Sunday, 29 January 2012



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. 


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.


Sunday, 1 January 2012



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!


Matt Stevens


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