Matchbook Romance
Warped Tour alumni erupt from the internet

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cc: The website was clearly a huge link between you and your fans in the early days. Where would you be today if you hadn't had a website?

Matchbook Romance - Click to enlargeAS: If you're a local band and you wanna make it big and get your shit together, the only two ways to go about it is touring around so loads of people hear about you, or putting your stuff on the internet. On the internet everyone around the country and the world has access to you, so we put up a really big website and put the music online, and when we started playing shows consistently and going places that weren't local to us - like Massachusetts - there were people who knew our stuff and it was a big deal. If it weren't for the internet, Brett wouldn't have found us, which shows how powerful the internet is, so yeah, it's a big deal if you're in a local band.

RK: We're always trying to always get more new things [on the website] for the kids that don't get to see us. We can't always be on the other side of the world - or even on the other side of our country - a lot, so kids that don't get to see us; it'll hold them over till we get there, it keeps them interested.

cc: I think your story of being signed shows that the internet is a great chance for bands to rise to the surface. Just out of interest, the artwork on the website and on the Stories And Alibis CD sleeve is particularly interesting, do you guys have a say over that or is it out of your hands?

RK: When we recorded the album, Andy had the idea that he wanted the sleeve artwork to look like a journal or a diary. It's the same on the album, the website the t-shirts, they all seem to have the same mindset. It's a whole collective from our manager to us to even our tour manager.

JD: Brad Filip does the website and Bob Lenz does the CD artwork.

cc: I know you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover but the artwork on a CD, website or tour t-shirt can be really effective.

RK: Yeah, our artwork is really simplistic at the first glance, but when you really go through and look at it then even in the pages of the insert you can see things faded into the background, and all these little intricate details just really make it what it is and make it personal.

JD: I feel the artwork is a reflection of the music. Artwork and music. Even the lyrics in the insert are part of the whole experience.

cc: So what about the ethics of downloading from the internet? If you listen to songs on the internet then you miss the complete experience.

JD: I think downloading music is a great thing; it's a great resource for being able to listen to other bands on the internet but it shouldn't replace purchasing records, which is why we try to make the artwork really good and an incentive to wanna buy the record so they can read the lyrics whilst listening to it.

cc: You can't beat the original package!

AS: It's the whole package, you know. Music's one thing, then you've got the artwork and then you've got going to see the band live.

Matchbook Romance - Click to enlargeThe most prominent point that comes across when speaking to Matchbook Romance is how grounded and modest they are. Each member appears genuinely grateful for the band's success and they don't seems to have taken anything for granted. The lyrics on Stories and Alibis are particularly open and receptive and this reflects on the band's general outlook. There's no egotism or arrogance in sight, not even a self-important swagger as they walked in the room.

cc: On a scale of 1-100%, how happy are you all right now?

JD: This is definitely something we're gonna look back on many years from now and say, "I fuckin' did that." It's something we've always dreamed of doing and wanted to do, and actually made it happen, which is really special and unique.

AS: This is my dream; everything I want but I'm still looking for it . . . you always want more.

RK: We're all as happy as hell, but there's so much more that we want. I'm totally happy with everything in my life; I mean I've got the best job with my three best friends. We're making enough money to live on - I mean, we're not rich; I live off a couple of dollars a day but we have what we need . . . that's all I need to get by. We wanna grow bigger, better and be better musicians and better songwriters . . . better people. That's the goal.

:: Paul Newbold

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