I recently caught up with Matthew to chat about both bands, the music scene in Australia, and of course the fallout from coronavirus, but was reassured creativity is indeed alive and well, with some exciting side projects currently in the works with LA’s own Rob Campanella (The Quarter After) (The Brian Jonestown Massacre), new unheard Lovetones recordings, and a Bernard Sumner/Johnny Marr inspired electronica project. Count me in on all of these! I’ll let him tell you more…
“2020 was shaping up to be a big year musically for me. The Lovetones, the psychedelic band I have been a member of for two decades, had just released their first album in ten years and we were making plans to tour the US and Europe for the first time in years.
As well as internationally, we were looking forward to playing shows at home in Australia. (I live outside of Melbourne in the state of Victoria and the rest of the band live in Sydney which is in the state of New South Wales. The Lovetones have all been in touch with each other discussing the possibility of live performances again. At this stage we are looking at October but things are changing so quickly who knows. Stay tuned.
As I write this, all of the Victorian borders are closed due to a rise in Coronavirus cases in our state, so we are unable to meet up for the foreseeable future). Back in 2017 I played the Wave Gotik Treffen Festival in Leipzig in Germany and was planning on heading back this year.
I have several Darkwave projects I am working on and was planning on catching up with friends I made last time and also hoping to make plans to perform at the Festival in 2021. Obviously the festival was cancelled and all international travel from Australia was halted.
I am also a member of the Synthpop band Video Video. We had just begun work on our second album in December last year. Our first album Planet Of Storms came out in 2015. Like The Lovetones, we had also planned to return to the live scene this year here and overseas. We were about a third of the way through the album when we went into lockdown which meant we had to put the recording on hold. Unfortunately the way we write and record together meant that we were unable to continue remotely.
When the first lockdown was lifted (we’re back in a second lockdown now) we were able to carry on with the recording and have decided to release a series of double A Side singles this year which will become an album at the end of the year. Our first single Shipwreck In Your Heart/Hier Ce Soir should be out in August (fingers crossed).
Back in February Richard Andrews from the Underground Lovers asked me to join his new band The Daydream Apollos. We rehearsed intensively and played our first (and hopefully not last) show on Friday 13th March – two days before we went into lockdown. I had several other collaborative projects waiting to begin as well which will hopefully resume sometime in the future. Which brings us to now.
During the past four months I feel as though I have achieved more creatively in a short space of time than I have for years.
I began an archival project for my solo band The Daytime Frequency. Under that name I released one album in 2006 – Sun Opus Is Upon Us. The journey to that album began years before in the late nineties when I was living in Melbourne and a member of The Earthmen. I bought a Tascam 234 Four Track tape recorder and began writing songs for a solo project.
In early 1999 I moved to London and took my four track, Roland 606 drum machine, Rickenbacker 360 guitar and Vox Skybolt IV bass with me. I bought a Vox Continental Organ from the guy who started the Brand New Heavies when I got there as well. And so began my four track odyssey.
Towards the end of 1999 I joined Pete Fijalkowski of Adorable’s new band Polak and moved to Brighton where I lived for the next two years. During this time we made two albums and toured Europe. All the while I was continuing to record songs on my Tascam. I was getting better and better at squeezing nearly 16 tracks onto 4 by bouncing them down. I would sit up until 3 in the morning with headphones mixing the songs until I was completely happy with them. I carried on making songs with the Tascam up until 2004, by which point I was living in the Central Highlands of Victoria outside Melbourne where I still live today.
I had put so much work into these songs and recordings. There were so many of them just sitting around unheard. Unable to play live or carry on recording it seemed like the right time to go through them and put them together to release as albums on The Daytime Frequency Bandcamp page.
I have just released the third volume in the series. There will be around 6 albums in total (crazy I know, but I’d rather they were out in the world rather than gathering dust on old cassettes and mini discs).
Some of the songs went on to be rerecorded for the Sun Opus Is Upon Us album or recorded by The Lovetones but most have never been heard before. Even I had forgotten writing and recording some of them when I first listened back! At the end of the project I’m going to put together a very limited cassette box set of all the albums and hopefully a vinyl “Best Of” album.
I have started a new project with a long time musical friend. We are already 3 songs in. I write and record the music at home then send it to him to write the lyrics and melody. We have been able to finish two songs already. The idea entering into it was to make a Bernard Sumner/Johnny Marr Electronic type album. Well that’s the idea – not that either of us would dare compare ourselves to Barney or Johnny!
I am also going to start work recording some bass remotely for a project Rob Campanella (The Quarter After/ Brian Jonestown Massacre) is working on at his studio in Los Angeles. So even though we can’t go to concerts or play gigs or go into a recording studio together at the moment there’s plenty to be getting on with!
Stay safe …
and stay creative x”