Saturday, 29 December 2012

Arthur Lee and Love - Forever Changes Concert (Alone Again Or & A House ...



I was at this gig. Loved it. Great chords :)

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Kraftwerk, and the Electronic revolution (1/19)



More stuff that's inspiring Fierce And The Dead album 2. Synths are cool.

Happy Boxing Day :)

Sunday, 23 December 2012

R M Hubbert - Bands In Transit Glasgow Special

\\\\


Bloody brilliant! Hubby is the man. And he's playing in London soon....

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Cosmograf - The Vacuum That I Fly Through



I had a lot of fun playing the guitar on this song by Cosmograf. It features Greg Spawton and Nick DVirgilio-Official Fanpage from Big Big Train:). Robin (mr Cosomograf) sent me the track and I just overdubbed the guitar at home. It was just a case of improvising the solo and the melody over those chords. I think it came out pretty well and I wish Robin all the best with new record, he's a top bloke. 

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Sonic Youth - Put More Blood Into the Music [Complete]




Sonic Youth Documentary. Always an interesting band.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

A rose for Emily - The Zombies




Another record that's a big inspiration. Listen to those chords!! The inversions are amazing.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

A new free sampler album :)


HI 

Hope you're good? Ready for Christmas? Got your advent calendar ready? 

We've got a new and free 8 track album. Rare tracks, unreleased tracks, a 14 minute track and ones people like. Please tell your friends and share it on forums/facebook/twitter and blogs and all that great stuff, it makes a massive difference. Burn a CD for a friend, (wrap it paper and give it as a christmas gift!) We are a purely DIY enterprise (it's going to be ages before we can train the baby up). Features The Fierce & The Dead, Yonks and my solo stuff. 

If you like the stuff on the sampler please consider buying one the albums, it would be REALLY appreciated.

Thanks so much for all your support. Amazing :) 

Speak soon


Matt Stevens


Friday, 30 November 2012

Stewart Lee - on Derek Bailey






More reasons to like Stewart Lee....

There is a great bit in Stewart Lee's book How I Escaped My Certain Fate about Derek Bailey. It's this story about DB repeating accidents and how it shaped SL's attitude to improvisation. Well worth a read.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Fierce And The Dead album 2 update..

New The Fierce & The Dead coming on well - I reckon we've got about half the record sketched out. It's quite different to the first one and the EP. Kev's bass is really to the front and we're very much a 2 guitar band now. The structures are getting stranger and the bar lengths more messed up but it's also quite pop. In a not pop way. You'll see :)

And my son has a new hat :)



Sunday, 25 November 2012

Talking Heads with Adrian Belew - Live in Rome 1980 - 10 Born Under Punches



Gonna try and post some of the stuff that is inspiring us while we make Fierce And The Dead II. Here is something :) Belew :)

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Post rock?

Sometimes my stuff and the music of The Fierce And The Dead gets called "post rock" a genre that's vaguely defined at best.

Slint or Mogwai or Tortoise or Godspeed are the most often called upon examples. Well although I do like some of those bands it's not something i listen to a lot or is a real influence.

What we do is more what happens when you mix King Crimson and Husker Du and The Smiths and loads of other stuff from the Mahavishnu to Carcass to Nick Drake to Portishead. It's all in there, it just comes out as this stuff.


One review of the first Fierce And The Dead record said we'd ripped off loads of Post Rock bands I'd never even heard of, which i must admit is frustrating. I dare say they came from the source we did.

I'm going to do a post rock show soon with my friend David on his podcast and pick out some of the more remarkable bands, I'll let you know :)

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Thursday, 6 September 2012

BBC BREAKFAST-PROG ROCK AWARDS-6.9.2012



Good to see some of my prog friends on the TV this morning :)

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

CARL VERHEYEN - Support gig





You know i was telling you about doing a few special gig? This is at the Unicorn in Camden - The legend that is Twang "After a meeting in a car park at Midnight, both wearing trench coats and using code words like, 'The Aardvark's head 
is tilted to the left'. 'Yes it can see better whilst frying bacon'. (One cannot be too careful these days) I am extremely happy to announce that I have managed to persuade MATT STEVENS out of Solo retirement to recreate the STUNNING CELEBR8 show with some brand new material! And I can tell you that it's FREE ENTRY!!!

