“Good things come to those who wait”, but in today’s music world, it’s better to keep on doing things rather than waiting for something to happen…We asked Irish rock’n’roller Matty James about his music background, his new solo record “Las One To Die”, and his other projects…
It seems like you started music at an early age. How old were you? What instrument did you play first? How did you get into rock’n’roll?
Yeah I started playing drums when I was 10, about 13 years ago. Within two years I had joined my first band with some friends at school and I haven’t stopped since. Guns N’ Roses was the first band I saw on TV that really jumped out and grabbed my attention. After that I just worked backwards and discovered all the bands I still love today.
You recorded your album mostly by yourself? What parts did you record first? How did you get Tyla J. Pallas to get featured on “Last One To Die”?
Yes I do most of the instrumentation on the record, as well as the vocals. I had some scratch acoustic demos to play along to, but the first instrument to go on tape was the drums. Then I just built it from there, much like how most bands work. After all the basic tracks were done, I had the luxury of sitting back and deciding what else I thought the songs needed. I am lucky that I have some very talented friends always willing to lend a note or two, so members of both Cadaver Club and Filthy Angels feature on the album.
Tyla getting involved was a dream come true. I have always been a huge fan of his music and I thought it fitting for him to appear on my first solo album, as he has been such a big influence and support to me. I sent him the song and asked if he would be interested and luckily he was up for it! It sounds great and brings the tittle track ‘Last One To Die’ to a whole new level.
I remember I saw a studio picture of you and MAMA’S BOYS’ Pat McManus, was it for a different release?
I haven’t actually recorded anything with Pat, as much as I would love to someday. He is from the same part of the world as me and is another big influence. Pat actually wrote a song for my first band and has always been a great mentor to me and my brother. When we were growing up he taught us a lot about guitar playing, songwriting and the music business in general. Hopefully I can get him on the next one!
The album is out on your own record label, Pirate Heart Records. When did you start the label?
I started PHR when I wanted to release the first Filthy Angels album, ‘L.A.F.A’. I think it’s a great way to work. By writing, recording and releasing my own music, I am constantly learning and improving every time.
There’s a big Rolling Stones influence in “Up in Smoke”, what other bands influenced you?
The Stones are one of my favourite bands, along with many they inspired like the New York Dolls and The Dogs D’Amour. I like good honest rock n’ roll music, everything from Thin Lizzy to the Ramones. I’m lucky because it’s a pretty broad spectrum!
Do you play a lot of live shows with your band CADAVER CLUB?
We all live in different places but we play live whenever we can. We have some stuff coming up later this year, including Rebellion Festival in the summer. We are constantly working on new material and sending each other ideas so it won’t be long until the monster is unleashed again.
5 records you can listen to again and again… and tell us a few words about them…
Just 5? I’ll go with the first ones that come to mind…
Rolling Stones ‘Exile On Main Street’ – Quite simply my favourite album from the original rock n’ roll band, and proof that acoustic guitars can rock.
Manic Street Preachers ‘Generation Terrorists’ – A monster of an album with intelligent lyrics, big guitars and a punk rock attitude, what’t not to like?
Sex Pistols ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’ – It changed the world and everyone who hears it.
Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers ‘L.A.M.F.’ – It just has everything a great rock n’ roll record needs.
Guns N’ Roses ‘Appetite For Destruction’ – A classic that never gets old. It also holds a lot of memories for me, discovering great music for the first time.
You played a few times with Tyla J. Pallas. What other bands/artists have you shared stages with?
It’s always great to play with someone you admire and the gigs with Tyla are some of the best I have ever done. Over the years I have had the pleasure of sharing stages with some brilliant musicians and bands, including Manic Street Preachers, Pat McManus, John Corabi, Ricky Warwick, The Dogs D’Amour and many others.
You played a show in Paris last year. Do you plan to play more in France?
Yes I hope to come back again soon and tour around. I had such a good time the last time I was there and the people seemed to really like my music. More European shows are definitely on the cards!
Your next projects?
I am really proud of ‘Last One To Die’ and want to do as much as possible to promote it and make sure it gets heard, which will mean plenty of gigs. But I am always writing and want to do something with one of the bands again very soon. I’m sure it won’t be long until I am back in the studio for one thing or another!
One thought on “Matty James – Rock’n’roll Troubadour”
I just noticed that when preparing for my own interview with Matty (not yet released, will be released in two parts as in November we ran out of time – too much stuff to talk about!!!), I had read this interview made by you!