I’ve been following Liverpool band Matchstickmen for a few years now. Scroll down to read an interview I did with Lewis Wright, the band’s singer, towards the end of 2013 when I was blogging for the UK Arts Directory.
Lewis recently got in touch to let me know about the band’s new album, which is scheduled for release on the 9th of September this year, “From Our Own Ashes” (Holier Than Thou Records )
I’ll have more news about that album nearer the time. I’m looking forward to hearing it. Matchstickmen are a band who consistently produce quality music, whether it is alternative/rock/acoustic. Their music is passionate and from the soul. The lyrics are meaningful, and contain something that everyone can relate to, and the melodies and riffs are addictive and catchy. The singer’s voice is perfect for rock music.
The band’s press release for the new album states:
“From Our Own Ashes” is all about the songwriting, extremely melodic hooks and powerful production that delivers an eclectic mix of alternative and classic rock. Matchstickmen originate from an acoustic background, their previous releases testing out songs and lyrics to music buyers and the media. The band’s attention to detail inspired the press to pick up on the bands talents, as their review history shows: http://www.matchstickmen-band.com/press
Matchstickmen have just released a remastered version of the track “For No Reason”, a poignant song which tackles the subject of bullying. It was originally released as a charity single for CyberSmile, who are committed to tackling all forms of digital abuse and bullying online. The band have re-recorded and remastered the track for their forthcoming album. You can stream and buy the single on Bandcamp: http://holierthanthourecords.bandcamp.com/track/for-no-reason-remastered
I interviewed Lewis back in 2013, when they were about to release their awesome EP, “Acoustic Grooves to Soothe the Soul”.
Here’s an excerpt from my review of that EP, which I wrote at the time:
“Acoustic Grooves to Soothe the Soul” proves the versatility of this band. They sound great when they are playing full-on rock songs, but they can also strip those songs back to acoustic and still grab the audience’s attention. I have been quite hooked on the new EP, as I am with the rest of this band’s music. The EP contains 4 songs that have featured on past releases, “Jealous Times”, “Dark Blue”, “Our First Goodnight”, and “Not Knowing”; and 2 new songs: the introspective, “Flicker”, and the haunting “Wilson’s Lane”. I like all the songs and can’t really choose a favourite. I will say though, that there are 2 versions of “Our First Goodnight” on the record—one acoustic, one piano edit—and no matter how many times I hear that song, it never gets old. It’s quite a relaxing EP to listen to.
Interview with Lewis Wright of Matchstickmen (originally posted on the UK Arts Directory October 2013)
How did you come up with the name for the band?
It was originally the working title of an old song. Our band name at the time was something like “Wooden Cross”, or something as ridiculous as that, so we decided to use “Matchstickmen” for the time being until we thought of something better… and it just stuck.
Who are your musical influences?
I’d have to say that I’m influenced by the likes of Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains… anything grunge related, Iain likes The Eagles and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Peter is a Joe Bonamassa, Led Zeppelin kind of man, and Mark’s into the extreme sounds of Meshuggah.
When was the band formed and how did you all get together?
The idea of this band started years ago when myself and Iain first met. We’ve been in previous bands together but always had a different vision about what we wanted for a band, so set out to follow that when creating Matchstickmen. Peter and Mark’s story is very similar – they had also been in another band together – and I think that’s why we all fit so well together.
You’ve been touring for a while with your music and have been attracting radio play and I understand you were signed to a label in 2011. As a successful band, what tips do you have for musicians who might be starting out with a band. What’s the best way to get yourself noticed in the industry?
The best tip I can give to new musicians is to make sure they are in a band with the right people! We’ve all been in previous bands with different people along the way, but it’s the current line-up that feels the strongest because we work so well together. Another tip would be to be in it for the music rather than for fame or financial gain. The most rewarding thing for me is knowing that fans enjoy our music. I’ve found the key to getting noticed for us was giving the best live performance we possibly can and putting energy into that performance to keep the crowd interested. One of my favourite moments while being in this band was when we found out that “Our First Goodnight” was used as a couples first dance at their wedding. We were deeply touched… It’s moments like that make it all worthwhile for me
Your new EP will be released in November. It’s acoustic. What made you decide to do an acoustic album?
Our second album will be released next year and we wanted to give our fans something a little different to enjoy in the meantime. It’s a fresh outlook on some of our previous songs and from our point of view it was good to revisit the songs and look at them in a different light.
There are a mixture of new and old songs on the upcoming EP. Tell us a bit about the new songs and your inspiration behind the tracks.
“Wilson’s Lane” is an old fan-favourite that we’ve been playing live for years. We’ve had numerous requests to make it our next release but we’ve always pushed it to the side in favour of other heavier songs, so we thought this EP was the perfect place to showcase it.
“Flicker” is about someone close to me being bullied and not being able to escape it because of the rise of social media and cyber-bullying. We wanted to bring the issue to people’s attention because it seems so much harder for kids now than when we were growing up.
Do you have any upcoming tour dates planned?
We gig pretty much constantly because we love playing live. We’ve got a special acoustic show coming up in October to promote the EP and we want it to feel like an open mic night where people can get up, get involved and join in with us too.
You have quite an impressive back catalogue of albums/EPs at the moment. Are you writing any new music?
We are in the process of recording our second album, which will be released mid-2014. It will be all brand new material and our first recording with Mark on it, so we’re really excited to show everyone what we’ve been doing.
You’ve been compared in the music press to bands like Airbourne and Rival Sons. How would you describe Matchstickmen’s sound?
I always find this question difficult. The music press have labelled us things like “Anthemic rock”, “Post-Grunge”, and “Alt. Rock”. We are just four guys having fun… and making a hell of a noise in the process.
Is there one writer in the band, or is it a case of everyone contributing?
Everyone gets involved when writing. All of the different influences combined define our sound. Writing is my second favourite part of being in this band… playing live is definitely at number one.
If you could tour with any band, who would you choose?
I think we’d all agree on Gun’s N’ Roses – Use Your Illusion tour circa 1991. We just need to develop a time machine now.
Where can people buy/listen to your music online?
You can purchase our music from an array of sites. Play.com and Amazon for physical copies and from iTunes and amazon mp3 for digital downloads.
Any other news for your fans?
Just for them to ‘Like’ us on Facebook if they haven’t already, and keep up to date with all things Matchstickmen. https://www.facebook.com/Matchstickmen.band
Since that interview, Matchstickmen have been busy writing new material and have been releasing singles at intervals.
You can find their music on Bandcamp: https://matchstickmen.bandcamp.com/music
Check out their website for the list of upcoming tour dates: http://www.matchstickmen-band.com/tour
Cheaper tickets for the show are available from https://matchstickmen.bandcamp.com/merch/cheaper-tickets-for-guns-2-roses-show-o2-academy-2-liverpool-only-6
Follow Matchstickmen at the following sites: