'The ABC's of Music'
Matt Backer was born in New Orleans, but raised all around the world in such countries as Mexico, Venezuela, Belgium and even the Caribbean. He now calls home London, England where he currently resides with his wife, two kids and two cats!
Having worked on TV shows such as Without a Trace, Cold Case, Top Gear, LA Ink and movies such as 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' 'Horton Hears a Who' and 'White Lightenin', Backer is proving to be one talented young man.
His last solo CD, Idle Hands actually followed up his award winning record, The Impulse Man and boasted not only a fine collection of tunes but a who's who of musicians, as well. Indeed there are duets with Martin Fry and Julian Lennon, who also produced his track and another who's who of recording talent from some of the finest bands in the world.
Oh, and lest we forget that Matt has just won The New Music Weekly Top 40 Breakthrough Artist of 2014 and The Independent Music Networks Favourite International Artist of 2014.
Checking in with Matt today I discover he is currently at The Music Bank in London rehearsing for sold out performances for ABC: at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham, The Lowry in Salford and Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London later this week. But that still didn't stop us from having a quick chat:
Firstly, and with regard the opening statement on your personal website, I'm very curious as to how a child can actually be born in a log cabin in New Orleans that he himself helped build?! Surely being born in it means you couldn't have actually helped build it?! "Such are the quandaries of the space-time continuum!"
Moving on and at what age did you first become interested in music -
and knew it was more than just a passing phase? "When I was seven, my parents did two things to ruin my life. They gave me a copy of Are You Experienced' [Jimi Hendrix] and they took me to see Ray Charles. I was gone after that."
I'm sure that back in the day you always assumed you would have your
own band. Why did that never come to fruition though? "That's a very good question! Bands are organic things which either evolve or don't. I spent ages looking for my very own Morrisey or Mick
Jagger, then session and touring work started to come in, so things took
a different path."
And just so the folks at home know, what is your personal guitar of
choice when playing live - and how long have you had yours? "Horses for courses. At my own gig over the weekend, I used a '56
Supro and a '58 Les Paul straight into a Two Rock amp. For the ABC
Orchestral shows I'm doing this week, it's a Masterbuilt Custom Shop
Strat through some effects for that 80's splang. I've had some (a '63
Strat, a '64 335 and '64 175 among others) for decades, others for
months. I've had the Custom Shop for five years."
You have recently performed some solo shows and are currently back on
tour with Martin Fry and ABC. How does psyching yourself up to play
differ from when you take the stage alone to taking the stage with a
known ensemble like ABC? "It's all down to me! In good ways and bad...!"
Indeed, it was through Andy Hamilton - who was ABC's MD back in 2007
- and him asking if you would cover for a show that night that all these
years later you still find yourself as part of the band! Seems like they
must like you! "Yep! But it's been longer than that. 1999 was the night I was asked to sub!"
Playing all those ABC songs every night when on your with them, what
is still one of the most fun tracks to play live for an audience ... and
on the flip side, which one would you rather skip each night? "I honestly don't tire of any of them. But there's something special
about 'When Smokey Sings'."
Having lived all around the world in such exotic places as Mexico,
Venezuela, the Caribbean, and even Belgium and Leamington Spa (!), what
has been the most joyous place thus far for you ... and which
one wouldn't you wish to ever go back to? "Nothing negative about any of them. I'd love to go back to Venezuela. I hope they can sort things out there - it's a beautiful and diverse country."
You currently live in London, England with your wife, two children
and two cats! That's quite the collection. So what is it about London
that holds you there now? "With apologies to New York, it's the capital of the world!"
What's all this about you working with British comedians such as
Harry Hill?! How does a guitarist get a comedy show gig, may I ask?! "I guess I don't mind being laughed at!"
If things had turned out differently for you, and music hadn't been
brought to your attention, where would you be right now, do you think? "Foreign correspondent."
Finally, and as we here at Exclusive Magazine LOVE penguins (the
bird), I was wondering if you yourself had any love for them (or stories
even), perhaps? "They will one day rule the world!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
Photo Credit (#2) - Steve Haywood re: Matt at The Penn Festival with Nick Heyward Band
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED Matt Backer CD just answer this question about the man himself: The Impulse Man album yielded five (5) singles, two of which reached number one on the Adult Contemporary chart. One was 'Oh No Don't Cry' and the other one was ...?!
Send us your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win an AUTOGRAPHED Matt Backer CD! Just send us an e:mail here before June 1st, 2014 with your answer and the subject title CONTEST: MATT BACKER SIGNED CDs to: firstname.lastname@example.org