Friday, 30 December 2011

Should you pay to have your music reviewed?

Moonjune received this in a email:

"We will consider all discs for review. However, we can expedite and guarantee reviews for $25 / disc, and do additional feature stories or interviews for $50 a piece. We've had a number of labels ask lately and just wanted to provide that information."
-James McQuiston
Editor, NeuFutur (print magazine)
Editor, http://www.neufutur.com/

Moonjune:

https://www.facebook.com/MOONJUNERECORDSNYC

So its come to the point of magazines/blogs charging to do reviews?

Thats just shite and not the first time I've heard of it either.

DO NOT PAY FOR REVIEWS!!

I wonder if you have to pay extra for a good one?

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Is your music only popular because of marketing?

Matt at Liv 2 by kevinfeazey
Matt at Liv 2, a photo by kevinfeazey on Flickr.

Someone suggested that I have gained an audience only because I've invested in adverts and done lots of work on marketing. Even after investment in ads all my albums have turned a profit (unless you include the hours I've spent working on them and promoting them). If you're not going to invest in your own music who else is going to? I've never made a single claim myself about the quality of the music unless its a quote from a magazine or blog reviewer. Never, I think this sort of thing needs to be honest and credible. Integrity is essential.

The reason I learned these marketing skills was to give me more musical freedom, i thought working hard on building an audience would allow me to make interesting records rather than trying to appeal to an audience that slowly diminishes. I wanted to make the records I wanted to make, interesting records, stuff I wanted to hear. I wanted to retain my integrity and engage honestly with the audience. And I genuinely like the audience, bloody lovely people and their friendship is its own reward.

So by building it with hard work, what is wrong with that? I've reinvested the money made in ads in magazines and online, I've done my own PR and marketing and worked hard at social media. Done my own booking, artwork and web design and handed out flyers outside gigs in the freezing cold. Pretty much everything apart from drums by stu and Chrissie Caulfield who played Violin (both brilliantly) and Paul Mockford who is an amazing photographer and Kev Feazey who produced the records.

So yeah some of it was due to marketing and PR but NONE of that works without music that people genuinely like. People aren't idiots, they only tell their friends about music that they love.

I'm really proud of the relationship I have with listeners, I'm very lucky to have them and thanks for all your support in 2011.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

You're in Guitar Player ?

MattS GP Flick by mattstevensguitar
MattS GP Flick, a photo by mattstevensguitar on Flickr.
This month in the US magazine Guitar Player there is an interview I did about Relic and what gear I use and using the web to build an audience. It's kind of a big deal for me because when I was growing up I used to read all the guitar magazines I could get locally in Rushden. Guitar World, Guitarist, Guitar For The Practising Musician and most of all Guitar Player. Guitar Player was the most highbrow one, it had the interviews with Joe Pass and John Mclaughlin and articles about Chord Substitution when the others focused on "whos faster Satch or Vai?". Of course I still loved the other magazines but I always had lot of respect for GP. I used to sleep with a big stack of guitar magazines by my bed, next to my stack of heavy metal vinyl and SNES games.

Just before Christmas I got the issue with the interview in it, I was stupidly excited. It was something I'd wanted to do for years. I remember working in a shop that sold the magazine thinking one day wouldn't it be amazing to do an interview with them. It seemed impossible, people from Rushden aren't in guitar magazines, this was another world. The interview seemed to go well and certainly got people interested in the music from the messages on my Facebook page and on Youtube.

I also used to think once people were in magazines they made a lot of money from music. Sadly this turned out not to be true! However this year I have felt like some validation for my music, even thou I've turned down "credible" record labels that this is worthwhile music, music that people like. I know from talking to the audience online this seems to be true, that it wasn't vanity publishing. All my albums turned a small profit. I remember being terrified of spending a few hundred pounds to make the first record in a proper studio, unsure if we would ever see that money again. You have to be brave to get anywhere.

Total sales for my records are around 4000 now so that shows people are interested. I am very grateful to this audience, it means a lot to be able to pay for recordings and earn a living from music.

When Loop Baby was christened we put 'Musician" as my job, something I never thought would happen.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas

Have a great one guys :)

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

House Concerts :)




I posted on Twitter yesterday today about house concerts and a few people seemed interested. This makes me happy as I love house concerts and they allow me to play places where I can't draw a massive crowd without losing lots of money. What normally happens is that the host charges a small amount (say £10) to the people coming to cover the musician's costs and travel. 

Whether you allow strangers in to your house is up to you or if you just want it to be just you and your friends that's also cool. It's your night and the important thing is you enjoy yourself. 

Your address will not be posted on my website for all and it's not a public venue! Some hosts provide food/drink but it's up to you, it's your night so whatever makes you happy is all good! 

If you can supply a PA/little amp that is great or I can bring my tiny busking amp :) You don't need a massive house or anything like that :)  To cover costs we'd probably be looking at around a minimum of £100 to £150 in the UK, probably twice that in Europe. No US house concerts planned as yet!

Thanks loads - my email is mattstevensguitar@btinternet.com if you want to set one up :) 

Monday, 19 December 2011

The Islwyn Bootleg/Merry Christmas

The Islwyn Bootleg/Merry Christmas


A 36 minute Live Concert from the last date of the Ghost tour. Features more material from Relic and Echo than anything else. The quality isn't amazing, hence the free download One of my favorite gigs, even thou I was having some equipment problems. Lovely audience.

Thanks to Rob for getting the recording to me

Listening back to it makes you release what playing lots of gigs does to your playing - the lead playing is a bit crazy.

Watch out for a guest appearance from the amazingly talented Alun Vaughan on bass on Big Sky, I wish his bass was a bit louder! Track listing Rusty

Burning Bandstands

Spencer Park

Flies In The Basement

Dolls House

Scapegoat

Big Sky

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Newsletter

 Hi 

 

Hope you're good? 

 

Just wanted to say Merry Christmas to all you list people and here is something worth watching over the Christmas period, a Zappa lecture from 1984 talking about composition and all sorts:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-HyfeF6zFA&feature=related

 

Top fella and sadly missed (although I'd probably leave the puppet opera). I do love a good lecture at Christmas. 

 

Everyone who has ordered T-Shirts - they will be despatched Tuesday/Wednesday of this week, apologies for the delay, it was out of my hands on this one. Anyone else who wants a CD or T-Shirt you can order them from:

 

http://mattstevens.bandcamp.com/

 

and last posting day is Wednesday for UK christmas. 

