Saturday, 30 October 2010
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:
http://alarmpress.com/22817/features/music-interview/matt-stevens-guitar-virtuoso-finds-an-audience-online/ 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
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 :)
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
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 :)
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.
Sunday, 17 October 2010
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.
Tuesday, 12 October 2010
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 :)
Saturday, 9 October 2010
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 www.cafenoodle.ning.com 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!
Wednesday, 6 October 2010
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
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
I am proud to announce the world tour of the internet!!! :) - Playing live online getting ready to play live in the real world/
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 www.cafenoodle.ning.com - 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).