Thursday, July 17, 2008

Top 5 Bands You Need to Know About: Part 4 of 5: interview with Matthew Gilbert of Poem

Part 4 0f 5: Poem

In Arizona, there are two types of music that are prevalent on the "scene:" metal and acoustic. I'm not entirely sure why this is, but Poem's single member, Matthew Gilbert, is proof of this strange conundrum. Formerly the lead singer of Goodbye Tomorrow, he broke off ties with that band and formed a solo project. He writes, records, and performs all of his songs alone, usually with an acoustic guitar backing his harmonious voice.
I asked Matthew about why he went solo, how he records, and what makes him happy.

Explain Poem's sound in ten words or less.
I'd rather write a book but people don't read enough.

Why did you decide to start a "solo acoustic project?"
Acoustic guitars are as portable as I am and all they need is the occasional string replacement. They're the most practical traveling companions.

What is your favorite non-Arizona town to play in?
Seattle. Pike's Place is the most monetarily and culturally augmentative place to street-perform in the country. It's a melting pot of independent art, ethnically diverse food, and random trades of craftsmanship. Plus, if the vendors or coffeeshop baristas dig your tunes, they usually hook you up with free product. And there's always some old bearded Summer of Love child vagabonding around, looking for someone to smoke a joint with and tell those, "Back in my day," stories. So, at the end of the day you leave with a full stomach, some cash, a trippy new experience, and bloodshot eyes ----and all you had to do was hang out and play your guitar. What a way to spend a day! That place is just a consistent win-win situation.

What is your favorite memory of touring?
Every time I've ever gotten to party with people after a show. Just sharing some drinksmokelaughdebatedancejokefun with new folks every night. Sharing ideas with my fellow brothers and sisters with brains ablaze and paint in their veins.

Who or what is your biggest musical and lyrical inspiration?
Everything ever.

When you play a show, is there one thing that fans do that makes you happy above all else?
Smile. Cry. Grow. Change. Apathy and indifference are the murderers of progression. I would rather someone absolutely hate my music and walk out than just not give a fuck and stay out of obligation. Then, at least they felt SOMETHING.
Side note: I refuse to use the word, "fan," as it insinuates some sort of pedestal and suggests a superiority/inferiority complex. I prefer the term, "friend," because one's friends are, simply, one's supporters, right? If the basic requirement for the use of the term, "fan," is admiration, I guess I'm a fan of anyone who wakes up with hope for something better.
Side note 2: I also love when I meet people at shows/anywhere and they talk about themselves instead of just asking about me. Play me a song you wrote or show me a painting you painted. Tell me about your latest dreams. Art is always better if shared. I also dig book/band/movie/food/anything suggestions, high fives, funny stories, and random facts. I dig learning. And Four-Square.

You release material pretty sporadically. When can we expect a full-length album?
I, "release material," whenever I bump into a friend with a MacBook who'll let me hastily record something with their internal mic. I try and write a song per day (not always good ones (are they ever?)) because otherwise I feel unproductive and, for lack of a better term, mentally constipated. Basically, I have about a 100 records in my head, but have never had the means to record even one. Like everything, it's just circumstantial.

What, out of all your songs, is your favorite?
All of the ones I haven't written yet. I view songs like I view tattoos: They are perpetual reminders of some important ideal/event that you wish to remember forever. I already know what all these songs stand for as puzzle pieces of my ophanies/experiences, so I just can't wait to see who/what I'll be/do next.

Download Poem's song "Angels and Adjectives" here.

No comments: