Great interview with Shawn and Justin of The Matches.

Interview with Shawn & Justin Of The Matches by Jessica of JAMM

Shawn: (knocking on table) For the record. The Matches first good interview, 2/4/05.

Justin: Carl Sandburg Auditorium.

JAMM: It's actually only the 3rd.

Shawn: Not up here, I'm a little in the future I think ahead.

JAMM: Ok. I know a lot of people are anticipating a new CD. Do you have any ideas as to when it may be release?

Shawn: Either fall of this year or early next year, it kind of depends. Were recording it now as we speak we just got January in the studio.

Justin: And were going to spend a lot of time touring through summer hardcore, so we won't have that much time to be recording much in the next months.

Shawn: Actually we'll have a lot of time next month. (Haha) See when you think that were on tour in like Kentucky or maybe Hawaii, something like that...

Justin: ...or maybe the UK...

Shawn: ...we'll be recording

JAMM: So you're going to lie?

Shawn: We are learning to lie and we're not that good at it.

Justin: We'll take that back, this won't be our very first good interview. (Haha) We have a ways to go.

Shawn: Everyone's probably going to hate our new CD.

JAMM: Why would you say that?

Justin: It's great.

Shawn: People always hate great things, right?

JAMM: Most of the time.

Shawn: They do, so there you go. If we wrote a bunch of shitty songs and add like crap ass lyrics about like "You kill me with your words" then people would like love it. (Haha) But were not doing that so it will probably be a complete failure, but were used to failure in The Matches. We embrase it really.

JAMM: No your not failures, your awesome. Would you say style of the songs has changed much since E Von Dahl Killed the Locals?

Shawn: Uh, yeah kind of funny. We were eating sandwiches the other day and we were like, "you used to order roast beef and now you never order that." We were talking about how we recorded this record about 3 years ago in our basement. And what we wanted to do when we were recording our record. We weren't like, "we've never toured before when we were doing this record." We were just playing shows in our hometown of Oakland, California. We really; really thought that there was a complete void in the kind of music we were into at that point. Which was like Warped Tour caliber punk rock band; like melodic punk rock that could be on Warped Tour. All this New Found Glory and Sum 41 was coming out and there was kind of a lack of extended metaphors and a lack of irony and self-awareness in the music. It was kind of like "We're kids, YEAH!" music. You know like "You break my heart" music, but there wasn't a whole lot of depth or substance to the music and so what we wanted to do was write an intelligent record to caliber of really good song writing line of music. I think we did it and by the time record came out on Epitaph. It was kind of like the end of that...wave in that flag of music.

JAMM: Era?

Shawn: Yeah we kind of caught the end of that era, so at this point I think song wise the records there like kind of uh...sonically it's a little dated. So were trying to freak out and were kind of becoming more our own style instead of saying, "hey we want to record this type of record" and like mimicking the guitar sounds and drum sounds of these bands that we admired. Now were trying to come up with our own so its going to sound more like The Matches so if you don't like it then you don't really like The Matches.

JAMM: Of the new songs you have written. What's your favorite to perform?

Shawn: Were really performing one that's probably going to go on the new record and we have 3 more that were doing in sound check, that we haven't had the balls to play yet on this tour. The one that were playing now on this tour is called "Shot Me in the Smile" and I really like playing that a lot. Anything to say about that one? (Talking to Justin) The songs about...we basically...since we were at the end of last wave or whatever you know what I mean. Um as far as what's cool at the time...sonically. We went out with a lot of bands that really didn't give a shit what's cool right now you know, so we weren't on a lot of like "hip-ass" like "this is a cool ass new thing tour". We were on a lot of, with the exception of Warped Tour and Yellowcard. We were on tour a lot with like, Reel Big Fish, LIT and Zebrahead. Bands that were like really popular 5-10yrs ago and people that were kind of done with saying this is the next big thing. They either have fans or they don't kind of thing. So we were on tour with those guys and we actually learned a lot from them. They were the ones that taught us about the music scene and how to be a good person and a performer at the same time, which isn't very easy. I'm glad we learned from those guys instead of all the up and coming young bands cause I think they know a lot more then we do.

Justin: Yeah, they've hit the peak you know. They've been to the top and down so its kind of like you get a whole other perspective. Then you come back and you look good back (gets tongue-tied). Its really honestly hurtful a lot of the things they tell you about looking back and there like, "Don't do this dude, we fucked this up, you don't want to do this. You should be doing this." and its like keep up doing it.

Shawn: We tour with them and they're so nice to the sound guys at all the venues and they're so nice to people behind catering an what not. Most bands don't think twice to do that, it pays off, it's all about friendships really and we learned that from them. And we wrote that song about them and its kind of for them about us and how everybody's going to forget about us in 5 years and we'll be washed up and not cool anymore at all. Its called "Shoot me in the smile" about getting your picture taken right now, so people remember you when you were cool.

JAMM: When you perform is there anything specific that goes on in your head?

Justin: A lot of "Don't fuck up, don't fuck up!"(Haha)

Shawn: You get that? I get a lot of "I just fucked up, I just fucked up!" (Haha) I think the less conscious the thoughts are in your head or in my head the better I perform. I think there is a difference between playing and performing I think haha.