So see you there ;-) Feel free to quote the 'Password' on entry. :-)"


About the gig -


The First House of Progression show to be announced for The Unicorn Camden...........I thought I'd go for a Guitar God!! Supertramp's Guitar God at that!!

TUESDAY 25th SEPTEMBER CARL VERHEYEN BAND
THE WANGBARWONDER TOUR

‘One of the TOP 10 Guitar players in the WORLD! ’ Guitar Magazine

‘One of the Top 100 Guitar players of ALL TIME’!Classic Rock Magazine




Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Monday, 27 August 2012

CELEBR8 PROG FESTIVAL - So I did a little tour (Part 4)


And so it ends. And what a way to finish the Relic tour. The UK's biggest niche prog festival. CELEBR8

600 people over the weekend. A lot of people (although some never made it to the Acoustic Stage). 

Some reviews by others:


And in the new issue of Prog magazine



Sat Jul 7 2012 8:00pCELEBR8 @ THE HIPPODROME
Kingston upon Thames, UK

This event was organised by 2 legends of prog Geoff Bands and Twang (not Twig). Well done for an amazing event. Incredible stuff. 

I brought my own road crew:



The q:



Credit to - http://www.flickr.com/photos/moonshaydephotography for the Photo


I was playing last on the Acoustic Stage - kind of a "bar bit" round the back of the main stage. The Hippodrome is a massive nightclub. Bits smell of sick. Most of it was OK :) 

The audience reaction was remarkable - i even did Get Carter as an encore! They were clapping along!

Honestly, it was amazing. Great crowd. Compact and select, the best of the best people there :) 

This is by Moonshayde



All the bands on the main stage i managed to catch were good (when not setting up my stuff etc). Was great to chat to all the people in the bands back stage - everyone was nice, to be fair, very realistic about the nature of what we do, no rock star egos. 

Met up with lots of people who have supported my career in music, shook a lot of hands. I am so pleased to be part of this community. You lovely people. 

Sun Jul 7 2012 8:00pCELEBR8 @ THE HIPPODROME
Kingston upon Thames, UK


Back again. I seemed to be playing first this time :) 

And it's on Video: 


Between playing i heard a bit of Dec Burke's set, those guitar  parts are mental - harmonised widdle genius :) 

Tinyfish were great, their final electric gig. Emotional. Lovely people. 

Then it was all over. 

My friend Kerry from the US did a Greys tune. I love the Greys :) 

So I'm cutting back on solo gigs to get Fierce And The Dead going. More solo stuff. Next year.....

Recording a couple of solo tracks soon thou :) 



Monday, 23 July 2012

So I did a little tour (part 3)


On the 30th of June a highly anticipated gig took place near Bury in the UK. Thousands attended and there was great excitement.

But up a few more miles up the road....

Sat Jun 30 2012
8:00pThe Met
Bury, BURY, UK   

Opening for Manning again - nice audience, venue almost sold out. Shook more hands - made more friends. Manning and Co were lovely again. Met up with some friends from the web and that was pretty awesome. 

What's Bury like? Like this:



Nice kebab shops. 

Lots of music fans in the streets....passing through in wellies off to see The Stone Roses. 

Epic journey there and back, i kept falling asleep. Seemed even further than the trip to Hartlepool. M1 was partly closed on the way back. Little roads and exhaustion don't mix. 

We got home safely. Thanks Kev. 

Sunday, 22 July 2012

So I did a little tour (Part 2)


Sat Jun 23 2012
8:00pLansdown Hall/formerly Th...
Gloucestershire, UK 

EPPYFEST:

From the site:

"EppyFest is happening on the evening of Saturday, 23 June 2012. The event will offer a night of exciting and eclectic English music, featuring the poppy psych folk of Candythief, the loop guitar wizardry of Matt Stevens, and William D Drake & his band are headlining with their neo-classical art rock."

