Angie Lalonde recently sat down with the kids in Matchbook Romance to discuss life, love, and cell phones, among a smorgasboard of other topics. Click READ MORE for the interview with singer/guitarist Andy and bassist Ryan.
ANDY: Okay letâs go, Iâm ready man
ANGIE: Okay letâs hear namesâ¦
(Aaron yells âthey areâ¦.â some obscenitiesâ¦)
A: Um okay sorry that was Aaron our drummer and Iâm Andy the singer and guitarist.
RYAN: I am Ryan the bass player
A: You guys just recently released a track on a Christmas Charity Compilation.
R: Yeah, that just recently came out
A: Yeah, yeah thatâs out in the U.S well now Iâd imagine Iâd be out here if not soon tooâ¦ A Santa Cause Comp.
A: A proceed of the donations are going to the Pediatrics AIDS Foundation. Did you approach this idea, how did you guys get involved?
A: We got contact contacted through Immortal Records, they contacted us and wanted for us to do a song, they said we got a lot of bands like you already, already we were like cool weâll do it!
A: Your new release is doing great âStories & Alibisâ it was at #5 on interpunk.com
R: Itâs actually still doing really good on interpunk.com
A: Yeah itâs pretty intense! We actually beat-out Saves The Day cause Thursday was number one, Save The Day was number two and we came all the way up to like number three. All the way up to number three and then Saves The Day kind of dropped down and we went up to number two for a little while, now I think weâre down to like eight or something I think.
R: Top ten!
A: Getting merch on-line has been kind of hard to find for Matchbook
R: The on-line store just recently went up and they started to feature stuff that weâre not going to carry with us live, different posters, t-shirts, hoodies and what not and we got some stuff going out on Hot Topic, we got merch going everywhere. We got a whole bunch of new designs, we picked up like what three or four new designs for this tourâ¦ Picked up a new zip-up hoodie, a couple new t-shirt designs all kinds of stuffâ¦
A: Weâre trying to keep it ever-changing
A: You guys definitely experimented on this new record, orchestra approach certainly comes through
A: Well it wasnât really a real orchestra, it was a recorded orchestra and they ran it through a keyboard actually and they just did it right there. So it wasnât the real thing, we wanted the real thing but couldnât afford it so. We actually had a guy come in with like all the real sounds of an orchestra and we composed it that way. You can actually program it all and it comes out sounding like a real orchestra rather than having a real one come in. Itâs cheaper of course but on the next record we will have a real orchestra come in, I promiseâ¦
R: I want to so bad!
A: Yeah if we ever blow up I promise their will even be like a stringing-quartet probably on the side of the stage, that would be fucking amazingâ¦
A: Seriously guys whatâs the idea behind the extra 80 some extra blank songs on the record?
A: Oh 84!
A: Itâs so annoying when you play the record cause then you have to wait it all out before your player skips to the next CD and then you have that I donât know what to call it secret track (laughs) whoâs idea!
A: It was all of our idea! Did you get scared?
A: Yeah it was really late and I was on my computer, I was like what the, is that???
R: Yes! Mission accomplished!
A: I wanted to have lots of weird noises on the record and well I guess I am just obsessed with noise and the guys are too. What did we do? Well we just basically fucked aroundâ¦
R: Yeah the whole thing is just us fucking around while recording pretty much.
A: Yeah I wrote that little piano part playing in the background and they just recorded it live and thereâs a whole bunch of mistakes in it because I donât play piano. So I was just sitting there trying to do it and they recorded thatâ¦ And some of it in the beginning parts itâs me talking and then its Aaron our drummer laughing, so it was just for funâ¦
R: We just like the way it came outâ¦
A: We heard it and we weâre like exactly! (laughs)
A: How did you guys decide the number of blank tracks before?
R: That was a good day long conversationâ¦
A: Actually we shouldnât tell the secret
R: Letâs just say 84 has a meaning behind it and thatâs about all I can say about that.