 

You can also download my pay what you want Christmas song from:

 

http://mattstevens.bandcamp.com/album/silent-night

 

The new issue of Guitar Player is now out in the UK and features an interview I did with them, this really meant a lot to me as I  grew up with piles of Guitar Player magazine by my bed and I discovered so much wonderful music and information from them and it was from them I first learned about musicians from Fripp to Zappa to Nels Cline. A few of the end of year polls are in and I've been pleased to see Relic and If It Carries On Like This We Are Moving To Morecambe in some of them, which is really cheery. I'll post them as they come in at:

 

https://www.facebook.com/mattstevensloop?ref=ts

 

I really hope you have a great Christmas and thank you so much for all your support this year, it has really meant a lot to all of us here at Spencer Park HQ, my wife and I and Loop Baby. If it wasn't for your support none of this would happen. A new year beckons and then everything changes.

 

Happy Christmas

 

 

Matt Stevens

http://www.fierceandthedead.com

http://www.mattstevensguitar.com

http://www.spencerparkmusic.com

mattstevensguitar@btinternet.com

Friday, 16 December 2011

Relic Track By Track Part 10 - Matt Stevens - 30 END

John Barry passed away this year and this is a track very much influenced by him, hes a major hero of mine. My friend, teacher and mentor Richard Beaumont introduced to his music outside of the bank holiday bond themes. Fantastic composer (as is Richard). I like the Mellotron a lot on this. The title refers to the song being the end of a trilogy of guitar albums with Echo, Ghost and Relic. So its all about the end of something. Its too easy too look back at the past, time to stop looking backward, always move forward. Like a beardy shark.

Some people have been critical of the ending for being a bit odd. It is. I like it, and I think its an interesting way to end an album. Its me on my knees attacking a line 6 DL4 pedal, changing the delay times to make UFO sounds.

If you've ever seen my live show i do this a lot.

Its odd - Relic has been criticised for being both too weird and too safe. Its a real problem working out who the audience is for this stuff. I've been very lucky to find a supportive audience so far. Thank you.

Bill Hicks and the meaning of life...

Massive inspiration to me.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Relic Track By Track part 9 Matt Stevens - Frost

Frost

A tribute to Celtic Frost, not that it sounds like them, well a bit. Top drumming from Stu on this, he really managed to get 7/8 to groove rather than "techno prog".

'7/8 time signature and a bit of a Fripp lead tone. I really like Kev's bass line on this.

The end lead is influenced by Chris Poland's lead on early Megadeth records when they were the "state of the art speed metal band".

This is the song that really seems to divide people, they either love it or hate it. A result either way. Often its hard to get any reaction from people.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Why am I starting to charge for Ghost now? Do I believe all music should be free?

A few people asked so.....

My thoughts on the whole Free/Pay What You Want thing was to use "free" content (in this case an album) to gain an audience for my music. My music is bloody weird/quite odd but hopefully quite melodic so I was really hoping to connect to an audience but it was a hard sell. Weird guitar instrumentals in odd timings - doesn't inspire much confidence does it?

To an extent free/PWYW has worked quite well, I now have an email list of around 3000 people and the album has sold well enough to recoup all costs. A massive result (and thanks very much). 

Do I believe all music should be free? No. My albums are expensive to make because I pay for skilled people to work on them, I want to make great records.  If the audience doesn't choose to pay for music we are all in trouble, there won't be the money to pay skilled people to work on records and the overall quality will decrease. Sure there are massive advances in the quality of technology but you still need skilled people to work on them. The skill set of a guitarist is different to that of a recording engineer (although they can be one and the same). 

In the case of Ghost it was all about gaining the attention of an audience, by removing all barriers for people to hear the music in the eventual hope that people would be willing to pay for future recordings or go to a concert or tell a friend about it. Also if people do choose not pay for it you can torrent it anyway, a reality whether you like it or not. I have no problem with people sharing my music, it's free marketing (as long as they are not exploiting it commercially). 

I also like the whole DIY thing coming from being a fan of US Hardcore when I was younger.

Personally I'd be more concerned if no one wanted to torrent my music, it often means no one cares. The hard thing is gaining the attention of the audience where there is so much music available. 

Now there is an audience I will probably charge for future recordings but also make some content available free, a balance. 

You can download Ghost Free/Pay What You Want for the rest of today from:


Cheers :)

UPDATE!! Ghost is no longer available free/pay what you want but my new album Relic is:

http://mattstevens.bandcamp.com/album/relic

Cheers - AMAZING debate on this post!!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Relic Track By Track Part 8 - Matt Stevens - Sand Part 2


This is part of an abandoned epic really long song, it was first demo'd last year and the demo was on the no longer available download album Esoteric alongside some other parts of the 7 i originally wanted to do. Its a backwards chord sequence with some backwards solos and it ended up sounding a bit like Can. The drums are a loop Kev Feazey put together out of some of Stu's playing.
I think this was the first one I wrote for Relic and its a bit more "Ghost" than the rest of the record.
I like it, this is the shortened version, originally it was really really long.
I might finish it one day.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Latest Newsletter

Latest Newsletter by mattstevensguitar
Latest Newsletter, a photo by mattstevensguitar on Flickr.
Hi

I took the photo above in Islington the other day, not sure what it is :)

Hope you're good? Welcome to all the new people on the list :)

I just want to say thanks loads to everyone who has ordered T-Shirts and CDs this week - orders should be dispatched next week. Thanks again, there is still time to get the Limited Edition Relic T-Shirts (some sizes are running low now).

There is a new Christmas song to download at:

http://mattstevens.bandcamp.com/track/silent-night

It's free/pay what you want as usual. If you choose to pay it is greatly appreciated.

And if you want my 2nd album Ghost on free/pay what you want download you can get it for a few more days from:

http://mattstevens.bandcamp.com/album/ghost

After Sunday it will be full price for the download. Please tell your friends if you like the music, it does make a massive difference. Feel free to torrent it and burn CDs, I really want people to hear it, like we have been saying for a while obscurity is the enemy, not piracy. If anyone is a member of any forums and is willing to post about my music that would be greatly appreciated.

And for all those that have asked, mum and baby are doing well! Loop baby is 2 weeks old today!

As ever thanks for all your support.

Cheers


Matt Stevens

Thursday, 8 December 2011

My album Relic Track By Track Matt Stevens - Scapegoat

Scapegoat

I love this one, mainly due to the middle part by Chrissie Caulfield once again, her violin really sounds amazing. When i make records the only person I'm trying to please, initially is me. Go listen to her band Catscans now!

This song reminds me of that Summers/Fripp record. Through this one there is a Bm sharp 5 chord going through virtually the whole song, its almost a one chord wonder, in 13/8 with other chords over the top. The middle is my favorite bit with this ascending violin part that we looped up and then we put piano on it, i like the way it sounds quite straight forward but isn't.

Live i play this with a whammy pedal. Video here.

