Matt Finucane is one man with a guitar, rudimentary electronic effects, reverb, distortion and a deep distrust of the traditional singer songwriter tag. His sound is shot through with melancholia, his love of Lou Reed's Berlin, his attempts to clamber in the head of literary icons, and the darkness of his late night adventures at the bottom of a bottle. His E.P. Episodes is available now.

MN: Hi Matt, did you have a good x-mas and new year?

MATT: Yes – I locked myself away with a guitar for a couple of weeks and worked on new songs, rather than binge drinking or whatever. I must be getting old and ready for death.

MN: How long have you been playing for and why did you start?

MATT: It was just a random impulse, half a lifetime ago, that got stronger and stronger until it swallowed everything. Happily it shows no sign of going away.

MN: You have somewhat of a unique approach to songwriting. Are there any particular influences musically or not that have shaped the way you write?

MATT: Ooh, you flatterer. Leaving aside musical influences, as they're all very white-bread and predictable, There are a lot of influences via situation, like paranoid tension, idiot glee, life and shit. Also, to be honest, hearing stuff and thinking "You're smug, you're straining for effect and you're COATING ME OFF, CHUM." Not that I'm necessarily more rewarding – just less able to stick to the script for better or worse, for richer for poorer (much poorer, Oh God, the years ahead),

MN: You have said that the song 'The Path Ends Suddenly' is based on a bizarre experience you had in a European country. Care to divulge what actually happened and have you ever played it live?

MATT: Annoyingly, it's only available as a hidden track on the cd, not as a download. Anyway, it was based on what happened in Madeira, when I was drunk and had concussion... Maybe it's better left unsolved. The song, monologue, whatever, was a last-minute thing almost. It occurred to me on the day that it might be interesting to do if there was some time left over in the studio. Plus I was getting bored with acoustic guitar and wanted to do something with horrible electric noise. It'd be difficult to get the same impact live without other musicians, so that's not been tried – yet.

MN: What are you first and foremost? A writer or a musician

MATT: Musician easily, because the rewards are rude and immediate. I mean, compare sitting staring at a blank screen and putting across a really intense piece of music. Besides, in making music you can invent your own character minute by minute.

MN: What is your opinion on the state of the music biz at the moment

MATT: Evolution. Things are changing faster than the common cold virus. Broadly it all looks very good for humans and less so for major labels, but only one thing's certain: by 2011 every person on the planet will have released a track on iTunes.

MN: What do you hope to see happen to the world (musically or not) in 2009?

MATT: Maybe if life slowed down for a while we could all catch up and become better, kinder and less retarded. It's tempting to say something like "I want the world to slide into screaming chaos, anarchy and horror". But I won't. On a selfish note all I personally want is to carry on like this year, only more so.

MN: What are your plans for 2009?

MATT: Try to find the next step out of the six different directions I'd like to go in, which probably means putting together a live band. Keep enjoying playing for its own sake as much as the end result. Move on from singer-songwriter mode and strike out for somewhere more colourful – I don't really fit with acoustic nights, so finding worthwhile gigs is a big one. And really, I'd sell out and sign away my tiny soul if I could, but who'd buy it? Um, Ignore negative pissers and think beautiful happy thoughts.

Matt uses:
Wesley guitars,
Marshall amps.
His keyboard player uses a Roland SH-1.

His E.P. was recorded at Antenna Studios and he has no idea what the equipment was!

Check him out at www.myspace.com/mattfinucane
Buy his Episodes E.P. at
www.samu.co.uk/sound&visiondownloads.html

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