Oct 2 2013 – Very few things are as exciting as finding something new you love. Much like archeologists that dig to find hidden treasures, we here at T-Mak World really enjoy trying to find new bands that we love. Once we find such bands, we approach our favorites to request interviews for our Emerging Artist Spotlight series. Today we set our focus on a band from Calgary named Matt Blais. All bands we talked to are asked similar questions to each other so we can get to know them better. The description on Matt Blais website reads:
Matt Blais isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel; he is just finding a new way to roll it.
Today, emotional music seems to be an art form that has gone the way of an ancient cave drawing, it still exists, but you have to know where to look.
A cutting edge artist, Matt Blais combines elements of fiery rock and roll with smooth vintage soul and a dash of the blues to form a sound so uniquely his own that one can’t help but become emotionally charged. The combination of a high energy live show and a passion for song writing is Blais’ formula for success.
With constant performances and the release of his second full length album, The Heartbeat, and critical acclaim rolling in for this self-produced release, the coming year is going to be a busy and successful one.
Matt Blais is making his mark as a professional musician on the rise in Canada and with passion, performance and hard work, you can be sure he’s heading in the right direction.
Here is what he had to say to us:
- Hey Matt, thanks for taking the time out to talk to us. Let’s start off with the obligatory introductions. Who’s in the band and what instrument does everyone rock?
Matt Blais: My pleasure. Thanks for talking with me. The interesting thing about my band is that it is ever changing. I have a few core guys that I use, but you never know what you’re gonna get. It keeps it interesting and keep it fresh – and this way I can tailor my set perfectly to the crowd and venue. Lately, I’ve had Joel Fraser on guitar, Darren Snowden on bass, Sean Peters on keys, Dylan Cave on drums. I take the lead vocals, a little guitar and a lot of harmonica.
- How about the history of the band, when did you get started and how did it happen?
Matt Blais: The band basically started as a solo project. I’d left other bands to venture out on my own and control of my creative destiny. So, I started writing. Acoustic singer/songwriter type songs, but then I started hearing a piano part or a drum fill. The songs started to expand and I wanted to recreate that live. So I set out finding players to contribute to that vision.
- Who are some of your musical influences?
Matt Blais: I was raised on, what some would call, “the oldies”: Elvis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. I connected with the freedom of rock n roll- the attitude. Listening to those songs makes you feel like you are in the room with those guys. As time passed obviously my musical tastes expanded – Sam Roberts, Joel Plaskett, Ben Kweller, The Heavy – but I never dropped my love of rock n roll. Lately I’ve been getting into the early blues cats like Little Walter and Howlin’ Wolf. Bruce Springsteen is a huge influence for me as well. Really, I like anyone that puts their heart and soul on the line.
- So based on the above how would you describe your music to someone that has never heard it?
Matt Blais: Energetic, diverse and passionate. I don’t feel like anything is worth doing unless you are going to put everything you’ve got into. So, we leave everything on the stage.
- Why do you believe that a music fan should come and see your show instead of all the other choices available to them on any given night?
Matt Blais: I think we work harder. We’re not afraid to stare into the eyes of the skeptics and let them know it’s ok to have fun. We connect with everyone by singing honest rock’n’roll songs. I can’t give more of an explanation than that because I don’t think we need to.
- What is your favorite single line of lyrics the band has written and why?
Matt Blais: Because, for the most part, I write the songs I feel a bit vain answering this one. Forced to choose though, I guess it would be:
“Wild wild hearts have got to live free. She said to me that “All that you see, is nothing compared to what it could be.”
- What does the rest of 2013 and 2014 hold for you?
Matt Blais: I always want to be touring. I love playing live and seeing new places. So, I know there will lots of that. I think we’re gonna take our first venture into the US. Probably a new video or two for the latest record. I’ve also started writing a bit again. So, a new record is the very early stages.
- Imagine that you were asked to be the opener for any band’s world tour (both current and historical). Which band and tour would be your dream opening gig.
Matt Blais: This list for me quite long because to be on tour with them would mean I could watch them whenever! I have a lot of heroes and bands I respect. Sam Roberts is number one. I’ve always loved his shows – I’ve seen him 13 times in concert. The Black Crowes too. Historically, I would have loved to tour with the Stones in the 70’s – get into a little trouble.
- What is the future of the music industry? With the concept of the album and physical CD’s facing extinction, how will we be consuming music in 10 years? Are the economics feasible for emerging artists?
Matt Blais: There are always going to be emerging artists that will find a way to breakout. I personally still love the physical album. I have more songs on vinyl than I do on my iphone. But, I know I’m not in the majority. I honestly think the number one way to consume music will be to experience it live. Before the invention of recorded music, people used to have to get dressed up and go out. They would experience the sounds but also the sites and the smells of the theatre and they would feel the vibration. I’m envious of those days. It wasn’t as easy to take music for granted. So, I think when the world is over saturated with music piped right to the ears, people will look for more complete experience.
- Where can people purchase or listen to your music?
- At the end of 2012 we published our picks for top 10 albums of 2012. Lists like those are always a reflection of personal tastes so if you were making the list what are some albums you would you have had on it?
Matt Blais: My most recent loves are “Coyote – Matt Mays”, “Blak and Blu – Gary Clark Jr.” and I really like the approach C2C is taking to music – so modern, yet classic. I’m really inspired.
- Any closing remarks for our readers?
Matt Blais: Thanks so much for taking the time and I hope to see you all at a show in the future!
Thanks so much to Matt. We hope that you can see him live at one of these gigs:
- Thu Oct 10th – Shannon’s Irish Pub, Winnipeg MB
- Fri Oct 11th – The Foundry, Thunderbay ON
- Sat Oct 12th – Rockstar Bar, Sault Ste Marie, ON
- Thu Oct 17th – Cherry Cola’s – Indie Week, Toronto ON
- Sat Oct 19th – The Hideout – Indie Week, Toronto ON
- Sat Oct 26th – Rockhouse Tap and Grill, Dryden ON
- Thu Oct 31st – North Hill Inn, Brandon ON
- Fri Nov 1st – The Fez, Saskatoon ON
- Sat Nov 2nd – Studio 37, Calgary AB