My friend and podcasting legend Ian from Epileptic Gibbon podcast put this together - lovely audience :) Candythief was wonderful - she does these amazing harmony things and writes great songs. 

William D Drake - listen to this it's great:

William D Drake was remarkable. One of the best things i've seen live, incredible songs, great chords.

Lovely crowd again, seats all full. Brilliant, thanks Ian. 



I found this in the hallway:



I made some new friends then me and Kev drove me home. Result.

Thu Jun 28 2012
8:00pThe Good Ship
Kilburn, UK   

Opening for Ned Evett - lovely fella. Fretless guitarist! Amazing, over from the US on tour, fretless guitar is crazy. Small crowd, but the people who did come were cool. Some Twitter friends came down which was great. Was weird playing with less audience feedback, but like i say the people who were there seemed to like it :) 



I played OK but with some technical problems (bloody dodgy lead). Malcolm Bruce also played. Great songs that fella. 

Great jukebox - loads of Big Star and FREE. I love Big Star.




Ever onward. Kilburn is a bit rough (still).


END OF PART 2





Saturday, 21 July 2012

So I did a little tour (Part 1)


I did a little tour, accompanied by my friend Kev from The Fierce And The Dead on driving duties:

Gig 1

Sat Jun 9 2012
3:00pThe studio Hartlepool

First one....

5 hour drive there, 5 hour drive back. I admit it, I didn't look at the map :) 


The gig seemed to go well, busy venue, nice crowd :) One down, 7 to go. Steve the promoter was a lovely bloke. Met up with lots of people again, DPRP types etc. A few familiar faces make a big difference. Shook a lot of hands. Sadly I missed the other bands due to driving back - we were only there a couple of hours. Torrential rain on the journey, some of the roads were flooded. Scary. 

Kev backstage:


Gig 2


Sat Jun 16 2012
8:00pThe Wesley Centre, Maltby
Rotherham, UK   

With Manning. Thanks to my friend Mel for driving me to this one. Manning have a lot of kit!


Nice crowd again - here they are:


It was a bit like playing in a lecture theatre at a school. Went down well :)

I enjoyed Manning a lot, they reminded me of ELO who i love (yes, I have the ELO box set, the 80s disk is shit thou). Lovely people. 

Nice to see Miles and the CRS crew and meet up with some facebook/forum type friends who came to the gig, I really appreciate it. Having people make the effort to see you is a massive thing, especially when they often have to travel a long way to see you. 

END OF PART ONE










Friday, 22 June 2012

Andy Summers & Robert Fripp - I Advance Masked - 1982




Quite an influence on the Relic album this one :)

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

It's our wedding anniversary.


I love you darling, 4 years!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Cosmic Re-arranger


So, Wednesday. 

Fierce And The Dead Rehearsal. 

My whammy pedal is knackered and as that is the pedal i use all over the On VHS EP it rather limits what we can play. Shite. 

What we did do was rearrange some of the songs to make them easier to play live. I've taken on too many of the guitar parts and now we've split them to between me and Steve, the other guitarist. Makes my life less about leaping from one pedal to another and more about actually playing the songs. Brilliant. On some sections previously i had to hit 2 pedals at once to get different sounds. Bloody nightmare. 

Kev is a great arranger of parts and he did a lot of work sorting it all out. 

Anyway we did that then wrote some new stuff. Big riffs. But you'll hear all about that soon. 

Sunday, 3 June 2012

"The Final Relic" UK Tour



 These are the final UK dates for the Relic album.


ComScore

Monday, 21 May 2012

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Fierce And The Dead Rehearsals

Learning our new song Part 3 for the forthcoming Fierce And The Dead gig:

https://www.facebook.com/events/373362832715250/

26th May London.

We also did an interview for Prog magazine, which was cool. 

The set is really coming together and I'm really excited about the other bands:

In association with Cognitive Dissonance, The Fierce & The Dead will be celebrating the release of their new e.p. 'On VHS' in the depths of London's East End.

