. Can we say a deadline of the end of September?

Speak soon


What would your rider be?

Some back spray and co-dydramol at the moment(as well as the usual M and M's with the blue ones taken out). And Guiness. And a personal Osteopath and someone to set up and break down all my kit as bending is a problem.

Ask me anything

Monday, 23 August 2010

Favourite Iron Maiden track?

Mmm Revelations off Piece Of Mind - its got an amazing bouncy guitar riff - i love it. Although there are lots of other maiden songs I love, wasted years, the trooper, wrathchild, aces high, children of the damned. I saw them a few years back - amazing.

Ask me anything

Sunday Free Noodle 29

Sunday Free Noodle 29 is:

Big Sky (Alun Vaughan Remix) Guitars - Matt Stevens Programming/Production - Alun Vaughan - Original Production by Kevin Feazey

This is a fantastic remix of my song Big Sky by my friend the bassist Alun Vaughan. Incredible remix - the end is quite brilliant(and very little to do with me) - apparently he made this learning to use Reaper music production software. A very talented fella. Go tell him its great.

For me this is classic example of someone remixing a track and taking it somewhere i had no thought of doing but still making it great. Top work.

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Please let me know what you think of this and if you would like to do a remix or collaborate give me a shout.

More noodles next week

Subscribe to my podcast feed here and get the Sunday Free Noodle every week: subscribe_itunes_a

If you like this you get get my albums as a "pay what you want" download here

About The Sunday Free Noodle

The Sunday Free Noodle project is a free MP3 ever week - remixes, collaborations, live stuff, spoken word stuff and other odd things - for the next year. 52 MP3’s (thats alot). I think it will be a challenge to keep this going and I’m really looking forward to doing it - please subscribe to the podcast feed on itunes to get it free every week and tell me what you think(yes you can say if you think if its crap). I hope you enjoy it.

This project has only really come about because i have injured my back and have had a chance to go through my hard drives whilst lying on the floor with the laptop on my chest. Odd how things happen.

I really it want to be a collaborative process. Let me know - if you are a remixer, cellist, vocalist, percussionist, film maker,trumpet player or visual artist or anything else let me know(although I draw the line at juggling) . Perhaps i could send you some stuff(loops and noodles) to add something to?

Speak soon

Speak Soon


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