By Matthew Barnes; self-portrait by Matthew Barnes on September 11, 2013
THE IDEAL SITUATION FOR SOMEONE TO LISTEN TO MY MUSIC
When you're aiming for a higher vibration.
WORST SHOW EVER
One time, my laptop started doing its own thing mid-song. A mentor of mine passed away that week—I like to think he was being mischievous and telling me he was still there.
BEST SHOW EVER
It was at a festival in Poland, the final set of the entire weekend, which was full of intense emotional release and a loud Polish crowd—plus an amorous couple dry-humping outside the tent.
LEAST FAVORITE THING IN THE UNIVERSE
Wasps—the most vindictive of all creatures.
MY BAND'S SPIRIT ANIMAL
A tiger. Solidarity with my ginger brothers.
ON THE ROAD
My touring life is fairly tame, and I try to keep it that way. Sometimes after hours of traveling or flying or being awake, a really unique kind of trippy, sleep-deprived delirium sets in where everything becomes hilarious. I'd be really curious to find out what happens in the brain when that point occurs.
WHEN I'LL KNOW I'VE MADE IT
I can eat Parma ham every single day.
3 albums that inspired Forest Swords’ Matthew Barnes to make music
Taking the Rough with the Smooch
I discovered riot grrrl when I was getting into punk, I was probably about 13 or 14. It spoke to me a lot more than the likes of hardcore stuff, which felt bloated and overly macho and full of hot air to me, even as a teenager. The likes of Huggy Bear and Bikini Kill, and also groups like Fugazi, were bands that not only didn't give a damn what you thought, but would make you listen because it was done with such conviction. It was powerful music and taught me that sometimes the best art comes from a place of frustration. And also, ultimately, that if you make honest music from a genuine place, it will resonate with people more.
The Beach Boys
I can't remember ever hearing a record front-to-back that left me completely floored. For me, this was the record, which really got me interested in production techniques. It was so technically brilliant in every way. I was fascinated with the sounds, the space of it, how things were put together. It's inspired my relationship with production, I think, but I don't think you could ever hear it in the tracks I make.
Miss E… So Addictive
This was the record that kick-started my interest in beats, and electronic music. It was incredibly accomplished, really engaging. From here, I became obsessed with Timbaland and The Neptunes—producers who would shift and mold pop music and hip-hop in lots of fascinating ways and utilize strange sounds and textures.
This article is from FILTER Issue 53