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INTERVIEW: Matt Gumley

Hi Matt, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hello, thank you so much for having me! I’ve been really busy, but better than ever! I’ve got lots of new projects in the works that I can’t wait to share with everyone…

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Subway Rider”?

Sure! The story of “Subway Rider” is one that isn’t too unfamiliar to those who’ve loved (and then lost) at first sight, like I did. The song also should give hope to the listener that they too can one day find that one person that “slipped through the cracks”…

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

Oh definitely. I always try to write my songs from personal experience! I’ll tell you exactly how it happened. It was a summer day about 2 years ago. I had gotten on the E train at 50th St, we were taking it one stop to 42nd St, and there we would transfer to the express A train. It was during my journey from 50th St to 42nd St that I noticed the most incredible girl I’d ever seen, sitting across from me. There was something so striking about this girl… Something I had never seen before. I was instantly hooked. She had gorgeous long blonde hair, piercing sea-blue eyes, and a smile that could melt a thousand hearts. As we approached 42nd St, I proceeded to get up and get myself ready to exit the train and cross the platform to catch the A. As I stepped off of the E train, i took one last look back at her, just to see her again. She gave me this smile… I’d never seen anything like it, nor have I seen anything like it since. There was something special about her when she smiled. I was in love. As she and I smiled at each other for what must’ve been 2 seconds at maximum, the subway doors closed, and the train left. I never saw her again. I was so overwhelmed with what had happened that I ended up drafting out my first lyrics to what would eventually become “Subway Rider”!

The single comes off your new EP Six Degree Of Separation – what’s the story behind the title?

I had always loved the concept of total togetherness, while still being able to be complete strangers; the theory that there is “six degrees of separation” between you and anyone else in the world. I felt that with love, it can often be that way too, much like with “Subway Rider”. She and I were total strangers that connected for only a brief moment, yet that brief moment had a pretty impactful effect on me. I had also been hearing the phrase “six degrees of separation” a lot in my life prior to releasing the EP and felt that it really embodied the EP as a whole. As the lyric in Fallout says, “All we’ll be is six degrees…”

How was the recording and writing process?

Incredible, but difficult. It took lots of sleepless nights mixing and tracking in the studio to get everything the way it needed to sound. We originally hadn’t planned out any sort of story line between the songs on the EP, however, in the order we wrote them, it actually developed its own story arc that starts with love and ends with loss.

What was it like to work with Austin Zudeck and how did that relationship develop?

Austin is absolutely an integral part of the whole process. From writing, to recording, to producing, Austin really does it all, and he and I work together to pour our hearts into this music we create. We actually met by a true stroke of fate, luck, or whatever you want to call it, when he and I were both lottery winners one night at the Broadway show “Book of Mormon” lottery! We struck up conversation waiting in line for our tickets, and the rest is history…

How much did he get to influence the album?

Austin is a fantastic writer and always finds ways to to say things in the lyrics that I’m trying to say, but often can’t find the words to. He and I will both work together to sculpt the music and the lyrics to their optimal place to make the song we hear in our heads. He produces and mixes every track we do, and I record all of the instruments and do the vocals. It’s a lot of fun and the best part is that we really enjoy working together!

Does your acting and Broadway background influence your music or this is a total departure?

It does influence a lot of my music, however, recently I’ve been trying to stay away from the “musical theater” sound that I often revert to when songwriting, due to my “Broadway background”. Austin is a big part of that! I may go back and write a musical one day, who knows… But for now, we’re really trying to make a statement that’s a departure from what I’m used to and familiar with.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Like I said earlier, all of my music and lyrics will stem from my own personal experiences. I think that makes the music more relatable to the listener. I like to tell stories, but the stories I tell are usually ones from my own experience in life.

Any plans to hit the road?

We’re developing the core band as we speak. As soon as we’re fully assembled, we plan on gigging around the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut) and maybe even further out than that. The ultimate goal is to tour, which we hope to make happen very soon!

What else is happening next in Matt Gumley’ world?

Everything! Austin and I are currently beginning working on our next project, we have more music videos on the way, and lots more music to come, including getting the band together and going on the road. Stay tuned in with everything that’s going on by following me on my social media pages, find me @MattGumley (@MatthewGumley on Twitter)!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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