“This is where it happened, almost 10 years ago,” explains Matthew Good.
At Armoury Studios in Vancouver, BC, Good recounts how the Juno award winning Matthew Good Band fell apart amidst recording their last album, 2001’s The Audio of Being.
Flash-forward to 2011, Good, with five solo albums under his belt, returned to the state of the art studio to give lucky listeners a preview of his latest effort, Lights of Endangered Species.
“The album is the product of a conversation I had with Warne Livesey in 1996,” describes Good.
“I approached him backstage on the bus in Vancouver. I said ‘I’ve got this song, ‘Set me on Fire’ and I think we might have it.’ That was the impetus. I arrived at these nine songs as being what I wanted to go with. I’m extremely satisfied with this record.”
With strong opinions and a penchant for speaking his mind, Good admits, despite his solo satisfaction, the state of the arts and culture scene in Vancouver has plummeted leaving it all but dead.
“There is no soul or culture left [in Vancouver],” clarifies Good. “It’s not the same place it was 10 years ago and it sure as hell isn’t the same place it was 20.”
“It was far more edgier and creative. There was something about this place. We spawned one of the most prolific hardcore scenes in the world and bands here during the mid ’80’s and on inspired what would become grunge. People forget that.”
Good explains society’s interest in the arts has taken a turn for the worse. Digging deeper, he criticizes the way younger generations now choose to spend their time.
“On an average Wednesday night at the Town Pump it used to be packed at 8:00 pm for a band that you’ve never even heard of. That doesn’t happen anymore at all. Had it not been for that vehicle, word or mouth, and people being interested, a lot of bands in that day and age would have never seen the light of day.”
He questions, “What is a better use of your time, supporting the local arts community or going to a club?”
Fair enough. With so many options these days, it’s difficult for something to thrive continuously but don’t give up on Vancouver just yet. Support for the arts still happens, not to the extent Good is reminiscing about, but it exists you just need to be looking for it.
Despite Good’s floundering opinion of Vancouver he counters there are positives; for instance, the battle between image and talent.
“If you’re talented, you’re talented,” simplifies Good. “Look at someone like Daniel Johnston, people still go and see him play and obviously there is no image there. If a really overweight guy that was as talented as Bob Dylan happens to show up and is astounding, he would be as successful.”
Good’s latest release, Lights of Endangered Species, is in stores now.