Very well, I’m in Long Beach. I’m having some iced tea-lemonade, getting ready to perform tonight for four hours.Tonight is my 60th performance this year.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Perfectly Aligned”?
Sure. This seemed to be a favorite amongst the sample pool we polled for the single. There are 6 of us performing a variety of instruments on the track. Everyone has a background in music from a different part of the world, I think it has a really fresh sound.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Yes, absolutely. Many people encouraged me to stay in my desk job when I needed to break free and go in a new direction. They also did not like that I was growing my hair out.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Maybe, if I can coordinate a fundraiser and a team. I’ve never released a music video, but I’ve done a few live in-studio performance videos. If we can get a good team together and come up with something really strong, I would give it a try.
The single comes off your new album Thinking of You – what’s the story behind the title?
Thinking about my exes and relationships.
How was the recording and writing process?
The writing process happened sporadically in a variety of environments. On a plane, by the lake in my neighborhood in LA, sitting on a bench-press in my parents basement in Massachusetts. I usually start a song with a guitar part I really like and sing falsetto along with it until I find a melody and then I start weaving lyrics into the melody. It takes awhile so I keep organized notes, drafts and record everything I do and label it and put it in a folder on my laptop. I travel often so I am always adding and editing here and there as I go.
As for recording, we typically would record the drums and my guitar parts first to shape the song and then we would build from there. This was my first record where I did not track live in the studio and then add supplemental layers. For Thinking of You, we tracked everything separately, sometimes in different locations and we would do draft mixes and add light production along the way.
What was it like to work with Eugene Toale and how did that relationship develop?
He is enthusiastic, sincere and a pleasure to work with. We have some things in common, both being from Boston and spending some time at the same music school. Our current preferred styles of music are very different but with his knowledge of beat production, synthesis and sequencing and my easy going sound and network of musicians we could come up with a strong record.
How much did he influence the record?
His sound was very present on the record. We worked on it on and off over the course of a year. We bounced around several ideas and had ongoing conversations throughout the creation process, while outside on breaks, traveling to different tracking locations, jamming on stage together in mansions. We share newly released songs back and forth via text that were in a similar ballpark of what we were going for.
What role does New England plays on the writing on this record?
Being away from home brought out a variety of different songs and situations.
What aspect of your life did you get to explore on this album?
The start and end of a new relationship. I was in an awesome place at the beginning of the record, and then an uncomfortable place for most of it, working through a breakup that kept dragging on.
Any plans to hit the road?
Yes, I hope to tour more this year. I need to save though I just spent most of my music budget on the record, marketing and releasing it.
What else is happening next in Matt Koelsch’s world?
My friend from school matched with a woman on a dating app, so we all just went down to the wedding in Colombia. She was in Colombia and he was in Boston when they matched. I think there is some sort of new booster pack where you can meet people from other countries, I have no idea. So I am recouping and laying low for a few weeks 🙂