I think sometimes what i really want to do is be a composer.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Limited Edition Relic T-Shirts Available Now

Limited Edition High Quality Screen Printed Black Relic T-Shirts are now available from:

http://mattstevens.bandcamp.com/album/relic

Thanks loads, your support allows me to keep making records :)

We decided to do some as people have asked for the them and we sold 10 on the first day! Amazing :)

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

I'm A Dad/Goals for 2012

I'm a Dad - my son was born last week - mother and child doing well :)

Goals for 2012:

Be a good Dad and husband

To help more musicians find their audience via social media training.

Get more music licensed

To create more social media content for Youtube and make more videos.

Lose weight/get fit

Do a final acoustic tour - lots and lots of gigs.

To do a solo live multi camera DVD/Live album via Pledge music.

To raise more money for the MS Society.

To expand the audience for the music without artistic compromise.

Support the family financially.

A new Fierce & The Dead EP and Album - lots of Fierce And The Dead gigs.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Review of Relic in Classic Rock Prog

relic review Dom by mattstevensguitar
relic review Dom, a photo by mattstevensguitar on Flickr.

Thanks Dom Lawson.

Really means a lot when people get what you're doing :)

Thats cheered me up :)

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Bob Mould & Dave Grohl - Hüsker Dü (3 Songs) (Disney Hall, Los Angeles C...

Stunning. Bob Mould influenced me more than anyone.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Live video from Roastfest and Recent Gigs

So the live shows for 2011 have come to an end. The last few have all been pretty good.

Panic Room at Bury was fun and I got offered a radio session for Radio Cambridge, which is nice. Bury St Edmunds is a lovely place, and the Apex is a stunning venue with a great crew.

Panic Room are a pleasure to play with, lovely people.

The Fierce And The Dead gigs have been interesting. The first one was odd, felt weird being in a band again after 5 years of solo gigs and I wasn't sure I liked it. But once I got into the swing of things it was OK and by the second and third gig in Crouch End in an Ice Cream parlour I was really enjoying it.

The other people in the band are great players and I think people are blown away with Stu's drumming, I'm used to it so I don't really notice to be honest but he is fucking amazing. I really want to focus of making that band a going concern next year.

I can't see myself doing another solo album next year. I want to do loads of solo gigs for Relic and a DVD/CD of the live show. We've already recorded a new Fierce And The Dead EP and we'll also do an album.

The final couple of solo gigs of the year were really special. Roastfest was great. A gathering of interesting bands and people, I really loved playing - I really hope Roastfest 2 happens (and really go and check out all the other incredible bands on the bill).

Supporting The Reasoning was a lot of fun, once again great people to play with. A pleasure.

I don't think I've played any horrible gigs in the last year, a few weird ones but no nasty ones.

Onward!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Matt Stevens - Up (Relic track by track part 6)

Up Another pop song. There is a single repeated B note through the majority of the song, the Buzzcocks used to do this. The melody is Ebow on acoustic guitar - Kev playing hand claps. He did a lot on the percussion part of this one. The backing vocals are him as well. The Chorus is in 13/8 to stop people getting bored. And the middle is inspired Carcass - Pedigree Butchery :)
Originally it had more layers at the end but we decided to leave them off as it went a bit too far. The end is a bit Yonks!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

MUPPET SHOW - STAR WARS EPISODE - 1980

Still makes me happy :)

Friday, 11 November 2011

Judgement and prejudice in music (is prog still a dirty word?)

IMG_0840 by mattstevensguitar
IMG_0840, a photo by mattstevensguitar on Flickr.
Prog used to be a dirty word, people used to use the phrase "It was OK then it want a bit proggy" as a term of insult. I think this is less the case now, but it still happens. I don't really class what I do as prog because it upsets fans who say it's not "proper prog". Fine, I'm OK with that, I'm trying to do something progressive, not "prog". But we all sometimes approach music with stereotypes about what it might sound like on the basis of its context, what bands they support and the scene they are part of. Someone wrote this about my album Relic the other day:


"Being a slightly judgemental music listener (I try not to be, but I know I am) I may not have given it a try had I known about his support gigs with Barclay James Harvest and Fish prior to listening to the album. However, I listened to the album with an open mind and I’m glad that I did as it is a bit of a gem, and a genuinely different musical experience."


I'm not having a go at Neon Filler, they gave Relic a great review and it is very much appreciated by it has made me think about the context I present the music I create in.

Should I choose my support slots more carefully? I dunno, I think I've been very lucky to play with the bands I have. I know Fierce And The Dead has a slightly different (more "post rock") audience to my solo stuff but whether this is to do with context/name/presentation or the music itself is hard to say.


But it has made me think about some of the judgements I've made about the music of others, it's easy to be judgemental.......

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Relic Track By Track part 5 - Rushden Fair

Rushden Fair

I'm from a place called Rushden, in Northamptonshire. I have many happy memories of the place and some less so. Rushden fair still comes to town every year, always a bit grim with a threat of violence from a visit from "the Wellingborough lot". Its a bit depressing but I've had some fun times there, its held in Spencer Park which is a song on my first record Echo.

This is a really empty arrangement, until the middle. The added chord bit is a bit Pixies but its in straight 3/4. The part after the middle bit reminds me of Zoe Keating who's music i really enjoy. Shes an amazing looping cellist.

Steve Grant recorded a great piano version of it and you can listen to that here:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8855283/Music/Rushden%20fair%20prototype.mp3

I think I prefer this version :)

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Relic Track By Track part 4 - 20 GOTO 10

20 GOTO 10

Old computer games.

The 80s.

The title is a reference to the old BASIC programming language. the program might be something along the lines of:

10 PRINT "Matt is skill"

20 GOTO 10

Then the screen would fill up with:

Matt is skill

Matt is skill

Matt is skill

Matt is skill

Matt is skill

Matt is skill

etc

The trick was to get into Dixons, type it in then leaving it running. Often the kids would type something less polite.

This one is rather 80's Crimson with a pop Bob Mould/Johnny Marr type chorus and some lovely drum/percussion programming from Kev. The effect on the start and end is a bit crusher. When we sent the CDs for duplication they phoned me up to say there was a problem and that they were all distorting, in the end we found out that this track was responsible. I had to explain it was a deliberate effect.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Whats it really like backstage at gigs?

When I was a lad I always wondered what happens backstage at gigs.

I always imagined it being cool and interesting with wild rock n roll parties. What its like really is the servent's quarters, at the level I gig at its often the toilets/dressing rooms :)

The back area of the Islington Academy closely resembles the back area of a shopping centre.

Normally if you are supporting a well known band they say "there are only 3 dressing rooms so not one for the support". The more famous the band you are supporting the more stressed the tour manager looks, desperately hunting for the correct size towels.

Last weekend I supported Panic Room at an amazing new venue called the Apex in Bury St Edmunds. Panic Room are lovely people and treated me really well and i even got my own dressing room. The venue was huge, the dressing room was a good minute walk from the stage. This is that walk.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Matt Stevens - Rusty - Relic Track By Track 3

Track 3.