A: Yeah exactly, everybody just has to take it in their own way, thatâs what it is. Itâs very artsy and thereâs something in itâ¦ people can figure it outâ¦ Itâs more fun that way
R: Gotta have some secrets
A: You guys inscribed on the interior of your CD case âYouâre as welcome as cancer but my door is always unlockedâ
A: You want to know what that means?
A: Why did you put it there?
A: It was my idea to put it there, I donât know? It was a cool line and it means so much, itâs such a strong line and everybody can relate to it and knows exactly what it means. Itâs something so bad and you know you shouldnât do it but you welcome it, like if it happened fucking do it. Thatâs what that whole songs aboutâ¦ Cheating on somebody yeah so there you go
A: Above each song you guys inscribed dates too, what do the dates mean?
A: Ah more mystery here (laughs)
A: Um yes the ambiguous Matchbook Romance
R: Okay you know what, we plead the 5th on this oneâ¦
A: Well um some of the datesâ¦ Like the book idea of the album that I thought about was I have like this little notebook that I write all my lyrics in that my ex-girlfriend had made me and itâs something special to be able to write everything down in there and since all the songs were basically written and compiled in there I wanted to kind of make a dedication to it almost, to kind of have it re-made to really look like thatâ¦ It looks different though obviously and the dates that are in there are dates that I wrote some of the songs and some of the dates, well one of the dates is when me and my ex-girlfriend first got together and thatâs our anniversary. One of them is my birthday; one of them is her birthday. Itâs just stuff like that, stuff that means stuff to us. And itâs in our love songs, the songs that I wrote for her, cause I mean the whole album is basically about her and a couple other people, thatâs about it.
(Ryan starts giggling)
R: Iâm sorry cause I witness this like everyday, I witness the on-going struggle.
A: In your thank youâs you each all thanked your families first
A: Oh yeah! The most important thing, cause without them we wouldnât have anything
R: We wouldnât have anything, they supported us I mean! Just like little explains Iâm 23 Iâm about to be 24 and I still live in my parents basement and another member of the band lives there for free as well. They given us basically everything weâve tried to accomplishâ¦
A: Without them it just wouldnât have happened. My mom is the reason that I am doing this because she A. She taught me how to play guitar, she taught me a couple chords one day and I just learned everything else myself but she taught me that. And then also she was the one who said maybe you should take a year off of College and maybe just concentrate on musicâ¦ Sheâs even a teacher at a High School and she was the one who even said to take off a bit of time and I did andâ¦
R: Not even a full semester later
A: I think it was like half a year later we were already in the works of doing a contract with Epitaph but or else I would have gone on to school not on to College in New York City and I would have been a part of that whole mess that happened on September 11th cause the school I was going to go to was right next to it. All their windows got blown out and shit god knows where I would have been. Without my mom! I wouldnât be here.
A: Is it definitely nice being a younger band on Epitaph?
R: Oh yeah! Itâs really cool, for lots of reasons
A: Yeah one of them is we donât have kids yet so we can kind of enjoy the money but we donât make any moneyâ¦ But if we do! Actually I was all like yeah but then Iâm like actually we donâtâ¦
R: We live off of our 15$ per diem per-day
A: Oh those sweet per diems always pulling through
A: Good you know per diems, she knows her shit. At least you understand usually you say it and people are like what? Itâs really fun though to be the kids on the label, thatâs what Brett calls us, the kids and his dad and his fiancÃ©e and his mom itâs fun were just so young that even if or when this thing is over because I mean bands donât last forever unless youâre the fucking Beatles and fuck I am not the Beatles! I can tell you that much right now and I mean someday itâs going to end and Iâm still going to be young when it ends so I can always go on and do something else when I want.
A: How old are you guys?
A: Iâm only 23 and Ryanâs 23 and the other guys are 19 and 20.
A: You guys originally started out as the Getaway, how did you go about choosing your new name?
R: We kind of forced ourselves to because we had the legal issue with a band called The Getaway from Toronto and we had to change the name we knew it. So then we go for like three months almost before we actually just decided on a name. We went away to Vermont for like a week and weâd be like âah this name is awesome! Thatâs it!!â then the next day âoh that sucks!â
A: Weâd wake-up and be like âjesus, what the fuck were we thinking!â
R: Weâd be like dude thatâs the name, call everyone, thatâs it! And then weâd be like no way dude, donât call anyone letâs wait till the morning and think about that.
