Wednesday, November 16, 2011

10 Questions with Matt Owsley (They Stay Dead, Euclid Crash)

Edmond’s Matt Owsley sings and plays guitar in the outstanding melodic hardcore band They Stay Dead.  Prior to playing in TSD he played guitar in Euclid Crash.  They Stay Dead recently released their second EP Cursed (read my review here) and will be opening for Colorado’s Elway on November 28th at Brass Bell Studios.

This interview was conducted via email November 11-15, 2011.  

For more information on They Stay Dead check out their BandCamp, Facebook, Twitter, ReverbNation, and Last.fm pages.  

Dave:  When did you first start playing and writing music?  How did you get introduced to punk rock?

Matt Owsley:  I started playing and writing music towards the beginning of high school.  I went from being Garth Brooks’ biggest fan to a punk rock kid thanks to befriending a few of the older cool kids who passed me some Minor Threat and Screeching Weasel records.  After hearing those I was hooked!

Dave:  You currently sing and play guitar in They Stay Dead and previously played guitar in Euclid Crash.  How did you get involved with Euclid Crash?  What other bands have you played with over the years?

Matt:  I met the Euclid Crash gang in high school when we decided to start the band.  I've spent most of my time in and out of Euclid Crash over the years but have also played in various projects with the TSD gang that didn't materialize until everything fell into place with They Stay Dead. 

Dave:  Are there any specific guitar players or bands that have helped shape how you play guitar? 

Matt:  Growing up I always tried to emulate Stephen Egerton & Brian Baker. (Editor’s Note:  I agree.  Egerton and Baker are easily the two greatest guitar players in punk rock history.)  Now I am lucky to have Danny Black in the band whose guitar skills I have always secretly admired since his Minutes Too Far days.  Thankfully Danny is not aware of this!

Dave:  Do you have a songwriting process?  With They Stay Dead, is the songwriting a collective process?  Have you consciously written differently for They Stay Dead than you did for Euclid Crash? 

Matt:  I feel like now in TSD I am finally in my natural habitat where I can write songs that are just aggressive and in your face while still trying to hold onto a bit of catchiness.  They Stay Dead is more of a collective song writing process than EC which is a nice change of pace.

Dave:  So far They Stay Dead has self-released two three-song EPs.  Dave Klein stated that the band was more interested in putting out EPs every few months instead of a full-length album.  What made you decide to forego the album route?  Have received any interest from any record labels?  If you could work with any label, which one would it be?  

Matt:  So far we like the momentum generated from having the more frequent EP releases.   We are all opposed to having any filler songs on an album so we like being able to release 3 or 4 songs at a time knowing that they are what we believe to be great songs! We have received some interest from some small labels but I would personally like to be on a label like Paper & Plastik.  We have friends on that label and I love a lot of the bands on it.

Dave:  What are your thoughts on the music scene in Oklahoma?  Is there much of a scene in Edmond? (I remember back in the ‘90s there were quite a few punk bands that came out of Edmond.)   

Matt:  The 90’s Edmond scene was great!! It was so cohesive and there were so many kids involved.  The first show I ever played was in Edmond opening up for Anti-Flag.  There is a decent scene in OKC.  There are still a lot of punks doing house shows and such but everything seems very sporadic and at times hard to get kids to come out for shows.

Dave:  Outside of playing in a punk rock band, what do you do? 

Matt:  I work for a land development company that builds houses and develops land for places like Carls Jr’s and Buffalo Wild Wings.  So needless to say I eat a lot of hamburgers and buffalo wings.

Dave:  This is a High Fidelity inspired question.  What are your Top 5 bands/artists, albums, movies, television shows, and books/authors? 

Matt:  Descendents, ALL, The Get Up Kids, Minor Threat, & Screeching Weasel.

Dave:  What’s next for you? 

Matt:  I have short term goals.  And my next short term goal is making this show amazing:

Elway, They Stay Dead, Two Snakes at Brass Bell Studios on November 28th!

Dave:  Any final thoughts? 

Matt:  I’d love to do a split 7’’ or cassette split with another band! So if anyone is into that let me know!

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