Its named after a very good mate of mine and we used to call him Rusty many years ago.

This song is quite influenced by a band called Draw. Amazing band from Northamptonshire, quite psychedelic stuff. Massive influence on me and my music and that of my friends. There was a song on my last album Ghost named after them. You can hear them at:

http://soundcloud.com/draw-band/tracks

The drums are by Stuart Marshall from Fierce And The Dead. I love the way his parts build over the song, Kev who produced the album really worked on the build here. The drums were recorded at Livingston.

The violin is my friend Chrissie Caulfield, amazing musician who plays in a few bands and projects. Her band Catscans are great, we're hoping to play some gigs with them next year. She has toured with Crippled Black Phoenix and I saw her do a stunning gig with them earlier in the year at the Lexington in London. I think her contribution to the album really made a massive difference and I'm so pleased she was involved.

I really like this song and i normally open my live set with it. Live i tend to add more layers and I play the violin part on a Whammy Pedal.

You can get Relic from:

www.mattstevensguitar.com

Cheers

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Some Good News: Alfie Comes Home & Big Band

Alfie by mattstevensguitar
Alfie, a photo by mattstevensguitar on Flickr.
The last few days have been crazy stressful, our cat Alfie got lost. We are really attached to him.


We gave out flyers and put up posters and we walked around the local area for hours looking in people's gardens (god knows what people must have thought of me). There were fireworks going off so we were worried that Alf was getting frightened. We posted on Twitter as well and everyone was really kind and supportive (mostly apart from one twat)), and RT'd a photo of him.


By yesterday morning we began to accept he probably wasn't coming back, we started to grieve.....


Then my wife was in the garden and he wandered in.


We couldn't believe it. He was purring away and seemed really pleased to see us. It was amazing. It was raining but he was dry so there is a good chance that he was locked in somewhere. Maybe someone saw a tweet or a leaflet and checked their shed? I posted the photo on Twitter and Facebook and we got so many amazing messages from people saying they were pleased.


It makes you realise how special and supportive the online community is :) One person said it was like a "made for Twitter movie".


We still can't believe he is home.


My friend @stonewing , Matt Erion sent me this lovely Big Band version of my song big sky recorded live in Chicago:



Big Sky Premiere by Stonewing

Thanks so much mate.

These last few years have been so surprising and exciting :)

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Burning Shed

Hi 

 

Hope you're good?

 

Thanks loads to everyone downloading my album Relic - for the moment its still pay what you want from:

 

http://mattstevens.bandcamp.com/album/relic

 

Where you can buy signed CDs etc. If you like my music please tell your friends about it, it makes a massive difference. 

 

Also my music is now available from the mighty Burning Shed- you can see my store at:

 

http://www.burningshed.com/store/mattstevens/

 

Burning Shed is a distribution company and they do the likes of Porcupine Tree, King Crimson, No-Man, K-Scope etc I'm really pleased to be working with them. 

 

The first Fierce And The Dead gig went well last week and we shall be performing again on Saturday :

 

Urban Bar, 176 Whitechapel Road, London, United Kingdom, E1 1BJ

 

Alongside Tormenta and Baaneex - on at 9pm. 

 

Then the following week its a solo gig opening for Panic Room. in Bury St Edmunds. Keeping busy.

 

It would be great to see you there :) 

 

Thanks loads

 

Matt Stevens

http://www.fierceandthedead.com

http://www.mattstevensguitar.com

http://www.spencerparkmusic.com

mattstevensguitar@btinternet.com

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Matt Stevens - Relic - Track By Track Part 2

Relic is track 2.

Different, heavy. Acoustic guitar, distorted bass, drums.

Bass is by Kevin Feazey

Drums - Stuart Marshall.

Gideon Coe played it on his BBC Radio 6 show the other day, this made me happy, first time thats happened.

So this one is a 10/8 shuffle. We recorded the guitars and bass first then the drums at Livingstone. I was a bit unhappy with this one until then we put the drums on, we didn't tell Stu it was in a weird timing - we just said off you go and he came up with the groove at the start which made it for me. It felt a bit flat and dangerously close to "contemporary progressive rock", Stu made it a bit more Melvins and I was really happy. Now its one of my favourite songs on the record.

The title refers to the way i was thinking at the time that it was time to stop making records, that this would be the last one. I think i've changed my mind since then. Are CDs are a relic? Is the 10 song album a thing of the past? Do you need a 10 track record when people like to pick off individual tracks? I'm not sure, I still like the format. We'll see. I know that this will be last ten track album for a while anyway, i think i've put out too much music in the last few years and I don't want to get burned out.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Friday, 21 October 2011

First Fierce And The Dead gig/final rehearsal

Here we go.....

First gig from my band tomorrow in Islington - tickets from:

http://www.wegottickets.com/event/136987

I'm doing a solo gig in the evening at the same festival.

TFATD rehearsals are going well - sounds massive. Steve is a superb guitar player and a great addition to the band. Stu and Kev are a fine rhythm section. Its sounds like a band.

Can't wait.

I tried to use my Jagmaster - bloody nightmare with the tuning so back to the Tele.

I bloody love that Tele.

Wish us luck.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Relic Track by Track - Nightbus

Next few posts are going to be on about my new album Relic, song by song, how we recorded it. You can download Relic and pay any amount or get the CD from:

http://mattstevens.bandcamp.com/releases

Nightbus then, first song on the album. I wanted it to be punchy and direct. I wanted to show its was different to Ghost, lots of extra instrumentation. Progression, but not for the sake of it. There is a temptation that when you get a reasonably successful record like Ghost to just do Ghost 2 but that was the last thing i wanted to do. I didn't want to get bored. A few people have said its an experimental record but i think generally its a continuation of what I have done before just with bigger arrangements. I just wanted to make an interesting record. Really for me its all about the chords, i don't think its that out there or weird. Well, not when you compare it to Derek Bailey.

Kev Feazey who produced the album did the electronic stuff at the start then we overdubbed Stuart Marshall (who i play with in the Fierce And The Dead) on drums. I'm really pleased with the drums on this, we recorded them at Livingstone studios which is in North London's exotic Wood Green (you may have seen it being looted on the TV a few months ago, Wood Green, not the studio).

Livingstone is best known for Bjork's Debut and Buena Vista Social Club being recorded there but its also where everyone from Porcupine Tree to Mel C have made records. Its actually quite posh but the sounds you get there are amazing and its a wonderful environment to work in. We used the money from the Pre-Orders to finance this bit (thank you).

I can't remember if I played Bass or Kev did on this this one and neither can he. The guitar is a mic'd up Ibanez acoustic called an Artwood that I used on all the other records that i got for £100. I did the Glockenspiel then we built up the guitar parts in stacked triads above that. Those parts were recorded direct into Pro Tools in our back bedroom (which is now a baby room!). I wrote it on my £20 knackered Yamaha guitar and it was one of the last songs we recorded for the album. Often its seems you record/write the first song last. Odd.

