Matthew according to Matthew
ELECTRIC GUITARS, ACOUSTIC GUITARS, BASS GUITAR, PIANO, DRUMS, MANDOLIN, KEYBOARDS, MORPHWIZ, STRINGS, BRASS & BACKING VOCALS
STEVE VAI, DAVE MATTHEWS, MILES DAVIS, QUEEN, SANANDARA MAITREYA, KISS, DREAM THEATER, RUSH, ELTON JOHN, YES, LED ZEPPELIN, JOE SATRIANI, JOHN COLTRANE, VAN HALEN, IRON MAIDEN, JOE BONNAMASA
I was young and unafraid…
I was 15 years old when I first saw the film crossroads with Steve vai cutting heads for the finale. That was the day I decided that I wanted to play guitar. Much begging and pleading started and after 6 months of being ground down my brave mother bought me my first guitar for Christmas. My first guitar was a strat copy called an Encore Coaster and I loved it, I played all Christmas day, in fact as I had no amp I had to play it through the input on the home stereo. Somewhere on a tape I actually have a recording of me playing on day one , I intended to monitor my progress with daily recordings, assuming that by the end of the month I should be playing along with Ralph and Steve Vai and cutting heads with the best of um. Things didn’t quite work out like that, by the end of month one I was just about playing the theme tune to knight rider out of time and out of tune. Undeterred I started a relentless practise schedule that lasted the next 10 years. Practising hours and hours every day, sacrificing anything that got in the way I started to hear an improvement. Although my practise was a little un orthodox, I have never had a guitar lesson still to this day, I learned by sitting on the end of my bed in the dark and making my low strings talk to my high strings. As I look back this was crazy and a very slow process to improvement, however what it did do what teach me to translate melodies in my head to my guitar instinctively, how I never gave up I will never know but this technique has enabled me to find my own voice on the instrument and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Big hair & big dreams…
Then the big haired rock days kicked in and joined band after band enjoying every Sunday afternoon practise and gig, but all the time wanting to create my own music. Around this period I started to study other instruments inc bass, piano, drums, Mandolin and get a grasp of orchestration in order to one day write my own style of music I heard in my head. Then I met Ritchie, wow a singer who could actually sing but just as importantly, he wrote the most incredible lyrics that told a story, which is just what I wanted to do with my music.
After something of an epiphany I decided for the second time to shut out the outside world, stop playing cover songs and learn how to better craft a song myself. Song writing became my number one goal, arranging a song became the biggest focus and not just fast guitar solos, obsession would be an understatement.
The dream finally realised…
Ritchie and I did a few gigs with our first batch of songs of which we are very proud, but at this point the songs were not as considered as I had hoped. My musical tastes are very broad from Miles Davies & John Coltrane to Steve Vai, Dream Theater, Dave Matthews & Led Zeppelin. Musical theatre is another big passion of mine, here songs tell a story and have building tension and that dramatic quality I love so much. I wanted to write an album that has all these qualities that I have admired so much over the years. So Ritchie and I sat down and started the project instar, it has been a long road to get us here, 6 years in the making and re write after re write until we decided its time to set it free and release instar into the world.