As you grow up, you’re often told to follow your dreams and to make your own adventures. The Matinee has been doing just that for the past decade. On a sunny Saturday afternoon, I met up with the band, Matt Layzell (singer), Geoff Petrie (guitar), Matt Rose (guitar) and Peter Lemon (drums), a few hours before their hometown show in Coquitlam, BC. Backstage, amidst craft supplies and a roaming toddler, we sat down to talk about their latest release, Dancing on Your Grave, life on the road, and the experiences that have motivated these longtime friends to continue chasing their dreams together.
On self producing “Blood Alley”: “We are so lucky these days to have a label that has a studio inside our label headquarters… So we’re not paying these crazy thousand, $1,200 a day rates for the top studios. I mean, it is one of the top studios in town but we don’t have to pay that. So, we get to actually hang out in there and be creative in the studio, as oppose to, like, getting it dialed and just coming and laying it down…[Producing is] about making those decisions yourself, figuring out how [the record] transitions from one section to the next. And just the details of the song, like how that song [is going to] manifest itself into something cohesive and coherent…The decision process [is] a bit more on us, a lot more on us, completely on us.”
On touring: “It’s not as glamorous as people might like to think. You’re driving or flying. Travelling every day. [We’re] getting up early to get to the next place or [to] set up so, a lot of your time is spent in motion. Then you finally get a few hours before the show to unwind, maybe freshen up, put on some clean clothes, if you have [them], and then you have hour and half on stage. And then it’s, you know, you usually… maybe have two or three hours after a show to let loose a little bit. And I think as we’ve aged, we’ve learned you have to choose when you let loose and have some fun – wild, rock ‘n’ roll style – cause really you’ve got a job every night to do.”
On their live show: “I think we all agree our record should sound like a record. When you see a show, you shouldn’t hear a record. It should be its own experience, otherwise people could stay at home. We try to make each song a unique journey.”
On savoring the moment: “We’ve been lucky to make friends that are now a part of our family all across the country. So somewhere like Regina we’ve got, you know, a great group of friends there. I remember one time after the show it was middle of the summer, so it’s light ’til almost one [o’clock] in the morning, like, it’s amazing how light it is there at night in the summers. And they said, ‘We’re having a BBQ for [you] after the show.’ We went back to their house after the show. There’s forty people. They’re already cooking up everything. They made a Slip ‘n Slide off the roof in the backyard. They had a…truck canopy… they made a hot tub for us. And you know, we’re meeting all these random people as a result of our friends there. But they want to treat us right when we’re there. So you have nights like that, that come out of nowhere, where you’re not want[ing] to go to the hotel. You want to be present and experience that cause you’re lucky.”
Through their appreciation for time, relationships, and the experiences they’ve gained, the Matinee have learned to trust their musical instincts. As they’ve aged, they’ve treasured their relationships by writing about them in their music and in using their live shows to build new ones. Like Layzell sings on “Fireworks”, “Lord, I’m a traveler and that’s a simple truth,” the Matinee are simply a band in motion, sharing their stories one Canadian City at a time.