Matthew and the Atlas Matthew_Atlas

Bushmills Live, Old Bushmills Distillery

added: 19 Jun 2014
interviewed by: Gina Mills

Matthew and the Atlas - Bushmills Live, Old Bushmills Distillery - Printable version
Matthewís album ĎOther Riversí was released earlier on in the year, since the release Matthew has been playing around the UK. His most recent stop was Bushmills Live in Northern Ireland.

Music News caught up with him for a little chat over some whiskeyÖ

How do you find performing in venues like this?

Itís really cool, definitely a different experience. This is the first time weíve done this festival; itís run really well. Chilled, nice vibes. Free whiskey! We stayed here last night, had a really nice time.

Who would you say that influences you?,/b>

Lots of things really, itís hard to specify. Thereís artists that I definitely go back to a lot, thereís a guy called Damien Jurado who I really like. I read books, Hermann Hesse and then thereís a science writer called Carl Sagan. Itís hard to say what influences me most, all that stuff kind of goes in and then comes out again, but Damien Jurado is somebody that I go back to a lot.

Have you many festivals lined up for the summer?

Weíre doing some nice small ones and weíre doing our first headline festival in North Wales. Itís called Ymuno Festival, which is a little boutique one, which will be really cool.

,b>Are you nervous?

Yeah a little bit, weíre just starting to talk about doing a festival headline set and how to put on more of a show. Rather than just playing songs. Thereís that which is exciting, then some smaller ones such as Barn on the Farm and one in Norway around August time. So lots of little bits and bobs!

Is that where you find that youíre most comfortable, at the little boutique festivals?

I think at festivals itís always different. With Barn in the Farm, youíre in a little cow shed which is great and the sound is quite contained and then if you play on bigger stages you worry sound is getting lost in the open air. Each one is a slightly different kind of thing but theyíre all fun and enjoyable to play.

So the name Matthew and the Atlas, is unusual. Who is the atlas?

I am the atlas. It came up when I was trying to think of the name, as I didnít fancy going under my own name. It was the first one I came up with, then I tried loads of others and went back to this one. The thought process was, I used to backpack and travel a lot. I spent sometime in Morocco near the Atlas Mountains, so that word atlas has a sense of travelling and journey. Just the thought of Matthew and the Atlas sounded kind of nice, so stuck with it. Even when I was playing on my own, I still went by that name.

English folk act MATTHEW AND THE ATLAS entertains fans at Bushmills Live 2014, the festival of handcrafted whiskey and music that took place on Thursday 12th June at the Old Bushmills Distillery on Irelandís north coast.

Your album ĎOther Riversí is out now. Do you think itís had a positive reception?

Yeah Iím really happy with how itís gone down. Thereís always going to be a slight worry because the sound is different from the first two EPs that I did, and I think Iíve always had that slight concern that it may alienate some older fans. I do think thatís happened to a small degree, from the people who liked that very folk sound and didnít quite take to the new synth and electric guitars. But on the whole, it feels like itís been very well received.

How did you feel about it being released?

There was mixed emotions, itís taken so long for me to do an album. In terms of song writing, the first song Iíd written was 6 years earlier which was called ĎCounting Pathsí which is on record. Then thereís a song called ĎEverything That Diesí which I wrote when I was recording the album. When I look at it, all the other songs were done in between them.

Matthew and the Atlasí album is out now. For more live show dates.

Busmills Live is an intimate festival attended by 700 music and whiskey fans from around the globe and was headlined by breakthrough British band THE 1975 with artists including Gary Lightbody and Peter Buckís supergroup TIRED PONY also on the bill. Bands more used to playing to crowds of thousands performed a series of small gigs in centuries-old buildings at the Old Bushmills Distillery where the art of whiskey-making, perfected over generations, is practised every day. Share Bushmills responsibly.

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