We sit down with Mat from The Beautiful Girls

by the partae
We’re here with Mat, lead guitar, vocals and songwriter for The Beautiful Girls..
 
Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
I’m based on the beaches of Sydney. I have a child and a family and whenever I’m not on tour I’m hanging out with them. I’m at shows so many nights of the year that when I have a day off the last thing I want to do is go out to a gig. Sometimes when it’s an artist I love I’ll head out but, for the most part, I’m the wrong person to ask.
 
How and when did The Beautiful Girls form?
The Beautiful Girls started a little over 15 years ago. I had just come back from overseas and had a bunch of songs that I recorded really cheap. A couple of those ended up on the radio and it’s been going ever since.

Why did the original drummer and bassist leave the band?
Haha really ? It’s been over 12 years so I forget. The truth is, The Beautiful Girls are a solo project and I’ve been blessed to have played with a lot of different amazing musicians over the years. I stick pretty tight to the same collective that I’ve been playing with for over a dozen years. Lineups change slightly from tour to tour but it’s always somebody from the same pool. It just always depends who’s doing what, at the time. Whoever feels like jumping in the van.

Your sound has changed gradually over time whilst still staying true to the original roots sound of the band, what originally influenced the sound of The Beautiful Girls and what or who influences your sound and songwriting now?

That answer is a whole book. I think the goal of any creative person is to grow over time. With exposure to more inspiration, and with experience. I try and avoid repeating myself to stave off boredom. I also like being out of my depth. Painting with the same colours over and over would drive me mad.

Who are you playing with in the band at the moment and what are their roles?

The Summer tour will be longtime TBG bass player Paulie B and ex-Xavier Rudd drummer Bobby Alu on the drums. Bobby will also be the main support for the whole tour. Just a 3 piece – guitar, bass and drums. No backing tracks, no computers, just us with nowhere to hide.

Who are you listening to at the moment?

I listen to a lot of old dub music and lately a lot of The Isley Brothers and The Meters and Donny Hathaway.

Where did you go to High School?

Nowhere.

How do usually go about writing music?

I’m always playing music and coming up with ideas. I just try and keep my ears and mind peeled  so I can tell the difference between a good idea and a bad idea.

What do you like to do away from music?

I live on the beach and everyday I’m surfing with my son and hanging out and cooking food and watching movies and reading books and enjoying the company of people I love.

Has the music culture/scene changed much since The Beautiful Girls started and if so how?

We have always been independent and it used to be a lot harder to get music out into the World but now, with all the online platforms, there is a lot more opportunities for people to present their music. There’s a lot more mediocre music but there’s also a lot of beautiful music that might not have ever made it through the gates previously.

What were you doing before The Beautiful Girls formed?

It formed when I was young so all I really did was work a couple of shitty jobs after high school and then travel whenever I had a couple of bucks saved. Just drifted around, kinda.
What instruments are you using these days?

Whatever will make the noises I hear in my brain. I’m not picky. Lately I’ve just been using an old Casio keyboard and a distortion pedal.

What programs/equipment do you like to use when recording?

I’ve stopped using music software for the time being. I’ve been recording into and old 4-track cassette recorder. I was missing the performance aspect because the ability to have everything be ‘perfect’ and edited to a molecular level takes a away from the humanity. Every new piece of music I was hearing was all sounding too similar and robotic. I rather sound imperfect but keep my heart.
How did you first start playing music?

I’ve always played music`, as long as I can recall.

What do you have planned for the remainder of 2018 going into 2019?

The Beautiful Girls Summer Tour runs up until the end of February. After that I’ll probably try and disappear.

Favourite food and place to hangout?

We cook at home which is nice, because it’s my favourite place to hang out.

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