Interview Matt Borck

I have been a big fan of the music that Matt Borck creates and this all began a few years ago after I discovered his rock band YUCA. It was his vocal style that instantly caught my attention as his range and power really stood out for me, and I liked how he still manages to pack an emotional punch with it. I recommend that you check them out by heading over to their Bandcamp page (click HERE) or if you need a little more persuasion then check out my previous feature ‘Interview YUCA’.

Now Matt has decided to create his first solo album called ‘Shadows of the Moon’, but you will have to wait for my verdict on that as I want to share a catch up I had with Matt about this new direction of going solo. I’ve got to say, this has been one of my favourite interviews I have done as Matt is so open and honest about his music. This is what he had to share about his work:

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

My family was very musical and my dad not only was a choir conductor but had been singing in bands during his college years, I guess that love for music rubbed off on me and I fell in love with music as well. I was singing before I could speak, writing songs on my dad’s old acoustic guitar that I found hidden away in his closet and I began recording myself singing those crappy songs into the mic on my cheap little stereo in my room. But, I grew up in a small town that was like most small towns where sports was always in the forefront of the news and being an artist was thought of as “flaky” or a “dream”. So this is where my life got a little challenging. I was young and in love with music and I was also in love with sports. Sports got more recognition and attention and music was always treated as a pipe dream, a hobby and for the “artsy kids”. So I lived my high school years in this middle ground not feeling like a true artist and not feeling like a true athlete. Our high school athletics program was amazing and got all the star attention and our music program was crappy to me. The newspapers always reported on our schools teams and win or lose showed them support but our music program…. It was non existent. That was until the day I decided that I wanted to be a full time musician and I quit athletics. One of my “encouraging high school teachers” and I say that very loosely, said to me “you can’t make money being a musician, it’s not a job”. It was that simple powerful statement that hit my heart like a lightning strike and was the moment I felt inside me “I’m going to prove you wrong!”.

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

When I was young, My parents were always playing bands like The Beatles, Elvis and The Beach Boys around the house and from the first moment I heard them I fell in love with melodies. Melody was always King to me and this definitely influenced the bands I got into. I loved The Beatles, Radiohead, U2, 80’s synth bands like Depeche Mode but then also loved bands like Nirvana and the Cure. All those bands had one thing in common that I loved ­ brilliant melodies. This desire for strong melodies ingrained itself into me and from the first time I wrote a song to now, melody is always still king! It’s interesting to listen to my music and hear how much my musical influences from years past have crept into my music. I love it. I hear elements of Radiohead and The Beatles but then hear sounds of The Cure and Depeche Mode sneaking in.

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

I have recorded and released lots of albums with my band YUCA over the years: The Reluctant Cowboy, YUCA Self Titled Debut, Rebuilding the fallen empire, Remixing the fallen empire and many demo’s but “Shadows of the moon” is my debut solo album. It’s the first time I have written, performed, recorded and mixed an entire album by myself.

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

My top 2 favorites are “Shadows of the moon” (SOTM) and “Rebuilding the fallen empire” (RTFE). The reason “Shadows of the moon” is my first pick is because it was my first venture into recording an album by myself and I am incredibly proud of it. It was a very emotional &exposing experience. Lyrically and musically I am more honest and open than I’ve ever been, sharing pieces of me that are incredibly personal and hard to share. From the musical perspective, this album shows my flaws and I’m ok with that. I’m not the greatest bass player or drummer or programmer or mixer but I’m ok with that. What I wanted to do with SOTM was to tell my story. Each song is a story of my life and I wanted to share it without any outside influence. My life is far from perfect and I wanted each song to be far from perfect, I just wanted them to be from my heart. I’m proud to say they are. RTFE is my second top pick because it was the first time as a band we stepped out by ourselves and recorded the album just the three of us. We knew we had the songs, the talent and ability to record an album and we wanted to prove to ourselves that we could do it. I’m so proud of my band mates and how RTFE turned out.

You seem to write a lot of songs which are always to a high standard. What is the important part to your writing process and what helps you get passed that dreaded writers block?

First I have to say thank you for that compliment, I appreciate that a lot. I have never experienced writer’s block and there’s a reason why ­ I stopped lying to myself and started being honest. I was honest with myself that when I wrote from my heart I loved what I wrote. When I wrote from my head, I couldn’t stand it. The most important part of my writing process is to follow I a simple rule I made years ago when I first started writing (and to this day I follow this rule) ­ “I write songs with my heart NOT my head”. I’m an incredibly emotional person and write my best music from this part of me. I have a tendency to overthink things, analyze things way too much and at that moment the emotions I felt that inspired me to write in the first place get lost and so does the magic. So I made a rule, don’t lose the emotions and you won’t lose the magic. The moment I feel my head start to try enter the writing process I grab a tea, take a breath and remember the emotions I first felt that inspired me to write. I can access those feelings anywhere and at anytime and instantly feel them just as deeply. Once I feel them again I keep writing. I did this 10 times on SOTM and that’s how the 10 songs for my debut album were written. *On a side note, I do this exact thing for when I perform. I remember the emotions that I first felt when I wrote the song and I instantly access them. To me this is why I find performing exhausting. Emotionally some of the songs I have written are from some of the darkest times and places in my life so when I access those deep, dark places night after night I feel I am emotionally reliving those moments.