“King Crimson meets Sonic Youth.”
Here Comes The Flood

“Simultaneously entrancing and distinctly peculiar.”
Prog Magazine

http://fierceandthedead.com/

As well as special guest DJs, support comes from two of the best new bands around.

ANTA's sound is best described as "large"; looming and fundamental whilst melodic and composed. Thick, essential drumming and thundering bass with intertwining guitar and organ that take on a near-regal expression. The colossal prog quartet's debut album, "The Tree That Bears The Equine Fruit", is a determinedly energetic stampede through towering riffs and infectious rhythms without respite.
http://music.anta.me.uk/


Sci'enta Dystene are a 2-piece progressive musical dialogues.
Riffmeister rumblings & dark cadences wrought outta Hell, or Satre. Experimental existentialist metal meets Beefheart & King Crimson.
http://scientadystene.com/


So come on down and move you feet and your mind! Expect the unexpected.

£5 on the door or get £4 advance tickets here:
http://www.wegottickets.com/event/

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

I love this - Knifeworld- Clairvoyant Fortnight



Featuring our friends Kavus Torabi and Steve Davis :)

Monday, 7 May 2012

A half hour of music from The Fierce And The Dead, Part 1/2/3


I've been meaning to write this for a while and connect the dots....

Part one came about from a composition i had in 2007 ish called Snow which was split into 3 parts, you can hear the original version of snow HERE. When it came to recording Ghost my second record we did a new version of it, with my friends Stuart Marshall and Kevin Feazey - this became a bit of a 19 minute epic. Its built up from improvisations on the themes we did together. Here it is:





I'm still really pleased with this, which is really unusual for me. Kev played the keyboards on this, I love that section. The melodies and Stu's drum fills. I have no idea how this came about, it feels more composed than improvised. That day the music just seemed to flow. I wish I could recreate that at will. 

After recording part one we all got a bit excited and thought this could be a band. I'd had the name The Fierce And The Dead since 2004 ish and I'd been trying to put a band together around that but it had never happened. People would not be interested or move to Turkey, very difficult. Anyway I liked the name so we decided to put Part 1 out as an EP under the name The Fierce And The Dead. People seemed to really like it and the response was really good, even thou we'd never rehearsed or played a gig. Anyway we thought it would be an idea to make an album and do some concerts, we all loved Part One and wanted to do more with it. 

We recorded the debut album at Livingstone Studios in London in two days, after a couple of practices. We had a lot of the bits and improvised the rest on the day. We then learned the improvisations for concert performance. With all these tracks Kev would do a fair bit to them afterwards, adding parts etc. Hes a great producer. We had to get another musician in for the live gigs. 


Part 2 is shorter and punchier, we changed the melody and the chords. More upbeat. I like the solos on this one, i actually learned to play it so i can do it live, very unusual for me. I do this one for my solo gigs and we play it with Fierce And The Dead as well. Me and Steve do a harmony part on the middle section now live. 



Part 3 was recorded the week before my son was born, at Livingstone again (my son was born in a hospital). Whammy pedal guitars all over this one. And the arrival of Mr Steve Cleaton on guitar. He is a great player, amazing ears and scarily accurate. This one reminds me of My Bloody Valentine. I think this provides a decent noisy end to the whole thing. 

Will there be a Part 4? We'll see. Let me know what you think :) 

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Good news and bad news


Hi

Hope you're good? Things have been a bit weird here lately. I'm currently looking for help, some management/booking gigs type help. I've had a few offers (which I'm looking at).  I blame the Daleks:



So there is some good news and bad news:

Good News

The new Fierce And The Dead EP called On VHS will be available to stream tomorrow, pre orders are being sent out next week and you can still order yours at:

http://www.fierceandthedead.com/

We've made videos and everything. 

Also - There is a great review review of the Believers Roast album that features Knifeworld, Sanguine Hum and loads of amazing stuff (and one of my tracks) in the new issue of Classic Rock Presents Prog. Magazine and album out now. Check out the redesign of prog mag, it looks great.

Bad News

For reasons outside of my control the following gigs have been cancelled. Obviously this is most upsetting but there is nothing I can do on this occasion:

The Puzzle Hall
The Castle, Wellingborough. 

