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Strange but true: Matchbook Romance got signed through a review on a punk website. Epitaph Records head honcho Brett Gurewitz contacted the band, but frontman Andrew Jordan thought it was nothing more than a cruel joke and didn't take it seriously at first.
Following the release of the Joe Baresi (Queens Of The Stone Age, Weezer, Melvins) produced Stories And Alibis, Matchbook Romance have hit the road again and are mid-way through a headline tour of the UK. counterculture ventured out to Leeds to intercept Judas DePaolo (guitar), Ryan Kienle (bass) and Aaron Stern (drums) to see how the tour, the album, and life in general is panning out for this New York quartet.
counterculture: You've had a relentless touring schedule over the last year or so. Have you got any mad tour stories for us?
Ryan Kienle: One of my favourite ones from the Warped Tour was driving to Denver, and we drove and drove all night - we're going to play Mile High Stadium. When you come over the hill from any direction of the city you van pretty much see the stadium. So we verge off this highway and come over this hill and we can see the stadium and we're like, "Yeaaaah!" Then we go down the hill and the stadium disappears and then the van just stops.
Aaron Stern: All the dials just went back to zero and the lights just went off. We pulled over and we could see Mile High Stadium - we're like three miles away from this stadium.
Judas DePaolo: I once pissed on a rattlesnake! We're driving from California to Arizona and it was just starting to get dark so we pulled over by the side of the road to stop and piss and as soon as I got out the van they said, "Watch out for rattlesnakes, ha ha," just jokin' and laughin' around. I start to piss and see this fuckin' snake right there and think shit! I'm like, "Dude, there's a snake out here!" so we got the video camera which had a light on it and we're throwing rocks at it.
cc: Andrew Jordan [Matchbook Romance vocalist] said in the band's official press release that it's; "Like living inside a dream and I don't want to wake up." Is this still the case or has the bubble of reality burst?
JD: Everything just keeps getting bigger and better. We do something which is so groundbreaking for us and then after that we do something else which is even bigger and it just keeps going.
RK: I'm the same; we've been to Europe before but this time we went to Ireland and I don't think I've been that drunk in a long time. We couldn't check into our hostel till two so we're like; "Now what do we do? Who wants to get a pint?"
AS: We can't take anything for granted, it's all so cool.
RK: Once you start getting too confident and thinking 'we deserve this, we're Matchbook Romance', then we'll be nobody.
JD: We're very humble and thankful for the blessings we've had so far.
cc: I know the album's only just come out, but do you have any hints or ideas for the next one?
RK: One of the things we have about the album now is when we got signed, we got signed for six songs. So we had all these songs, some which we just wanted to get out the way and done. Even on the full length Stories And Alibis there's She'll Never Understand which is the first one that we'd done - it's the oldest song.
RK: I think the next album is going to be more intense lyrically. It might not be the same style.
JD: We continue to be influenced by different bands and artists as we go along, and we're also older and maturing our musical styles.
AS: From the first album, when we were writing it, all the time we were working, and now when we go to write the second album and we've been on tour with other bands and we're coming from a totally different angle now because we're different people and at a different place, so it's going to be reflective of everything. We've experienced so much more now - so many more emotions than you can ever imagine - so it's gonna come through on the next album . . . it's gonna be really cool.
RK: The more experience the better - Andy can write it all down. It seems the more he really experiences [the more] he really begins to understand. He's got a really good grasp of people and he can really read people well and read into peoples emotions and write about other people. For example, parts of The Greatest Fall are about a relationship Aaron had - things like that. And Andy's just witnessed so much more in this past year, he's got so much more to draw from. We've got driving, playing, Playstation and writing!
cc: A perfect combination then!
RK: It's a real buzz.
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