I'm really proud of this one and i think it really brings in a different feel for the whole album.

Next Relic....

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Nice Video for a song from Relic :)

My friend Jonathan Grant made this - its lovely

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Music without genre/The Big Takeover Review

imgres by mattstevensguitar
imgres, a photo by mattstevensguitar on Flickr.

Sometimes I'd love to be in a genre:

Post Rock
Prog Rock
Acoustic
Jazz
Indie Rock
Folk
Experimental

Something like that, cosy alongside other people. Unfortunately I don't fit in. Too many solos for Post Rock, not enough for Prog. Too much improvisation for Rock, not enough for Jazz. To be honest its frustrating because it makes it a bit of a hard thing to explain to people. My attitude to promotion, the Punk DIY thing goes back to US hardcore SST, Alternative Tentacles and all that.

Here is a new review of Ghost from this months The Big Takeover - which is a magazine that i used to read religiously a few years ago:
Ghost is built for adventurous listeners attuned to instrumental prog, acoustic folk, and their local post-rock scenes. The intricate and unsettled “Into the Sea,” built upon layers of guitar, sounds like London-based Stevens is channeling both Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood and Adrian Belew into an indie-pop, kaleidoscopic mash-up of the former’s “Paranoid Android” and King Crimson’s “Frame by Frame.” “Big Sky” is as dense and propulsive as “Mrs. Lazarus” by math-rockers Hum. Although sci-fi processing tricks are employed, all sounds are still rendered solely upon Stevens’ acoustic guitar. With sparkling glockenspiel, the tense and undulating “Eleven” (named for its time signature) is the first track to add additional instruments. Featuring a rhythm section, “Draw” suggests a fondness both for Robert Fripp’s atonal soundscapes and recent solo material by Television’s Tom Verlaine. (mattstevensguitar.com)


I was really pleased, I never thought my music would be in a magazine like that, amazing.

So some people still like my music. Thats the weird thing, some people love it. Which is amazing. But it makes it really hard to find where the people will be who will like what I do. To be honest I don't think its that weird, its really melodic.

Reading the new issue of Classic Rock Presents prog I'd say there were only a few bands I really feel any connection with, in terms of attitude. Its the same problem you get finding collaborators, you need people who get Husker Du and King Crimson, Bad Brains and John Barry and John Coltrane and Slayer and The Zombies.

So you're totally reliant on people who listen to what you are doing to telling their friend, word of mouth and all that. I've done adverts in various places but its really hard to reach the tiny percentage of people who will be in to what I do.

So if you like my music please tell your friends :)

Thanks loads for all your support. :)

Monday, 3 October 2011

I don't really like instrumental music but....

One of the things I get is "I don't really like instrumental music but I really like your stuff". I understand.

Neither do I.

Most "rock instrumentals" are a bit noodly - solos, god why the solos. Over and over. That say nothing.

I love solos when its Bill Steer and Michael Amott in Carcass or Randy Rhodes or John Coltrane and Miles Davis. Or Bill Evans.

Sadly a lot of rock solos is the process of playing fancy lick X over generic modal vamp Y. With some added noodles. I don't get it.

I'm interested in chords and composition like Radiohead, King Crimson, The Dead Kennedys, The Beatles, Husker Du, Jellyfish,Debussy and Voivod. Chords and melodies. That feeling you get when a piece of music takes you somewhere. Emotions.

The good stuff :)

Thanks loads to everyone who has been downloading and sharing Relic :)

Friday, 30 September 2011

Relic week one and supporting Jon Gomm

Had a great first week on Relic, sold more than we could have imagined. Please keep telling your friends about the album yes it really does make a difference :)


Thanks loads.


On Wednesday I played to an amazing audience supporting guitar legend Jon Gomm. Bloody hell hes a bit good :)


He has a new single out at the moment from:


http://www.jongomm.com/home.cfm

If you're into amazing guitar playing you'll love it :) Really nice bloke, out there building an audience and working hard gigging :)


I was once again amazed that people made an effort to come and see me play, travelling and staying to enjoy Mr Gomm and Jon's crowd who were so good to me :) I really hope to play with him again soon.


This support I couldn't have imagined a couple of years ago, it means a lot to me.

Anyway back to the beginning again :)

Photos by Natasha Koczy

309194_10150845004785438_560240437_20993696_1366517124_n296865_10150845005045438_560240437_20993699_721819507_n299458_10150845006505438_560240437_20993706_181152923_n

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

I'm supporting Jon Gomm tonight/

Not many tickets left - check this out :)

Monday, 26 September 2011

New Album Out Today/Streaming gig today

My new album Relic is out today. The result of 11 months work, and I'm really pleased to play it to you at:

 

http://mattstevens.bandcamp.com/album/relic

 

It is available on Digipack CD or Download.  Please tell your friends, post on forums, blog about it, share on Twitter or Facebook. Honestly, it is so important, more than anything. Word of mouth makes so much difference to musicians like me. Without your support this music wouldn't exist and I wouldn't be able to afford to pay for the studio time to make it.  Thanks so much to everyone who has already paid for and spread the word about the album. Thank you :)

 

At 1pm UK time today I'm doing a streaming concert at:

 

http://spencerparkmusic.com/online/

 

International times are here

 

And I'm supporting the amazing guitar fella that is Jon Gomm on Wednesday in Islington, London - there are 14 tickets left at:

 

http://www.wegottickets.com/event/127594

 

Thanks for all your support, it really means a lot to me. 

 

Speak soon

 

 

 

Matt Stevens

http://www.mattstevensguitar.com

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

First Free Download from the new album

The first song from my new album Relic is now available as a free download from: 

 

http://mattstevens.bandcamp.com/album/relic

 

You can also pre order the new album there. Please have a listen, grab a download and tell your friends :) Seriously if you are on a forum or on Twitter or Facebook please share this with your friends. Word of mouth is so important to indie artists, you'd be amazed how much difference it makes. 

 

I'm really pleased with the work Kevin Feazey has done on the production. Top work Mr Feazey  (and highly recommended if you need an producer/mixer/engineer type fella).

 

I'm just waiting on the stock of the Relic CDs and they should be here early next week and we'll start sending them out. It is always weird finishing an album, I have no idea what people will think of it. It's very different to Ghost. 

 

On Saturday I'm playing at The Peel South London opening for Dec Burke, tickets are still available and we really need to support the fine work of venues like The Peel in these tough economic conditions. 

 

Speak soon and thanks SO much for all your support. 

 

 

 

Matt Stevens

http://www.mattstevensguitar.com

http://www.spencerparkmusic.com

mattstevensguitar@btinternet.com

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

My annual guest session/new album/Shineback

Last few weeks have been crazy busy.

