Matt Nathanson is an American singer-songwriter whose work is a blend of folk and rock music. In addition to singing, he plays acoustic and electric guitar, and has played both solo and with a full band. His work includes the platinum-selling song "Come On Get Higher".
• Jeff Russo (Jeff Russo is a songwriter, composer, guitarist, vocalist and producer, best known as a founding ...)
• Michael Moore (Michael Francis Moore is an American filmmaker, author, journalist and Liberal political activist...)
• Eric Ries (Eric Ries is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and author recognized for pioneering the lean startup ...)» All Rock Artist Interviews
My short bio:
i'm the guy who jokingly played "you shook me all night long" formally known as matt nathanson http://www.reddit.com/r/videos/comments/2vmcu5/guy_jokingly_plays_first_chords_of_you_shook_me/
i have 8 albums, some hits you might know, have toured the world and have had an amazing time doing this for almost 20 years. i spent my last video budget flying to peru to support the starkey hearing foundation and made a video for a song called "headphones" while we were there. proceeds go to help people, well, hear. check the video, support starkey and ask away.
PS - that's my friend andrew mcmahon in the back anxiously awaiting everyone to stop singing AC/DC so he can get a turn
My Proof: http://i.imgur.com/rth6UxN.jpg
EDIT: WHOA, this ruled you guys! i had no idea it was going to be this awesome, let's do this again soon. i'll let you know when, but for now i have to run to sound check!
Matt, after the St. Louis incident did you ever go back to wearing corduroy pants?
Also, thanks for all the amazing concerts. Been a huge fan.
in my life of playing shows i have ripped my pants twice. both times, they were corduroy. those things do not agree with friction and my nuts.
Can I design a tee shirt for your next tour?
(I did Cinderella for headphones) :)
I've been to eight of your concerts since 2008. You're my favorite performer because you bring such incredible energy to the stage and your concerts are so much fun.
Does it ever get exhausting touring so frequently? I love that I can see your concerts every year, if not more often, but I can't imagine being on the road so frequently.
i love touring. LOVE it. hate being gone from my family and my home. so that part is tough. but every other part of it RULES. thanks for coming to the shows!!
You ask all of us at your shows...so im curious..What type of Whitney Houston are you? ;)
the troubled one. for sure.
Will you be doing a headlining tour this year? Already have tix to see you with Train and The Fray
shooting for a headline tour first thing next year. psyched for the train tour. see you there!
Matt, have seen you maybe a bazillion times from awesome venues like 9:30 Club to smaller two-man gigs at Jammin Java in Northern VA. Without throwing any other artist specifically under the bus, how come more artists aren't bitchin' cool people to their fans like you instead of the self-important douchebag asswaffles that a lot of your musical brethren tend to be?
"asswaffles" is my new favorite word. i don't know why people are douche bags. but it's not just in music, so.. i guess that's comforting in some dark, end of the world-kinda way.
Huge fan. Seriously, your music has touched me like a creepy uncle. I used "Room @ The End of the World" as an alarm clock for 8 months while dealing with depression, and it helped me just put my feet on the floor most days. I'm hoping to see you at Tinley Park on July 3rd.
Thank you so much for your music! And you're hilarious, I can't wait to see you live.
Question: What's the story behind your song "Wedding Dress"?
Thanks again for being awesome and making great music!
'wedding dress' is about my marriage. and my almost divorce. and my struggle to actually treat someone i loved with the respect and love they deserved.
Hi Matt! I'm a fellow singer-songwriter trying to afford the cost of living here in your home state! What places around the Boston area did you love to play at before you started doing bigger things? Hope you're staying warm!
i busked. a ton. in harvard square. that was the way i did it. then i played open mic nights EVERYWHERE. just to build a fan base and get my songs out there. then once i became friends with other artists, we would split the night somewhere and pool our fans. it was a fucking slog. but it was great too.. good luck!
Last of the Great Pretenders felt like a nice sonic progression coming out of Some Mad Hope and Modern Love (not to mention all of the previous, also amazing records).
"Headphones" seems to continue a bit in the sound of stuff like "Mission Bells".
So my question is...How is the new record taking shape? What's new/internesting/inspiring the songs and sounds this go-round?
Can't wait to hear it!
i think the new record is gonna be more acoustic. not sure what that even means, but the songs are really coming from a place of me playing them. alone... and the band supporting underneath. hopefully, it's gonna feel more intimate. i've always wanted to make a record like that. i tried with 'ernst'. so that's the plan as it is shaping up now...
What is your favorite venue to play in SF? What happened to the recording of the show at the Sweedish American Hall? I was there!
What is your favorite song to play and what song means the most to you? (Curve of the Earth is my JAM)
Where did your love for the 12 string begin?
1) most of the venues in san francisco are killing. the great american music hall, the swedish american hall, the fillmore, the fox, the greek. we have so many rad places to play.
2) this changes for me. lately i have really loved playing "kinks shirt" from the last record. and 'suspended' is always fun.
3) i was super into hair metal when i was a kid. so my love of the 12 string probably started with poison.
