Matty T Wall: Rocking The Blues In An Epic Way
Matty T Wall is a blues artists from Australia ready to rock your world in nothing short of an epic way! Sidewinder is the name of Matty’s latest magnum opus, jam packed with wondrously memorable tunes destined to leave a everlasting impression. Inspired by blues greats as well as a few legendary heavy metal collectives, The Matty T Wall experience is certain to dazzle the ears of all types of music aficionados. Highwire Daze Online recently checked in with the one and only Matty T Wall to find our a whole lot more about this amazing artist on the rise ready to captivate your senses with his inspiring blues entreaties. Read on…
What was the name of the very first song you wrote, how old were you, and what was that song about?
The first song I wrote was an instrumental, and I was 12 years old. It was a very classical influenced piece, reminiscent of the Angus Young part in ACDC’s ‘Thunderstruck‘, but with more parts. I wrote it out on manuscript paper (I don’t do that anymore! Haha) and I think I still have it stashed away somewhere. I can’t honestly remember what I called it. The next time I wrote a song, it would have been a heavy metal tune \m/
Where are you based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
I’m based out of Perth, Western Australia, which is pretty much the most isolated large capital city on the planet. This means, there are plenty of things to do here and things going on, but you can only take it so far – then to go on tour, you have to put your band on a plane and fly for 5 and half hours to the bigger cities on the other side of Australia. The isolation can be a good thing though, as musicians here tend to go on their own paths and find their own sounds, rather than to be influenced by trends in bigger cities. Very interesting and unique music tends to come out of here. INXS for example and many others. Of course the legendary Bon Scott grew up in this town, and took on the world.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the CD title Sidewinder?
I wanted my second album to really punch hard and reflect what we were doing and how we were sounding at our live shows. I was struck by the name ‘Sidewinder‘ early on and knew it would be a good title for a song. Initially the word for me conjured up explosive missiles, but I discovered more meanings behind it. Of course, it is a type of snake, but a little known meaning for us here in Australia is that in the US it also means someone who is sneaky, manipulative and dishonest. When it came time to write the song, the world was consumed by the US presidential election. I kinda get tired of all the spin that politicians put out, so the song was inspired by that event.
Select two songs from Sidewinder and what inspired the lyrics.
Ain’t That The Truth – this really is a ‘small town‘ song and is totally influenced by my experiences in the music industry here in Perth, which can feel a little closed in at times. A kind of loathing can come from living in a small town, a resentment that opportunities await elsewhere. It is a sweet sounding song, but the lyrics can come across quite strong, or should I say ‘hit home‘.
Can’t Stop Thinkin – I actually wrote this as my first blues song many years ago. It has morphed and changed, lyrics have changed, the key has changed, the feel has changed. It is a song about the pessimistic thoughts that can consume someone in a relationship that is not all that stable. Pessimistic thoughts that can come out of jealousy, apathy and the lack of self-confidence. The character in the end, gives it all up and moves on. A wise choice!
Who did the cover art for Sidewinder and how much influence did you have on it?
I found the painting of the snakes online, the artist is Rachel Walker, from New Zealand. She granted permission to use it, then I enlisted the help of album designer Daniel McBride in the USA to put it to a cover. One of his ideas was quite ‘psychedelic‘ and I fell in love with it. I really wanted bright colours on this cover, to portray the different musical colours I had used on the album – his design was a perfect choice.
What could one expect from your live show?
Well, lots of energy. Coming from a heavy metal background, I don’t feel satisfied if I don’t give the gig a massive amount of energy. It can take me a few shows on a tour to settle in and control that energy, but once I’m there – watch out! Also my bass player, Stephen Walker has a great energy too, and drummer, Ric Whittle is as solid as they come. So, pretty strong show. We have actually just been nominated for the Western Australian Music Awards for Most Popular Live Act – so we must be doing something right!
If you could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Stevie Ray Vaughan for sure. I have watched his videos countless times – the energy he puts into his performances is astounding – just ‘in the moment‘ the whole time. Such a passionate performer and someone whom I look up to whenever I need inspiration. In his interviews he comes across as such a down to earth, likeable person, it would be great to have been able to chat with the guy.
Have you ever played in the States or plan to do so in future days?
Not yet. But it is my dream to come and play there, playing American style blues and rock in the home of blues and rock’n’roll would be an amazing opportunity. Hopefully 2020 could be the year I pay a visit. Europe has been more eager to have us, so that may be our destination for the first international tour.
What is your guitar of choice and why?
A 1961 Gibson Les Paul Custom (SG). The real deal. As soon as I picked this guitar up…I could not put it down. I have dabbled with many different guitars in my lifetime, but this is my Excalibur. I have to be very careful with it now, as they are becoming increasingly expensive and hard to find – so I am very careful to keep a close eye on it. I still tour with it – I know, crazy right! But it just sings and screams in the most perfect way. A little fussy with guitar amps though.
Do you still listen to heavier bands such as Metallica and Sepultura?
Metallica and Sepultura a little, but mostly Pantera when I want to get a dose of heavy metal. I LOVE Pantera. The timing, the groove, the confidence that those two brothers have is incredible. Also I have been listening to some of the better Megadeth albums lately. Alice In Chains….lots of stuff. I generally switch between old blues and newer heavy bands about 50/50 when I listen to stuff. That is what I am trying to do with my music. Keeping the ‘blues police‘ busy, hahaha.
What’s up next for you?
I’m writing for the next full album and possibly recording some straight-up blues stuff and live tracks for a fun EP. There is plenty on the horizon, plenty of videos coming too.
Any final words of wisdom?
Well, this is a VERY tough industry, the music business. All I can say is: know what you want to do with your music, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Only you know what that music in your head sounds like. And…..persist, persist, persist.
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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