I've played a bar in Liverpool with the amazing Minion TV and a house in Islington (for the excellent @Oxjamislington). Review from the Liverpool gig:

"Matt Stevens travelled from London to perform his solo acoustic guitar set on Sunday. His finger-picking magic went down a storm with the audience and many had turned up especially to see his set."

Bloody lovely audience, hellish journey thou - never ever, ever use trains on a bank holiday.

It felt like a bit of break through, the last few gigs I have gone to places where I don't know anyone and people come and see me, often people who i talk to thru Twitter and Facebook which is amazing or have discovered me through magazines etc. At Liverpool this happened more so, its really appreciated. So hopefully this means i can do gigs, the ability to bring people endears you to promoters :)

I now have the Relic masters - sending them off today, I'm REALLY pleased - I'll show you the artwork soon. The Digi-Packs will look lovely.. Also finishing off the bonus disk. Bloody crazy. But good.

I did a streaming web gig. Thanks loads to everyone who watched. I'm planning some more. And something a bit special live for next year. (that I may need some help for).

One person brought my first EP on ebay on for £23 ish quid, which is amazing and appreciated. We used to have problems selling them, I never thought they'd become collectable.

I did a session for my friend Simon from Tinyfish for his new side project, which was great fun. I'm a terrible worrier about sessiony type stuff but this was great - he just kind of said do what i do then gave me directions about things he wanted. Perfect. If you're booking me for a session don't ask me to play G C D strummed. There are a million people better than me at that. Book them. If you want noises and weird/individual/interesting stuff I'm your man but for general session work I'm properly rubbish. Anyway it was great fun - we did this thing where it was 6/8 over 4/4 that had a Discipline era KC type feel that I really enjoyed and I was happy with. The Shineback stuff sounds really good, very electronic and different to Tinyfish. Its out next year on BEM records.

On Sunday I did a gig for Oxjam at this outdoor festival thing in Islington, very odd gig but nice people and we raised £250 for Oxjam which was great.

Its all go :)




Matt Stevens

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Streaming gig on saturday

The limited version of the new album Relic has now sold out on CD. Thanks SO much to everyone who has pre-ordered one. We're looking at mixes this week/next week then it is down to getting the CDs done. Shouldn't take long then we can announce the final date which should still be before the end of September. I can't wait to play you it. You can still pre-order the CD version here (which is greatly appreciated). It is thanks to people like you that we can keep making this music.  

I just wanted to let you know that on Saturday I will doing a streaming gig at:



UK time 6pm (just before Doctor Who!)/1pm New York time. International times are here. The Facebook event is here. You just watch online, no need to be anywhere but in front of your computer. Easy. 

Also if anyone wants it we have put the last copy of the 2007 Parks EP on ebay. Thanks loads to everyone who has bid already, amazing support.  

Tickets are now on sale for gigs coming up, where I will be opening for the following:

Jon Gomm in Islington (he is an amazing guitar player - a bit like Andy Mckee or someone like that) -  28th September - tickets link.

Dec Burke (of Frost* fame) on the 17th September - tickets. 

And The Reasoning on the 12th November at the Borderline.  

They are all selling well so please book early :) 

And my new track Peccadillos features as an exclusive on this lovely Limited Edition CD on the Believers Roast label. It is a limited run of just 300 so get in quick. The line up for the CD is amazing:

Knifeworld: Clairvoyant Fortnight
Admirals Hard: Whip Jamboree
Arch Garrison: TBA
Redbus Noface: Jack Blind Acid
Matt Stevens: Peccadillos
Stars In Battledress: Fluent English
Sanguine Hum: The Eternal Abyss (excerpt)
William D Drake: TBA
Thumpermonkey: Wheezyboy
The Monsoon Bassoon: Siizdabadah

Well worth getting as most of these bands have really keen collectors of their stuff and all the tracks are exclusives. 

Speak soon :) 



A preview of the new album....

Matt Stevens - Relic by mattstevensguitar A preview of the new record :)

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Mix Tape

On the Spencer Park Music office stereo:

Cardiacs - Jibber And Twitch

Elliott Smith - Miss Misery

Amon Tobin - Journeyman

Radiohead - Knives Out

Shineback - Here Come The Envoys

Dead Kennedys - Nazi Punks Fuck Off

The Ventures - Walk Don't Run

Brian Wilson - Wonderful (90's)

John Mclaughlin - Guardian Angel

Kreator - People Of The Lie

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Bert Jansch - Acoustic Routes (documentary), part 1

This is great and inspirational stuff :)

Friday, 26 August 2011

Fierce And The Dead reviewed in Rock A Rolla

photo by mattstevensguitar
photo, a photo by mattstevensguitar on Flickr.

Its always interesting reading reviews.

Often some writers praise you for things that annoy others.

So you can't win

I think the key is making records that you like and going from there, if you worry about critics you'll go mad :)

Review from:

http://www.rock-a-rolla.com/

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Radiohead From The Basement/Believers Roast

I've always rated Radiohead, since The Bends. This is great, bloody amazing band. So many ideas.
And.....
Only 300 copies of this. Ridiculously good line up - some of my favorite contemporary bands (seriously) :
On Belivers Roast Records - Pre-order your limited edition CD featuring exclusive songs by Knifeworld, Sanguine Hum, Matt Stevens, The Monsoon Bassoon, William D Drake, Stars In Battledress, Admirals Hard, Thumpermonkey, Arch Garrison and Redbus Noface here.http://www.thegenepool.co.uk/items/769.htm - very limited quantities and likely to sell out! :)
Speak soon :)

Monday, 22 August 2011

Standing on a bail of hay trying to hit pedals in 13/8/ Rumour Cubes/ Supernormal

Supernormal by mattstevensguitar
Supernormal, a photo by mattstevensguitar on Flickr.

On Friday I played at the very wonderful Supernormal Festival - intimate, wonderful and friendly - and my friend Rob kindly gave me a lift.

Sometimes the ridiculousness of what I do really hits home. I was standing on a stage made of bails of hay with wooden planks on. Every time I moved the stage moved. It was incredibly hard to hit the loops in time, like being drunk or seasick. Especially when you're clumsy like me. You can read Robs blog of it at:

http://robhenderson.over-blog.com/

After I'd played my set someone I knew from years ago came up to me and asked me what I do for a living. When I told him "this, this music thing" I found it hard to believe even myself. Weird.

I saw Rumour Cubes - they were great, amazing soaring strings. Highly recommended.

Kev is sending mixes of Relic. I have real difficulty with this part of the recording process, signing off. Finishing.

An ending.

They say records aren't finished, they are abandoned.

True.