I hate cancelling gigs but there was no way round this one. Gutted. No more will be cancelled this year, I can't wait to play these final Relic gigs. 

More news soon. 

Thanks as ever for all your support, you know how much it means to me.

Best 


Matt Stevens
http://www.fierceandthedead.com
http://www.mattstevensguitar.com
http://www.spencerparkmusic.com
mattstevensguitar@btinternet.com

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Making a Fierce And The Dead video

Last night we made a video. For the new Fierce And The Dead EP, we're making one for each track.

Kev Feazey directed it, we wore masks. Scary masks.






It was for the song 666...6. 

Bloody hot inside those masks I can tell you with the lights and all that, in front of the camera. 

You hear the song so many times when you are tracking the performances, I still like it thou :)

You can order your EP on CD here but there are less than 20 left now for the pre orders that ship next week:





Can't wait to play you the rest of it, I'm really proud of this stuff.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

How do you keep things fresh? Time to make some changes.


Its a funny thing making records. 

The trick is to make it feel fresh and new. Different and exciting. 


What made a good album once often won't work the same again, like you can't go back to Narnia twice the same way. I think you need to work with new people and expose yourself to new ideas and influences.

A classic example of this is Bowie's Berlin sequence of records. Bowie has constantly worked with different collaborators to expose himself to new working methods. Eno famously used his Oblique Strategies cards to contrive random events and new recording experiences. (and I'm not saying I'm a David Bowie).

I think if I want to continue to make records I need to go away and come back. Find new working methods because I have hit a bit of a dead end post Relic. I've loved working with The Fierce And The Dead and I'm really proud of the new EP. Who knows how long this will continue for but I hope we can at least make another album.  

At the moment funding has become a problem, I am a new dad and have some serious responsibilites. I can't just make records, I can't support my family with earnings from music (god knows I've tried) so the time i have to make music is seriously limited with lots of non music work and i want to try and spend time with my son, when possible. 

I'm not sure when I'll make another solo record. Not this year anyway. Maybe in a few years. Maybe the next thing will be a collaboration, I'm pleased to say I've had some cool offers. I'd really like to make a record with multiple collaborators. 

I sure am going to miss it all after the next few gigs, part of me wants to keep on doing the solo loop shows but its better to move on before people get bored. 

I'd love to have a chance to tour properly but I don't think there is any more I can do on my own, I need help. We'll see. I'd love some help, but I've not quite got to the right point. Really difficult to be honest.

I've talked to a few managers...we'll have to see how things work out.  

All change.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Do fans think musicians are rich?

"Most current musician make most of their money from touring and performing live, I paid £28 for a ticket to Bloc Party in 2008; i'm a big fan of theirs so I was happy to pay, but, £28 x 2000? £56,000 for ONE GIG, say they do a tour of 50 gigs.. £2.8 million. Obviously, you'd have to then pay for accomodation, transport, venue fees, extras (food, petrol etc), but that can't be more than £1-1.5 million. And that's a band that were just becoming mainstream when they split up. Imagine if you were the likes of Take That, Lady Gaga and you could choose to charge £50+ per ticket. Millions." 


This is a comment on a blog post in the Independent about how rubbish royalties are on Spotify. 


Sadly most bands don't make a lot from touring, especially at the 100-400 people at a gig point. If you earn £1000 a night but hotel rooms for 6 people and the van (plus advertising, etc etc) are £1200 you have still lost money. Production costs can be high. Most bands need to sell merch to survive. 


Another comment on the same blog:


"oh yeah cuz spotify is how musicians make there money! they can all shut up and stop whining the greedy morons, there absolutely minted in the millions and they complain there not gettin paid enough by a website? new talent will have no problem for the new generation."


Blimey. Thanks for that. Most musicians are really having a hard time at the moment. Another one:


"What are you talking about. Yes they have all those costs to cover, however if a musician is signed to a record label, the label will cover all those costs anyway. Also don't you realize those costs are what they are BECAUSE of the amount the artists are paid?"


Yup people really are that naive that they think record labels cover the costs if you are signed to one. Signing to a record label doesn't make you wealthy, quite often the opposite!


What we need to do is educate the public. Labels rarely pay advances these days (apart from very rare majors) - its just not what happens anymore. 


My music is available on Bandcamp, pay what you want. If you choose to pay for it I will be able to afford to make records, if you don't I won't. This is the reality for musicians these days:


http://mattstevens.bandcamp.com/


I've been very lucky to have the support of an amazing online audience, most people don't have that. 


Thank you for all your support. 





Friday, 2 March 2012

Why Isn't Jason Falkner really famous?

Jason Falkner is one of my favorite songwriters. She Goes To Bed is amazing, really great. He has this knack of writing songs that make me feel both happy and sad at the same time.



He is probably best known for playing in Jellyfish but it is his 2 solo albums from the 90s (Author Unknown and Can You Still Feel?) that i like best. Check out the chords.

This is from his latest album:


The chorus is amazing. 

How is this fella not more well known? Its worrying that someone can be that good and no one knows who he is. 

I saw him play live in London once in front of a small audience, great gig, the audience sang the harmony parts!

Why is it that so many amazing musicians never gain an audience? 

So many great bands/artists never get a fair chance and there is no greater example than Jason Falkner. 

I bet everyone reading this could name at least one great musician who never really got heard.....






Saturday, 18 February 2012

Comic Strip Presents... - More Bad News

This is the most accurate thing about signing to an indie record label I have ever seen :)
"Frilly Pink"
Hahahahahaha

Sunday, 12 February 2012

The New Fierce And The Dead EP

The new EP from my band The Fierce & The Dead is available to Pre-Order today on CD. 



I think this EP takes our music in a really new direction while continuing what we did on our album. I'm really excited about it. It is the first recording to feature our new second guitar player Steve Cleaton and this gave us the chance to do so much with multiple guitar parts, a bit like real time loops. I really like the idea of two guitars playing in multiple time signatures - one in 6, on in 4 etc

I am really proud of this stuff and the musicians in the band are really inspiring. 

Your support buying the music allows us to keep on doing this. The initial CD run features 2 exclusive remixes :) 

http://thefierceandthedead.bandcamp.com/album/on-vhs

Friday, 10 February 2012

GuitarPlayer: Matt Stevens

GuitarPlayer: Matt Stevens’ Juiced Acoustic
The interview is now online to read in full on the Guitar Player website :)

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Music that has an impact - Shhh festival.

All the best gigs make you think about music in a different way.



We played at the Shhhh Festival last night/afternoon in Bethnal Green. Was fun and odd to present The Fierce And The Dead in an acoustic context, I'm not sure it felt 100% to me but people seemed to like it. Its normally a lot noisier. The new stuff worked well thou. Our 6/8 and 4/4 new song went better than expected.

We recorded a version of The Wait for The Local video channel, just me and Steve in a room with 2 acoustic guitars, a full on brightly lit TV studio type thing. No room for error but it seemed to go OK. Lots of interesting music. I really enjoyed Stranded Horse, interesting and inspiring folk Kora stuff. Unfortunately I was so tired I fell asleep at the front of the gig during his set. Bugger. He was really good and it wasn't a reflection on his music, I was just really tired.


It was a very cosy atmosphere and audience were lovely. 

RM Hubbert was on as well and his set was amazing, really made me think about what I'm doing with the music I play. The honesty in what he is doing is really impressive and i love his playing. Really musical in the truest sense, not flash but class. This song really moved me:




I've been through a bit of an emotional time recently and it really had an impact. I brought his new album at the gig and it is stunning. 

The best gigs make you think about them for a long time afterwards. 

Travelling home through the snow was crazy, I hope everyone had a safe journey. Snow really messes London up. 

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Newsletter


Hi 



Hope you're good? 

Just wanted to say hello. As usual its all been a bit crazy here, I now understand how much becoming a father does change your life, not always in the most obvious ways. Its all worth it. 

