Canadian rocker Matthew Good was just in town for a Fredericton tour stop. Before he hit the stage at the Farmers Market he was able to sit down and do a Q&A with reporter Kayla Byrne.
Kayla Byrne: Tell us about your latest album Arrows and Desires.
Matthew Good: It’s back to the basics. I had went back to a lot of bands that I was listening to in the 90s. I was hit with what I guess you would call nostalgia when I put on The Replacements, Dinosaur Jr., Hüsker Dü and of course the Pixies. So, I went back to that music and was like give me an electric guitar and distortion pedal and I’m going back to the basics.
KB: Your last album Lights of Endangered Species was so experimental, why the back to basics right after?
MG: My last album was artistically a curveball I threw at my audience. This is something that’s a little more straight ahead. I wanted to simplify things.You can keep going down that rabbit hole until there’s no way out of that anymore. It was just one of those things where that was the mood I was in, so I went that direction.I love playing rock shows, but I also love playing acoustic shows. I can’t say for sure because I haven’t thought about what I’m going to do next, but I imagine it’ll be something I can go both ways with.
KB: Instead of going back to basics, I hear a lot of people say you’re going back to your indie roots. What do you think about this indie branding?
MG: I started out independently and in 1995 my first album Last of the Ghetto Astronauts was and still is the highest selling independent album in Canada, but you’re probably too young to remember that. Then I was with Universal for 14 years and now I’m with Frostbyte which cuts out a lot of bullshit of major labels.
Yeah, this whole indie thing in pretty interesting to me. You throw a band like Arcade Fire on Saturday Night Live and then call it indie rock. A lot of these younger bands seem to emulating older bands and young people have no idea, but you can hear it. When you listen to a band like Mumford and Sons, it’s not new, you can pick out exact things that were being done 30 years ago.
KB: Isn’t that like what you’re doing with Arrows and Desires by going back and listening to old bands?
MG: Bands have been re-hashing other bands for years and I guess I’m re-hashing myself, which is something I think every musician does. You know, writers and everybody just re-hashes things, that’s how it’s going to be.
KB: Why did you decide on an all Canadian tour for right now?
MG: That’s just how it works out sometimes, you decided to stay in one spot and then go to other places later. You don’t always know ahead of time. I’ve also been doing this for almost 20 years, so touring is like putting on an old pair of shows and it’s nice to be closer to home while I’m away for most of the year.
KB: What’s the hardest part about touring?
MG: I’m not young anymore, I’m in my 40s and I have three children and a wife. All my kids are young and when you’re away for months at a time you miss a lot. My youngest is only one and she stood up by herself for the first time and I missed it. When you’re close with your kids, it’s a difficult thing to be gone.
KB: Even though it’s not home, do you have a favourite place to perform?
MG: Oh, you can’t really pick, you can’t really pick a favourite. They’re all different for different reasons. I’ve probably been across Canada 64 times, I’ve been everywhere, but I do love the Maritimes you know Cape Breton is good and up through New Brunswick. I think I’ve gotten a unique perspective of the East Coast.