All the Limited Versions of Relic have now sold out on Pre-Order. Thanks so much. I really hope you like the album, the faith of those 150 keeps me going.


Matt

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Limited version of the new album/Gigs in Reading/Liverpool

Hello

 

Hows it going? All good?

 

Thanks loads to everyone who has pre-ordered the new album Relic (limited extra disc version), I really appreciated it. There are 10 copies left at:

 

http://mattstevens.bandcamp.com/album/relic

 

Then they are gone, forever :) They'll be ready for dispatch at some point next month, the exact date depending on a number of factors, but ASAP. 

 

I'm doing a few gigs - tomorrow I'm at the amazing Supernormal Festival (thanks Rob) and next week I'm off to Liverpool to play the Newpath festival.  

 

More gigs soon and the Dec Burke show in Kingston and Jon Gomm gigs in Islington look like they will both be sell outs - well worth getting tickets in advance. 

 

Thanks loads 

 

 

Matt Stevens

http://www.fierceandthedead.com

http://www.mattstevensguitar.com

http://www.spencerparkmusic.com

mattstevensguitar@btinternet.com

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Why musicians don't want the truth about the music industry

Basically most musicians want to believe that you are playing in a bar and an A & R person comes along and you are off to rock star island.

And if you tell them the truth - thats its about gradual growth, hard work and lots of little breaks they don't want to believe you.

Because if you keep that dream alive you can say its not worth putting the work in cause "you never got the breaks". Its easy to blame piracy or the critics or lack of funds.

Thats how you get this inertia amongst musicians, waiting for the right moment rather than just getting on with it.

NOW is the moment to put your music out, to start building an audience,to practice harder, to write better songs. NOW!!!!

Sometimes its easier to believe in "the dream" rather than actually try. I get it, just don't complain when nothing happens.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Wellingborough Riots 2011

This cheered me up :)

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Mixing an album during a riot.

photoshoplooter
This site cheered me up a bit :)
Being honest the rioting in London threw me.
Burning cars, homes. Tragic, upsetting. Not good, really, really not good.
I was watching Watchmen on the TV Saturday night with the scenes of rioting. Then watching the news it was all a bit real.
Last night was the first night we slept. The city seems nervous, edgy. People are friendly but frightened. London is a great place to live, lets just put this behind us eh?
I hope the BNP doesn't do well out of all this.
So sad to see this happening all over the UK.
If it carries on like this we may have to move Morecambe :)
Me and Kev went through the drum parts Stu recorded last week for Relic, its just about Kev finishing mixing the album now. I'm really excited and proud of what we've done. It feels like a progression from Ghost. Very different, yet the same :) More electric and noisy.
19 copies of the limited version left. Blimey :) Thanks loads to everyone who is supporting me in doing this

Saturday, 6 August 2011

A free sampler album....

I noticed on my Bandcamp page that due to the amount of paid downloads that have been sold I can give away 12000 plus free albums. So.....

The Spencer Park Music (my label type thing i run with my wife) sampler:



Please tell your friends, burn them a CD, stick in on a torrent or download site if you like it :)

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Some people asked what I did:

Matt Prog by mattstevensguitar
Matt Prog, a photo by mattstevensguitar on Flickr.
My name is Matt Stevens and I play the guitar and delay pedal.

I write and help people with social media "stuff".

I'm a musician and distribute my music online.

I want people to share it.

The most important thing is to get the music heard.

I ask people to pay for it, I'm not independently wealthy but I hope gaining an audience will eventually give me a decent standard of living.

Pay what you want has been good for free promotion and building a fan base but Relic will be my last release using this method. Thankfully a decent amount of people choose to pay and enable me to keep making records and paying the rent.

I feel very lucky to have an audience through this method and there will always be some kind of "free" album or EP to get people interested in my work available.

I make records because I love music, chord progressions especially. I want to surprise myself and the listeners.

My new album Relic is the last of three "guitar" records, I hope to take the music somewhere else after this and expand on the harmonic ideas in the first three records.

About 18 months ago I really messed up my back, I ended up stuck on the floor unable to move. I spent my days talking to people on the net and building a following, basically to avoid getting bored and going mad. I slowly got well, over a long period of time.

I also play guitar in The Fierce And The Dead.

Relic features Bass and Drums by Stu and Kev from Fierce And The Dead and violin from Chrissie Caulfield.

The Limited edition version has an extra disc and is nearly sold out.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Metallica - Enter Sandman - on Laser Harp

I have seen the future of ROCK and its laser harp shaped :)

Friday, 29 July 2011

Supernormal is in trouble - a great festival

Supernormal poster by mattstevensguitar
Supernormal poster, a photo by mattstevensguitar on Flickr.

I got this email yesterday:

"We regret to inform you that Supernormal is in potential jeopardy.

Because we are an unfunded project entirely organised on a voluntary basis, ticket sales are make or break us being able to put the festival on. SUPERNORMAL has been presented with some serious up-front costs that have to be paid. Ticket sales to date won’t cover the basic costs needed in order to put the event on - we need to sell another 250 tickets before 7th August, but this limit can easily be surpassed and the festival can be assured of happening with everyone’s support. And with last year to go by and with everyone involved for this year’s SUPERNORMAL it will be a real shame it doesn't."

Supernormal is a great festival I'm proud to be playing. Buy a ticket, get involved - see you there :)

Info @

http://www.supernormalfestival.co.uk/

"Supernormal is a surprising new addition to the festival circuit.

An experimental, artist-led event, set in the magical looking-glass world of Braziers Park.

Explore a spectacle of cult live music, performance, discussion and cutting edge contemporary art in the sprawling ramshackle grounds.”
"Taking place in the sprawling ramshackle rounds of the 17th century mansion that is home to Braziers Park School of Integrative Social Research (BSISR), Supernormal investigates the power of multiple arts practice to reshape the festival format through collective action thus continuing the tradition of counter-cultural activity established by BSISR, Britain’s oldest secular community that dates back to the Second World War. As well as being the childhood home of Ian Fleming and Marianne Faithfull, the likes of Alexander Trocchi, R.D.Laing
and John Latham have all contributed to the revolutionary Braziers spirit.

The first SUPERNORMAL in 2010, headlined by Faust, was a heady, refreshing weekend of magic and mayhem, and this year’s event builds on its spirit by welcoming a host of guest curators, including Rocket Recordings, Heidi Heelz (Dice Club), and visual arts curator Matilda Strang, who have assembled a fresh, diverse and sparkling array of cult musical attractions and curiosities, from the legendary
psychedelic transgressions of Skullflower, paragons of ethereal experimentation Cindytalk (fresh from Ray Davies’ Meltdown), glam visionaries David Devant & his Spirit Wife and the last ever show by improv iconoclasts The A Band, to new talent like Gnod, Flats, Toy, Teeth Of The Sea, Gum Takes Tooth and Maria And The Mirrors, with surprise headliners and alarming special guests still yet to be
announced. Meanwhile, everything from an Anat-Ben David (Chicks On Speed) collaboration with Dirty Electronics to a Sing-A-Long-A-Wicker-Man event, from a 36-hour continuous musical perfomance from Hákarl and friends to a performative lecture entitled Post-Colonial Cannibal will be taking place amidst the verdant English countryside.