We're selling off the last few Relic T-Shirts at the special price of £9.99 plus postage, they come with a free download of the album and are available from:


As usual you choosing to pay for my downloads, CDs and T-Shirts allows me to go on making this music, if you do decide to download or torrent the music free please tell your friends, it makes a massive difference. I have some cunning ideas for new projects and it would be awesome to be able to fund them. 

My band project The Fierce And The Dead are doing a gig in London next weekend at:


I'm not doing a new solo record this year so it looks like The Fierce And The Dead will be my main thing this year, we have a very limited edition EP called On VHS out soon. I'm doing a few more final solo gigs as well for Relic so I'll announce them at:


After that the solo gigs will be more "specials" little tours or trips abroad to Europe or the US or for one offs gigs at festivals. This will leave me a couple of years to get Fierce And The Dead established and spend time with my new son. Then I have a plan for something else.  

Also coming to an end is my electronic project with Lextrical, Yonks. You can get our final EP and pay any amount from:


I'm cutting back on my use of Twitter and Facebook - I need to be so careful with my time at the moment. Its always got to be about the music first of all, not about the next succinct Tweet. It all got a bit much but I'm still updating my blog at:


Thanks SO much for all your support - I am thinking about another solo record, so many ideas, so little time. 

Speak soon 


Matt Stevens

Saturday, 28 January 2012

We have both kinds of music here....


A quick walk round Brick Lane and a visit to Rough Trade East, I like the shop. I got that new Bowie In Berlin book, A New Job In A New Town. I'm really into that era of Bowie's work. 

There was a generic indie rock band playing on the stage in Rough Trade, sub Velvets/Television/Strokes - very safe middle of the road. Indie rock has really eaten itself of late, the scene is so MOR. People seem to like their music to fit a specific genre. The "proper prog" and "proper Post Rock" people are the same. The experimental music people seem to be into specific types of experimental music. Its OK to be experimental as long as its the right kind of experimental music for that scene. Its nonsense. Most scenes are fairly conservative at the core. 

I remember going to a gig and seeing a jazz guitarist playing exactly like Derek Bailey. Talk about missing the point. 

If you do try something new some people say "its unfocused" etc. Its outside their comfort zone and they don't like it. 

"STORM THE CASTLE. BURN THE HERETICS!!"

I spotted this on a stall at the antiques market in Spitalfields:


I remember when they were a symbol of the future, I used to read pointy guitar catalogues when I was at school wishing I could afford one. Weird seeing it amongst the antiquarian books and old music hall posters. Everything eventually becomes a relic of the past. 


Friday, 27 January 2012

How much does it cost to build an audience online?


This from Time/Lefsetz:

Want to Be a Rock Star? You'll Need $100,000


"Our manager has snagged me an extra VIP pass to a show by a Grammy-winning British pop star she also manages. We make our way through the NYC crowd (2,000 or so jammed into the venue) toward the door that leads backstage. An imposing bouncer guarding the door sees our passes and steps aside, opening the door for us. This is the good life, I think.

What meets me backstage is nothing like what I pictured. No fountains of champagne, no elegant lounges. It's just as dingy as the venue itself, with a printed sign taped to the star's dressing room door. The band is hanging out on a couch that someone obviously found on the street, and there are some catered snacks that look like they could have come from the NYU dining hall I try to avoid."

Have you never been backstage at a rock gig? 

Its not cool or romantic. If you get sandwiches and beer you're doing well, its the staff room. Well know musicians tend to have creepy super fans hanging around as a boost to their fragile egos too. Its not very nice to be honest, kind of like a royal court without the wealth, all about the headling "stars" ego. Quite depressing.  

Investing in marketing, touring and PR will help to gain you an audience but really the essentials are good music and a hard work ethic. These guys sound like they are complaining and don't know what they are doing. 

What about working a day job then spending 7pm til 11pm/1am at night building your music career (it can be done)? Then you can invest what you make into marketing to build an initial niche audience. 

Work hard and make music people want to share, stop moaning.

Do you want to be know for music or using social media?



Someone asked me this the other day.

Its supposed to be all about the music. That why all the other stuff happens. Facebook, Twitter and all that. 