Any interesting stories or songs that didn't end up on the Live From Daryl's House episode that you can share? T-Bone was the best!
that was one of the highlights of my career. man, t-bone was the sweetest. and i love daryl and everyone there.. i was super nervous, that's why i said 'fuck' so much. plus, every story i told on camera was about sex. i have a trashy mind. they edited a lot of that out, thank god.
Are you going to start incorporating any more AC/DC covers into your set?
next tour we are doing 'fly on the wall' in it's entirety.
First off, I'm a huge fan. I discovered you back when Car Crash was the iTunes Free Single Of The Week and have been listening since!
Despite being signed to a small/independent label, you've had so much success with your music! Recently, I discovered you were once signed to a major label (Universal) in the early 2000's.
Can you describe your experience once being signed to a major label? Why did you decide to go independent and leave a major label?
my major label experience was like dating the wrong person. they're not assholes, necessarily. but you're better off alone.
Matt, what happened to all of the anger from your first few albums? I miss it sometimes, don't get me wrong I love the love songs too.
i'm still plenty pissed, haha.. maybe not as vitriolic. or maybe just couched in more metaphor. i'll work on being more overt.
Hey Matt, much love from Philly - the sunshine state. Whatever happened to Can't Get To What You Need? Will that song ever make it back? It was wonderful...
i don't know if that one will return or not. might get used for parts.
don't really have a question, just want to say that your song "bulletproof weeks" is one of the most beautiful things i've ever heard
now you got me all blushy and shit. thank you.
What age did you meet Andrew McMahon?
i toured with him when jack's was touring behind the second album.. not sure how old we were. he is the best.
What was the worst haircut you've ever had? And who cut it? 😂
mullet. not sure who cut it. probably my dad's barber. it was rough ass shit, but i fit right in in boston.
I love your cover of the Dire Straits' "Romeo & Juliet" on your live album (At the Point). It's my favorite song of all time and fits your voice/style so well.
What made you choose to cover it? And have you considered releasing a studio recording of it as well? (Because I would absolutely buy that)
that song is fucking flawless. and the night before i recorded those shows at the point, i was in new york. and was staying up late with my friends roommate talking about how fucking brutally good that song is. so i was inspired to play it from that conversation. i love dire strait's version, but for me, amy from indigo girls does the version that really slays me.
Holy shit, it's Matt! ^^be ^^cool, ^^be ^^cool Huge fan and so glad you decided to do an AMA! I have 2 questions.
Over the years you've gone back and re-recorded some songs from your earlier records. If you were to do it again, what song would you choose and why? Let's say pre-Beanth These Fireworks. My choices would be We'll Recover and Church Clothes. Yours?
You co-wrote O.A.R.'s song "On My Way" with Marc. Somehow you've shared the stage with them numerous times and never performed it together if I'm not mistaken. Any particular reason why? Any chance it'll happen?
i would love to take a crack at my whole first record again 'please'. i would probably pull some songs off, but as a whole that record doesn't work for me. i think its the way i sang. super eddie vedder. would love to crack some of those songs open now.
i THINK we played it at a better than everfine festival one year. i love that song. and i love the fuck out of those guys.
What's your favorite record store in the US?
oh man, that's tough.. amoeba in san francisco. waterloo in austin. those two off the top of my head... oh, fingerprints in long beach. so many great stores!
I have a question about writing - how do you balance out any self-doubt while writing?
i don't really have self doubt. i have severe self hatred.
so i just try real hard to duck tape the mouth of my inner assassin. he always gets that shit off, but for the few minutes he's focused on something other than taking out my ideas, i try to get shit done.
Hi Matt! Is it hard leaving your daughter to go tour? How does she feel when her daddy has to go rock out?
it's the only part of touring that sucks. leaving my home. and my ladies.
Hello Matt! I've been a huge fan for almost 12 years. Your shows are the most fun shows of any band I have ever seen live.
A question I have wanted to know for a long time is when are you going to release another live album? Any future plans? I LOVE At The Point but it has been almost 8 years. Thanks!
was thinking about another live record after this next studio one. just stripped down.
The only time I've been able to catch you live was when you were opening for Kelly Clarkson. I was lucky enough to score and extra ticket from a coworker. There were so many people in my section there to see YOU. It was amazing! But 12 year old girls aren't your typical scene. There were quite a few dads covering their kids ears between songs and eyes during hip thrusts.
Was it hard to reign in your profanity (a bit, not much) for the preteens?
on that tour, i think i swore my normal amount. that was kind of a rough tour because a lot of that audience was there for kelly and i felt like i had to do some serious convincing every night. ended up being good. but it was more exhausting than usual shows.
Hi Matt! A couple of years ago I (finally!) saw you in Amsterdam, supporting for Train. Do you have any plans to come back here? We'd really love that!!
i hope soon. man, that show in amsterdam was the shit. what a beautiful room. hopefully we'll come back sometime this year.
Did your collings ever get fixed and if so how does it sound? Also just wanna say how much I loved the acoustic riff in kinks shirt. It's so damn poppy and good.
thanks! yeah, collings actually fixed it the next day when i got to austin. sounds good as new.
