Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Midway through the week of streaming gigs

This week I'm doing a streaming gig everyday - you can watch at:

Monday's Stream

Went OK - playing was alright with a couple of moments I was pleased with, but there were technical problems and at the end of my set and my pickup decided to die. Nightmare.

Tuesday's Stream

I had to play electric guitar - not something I've practised much recently to be honest - very worrying. It went OK but i need to spend serious time on getting a good guitar sound to make it work - a lot of it sounded quite scratchy but not in a good Sonic Youth way.

As soon as I finished playing I had to run down to Denmark Street and get a new pickup - £185!!!! Absolute nightmare :) not good, but at least it enabled me to do the gig the following day and because of that we sold some CDs so that cheered me up a bit. I got the pickup from the excellent Wunjo Guitars:

Brian Rowe - Owner

Wednesday's Stream

Today went well - I was pleased :)

Thanks loads to everyone who has been watching - hope to see you tomorrow :)

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The evening's empire: The evening's artist - Matt Stevens

The evening's empire: The evening's artist - Matt Stevens: "So, after randomly perusing (yeah I said perusing), Twitter a little while ago, I stumbled across an artist called Matt Stevens. This isn't ..."

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Streaming online all next week/R2 Magazine


Thanks loads to everyone who downloaded the European Perspective sessions last weekend, amazing. It was really helpful in raising the funds to finish my 3rd album (it looks like there will be an EP as well now), more recording in the first week of April - we're getting there -  thanks to your support. If anyone wants a CD you can get both my albums for £10 this weekend only (plus P&P) from here, my wife would like the floor space back :).


Everyday this week I am going to be doing a free streaming online gig at 1pm UK time, you can watch here - broadcasting from my back bedroom. Say hello in the chat room - international times are here


The new issue of R2 magazine features my song Moondial on the CD that comes with the magazine along with a really positive review of Ghost, which I was really pleased about. 


Thanks loads for your support 



Matt Stevens 

Thursday, 17 March 2011

The Pay To Play Scam

Bands, please DO NOT pay to play at a venue.

The way it works is the band has to buy £180 worth of tickets from the promoter up front and if they fail to sell them they loose their money. So any liability for the failure of the the night lies with the band, the promoter takes no risk. Its a con but I was talking to a guy in a band who believed this is STANDARD PRACTICE in London venues. This is INSANE - I've played at most of the small/mid sized venues in London and never encountered this until recently.

The band involved said "if you can't sell the tickets you must be shit and we would get in the NME by playing there". I know this sounds hopelessly naive be there are musicians like this, desperate for exposure - often from outside London looking to build a following in the city. To be honest I thought all this had stopped.

I agree bands should help promote gigs and bands and promoters need to work together to make nights work (I wrote about it here), liability needs to be shared.

All these venues end up doing is putting on poor bands who can't get a gig anywhere else, playing to their mates and often paying for the privilege. This is crazy and MUST STOP NOW. Spread the word, we must stop this.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Streaming gig today at 7pm

Morning all

I'm playing a live streaming gig today at 7pm at

Just go to the site - its like watching a youtube video live except if you talk in the chat I can talk back to you :)

World times are here.

Would be great to see you there :)

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Classic Rock Prog Interview and EP session

Its been a busy week - thanks to everyone who has purchased albums - much appreciated :)

There is an interview with me in the new Classic Rock Prog Magazine:



I did feel a prat reading it on the Tube :) I didn't want people thinking I was a crazed egotist. Its great to have such supportive press in the UK (and across the world).

Tomorrow I'm doing a live a streaming 7pm UK time - please join us @

I did a session on Tuesday for the European Perspective Podcast - its a 6 songs live acoustic session plus an interview and me talking about my list of favorite records - like desert island disks, I bloody loved it.

Wilf who presents the show is a great fella and is to be supported - heres what I played:

16. Radiohead - Paranoid Android (06:23) from OK Computer, 1997

17. Mahavishnu Orchestra - Birds Of Fire (05:43) from Birds of Fire, 1973

18. Groundhogs - Soldier...Alienness Of A Country (04:53) from Thank Christ for the Bomb, 1970

19. Nick Drake - 'Cello Song (04:48) from Five Leaves Left, 1969

20. Bill Bruford - Beelzebub (03:22) from Feels Good To Me, 1978

21. Draw - Stota (02:54),, 1993

22. Pink Floyd - The Nile Song (03:23) from More, 1969

23. Celtic Frost - Tristesses De La Lune (03:00) from Into The Pandemonium, 1987

24. John Barry - Space March (Capsule In Space) (02:44) from The Music of John Barry, 1977

25. Tinyfish - Building The Machine (03:16) from The Big Red Spark, 2010

26. The Zombies - A Rose For Emily (02:17) from Odyssey And Oracle (Remastered), 1968

Speak soon :)



Monday, 7 March 2011

This weekend and thank you :)


I just want to say thank you to everyone who told their friends about Ghost over the last few days - it worked!! Downloads and CD sales up and more people on the Facebook page. Thanks so much :) It shows the power of word of mouth. Amazing

Other than that over the weekend I've been doing more promotional stuff for Ghost and helping out my mate Nick Tann by videoing the recording of his live album @ Livingstone studios.

This man seems to be enjoying Toyahs appearance on Comic Relief Lets Dance:


In the studio with Nick Tann:

OK I admit it I want one:


I KNOW I'd look ridiculous :)

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Alarm Press Kickstarter

You may remember the interview in did with ALARM Press I did last year?