Lately I've stopped enjoying the social media stuff quite so much. Maybe I should be thinking about an interesting riff rather than a succinct tweet? So I'm scaling back, taking a break. A few people contacted me to check I wasn't unwell, which was very sweet. 

I just stopped enjoying it. 

A lot of the things that excited me a few years a go I see in the mainstream now - UStream gigs etc all the Social Media "stuff". I don't like a lot of the cynicism. It is just selling and often people forget about the music. 

Surely its supposed to be about honesty and integrity? A genuine relationship with your audience rather than a hard sell? 

For me I always loved the real relationship with the audience. 

Maybe I've come to the end of my social media run, maybe in a few weeks, months or years I'll be excited about it again, I don't know. For now its time to take a step back. 


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Should you get a job in the music industry?


To be honest I wouldn't recommend a full time career in music to anyone, certainly not in recording. 

My friend was working with a very well known producer last week and even he is struggling. Most of the studios in London are closing/closed and my friends who are engineers are looking for day jobs. Things may be better outside London for all I know thou, its all over here. 

If you can work lots of hours and cut all costs you can survive, but you'll be hard pushed to earn what someone in McDonalds would earn. The trouble is because everyone wants to do it people will work for free.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Stopping playing live

As a few of you may know things have been a bit intense lately, becoming a father and all that, taking on a full time job - its wonderful but it means your life needs to change. Something needs to stop.

So after the gigs this year I'm going to stop playing gigs with the solo stuff apart from the odd "special" - perhaps a few days of gigs a year or the odd festival, perhaps some gigs in the US or Europe.

I'm really looking forward to the gigs I have already booked :)

Being gig ready takes constant practice of the solo routine and at the moment I don't have time to do this and do The Fierce And The Dead as well. I love playing with the Fierce And The Dead and I really don't want to give that up.

One thing I really want to do is  do a live DVD of my solo acoustic set. We'll see. I really hope we can do that perhaps via Pledge music to fund it. Good idea?

There are a few more gigs coming up this year to finish things off, announcements soon.

Thanks for all your support.


Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Day 2

I'm loving this St Vincent record. Sounds new.

The level of success my work has seen in the last couple of years seems to me incredible, considering that its not easy music to love. Far beyond any expectation I had. Mission accomplished, it helps to have realistic dreams. When i was 20 i would have loved to be in a band that sold hundreds of thousands, but not now. A small audience and some decent gigs and press. Done. I know that sales of a few thousand are very little to the general music industry but to me these are huge numbers. I am grateful to the audience but slightly worried about the level of expectation.

To move forward the music must change, evolve.

More demos to make.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Day 1

photo by mattstevensguitar
photo, a photo by mattstevensguitar on Flickr.
I'm taking time out from social media. Its been getting a bit much. I want to spend more time with the little fella above and sort myself out a bit. So I'm going to use this blog as an online diary, notes from the social media wilderness.

I need to think of new ways of working, to keep things fresh.

You can never go back to Narnia the same way twice. To create something new I think it's essential to change your working methods.

First 2 Fierce And The Dead songs written, awaiting the process of collaboration and filtering that Marshall/Feazey and Cleaton will apply to them when they are worked through in the rehearsal room.

Huzzah.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Newsletter

Hi 

If you listen to Dandelion Radio there is a radio session by me this month, lots of really long songs. First broadcast is 1pm on Jan 1st but its repeated on Mark Whitby's show throughout the month. You can listen online at:


It was recorded the day before Loop Baby was born :) 


I just wanted to say thank you for all your support in 2011, amazing. Everyone who has shared the music on the web and burned CDs for friends, it makes a massive difference and going to gigs this year and there being a supportive audience at them has been great. 

On my bandcamp page after many emails we've brought back the live album from earlier in the year as a £3 download, it was voted an album of the year by the blog Bearly Rambling:


And my first two albums are on a £3 download as well for the rest of January. 


Its the Spencer Park Music sale!! Thanks loads to everyone who has ordered T-Shirts which have turned out to be really popular.

Have a great new year, here's to a happy 2012!

Best


Matt Stevens

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