Justin: Once you start thinking about it that's when you start messing up or you start screwing up or start, not; not really feeling the music as much cause things start going through your head. At the beginning of this show Shawn runs on stage with his water bottle and throws it down right in front of me on the hardwood floor. There's like a puddle the size of a swimming pool and I like jump in it and I'm like sliding around and I'm like, "Fuck you Shawn, fuck you Shawn." So by the time it got cleaned up like 3 songs into the show, after I had to fall on my ass like 4 times its like, yeah now I'm rocking and I'm not thinking about anything.

Shawn: When I punted that onto the ground or what is it called, "touchdowned" it to the ground it was closed and just busted open. (Haha)

JAMM: It's the 2nd day of the tour. Are there any plans of having a tour of your own after this one since you're only on it for...

Shawn: There's a point that you get to on stage where your sooo tired and about to call it quits, in which your mind sort of goes into auto-pilot and you start to black out but you don't quite get there. That's the money spot that's the one you go for. The verge of exghustion and quitting, great! I look back at some video's...Oh have you ever seen Rancid play live? You see Tim Armstrong on stage and he looks like absolutely so trashed because like by the middle of the show, he's like stumbling and tripping over his own feet. He can barley make it back to the microphone, but he's so on on it because he's done it, he's played that show thousands of times and its so auto-pilot that he doesn't have to be present in his head. I think its so much cooler to watch somebody that has no idea that your watching them. Which is hard when you're in front of a thousand people and the closer you can get to that the better. Sometimes when I get to that point and it goes into auto-pilot I just feel really good about the show. Fun stuff ends up happening at that point.

Justin: Yeah!

JAMM: Should I repeat the other question?

Shawn: Yeah I didn't hear it, I got really excited.

JAMM: It all of a sudden came in your head and you were like Ah!

Shawn: I know haha.

JAMM: Ok. It's the 2nd day of the tour. Are there any plans of having a tour of your own after this since you're only on this tour for a short period of time?

Shawn: I don't know what's going on with our tour after this. We'll be able to announce that in the next week but yeah were not sure at all.

Justin: We'll definitely be touring. We don't know who with, when or where but we'll get there eventually.

Shawn: There's a couple things going on so our booking agent just sat us down in a chair and told us we were dicks.

Justin: Yeah they told us if we were going to be these kind of assholes they were going to drop us.

Shawn: And Jon cried and we all felt really bad.

Justin: It really sucks cause there not just our booking agents there our friends.

Shawn: They're our really good friends.

Justin: You gave us a lot of stuff to think about.

JAMM: I'm sure you've been asked this before, but how did the L3 start?

Shawn: That was just us not being able to get a show anywhere else in Oakland. Uh...

Justin: Everyone always hears about the cool Gilman scene, like punk rock started Gilman. With you know Green Day, Rancid, and Operation Ivy and its like yeah we wanna play, the cool place is Gilman. But we couldn't get a show there they wouldn't let us play, so we were like fuck it we'll start our own show. So we went ahead and started L3.

Shawn: Yeah, which was like the Gliman. Our parents were working the door cause we could afford to pay anybody and we didn't know anyone else that was over 21 that would do the door and everything. Then it just kind of turned into this rad show that sold out every time and we do it once a month now.

Justin: We...

JAMM: would...sorry keep going.

Justin: NO!

JAMM: go ahead.

Justin: Stop pestering me, haha.

JAMM: Would you say it's changed with you touring a lot.

Justin: Yeah.

Shawn: We don't do it as much but I think the shows are better now that we don't do them as much. Haha.

Justin: Yeah.

Shawn: I mean now when we go back we can sell out 2 nights in a row which is cool, so we usually book them in two's now when we come back home. Which is really don't get to do them every month but we've got a bunch of friends in bands back home that keep the scene going and its been doing really well even when were not out there. It's good and the East Bay which is where were from was a scene that was really shot when we were trying to get shows and Gilman was really the only place to play punk rock shows in the East Bay. Then there was San Francisco but it's a different city you know...

Justin: It's such a trendy, hipster, like bar drinking cool people hanging out there. You play a show and no ones in the room when the bands play they just sit in the bar and talk about how cool they are.

Shawn: That's not L3 that's San Francisco.

Justin: Yeah that's San Francisco. L3's the place where all the kids come to lose there shit.

Shawn: Now there's a lot of bands in the East Bay, like where were from there weren't that many bands when we started. Now there's a lot of young bands, it's just cool. I mean if we had any part in inspiring them to pursue that I feel proud.

JAMM: Would you say the scene is good in that area then?

Shawn: Its great right now. Its better then I've ever seen it.

Justin: Yeah. Like when we were kind of starting up I'd say there was like 3 or 4 bands; 3 bands that were like serious. Bands that would play regular shows and really try and I think right now the scene is really young but a bunch of bands that are really trying hard and get together and kind of get the real attitude and play shows regularly. Make something of them selves and it's kind of exciting.

Shawn: A lot of good bands to. Way more good then when we were starting out. There were so many shitty bands.

Justin: Yeah!

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