Q&A: matt pond PA Inspired by Magical Anxiety (FILTER Exclusive)
By Brian Noonan on May 11, 2011
Matt Pond, of the band, got together with FILTER and really broke it down for us. Read up on what has inspired him, his move from Pennsylvania to New York, and the dish on matt pond PA's latest work.
With 8 LPs and 7 EPs released in the last 13 years, matt pond PA is certainly one of the more prolific bands in recent times. What inspires you to continue making new music?
It all comes from something I call magical anxiety, wherein one turns their bad dreams into stabs at sweet strains. It's true. I'm not a great sleeper and I basically beat myself up into everything I do.
Lebanon, PA, the film you scored, recently opened in theaters. How does the recording process for a project like this differ from recording an album? Is this something you would like to explore more in the future?
Albums are cultivated in the area between the ears. I'm tied to them and they're tied to me. I love making albums but they are chock full of restless wondering. Scoring a film is completely different. The context has been laid out and we're there to supplement what's being conveyed. The music feels like it writes itself. I'd be thrilled to do it again. (the movie is Lebanon, Pa. http://lebanonpamovie.com and the soundtrack is being released shortly). I love being a part something where I'm not the president. That's why I love playing in The Wooden Birds. I get to focus on the music and not all the baloney that makes up most of my days. (Two Matchsticks by The Wooden Birds is out on Barsuk in June)
You made the move from your longtime home of Pennsylvania to Brooklyn, New York. What motivated this decision? How does the Brooklyn music scene compare to what you experienced in Pennsylvania?
There's an innate altruism to New York. I wanted live among it's people and eat it's delicious food so that I might be that way. The truth is anywhere/everywhere is what you make it. These days I'm taking a break from the city up in Hudson. There's dancing and there are places to put food in one's mouth. The difference is that it's all much slower and quieter than The City. And it's much easier to sleep without all the sirens. Honestly, I've been sitting up here waiting out the thaw to swim in the rivers. For me, there's nothing like immersing in good clean moving water. In one month, it all comes true.
Touring seems to be a huge part of matt pond PA, can you explain the importance and/or significance of constantly being on the go?
I like being in motion. To me it's the closest I can get to living in the moment. Show after show, mile after mile -- it's exhausting and even has it's touches humiliation, but when it's good it's beyond great. On tour, we can truly connect with people. That's everything.
With the onset of internet culture, file-sharing, and the steady decline of record sales, how has modern technology affected your experience as a musician since you first started writing songs?
The internet might be a great tool or the death of civilization. We just have to be careful what we do with it. I tend to bristle at the lack of graciousness in a physically faceless, profile-ridden world. I've gotten a few handfuls of surly messages from people I won't ever meet. Then again, I'm allowed to communicate with loads of people I'd never know otherwise. The answer is it's a coin with a hundred sides.
Your new EP, Spring Fools, was recently released. What can fans expect from this batch of music?
We wanted to be direct. We didn't fuss with it for too long and overdress the corners. There's something awesome about hightailing it down to Texas in a van full of gear and recording and releasing songs without letting the mind wander. That doesn't mean that we've given up the larger ideas of orchestration, that merely means we've given all we can give. For now.