SUPERNORMAL is an intimate event for an exclusive audience of five hundred, allowing the exploration of the site and out-buildings where a whole range of events will take place. Not run for profit, it is organised and curated by a small network of artists and musicians who share the aims and ethos of this truly alternative event, and takes place on an eco-site with fresh running water, eco toilets and hot
outdoor showers with a wooded camping area.

For more information contact Sam: supernormalfestival@gmail.com

And visit:

http://supernormalfestival.co.uk

http://www.facebook.com/supernormalfest

http://supernormalfestival2011.blogspot.com

http://www.braziers.org.uk/

http://www.braziersworkshop.org/

http://www.twitter.com/SUPERNORMALFEST"

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Fierce and Dead video and a gig with Jon Gomm

First watch this great video that features music from The Fierce And The Dead - which once again prove that listeners make better videos than bands

The gigs for Relic start next month, its all go. Its only been a few months since the Ghost ones finished, I need to get the new set tight. It'll take a while. Its difficult trying to get it tight while leaving room for improvisation. One gig that looks like it will sell out very quickly is:

http://www.wegottickets.com/event/127594

Which is me supporting Jon Gomm an amazing acoustic guitar player. About Jon:

Jon will be playing songs from his 2 albums, plus some new stuff due to be released as singles this Autumn.

"Once you get over the jaw-dropping manoeuvres and technique, you will be rewarded with some spectacularly beautiful songs." Blues and Soul magazine

“Sheer bloody genius… sublime, impassioned songwriting” Sandman Magazine

“We have seen the future of acoustic guitar playing, and it is called Jon Gomm” Blues Matters

Listen and watch at http://www.jongomm.com

Its all go. I'm really excited about it all thou

Thanks

Matt

Friday, 22 July 2011

Tom Baker says watch a free streaming gig tomorrow :)

Tomorrow I'm doing a streaming online gig - watch on your computer at:

Cafe Noodle Online Venue

I'm on at 7PM UK time but the full line up of amazing performers is:

5pm Steve Moyes

6pm Chrissie Caulfield

7pm - Matt Stevens

8pm Glenn Bassett

9pm - Pierre Masse

10pm Stephen Goodman

World times for the start of the event are here.

After that Cafe Noodle will be closing, hopefully there is talk of someone else taking the concept forward but the ning will cease to be. Its been lots of fun doing it and I've met some lovely people and some AMAZING acts have played.

Unfortunately I no longer have the time and resources to run the site - I'm playing live more and the Fierce And The Dead is happening. If you are interested in Fierce And the Dead stuff (my band project) there is a cracking half page review of the album in the new issue of Classic Rock Presents Prog.

Please tell your friends about the gig tomorrow and lets make it a fun send off!

Thanks for all your support.

Matt Stevens

http://www.mattstevensguitar.com

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Supernormal

Supernormal Invite by mattstevensguitar
Supernormal Invite, a photo by mattstevensguitar on Flickr.

The first of the Relic gigs is: (3pm on the Friday is when i am playing)

Thursday, 14 July 2011

And in Fierce And The Dead news....

Well first of all - thanks so much to everyone who has pre-ordered Relic, the new solo record- it really means a lot to me. Less than 50 left if you want one from:

BANDCAMP!

This version features a extra disc of demos and out-takes that won't be available digitally in a cardboard sleeve, numbered and signed.

The Fierce and The Dead have a new second guitarist, Steve Cleaton. He is a great player, amazing musical ears, he worked all his parts out himself even the really complex chordal parts. Me and him spent Friday last week going through each song, it worked really well. Full band rehearsal tomorrow and gigs in September, which is cool. Can't wait to play this stuff live.

The new Classic Rock Presents Prog features a half page really supportive review of the new Fierce And The Dead album, which is great. They compared us to Can, The Fall and Radiohead. Brilliant, very well written review. We have hit an new level of obscurity :)

We're getting there. This has been a good year. One of the most frustrating things is for all the stuff that does come off a lot doesn't but its best to focus on the positive. I'm so lucky to make this music and have a supportive audience.

Ta :)

Friday, 8 July 2011

Bandcamp Number 1

Bandcamp by mattstevensguitar Bandcamp, a photo by mattstevensguitar on Flickr.

Yesterday morning I sent out the pre-order information for the new album Relic to the people on my mailing list. We sold over half the pre orders in 24 hours and it topped the Bandcamp charts. Crazy. Thanks so much, i was amazed. Completely. You can order it here: http://mattstevens.bandcamp.com/album/relic Delivery won't be til SEPTEMBER and they are strictly limited, numbered and signed :)

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

The Life Of A Social Network

Not sure what this is for.

Oh i get it, but the features are a bit limited and there is no one on here.

Brilliant, all my friends have joined.

Like the new features.

This is brilliant.

Too many people and features.

Why have i got thousands of friends requests/event invites/annoying messages?

This social network is rubbish.

Ohh whats this, a new network?

Do you remember when we used to use.......

My Inspiration - Dave Cleaton

SuBVerSioN - Wine It.
A few years ago HMV did this thing where you had to pick a celebrity and say how they inspired you. This is someone who inspired me - Dave Cleaton. Gone but not forgotten, bloody decent bloke, inspirational musician. Seriously talented. We miss you man.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Prog Rock Vs Progressive Rock

IMG_0472 by mattstevensguitar
IMG_0472, a photo by mattstevensguitar on Flickr.

Recently I've noticed a lot of arguments online about "prog rock". Its getting a bit crazy.

The argument goes like this:

"Prog Rock" is genre that existed in the 1970's and was played by the likes of King Crimson, Yes, Genesis Etc. There can be no more because it only existed in the 1970s. Some prog zealots accept the later "neo-prog" movement Marillion, IQ, Etc. These guys are generally very angry and don't want the term "prog" associated with anything later - even for example Porcupine Tree. (yes prog is a genre where some fans are actively against progression!)

"Progressive Rock" is a bit more interesting. My definition of this is "interesting and ambitious rock music". It goes from King Crimson to Mahavishnu Orchestra to Can to Talking Heads and Dead Kennedys to Radiohead and Cardiacs, Mars Volta, Tortoise and Battles.

None of those terms really matter.

Its probably best to just enjoy the music - although its odd some fans of "Progressive" music hate progression and want "prog" to die when the old bands do. Very weird.

BTW - I know my music isn't proper "prog". I'm not sure what it is.

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