Hi Matt, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Hey there, thanks for taking an interest in MY music! I’ve been great; busy.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Two Paper Moons”?
Two Paper Moons is a surrealist escape traversing back and forth between the realms of the possible and impossible. It’s about fate, acceptance, and moving forward. It’s meant to be a new world for when you aren’t quite satisfied with the one you’re in. Building a new reality for yourself. In a nutshell.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I went through some tough times and was constantly searching for ways to escape. After trying out all the self-destructive ones, I settled for something more creative, and it proved to be the most effective tool for my disappearing act. The initial idea came to me after reading Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84.
Any plans to release a video for the track?
Yes, it’s out! And it’s heart-wrenching. Written and directed by Caraz and cinematography by Kristof Brandl. A beautiful short film.
The single comes off your new album Weird Ones – what’s the story behind the title?
The story goes like this: I’ve always looked up to all the weirdos in music – Bowie, Dylan, Yorke, etc – and have always wanted to be one too. Much to my dismay, I was groomed into a nice, polite, and (relatively) normal person by my parents, so I felt the need to write an ode of sorts to a more introspective form of weirdness. I’ve got a lot of weird stuff knocking around in my head, and I think a lot of other people do too, so Weird Ones was a way to connect with them.
How was the recording and writing process?
Really long, intense, and detail oriented. I wrote the songs throughout the last year and a half. I spent 2 months in Krakow at the end of 2018, and 2 months in Banff at the start of 2019 writing. I got the last few in from home, and recorded in 6-7 different studios over the course of 6 months. Some of the stuff dates back two years from a stint we did at La Frette Studios in France.
In short, it was beautifully liberating. My most collaborative work to date also, which meant a lot of letting go.
Would you call this a departure from your previous musical work?
I would say so yes. Maybe not as much as I’d intended, but the process was totally different. I think it fits with my previous stuff, but there are a handful of elements that I wouldn’t have touched with a ten foot pole previously. This time around I didn’t limit myself creatively, and just try a whole slew of new ways of putting together a song. I definitely feel like it’s the first time my songs truly represent who I am and what I’m trying to convey.
What role does Quebec play in your music?
Huge role. For one, the province breeds immense talent that was monumental in making the record happen. It’s also a microcosm of an industry, a true anomaly in the music business that elevates and celebrates its own in a way that is hugely inspiring and beneficial for me. Because it so intensely protects and celebrates its language and culture, there’s a whole system of media, award shows, grants, etc that help elevate its artists. But of course, like any microcosm, it’s important not to get too caught up in it or you end up getting stuck there.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
The lyrics came from this desire I had to write less literal lyrics. I have a degree in Political Science, so most of my previous work is real matter-of-fact in its story telling. I wanted to do something more ambiguous and open to interpretation. Gives even more credence to the dreaminess of it all. I started reading about nordic mythology and really started digging fiction in a new way. Murakami’s magical realist style of writing was really important in shaping the later songs I wrote, as well as the whole direction of the record.
Any plans to hit the road?
For sure! Starting with a North American tour this winter, and we’ve got some plans kicking around for coming to Europe and obviously the UK. Real excited to get back to you guys, I love the UK (genuine affection here, no sucking up!)
What else is happening next in Matt Holubowski’s world?
I want to write a short book about the making of Weird Ones. I don’t know if anyone cares, but I have this strong urge to do it. It was such an interesting process that I feel I need to remember it in detail. I also want to delve into different types of music, so probably some side projects. I want to go back to the rootsy acoustic stuff, but I also want to try my hand at some more modern electronic stuff.
Thanks for taking the time to read all this!