Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Sidewider”?
I love this tune, have so much fun rockin out on this riff. This is a bit rockier than we normally do, but sometimes, when you need to rock, you need to rock, right?
This is one of those tunes that literally wrote itself, while I was recording at home. I usually use my phone to record guitar riffs. I started playin the main riff to this, and then the whole song followed – it was kinda freaky – but it obviously worked!
The song is about people in positions of power (not just politicians mind you) who lie and mislead to gain more power and control. I think the world is sick of people like that. I wanted to write something more contemporary, rather than another blues song about fast cars or sexy women. Although, I do dig those sorta songs too.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
It is a culmination of things I reckon. The older you get the more you see ‘behind the curtain’ and figure out what sort of terrible stuff people are doing in the world in the name of power and money. Generally, people are good and genuine, and want to provide for their families, everybody does, but that drive can get out of control, especially living in a consumerist world that is starting to fracture into ‘tribes’ of competing peoples. It’s getting worse. It might be a bit rocky over the next couple of decades!
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
The idea for the video was pretty simple. I wanted the music to speak for itself – so a simple white backdrop serves as the main ‘look’ of the vid. Also, I have always wanted to try the ‘guitar swap’ idea during a strong guitar riff, and this worked out well. I think I had 20+ guitars at the shoot! Two cars full of guitar cases!
The red and blue on my face signifies the ever increasing polarity of the world we live in. We had a great time filming this with Intermission Media, filmed at Johnny Ma’s in Perth, Western Australia.
Why naming the album after this track in particular?
Great question, this has many reasons. Firstly, I wanted my second album to be explosive and accurate and really cut through everything around. The first image in my head is of a ‘sidewinder’ missile. Secondly, a Sidewinder is also a snake, of which ‘snake’ is my Chinese horoscope, and I have come across many snakes in the wild as I was growing up. In fact, if you look at the track listing on the album, the first 3 songs start with the letter ‘S’. And there are so many letter “S” in the song names – it seems to be a bit of a coincidence, but works in the context. The other meaning of sidewinder is a untrustworthy, deceitful person – which is basically what the title track is about.
A great piece of artwork on the front cover by New Zealand artist Rachel Walker ties this all together real nicely.
How was the recording and writing process?
Some old tracks, some new, both in originals and covers. Most of the songs had been honed on the road playing live, up the point where they really started working as they should. Other tracks like “Aint That The Truth”, “Leave It All Behind” and “Mississippi Kkkrossroads” were basically written and honed in the recording studio. Sometimes that just works best.
What was it like to work with Bob Clearmountain and how did that relationship develop?
Getting Bob to mix on this album, well – I still can’t quite believe it. I had a crazy idea before the recording to get a world-class mixing engineer to do this record. So, who is the most successful mixing engineer of all time? Bob Clearmountain. Audacious idea – I found his agent and sent her an email. A couple of days later, I get an email back from her saying “Bob really likes your stuff, he’d like to work on the album with you” WHAT!!! Couldn’t believe it. We did everything over the internet, since I am in Australia and he is in L.A. He is so kind, hard-working and just great to get along with. His mixes have a certain magic about them that is hard to describe.
How much did he influence the album?
Well, the song structures and takes were all laid down by the time he got to it, so what he added is really the overall sound of the record. Tight, punchy but sweet at the same time.
Any plans to hit the road?
I’m on the road right now as I’m typing this. Just finished a show in Byron Bay and now taking a 9-hour drive down to Sydney. Australia is a big place. A bit difficult to tour, but necessary. I am looking forward to trying my luck at Europe and possibly the USA next year. Fingers crossed.
What else is happening next in Matty T Wall’s world?
I will have some more music videos coming out – singles from this album, so look out for them on my YouTube channel. We are going to be touring this album pretty hard, since it turned out so well. I hope it is getting great radio play where you are 🙂
I’m also writing for the next album too, but that will be a while in the making. Hope to see you at a show soon!