Interview Christopher Matthewson

I’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you all to the wonderful acoustic talent of Christopher Matthewson who I was introduced to by a friend via Twitter. I remember visiting his Soundcloud page (click HERE) and checked out the title track from his ‘Somewhere in Between’ EP which had an old folk sound which regular readers will confirm, is my type of sound. I continued to listen to more of the EP and his sound pulled me in, he then gained a new fan.

This Brighton based musician is serious about his craft and has recently completed a Degree in Music. Now that his studies are over he is focused on fine tuning his songwriting talent, and when he is not doing that then he is busy performing live. I was trying to find more about Christopher Matthewson and his music but he is a man of mystery on the internet. I thought I would contact him to see if he would answer some questions, and he was more than happy to do so. We talked about his musical beginnings, influences and more, this is what he had to say:

Was there a moment or someone that inspired you to become a musician?

I started playing piano from a young age and played for a couple of years, but eventually found myself drawn to the guitar when I saw my cousin playing during a family get-together. I asked him rather nonchalantly if he would show me a couple things. By the end of the evening I had ‘Wonderwall’ under my fingers, and the rest as they say is history! Haha!

Once this decision was made, were there any musicians who helped influence your music and the type of sound you have created?

My parents were big fans of country music, and always had the likes of Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, John Denver Tammy Wynette, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton and the like playing at home and in the car, (Much to the misery of my 2 brothers, but I always loved it!) This led onto Ray Charles (The reason I sing today) Don McLean and Neil Young, (Probably the reason I write songs) all this fundamentally laid the foundations of my musical DNA and can be attributed to the majority of my formative years of the guitar, before moving onto the electric and getting into classic rock and blues. Pink floyd, Led Zeppelin, Dire Straits, Free, The Beatles, Crosby Stills and Nash, more Neil Young, The Stones and so on. I would say my music is a mixture of 60’s and 70’s folk, rock and psychedelic rock sensibilities combined with a particular emphasis on arrangement and contemporary themes.

For new fans out there, what singles/EP’s/Albums has you released so far?

To date my only release has been my debut EP ‘Somewhere in Between’, but am currently working on a follow up EP with my band, which we are aiming to be releasing early next year.

From these releases which are your top 2 favourite songs and why?

I guess the Title track of the EP would be my favourite. I wrote it the day before we began recording the EP, it quickly became apparent that it would be appropriate for the EP, so it sort turned the recording ‘schedule’ on its head as result. It’s still one of the most honest things I’ve written and required very little effort. Those are normally the good ones I find. I also like the fact that while the chorus and arrangement are somewhat elaborate and uplifting, thematically it’s intended to be poignant but thought provoking. The other tune that stands out for me is ‘Wheels in Motion’. I wrote it on my mates couch on a guitar with three strings when I was homeless a couple years ago. It was literally written in 4 or 5 minutes, and is incredibly simple. The arrangement was expanded a little bit during the recording sessions, but very little has changed. It’s always appealed to me as it’s one of the first examples of a ‘love song’ that I’d ever written. I’ve written a couple since but this is still probably my favourite!

What is the important part to your writing process and what helps you get passed that dreaded writers block?

Lyrics. There is normally an abundance of music for me to choose from various ideas and clips that I’ll have recorded on my phone or whatever. The initial idea is then normally dictated by the melody, then from there I’ll just follow wherever the melody is taking me, lyrics will sometimes come out simultaneously but for the most part I really like to sit down and try to craft the lyric as it is so important to me, rather then being and afterthought or at the mercy of the music or the melody.

Is there anyone you’d like to write a song with, or collaborate with and why?

Blake Mills or The Staves. They both share an incredible sense of musicality and an approach to arrangement that I find amazing.

What can fans expect from your shows?

Long hair, weird faces and a varied set ranging from delicate harmony rich folk tunes to psychedelic improvised rock.

If the end of the world was near and you had enough time to listen to one album, which would you choose?

That’s a difficult one. Crosby, Stills & Nash’ second album “CSN”, All things must Pass by George Harrison or High Violet by The National. Couldn’t possibly pick one, sorry! Haha!

What are your future plans and goals for your music?

Really focusing on writing and demoing new material at the moment. Looking to get a new record out early next year. Aside from that, touring. Hopefully Europe. A wee trip to the States would be nice too.

Finally, is there anything you like to say to any new listeners out there or maybe to any of your fans who are reading this?

Mainly, just thank you for all the support you’ve given me thus far. It really does mean so much to me, and I hope you will enjoy future releases.

Christopher’s EP ‘Somewhere in Between’ is a wonderful collection of songs which may have an old folk soul, but when you listen more closely you can hear a bit of country, blues and a few other genres thrown in. This sound is shared by a guitar style which has an impressive technique and control which is used to set the tone for each song with ‘Wheels in Motion’ being a perfect example of this.

If I had to choose one song to showcase Christopher’s musical talent then ‘Roses Like Weeds’ is the one I’d chose. His vocals throughout the EP are captivating but on this one, they steal my attention every time. His delicate vocal performance is simply sublime and all I can say is listen to it yourself. I guarantee it will impress!

Treat your ears to something new and give the music of Christopher Matthewson a listen as his storytelling quality and captivating guitar style is so good. You can listen and purchase the EP from his Bandcamp page by clicking HERE.

I’m glad that Christopher is working on a new EP and I can’t wait to hear what he will create. If you want to find out when this music will be ready or want to find out more about this musician including upcoming gigs then check out his social media sites at Facebook and Twitter. Talking of social media, if you are listening to the music of Christopher Matthewson and you are really enjoying what you are listening to then use these platforms to spread the word about him today!