What was it like being on the Howard Stern show? Was he intimidating in person? Did you hug Robin? ;)
best. day. of. my. fucking. life. he is not the least bit intimidating. that's why he gets you to open up like he does. he is the best. truly. and no, sadly i didn't hug robin
Hi Matt! I'm a huge fan, I've seen you twice in Madison, WI and I loved both shows. You liked my #mnselfielove on Instagram after the second show last year and it was the highlight of my social media life.
My question is have you ever considered a career in stand up comedy? You're so hilarious, your shows are like a 2 for 1 concert/comedy show, and I think you would be great if not in stand up, then as a guest on SNL or something like that.
oh man. stand up comedians are like navy seals. it takes a certain type of human to do that job. and NO ONE fucks with navy seals. or great comedians. what i do is just tell jokes between songs. that's cheating. real stand up is a fucking art. like poetry. or dance. what i do can't touch that.
First of all, love your music and stage presence! I've seen you a few times when you've toured with Andrew McMahon/Jack's Mannequin and it has always been so entertaining. So my question would be, what has been the most important event in your life?
(thankfully) not fucking up my marriage to the point where it ended.. that's the most important event i have ever been a part of.
I am curious as to why you don't offer any meet and greet or vip packages for yourself on the upcoming tour? We love to see you every time you come to town, salt lake being ours . Does this mean you will be doing meet and greets anyway? :) I hope so!!
i don't believe in those. we usually do a thing where if you buy a shirt or something, you get a meet and greet wrist band. but the whole 'pay $150/meet the band' thing rubs me wrong.
Hey Matt, what's the difference between jelly and jam?
i have another good one.. what's the difference between a legume and a chickpea? no one's ever paid to have a legume on their face! (this one might be better told than written)
How was touring with Jennifer Nettles?
she is my queen. love, love, love her.
If you had to be an animal, what would you be?
a cheetah or an eagle.
I came to see you and Aaron perform at The Borderline, London, in March last year. The gig was immenseley intimate and an incredible experience. You said you would be returning to the UK for a proper tour at some point.
Do you have any dates (or ideas for dates) in the pipeline for a UK tour?
that was probably one of the best shows of my life. truly. i can count on my one hand the number of times i have felt carried by a crowd like that. fuck. so thanks for being there and helping make that happen for me. i think the plan is to come back to the uk once this new record is done. hopefully will be back before the end of the year.
I saw both you and Joshua Radin at The Wiltern in 2012. I have to ask...whatever happened to The Waitress wearing the Van Halen tee shirt?
she still works at the same coffee shop in san francisco.
Why Did you stop singing songs like "Laid"..?
i didn't stop. i just played it tonight.
Hi Matt, thanks for coming over and answering some of our questions! What would you say is the most frustrating part of the songwriting process? Conversely, what is the most rewarding?
lyrics. lyrics. lyrics.
What is your favorite kind of cookie??
if you are ever in san francisco, go to a place called precita park cafe. in the display case at the front there are these GF peanut butter sandwhich cookies. homemade. they are fucking BRUTALLY perfect. for non-GF... levain bakery on the upper west side. those cookies will total you.
I saw the show where you said you don't like to play Bulletproof Weeks too often, a lot of your songs seem really personal so why is that one in particular one you don't like playing?
(Sorry if it's too personal)
i played it almost every night on the last headline tour. it's just a tough one. not sure why that one hits me different than the others. it just does.
What's your favorite drink?
blackberry italian soda.
Who's your drummer?
chris lovejoy. aka dr. shoes.
What inspires you?
i am such a fucking nerd for music. i listen to SO MUCH MUSIC. it's nuts. so for me, other people's music lights me up more than anything else.
Can you admit that "Rattle N Hum" did not push U2 to new heights and crush "The Joshua Tree" sales numbers? The 13 year old scamper in me needs this ;)
so here's my take on u2. records like 'rattle and hum' and 'live under a blood red sky' and 'zooropa' were kind of palette cleanser records. they weren't the real meat. just things to clear the decks for the big, epic, life changing records that came. they were kind of like commercials between big events. so yeah, rattle and hum isn't awesome, but it wasn't really meant to be an album like 'joshua tree' or 'unforgettable fire' or 'war'.
Hey! I love your music and the poetry of your lyrics. Has being a father changed your artistic process?
What inspires you more in terms of songwriting? Pain/heartbreak or Joy/Happiness?
pain/heartbreak 100%. but i'm working in joy/happiness too. being a father has changed my life. altered the way i see the world, so i am sure it's changed my writing. just not sure how. probably won't know until i get the long view. thanks for the compliments on my lyrics and songs!
Greetings Matt from Milwaukee!
One of my best memories is being in the front row at a venue in dirty mil town singing impromptu harmony to Suspended with my dorky choir friends during yr solo show.
My question is this: I think yr at yr best with you and and a 12 string guitar and your sense of honor. You mentioned that yr latest album is more acoustic. Can we anticipate seeing more of that and are you thinking about bringing back that beautiful cello backup?
Long time fan and hope the best for ya!
not sure. i think if i do it the way i want, there will still be band. but it will feel as intimate as those old shows with just me and the 12 string. so, we'll see..