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

Hell yes, there’s a long list of people I would dream of writing or collaborating with. Off the top of my head here’s a list (in no particular order): Sir Paul McCartney

Thom Yorke Daft Punk Grimes Asgeir Halsey Imagine Dragons Sigur Ros Adele Taylor Swift London Grammar I’ll stop there as I could go on an on. So to simply answer why them? Cause I think they are all absolutely brilliant! They each have something truly unique and special but my number one reason ­ they all know how to write f**king brilliant melodies!

You seem to receive nothing but praise from your live shows, what can new fans expect from your shows?

I still can’t believe that people pay to see me do what I love to do. So when I perform live I feel very honored to be there. I feel if someone has paid good money to see me entertain them then I’d better leave it all on the stage. My mentality for my live shows has always been that I feel like I’m singing in my living room only when I open my eyes there’s hundreds or sometimes thousands of people there lol. I’ve tried to explain this before, and I hope I explain myself here, but I’ve always been very insecure about my songs. The reason is that I feel lyrically every cliche and metaphor have already been used. I also feel the English language falls short when I am desperately trying to describe what I am feeling. Here’s an example: My relationship with my wife is unique to us. It’s incredibly intimate, deeply personal and there’s no other relationship like ours. To use a phrase to describe that is hard. So one might use the phrase “I love you” which we hear all the time and have heard for so many years it’s almost diluted the saying. The other hard thing for me is people will then use that same phrase to describe how they feel about their new iPhone 7 ­ “I just LOVE my new iPhone”. My struggle is that as I write songs I scrape the bottom of my soul and when it comes out, the words fall short and are not saying what I am feeling. When I perform live, I get to scrape the bottom of my soul, access my emotions and utilize my voice, my body and my music to fully portray the emotions I felt the first time I wrote the song. It’s not just the lyrics or just the music that makes my live experience memorable, it’s everything all at once that makes it intimate, unique and like it’s just you and me in my living room ­ I get to take you there with me. “People may forget what you say but they’ll never forget how you make them feel”.

*Sorry for the lengthy answer 🙂

If there was a movie to be made about you and your music, who would you choose to play you and why?

That’s an awesome questions and the first person that comes into my head is Jared Leto. Why? Cause he’s a brilliant actor and I would need someone to play me who is a bit crazy and can cry a lot lol. Seriously though, I really admire him as an actor and musician and would be so honored if he played me.

What are your future plans and goals for your music?

My future plans for my music is to never let the well run dry. Always be writing music. Whether that’s music for me or for other artists, film or tv. I love writing music and love that I get to make some money doing what I love and am gifted at. My goals for my music has always been to see it resonate and connect with people. When it resonates and connects deeply then people introduce it into their life and lifestyle. When they do that then they naturally share my music with their world and for that I am truly grateful.

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

I want to start by thanking you first James for this opportunity to share a bit more about me, my music and who I am. I really appreciate your support and for sharing my music with your world. It’s a great honor. To new listeners of my music ­ I really hope you enjoy “Shadows of the moon” and if you don’t, please lie to me and say you like it lol. I’m kidding, music is art and art is supposed to encourage mixed emotions. We’re not all supposed to like the same thing I just am thankful you took a listen. I appreciate it a lot. Much like my live show, I love to connect with my fans beyond the music. I hate doing this because everyone does it but please I’d love to have you join me on my social media. If you can’t see me live then the next best thing will be to engage with me via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even email. I’ll do my best to respond and answer any questions you have. Cheers. Matt

Matt’s album ‘Shadows of the Moon’ not only continues the high calibre of songwriting that I have come to expect from him, but shows that he still has a lot more to offer the world of music. This release blends some of that alternative rock vibe from his previous work but now he has added a synth heart that pumps throughout each song. This is definitely Matt letting his creative side run free to give us something that is his own baby (which he also recorded and mixed).

The lyrical side to this release is filled with a lot of personal content and shows that this is a songwriter that is not afraid to be open up to the world. To me, this makes the album even more special and listening to the outstanding title track ‘Shadows of the Moon’ you can hear this side of his talent at work. These words would not have the appropriate effect if not delivered in the right way, but luckily for Matt his outstanding musical attribute is his voice. My personal favourite ‘I’ll Be Brave’ not only showcases this vocal talent but how open his lyrics are, and if you sit down a listen to the song carefully you will feel the honest emotion that runs through it.

This is yet another great release from Matt Borck and I think it may also be my favourite collection of songs from him. I can understand why he is proud of what he has produced. Head over to his Soundcloud page and give the album a listen and hopefully it will speak to you too. If you like what you hear and want to grab a copy of ‘Shadows of the Moon’ then head to the usual online stores of iTunes and Amazon.

As Matt mentioned during his interview, he does not like to stand still with his music and this comes to no surprise to me. I have spoke to him via his social media sites and he has always spoke about looking to improve his songwriting talents. I have nothing but respect for musicians like this who always want to learn more as it shows how much their art means to them. As I am following him on his social media sites at Facebook and Twitter then I will be able to follow his journey. I think you should do the same and you should also check out his website at MattBorck.com. All these sites are also great places to connect with Matt Borck, hear about his new music and upcoming gigs.

As always, a reminder to show some love and support independent and unsigned artists by purchasing their music and/or spreading the word on social media. So, if you are listening to Matt Borck and you are now a fan then tell the world about him today!