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INTERVIEW: Matt Whipkey

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

Thank you! I have been well, very busy finishing recording and releasing our two new albums, “Best New Music” and “Driver”. Also launching and promoting our Pledge Music campaign requires a large amount of attention.

Can you talk to us more about your song “One Shot”?

“One Shot” was written was on April 13 and recorded just a few days later. The chords just happened like most songs and then a melody was hummed. Within an hour I had the entire melody and went to work on the lyrics, which also came quickly. I always enjoy the songs that appear almost fully formed, I do not know where they come from necessarily but I have learned how to make myself available in that time and space to capture them.

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

I knew I wanted to write a song that was very centered on the melody, when it all arrived I just had the word “melody melody melody” in my mind. I think it is one of my best melodic songs to date. Prior to writing the tune I had been listening to a lot of 60’s folk pop songs and how timeless, nearly flawless their melodies were. Chad and Jeremy’s “A Summer Song” and The Walker Brothers, “The Sun Aint Gonna Shine Anymore” both played a large part in shaping a certain songwriting aesthetic on “Best New Music”.

Any plans to release a video for the track?

In my head I have constructed a beautiful cinematic video for “One Shot”. In my bank account there is no money to make it. If the pledge music brings in like 350%, it is a possibility.

The single comes off your new double album – what led to do this?

We actually are releasing two entirely separate albums, “Best New Music” is 9 songs that are very melodic focused, only a couple over three minutes long. “Driver” is a concept album about my time as an Uber/ Lyft driver and the inherent sense of human connection present in that line of work.

How was the recording and writing process?

The recording and writing process is always a journey. All the songs are “Driver” came flooding out in a short amount of time, the majority of them over a month’s time in January and February. Omaha winter is always a fantastic season for songwriting. Something about January that puts the city in a frozen pause and lets the mind just create and write. We went into the studio shortly there after and really tried to capture the honesty in the songs, not over think them.

What aspect of your time as a driver for ride sharing companies?

I had been driving pretty regularly for about 9 months before I wrote the song, “Amy Knows”, a song centered on someone arriving in Omaha to start a new life. I quickly realized what was happening in the car, meeting all these people, the conversations etc., was something so many people miss in their lives. We are inundated with modern conveniences and technology, but some people have forgotten how amazing a simple conversation can be. It has been a thrill participating in that conversation with the public.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes! We will be around the Midwest mid August and all over the country come the fall when “Driver” is properly released. I learned so much touring with Dwight Yoakam and his crew, I’m so grateful for that opportunity. We’d really like to hit the places that we previously played.

What else is happening next in Matt Whipkey’s world?

I’d really like to encourage people to check out our Pledge Music campaign, it is a fantastic way to deal directly with the artist and have a huge part in bringing to life a pretty fantastic album. With any pledge level the pledger receives an immediate download of our album “Best New Music”. I wanted to offer the public two sides to our songwriting while essentially offering a two for one album deal. We have had success with crowd funding in the past and definitely enjoy remaining entirely independent while staying fundamentally focused on the music. I’m very thankful for opportunities like this to keep spreading the word. Thank you again!

Watch Pledge here

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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