A: It was so hard really, cause we love our music and what we write and to put a name on it is just so hard cause you donât know whatâs going to represent you and I sure as hell didnât think Matchbook Romance was going to represent us! They said it and I like laughed! I was like bullshit that is retardedâ¦
R: We all felt that way
A: We had went out to a bar one night and our drummer Aaron had said it, how about Matchbook Romance, we were all like âyeah rightâ but we wrote down a list of names and I wrote that one down at the bottom just to make him feel good (laughs). Then I get home that night and I email like Brett from Epitaph and everyone else who we were close with, we were like what do you think about these names? And everybody came back with Matchbook Romance, out of the fucking list, out of all the names !
R: We had, oh my god! We even had a contest going off of our website, what do you think of the name Matchbook Romance? We got so many emails we got so many bands names we were literally changing it everydayâ¦
A: Your recent tour out in Europe some of you noted as being the best trip of your livesâ¦
A: Oh yeah!!! Europe was rad but actually I would have to say Warped Tour also. Warped Tour was amazing Europe was too though
A: Do you think being in Europe as a band, a new country you learned and saw how much you depended on each other as friends that much more?
A: Oh yeah definitely
R: Yeah for sure and seriously we had a German driver who was really just cold and stern guyâ¦ He was really cold and he was really hard to read till you get him drunk and then heâs like âgive me a hugâ!
A: Yeah he definitely ended up being a nice guy but yeah we definitely had to pull together and when we walked around well we really stood out and people were likeâ¦
R: The highlight of Europe though is that we can actually say that we toured with The Ataris.
A: Andrew you started playing guitar cause your mom caught you smoking weed and said you needed a hobbyâ¦
A: Yes, yes she did. Well you did your homework. That was actually like summer time in Junior High in like 7th or 8th Grade and I came back from being on vacation at my dadâs down South before I came back up to New York. Well I guess while I was gone they ransacked my room and found everything. I used to have well actually I donât want to talk about it too much but yeah paraphernalia.
R: He had the goods!!!
A: Yeah and I lived right next to Woodstock I was like right there literally down my street and I would go hang out at Woodstock and stuff. So were weâre all like hippies not like âhippiesâ dress like that I was still a metal-head but so yeah they found it and my mom and my dad as they drove me back they sat me down and weâre like you know you need a hobby. I was like shit. I told them well ever since Iâve been really young I wanted to play the drums but we could never afford a drum-set so my mom said she would teach me guitar. A week after that she taught me those few chords that one day and I just fell in love with it and taught myself the whole Nirvana Unplugged albumâ¦
A: So whatâs your least favorite to do at shows load-in and out? Merch? Or collecting the money at the end of the night?
R: You know what? Weâre lucky we donât have to collect the money yet we have a tour manager now!! Oh my god yes! We do and he sells the merch! And collects the money! Load-in kind of sucks but I mean it canât be that bad because I basically stand in the trailer and I bark out I need this and theyâll be like what do you need?
A: Heâs the packer.
R: You should see it later, itâs all leveled, nothing moves.
A: Yeah well I donât think youâd be into it but weâre always like wow! Nothing moved!
R: Wow my expensive shit is not going to move! Whatâs up!
A: No but thereâs a lot of other worst things on tour and thatâs being away from your friends, girlfriends and thatâs why I have an ex-girlfriend now and thatâs the worst part about being on tour
R: One of the worst things about being on tour is that cell-phones are never going to work as good as what people tell you! So youâll be driving across the Arizona border into California or something and then all of the sudden theyâll be one those change of service plans, youâll be in the middle of your heartfelt conversation âeverythingâs going to be okayâ¦â¦. Hello is there anybody there? MERIDITH where are YOU!ââ¦ And then in Canada it costs so much freakin money to call anyone and you want to call everyone cause you had such a good time
(Matchbookâs roadie comes in and summons the boys for the, oh so pleasant part of load-out the guys thank me and start hauling assâ¦)