Well this is a new Kickstarter project they are working on - they are well worth supporting:

We here at ALARM Press are pleased to announce our next book, Chromatic: The Crossroads of Color and Music. It's about independent musicians and artists who are exploring color in unorthodox ways, and we're really psyched about it.

We were so excited to put it together, in fact, that the finished product ended up at nearly 400 pages of full-color art and editorial. But because it turned out so much larger than originally planned, we need some help to send it to print. As of today, we have launched a pre-order and fund-raising campaign on, one of the world's biggest fund-raising websites for creative projects.

Here's the link:

You can read about Chromatic and see some preview spreads at the Kickstarter page. We'd love your help in spreading the word about this, and if you know any friendly neighborhood benefactors, please pass this along.

One last push for Ghost :)


Thanks loads to everyone who has purchased CDs/Downloads in the last few days. Much appreciated - you may be in this pile here:
If you are interested in my attitude to "free" music this an interview in Cack Blabbath all about that:

Well this approach kind of dates back to the Grateful Dead who used to let people tape and trade their concerts. The basis of the model is you will create a community which you can monetize later on, like tech start ups like Google and Twitter did – once you have people there you can figure out how to make money from them. With most labels bands get paid little to nothing anyway after they often fail to recoup. Why you’d need to be signed to do this I don’t really know unless the label can help with PR/Marketing/Tour support, many people at labels have some really useful skills but there is no reason you can’t hire PR etc yourself . I would imagine Gama Bomb must be signed to some kind of 360 degree deal where the label takes a percentage of touring/merch. Most bands would be better off with a bank loan than a label. With a label you often end up paying back the costs anyway, but the label still own all the rights to your work, which is ridiculous. Just because its been standard practice in the industry for years doesn’t make it any less bullshit.

You can read the whole thing here.

I'm doing one last push for my album Ghost and I need your help (as usual). Can you tell one person about it please? If everyone tells someone, through word of mouth it will make a BIG difference in terms of people hearing the record.

If you can send anyone to the:

Matt Stevens #BandPage on Facebook

or the download/pay what you want page at:

I'd hugely appreciate it. if you burn someone a CDR or post a blog/Facebook update/tweet, thats great as well (and cheers to everyone who already has). I had an email from a listener saying I can't let this album go without giving it a push, so this is it! To me Ghost has done FAR better than I could ever have imagined, so thanks very much and I'm so pleased with the audience I've gained through it. I'm trying to raise funds to record again at the moment so if you do decide to pay for a CD or Download it will really be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much for this.

Speak soon


Thursday, 3 March 2011

That man Tann and his Vinyl Project

I'm videoing my mate Nick Tann tomorrow recording - here is the press release for what hes doing:

Eastleigh-based singer songwriter Nick Tann has at last raised the funds to kick his year long The Vinyl Project into its second phase!

Working with the hugely talented Matt Stevens, Nick devised The Vinyl Project concept back in February 2010. Consumed by making his music available in an online environment, it came to him that he could veer from the new media path and strike out with a vinyl release, funded by his fans.

“I wanted to keep it simple” said Nick “So I just asked people to pre pay for the album via a paypal button on my website”.

On the strength of pre-orders and donations from resin-loving music aficionados, the studio space is now booked and Nick will be playing to a small, invited audience at Livingstone Studios in March. All live, one take and absolutely no overdubs! "It's an exciting time" said Nick "the pressure is certainly on and I can’t wait!"

Once the recording is in the can, Nick will enter the final phase of gathering the final funds so he can press his tunes to lovely, glossy vinyl and send it out to the world. Exciting times for those of us still in thrall to gatefold album covers and two sided LPs, who still get a thrill from dropping a needle onto a groove.

You can pre order a copy or just follow Nick's progress on his blog at

Nick can be contacted via email through

The Top 5 Thrash Metal Acoustic Intros

Back in the 80's some of the music that really inspired me was only minutes or even seconds long. The classical intros at the start of thrash metal songs were a massive influence on me and a lot of the music I do now reflects this.

Here is an good one from Metallica and one of the earliest Fight Fire with Fire:

Sepultura - Beneath The Remains is great, classic record as well:

My first record was quite influenced by this by Annilhilator - not that I'm a guitar player in Jeff Waters league. This is bloody brilliant, listen to those harmony parts!!:

Megadeth Good Mourning has an amazing intro - not totally acoustic but really a bit special.

And Metallica Again - Battery

Because back then(early 90's)it was hard to get access to classical guitar stuff this was my only really exposure to that sound when I was a teenager. Then I got into Mclaughlin and Paco De Lucia and all that.

Anyone else recommend any good thrash acoustic intros?

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

The Facebook Principal.....

The irony that I'm reading a book on Facebook as I'm trying to cut back on the amount of time I spend on Facebook is not lost on me. But there is a very valuable lesson to learn for from what they did. The focused on growing an audience before trying to monetize.

Building a community is REALLY important for all us interweb musician types, its took me years to be build a small audience. I believe being open and giving away free music creates goodwill. This wasn't a grand plan, I just learned along the was. You treat people as individuals, you say thank you, treat them with respect. Having an audience is a not a right, its an incredible privilege.

If you focus on money first it costs more in marketing to build your audience. The paywall you put slows the process of discovery. There are just too many other things going on online.

If you like my music please just tell one person about it. Thank you :)

A trip to Denmark Street and Forbidden Planet - London:



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