Music Q&A:
Matt Finucane

The Brighton-based musician offers readers an insight into his creative process – and an exclusive chance to stream his new single Ulterior Motives

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What informs your music and songwriting?
It’s difficult to stick to this line without sounding like a precious arse but, for better or worse, I’ve always been obsessed with individual expression. Any kind of artist – successful or unknown – who does their own thing against all common sense is fascinating, a reminder of life’s richness. There is, or should be, room for everyone somewhere. I love people who aim high in music, even if their work’s negative and bitter and evil, so it’s satisfying to try and reflect that. Also, I soaked up as much lurid pop and soundtrack music as any other child and now it’s all re-emerging through a very odd filter.

How have you evolved as an artist over the years?
I’m less uptight and hardline musically now. I started off playing hideous riffs over electronics, no concessions allowed – which made it tough for me and the listener, probably. Got burnt out and went solo, stripped it down to simple acoustic guitar and then built it back up. Now I’m getting into stuff that’s a lot more free – I play with a lot of jazz improv people here in Brighton semi-regularly – but applying that unselfconscious attitude to full-tilt rock songs. I put together a live band recently that’s plugged into all of this. So I went from noise to something more considered, then full circle, all in pursuit of that little extra dimension that’s hard to define, but you know when it’s there. The actual format’s less important than that buzz of recognition.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
The follow-up to my next EP’s recorded but not mixed. Then I’d like to get the band into a studio, do more collaborative stuff in general. Then I’ve got an idea for another album, and while I’m working on that it’d be good to teach myself more about production and building up tracks from pure sound. Also, persuading people to take you seriously and give you a chance in this game’s a separate and gruelling art form in itself. But there are worse problems to have. I just try to remember to look outside myself and keep going till my brain explodes, really. I’m long past the point of trying to hitch a ride on any trend, or belong to a peer group, which is nerve-racking but liberating.

What’s on your rider?
I quit drinking a while ago, which makes it difficult to think of anything worth having. I’m not going to ask for a six-pack of beetroot slices instead, for example. Given the state of the industry, I’d settle for some fancy mineral water and a bare four walls to stare at before stage time. Privacy’s at a premium now, so that’s no small thing.

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
The time me and some friends messed about with herbal mixtures and attempted astral projection in the countryside one night. Every time I went near this pylon, something seized me through the middle and spun me round violently, like a magnetized compass needle. That was years ago but the strangeness of it stayed with me. Otherwise, I could tell war stories about the dignity-shattering ordeal of trying to get help for depression and alcohol rehab on the NHS, but all’s well that ends well, thankfully.

What song do you wish you’d written?
It would be great to write something staunchly its own thing but ultra-accessible, like Dance This Mess Around by the B-52s, or – this little honesty nugget could poison my future – I’ve discovered Boney M’s Ra Ra Rasputin: fantastic song, shameless cheese that somehow sounds like The Fall in the nineties but with better vocals. Still, ask me tomorrow, get a different answer.

What’s your worst lyric?
“Got to get away from slouching misery, now/ And those people with their faces like a ghostly pair of buttocks/ A slapped arse, hanging in the London breeze/ Hanging in the London breeze!” Yeah, that one’s hidden away on an old B-side. I wonder why.

Interact: Responses to Music Q&A: Matt Finucane

  • 3(!) interviews & 1 EP review, Oct ’18 |
    21 Oct 2018 15:00
    […] the new EP’s bagged me several more interviews, following on from Big Issue North and AltCorner… with, if I say it myself, very little repetition and zero […]

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