Thursday, 27 October 2011

Interview: Mat Gibson

 Signed to Clubhouse Records, singer/song-writer, Mat Gibson, released a mini album entitled 'Forest Fire' (reviewed on NotAnotherRainySunday at the start of the month) in September to critical aclaim. Appearing at the O2 Academy in Oxford, and on the main stage at Truck Festival, it's clearly been a successful year for Gibson, and he's certainly one we should be watching. In this interview for NotAnotherRainySunday he discusses living in Canada, his influences in 'Forest Fire' and being likened to the iconic king of country-rock, Neil Young. 
How would you describe your style of music ?
I suppose it fits loosely into a few genres, Americana, indie, folk etc... 

Growing up, who were your musical influences? What was the first record you bought ?
Well my parents used to listen to early Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Free and the Beatles but it wasn't until I think I heard Nirvana's Nevermind at the age of 11/12 that I started to form musical tastes of my own...

Your music seems to fit very well with the Americana genre. Is that a fair description ? What was your first introduction to Americana music ? 
Absolutely, Americana encompasses such a wide range of artistic direction these days but its roots lie in a country and folk tradition and the lyrics in those early songs really struck a chord with me at a time in my life when I was looking for answers in music. It also coincided conveniently with the rise of bands like Wilco and Ryan Adams who I revered as a budding musician back at the turn of the millennium.

There seem to be Canadian influences in ‘Forest Fire’ – how have your experiences living in Canada come across in your work ?
Well I think the natural world has had the biggest influence on 'Forest Fire'. When I moved to Canada I fell in love with the natural beauty there and spent a lot of my free time camping, hiking and taking pictures of nature and wildlife. So it was very odd timing that the day I had to leave Canada there was a massive forest fire in the area north of Quebec City where I lived and the smoke had spread to Montreal and Boston, through Vermont and Maine... the areas which I'd come to love so much at that time, like a home from home. It was like turning the page on a chapter of my life. 

Is the songwriting process a long one, or is it something that comes naturally to you ?
I go through bursts of creativity where everything comes very naturally and fast, but there are long, long droughts where I don't write anything for months and months. I usually use that time recording, gigging etc

Last week you played at the iconic Half Moon in Putney –do you enjoy the intimacy that the Half Moon offers or do you prefer a larger stage ?
The Half Moon is one of the better venues I've played for its intimacy and its a great room, with a great sound. I think for the kind of music we're playing at this stage, venues like the Half Moon are perfect but we have plans to expand our sound and hopefully bigger venues will come hand in hand.

When are you most at one with your music ? - when it’s just you and a guitar, or when you’re interacting with a band ?
I love the songwriting process, when I'm on my own. But I also love the creative process involved in production, expanding on an initial idea and making things happen. I've only recently begun to appreciate the experience of playing live, and the immediacy of it all. I always used to dread getting up on stage but now I really enjoy it and can relax and focus on the intensity of the show.

How do you feel about being likened to the great Neil Young ?
If I had to choose only one album to take with me somewhere without other music it would probably be a Neil Young album... I mean the man is a living legend. But to be compared to him, I take that with a pinch of salt, as great as it sounds. Stylistically, I don't think I'm that much like him to be honest but I admire him more than any other musician for the range and depth of his music, and the quality!

What do you listen to when….
 - you’ve had a bad day ?
Something which takes me on a journey, that takes me away from it all. I don't know, all good music can do that can't it?
-  life’s rosy ?
I like listening to stuff I used to listen to as a teenager, like the Lemonheads, Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr etc
- you’re stuck in traffic ?
Whatever I've got on my iPod, today I listened to 'Mix Tape' by the Felice Brothers

And Finally, vinyl, CD or MP3 ? 
Obviously, nothing can match the convenience and immediacy of an mp3 but people have lost touch with the experience of listening to an album on vinyl or even CD for that matter. It used to be an event for a lot of people, and for some it still is, thankfully. Personally, I don't buy vinyl as I can't afford it but I'd like to think that one day I could.

'Forest Fire' is out now on Clubhouse Records. For more information visit:


  1. Great minds obviously think alike! Just checked him out a few hours ago. ;) So it was nice to read an interview with him. Well done! x


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...