matt pond PA | Music + Happiness

mppa_75.jpgLiterate rocker Matt Pond of matt pond PA talks about his music, happiness and cops in Florida







…on his supposed "genre change" from indie to rock on new disc Last Light.

You want to progress and you want to make things different and you want to switch around. People don’t always understand, that’s fine, but I have to keep doing this somehow.

…on why he generally writes by himself.

I’ve tried [to write with others] but it’s mostly me. I’m too scattered and it’s hard to organize the process. I don’t want to impose that on other people.

mppa_300.jpg…on almost getting pulled over while driving in Florida while we’re on the phone.

If I hang up then that means I’m being pulled over… I’m going to put the phone down for a second, hold on. (pause, then, muffled:) They look like alligators. OK, I’m putting the phone back.

…on if he’s still that boy moving to the big city as lyrically expressed in his past albums.

I’m not anywhere really. I’m kind of in the big city, but I’m not really. The cop is back there but he’s not doing anything. It’s kind of a transition of these lives, but lately I haven’t had anywhere to go or anywhere to do. Like I’ve just been drifting.

…on touring with Carbon/Silicon.

Last night [the final night of the tour], we played on stage with Carbon/Silicon, which is Mick Jones and Tony James’ band. I played a tambourine so hard that I blistered my hand. Like they drag us on stage and we’re all hugging. We had a really fun time and went dancing afterwards.

…on why he didn’t play SXSW.

I protest it. We played there one year and walked offstage. The room could only allow 15 people one year so people had to watch from the windows. Another time there was no sound system; we just yelled the lyrics. I was like, "Can anyone help us? Will anyone help us? No? OK." The amount of money they are making off that thing they could really just pay bands. Anyway, that’s my tirade.

…on if Last Light is truly about twilight.

It’s about death and the death of relationships.

…on the pursuit (or not) of happiness..

I don’t think happiness is the ultimate goal of living, and I don’t think that death is such a bad thing. I think like that’s the whole point of it; it’s really unavoidable and really not that bad. I’m trying to go on writing on every cynical bone in my body to have some kind of a strange personal faith. Today is an awesome day. I think someone would have to cut my foot off or something to like put my day in disarray. Even a cop, I’d be like, "Hey dude, I’m having a great day, please don’t ruin it." I think I would actually ask them to be kind.

…on what characteristics a song needs to possess to be a matt pond PA song.

It needs to be awkwardly written. Ya know a I don’t know I mean. Ah…I know my songs, I can’t– Chris what makes my songs my songs?

Chris: What?

Give me an answer Chris.

Chris: What makes your songs, your songs? Other than the fact you wrote them?

Yeah, other than I wrote them. Come on, give me an answer quick.

Chris: Stepping outside yourself, and stepping into me in an unfiltered way. You’re more honest about yourself in these songs than you are.

With myself in person.

Chris: That sounds really negative though.

It is. Did you hear what he said?

…on the story behind "Until the East Coast Ends"?.

It’s a continuation of an earlier song, "East Coast E" off an earlier record. It’s the positive view of a nightmare that I have over and over again when I flipped a friend’s car and almost killed him. I learned my lesson about a few things. It was just a mistake. It’s a true event that then I take the dude out of the passenger seat and put a girl there.

…on the record industry and past goals.

It’s so screwed up and consistently screwing itself up, and even musicians are screwing it up; I’m even to blame, I think. But not everything is about me. I mean, I never planned on doing this. I wanted to be a history professor.

…on life.

There is a degree of crappiness in life.

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