Matthew Good chimes in on Miley before Buffalo show - INTERVIEW
blog by Nick Mendola • August 29, 2013 @ 10:16am
1) Matthew Good headlines the final Buffalo Place Rocks Canalside event this Saturday with opening act and fellow Canadian musicians Big Wreck.
2) Matthew Good has amassed over tens of thousands of social media followers thanks to a brilliant musical catalog, keen wit and unflinching honesty.
3) Matthew Good carved out a half-hour to talk with Buffalo.com on everything from music to sociology, Arsene Wenger to Miley Cyrus.
For nearly two decades, Matthew Good has helped carry the weight of rock and roll in Canada. Thrilling performances with Matthew Good Band took his anthemic and electric albums to another level.
By the time he took his work solo with 2003’s “Avalanche,” Good had amassed a following not just for massive radio hits like “Apparitions” and “Load Me Up” but for a rapt writing personality that analyzes issues with vigor and intelligence (demand for his writing led to the release of an artist’s journal, “At Last There Is Nothing Left To Say,” in 2001).
His new album, “Arrows of Desire,” comes out September 24.
A British Columbia native who lives 90 minutes outside Vancouver, Good has said he’d be a history professor if he hadn’t made it in music.
Judging by the tenor of Wednesday’s conversation, there’d be a waiting list to audit the class. He strings topics into a conversation in an almost seamless fashion.
“To tell you the truth, I’ve always just said what I thought and believed,” Good admitted. “The fact that I’m in a position that a lot of people read it and it impacts them, I think that’s fantastic. I also don’t think it should stop them from thinking for themselves. It should only be a conduit for them to embrace whatever they want to embrace, understand better or confront.”
“It can get pretty (expletive) frustrating… the embracing of ignorance for the sake of either argument or not having to think about something that you’re really uncomfortable with,” Good said. “Now obviously that’s always existed throughout history. That’s not to say that that’s a new thing but it’s interesting.”
He’s frustrated by the current state of journalism, pop culture getting the headlines over international stories like “the longest war in the history of both of our countries.” NSA spying, drone warfare, childhood poverty and what’s on TV? Miley Cyrus in a one-piece with a foam finger. Good was in a hotel watching a movie with his wife when her phone starting blowing up during the MTV Video Music Awards last weekend.
Cue a man ready to make a big (expletive) point:
“People were texting her about it and I was dismissive,” Good said. “The next morning, I said goodbye and I walked through security. I started to walk through the airport. Most airports have the news on every screen and every (expletive) screen that’s all they were talking about.
“It was this consumption. Who gives a (expletive) if a 22-year-old girl takes a foam (expletive) finger and plays with it? I don’t care. Seriously, this is what we’re going to care about? I live in a province with the highest rate of childhood poverty in the country. Do I really give a (expletive) that she did it? No. The fact that we focus on these things and groups come out against it that the TV rating warning should’ve been greater. It’s an (expletive) outrage. How do you respond to that? What’s an outrage: that two people who are in love, two women or two men, can’t get married? Isn’t that more (expletive) ridiculous?
“But yet we’re talking about some chick who’s doing what a bunch of other girls have done to reinvent herself. If she hadn’t been a product of the Disney machine prior to that, it wouldn’t been any different than Lady Gaga or anyone else like that who does weird (expletive) like that. How does it (expletive) matter? It doesn’t.”
What Good would like to see is people taking an active role in showing others that caring about manufactured drama is silly. But beyond that he’ll neatly string together well-constructed statements on a wide spectrum of topics.
On faux parental outrage over Cyrus: “If my daughter had watched that, me or my wife would’ve said, ‘That’s ridiculous, huh?’ and she probably would’ve agreed. It wouldn’t have crushed her soul. It wouldn’t have stopped her from listening to Hannah Montana again but then again you’re talking about a 7-year-old girl who, what’s that song that goes ‘I’m in Miami bitch?’, LMFAO. She (expletive) loves that song and her and my son, they dance their asses off to that song. She asked us, “What does that mean?” and I said, “Well, Miami’s a town, honey…”
On connecting with fans despite some pretty heavy and dark subject matter: “I come from an age of depressing music, too. The Smiths weren’t a happy band. I grew up listening to groups that weren’t talking about subject matter that was just great and fantastic and the rest of it. I wasn’t attracted to bands like that at all. We all take away things that are reflections of what we align with our own lives. That’s the power of making music and the difference between being an artist and an entertainer.”
On the love of soccer he got from ‘his old man’: “I’m a huge football fan. I’m a third-generation Arsenal fan. I’ve seen them play more times than the Vancouver Canucks.”
On crazy spending in sports: “I’m very glad that (Arsenal) hasn’t spent a dime on anyone. I just did an interview with Sportsnet for their football show and with FFP (FIFA Fair Play) coming in and the balancing of books and the rest of it. There’s going to be a lot of damage done to clubs like Man U who are 600 million pounds in debt… I think we’re fine. Vermaelen’s going to come back and our midfield’s going to be complete. We won’t spend a dime and I’ll be perfectly happy.”
As for playing shows in Western New York including Buffalo—“a de facto Canadian city and that’s awesome”—Good is excited for his set along the water.
“It’s awesome,” Good said. “Whether it’s the Rapids Theater or the Town Ballroom, I’ve always had a great time. It’s somewhere that even after what happened with the American tour (being canceled), it’s a place we always planned to keep on the list.”
Saturday’s show begins at 6 p.m. and costs $15 pre-sale, $20 day-of-show. You can purchase tickets here.