Interview: Striking Matches
Nashville-based duo, Striking Matches made waves in the US and beyond with their debut album, Nothing But Silence back in 2015. Eight of the eleven songs on the record were featured on ABC’s hit drama series Nashville -a testament to the band's knack for writing infectious, versatile songs. Recently, the duo released an eclectic EP entitled Shameless which contains four tracks that provide a taste of their forthcoming album due out in 2018. Currently, the band is on tour with Johnnyswim and will make a stop in DC on Wednesday, November 15th playing in front of a sold out Lincoln Theatre crowd. We caught up with the duo via email to ask about their new EP, funny moments on tour, and plans for the rest of the year. Check it out below!
Your new EP, Shameless has a very eclectic sound. Where did you pull inspiration from when writing and recording it?
We didn't necessarily set out to make an "eclectic" record when we began writing a lot of these songs, but it is interesting and fun to think about what exactly we were pulling inspiration from...we think it isn't so much that we were exposed to new kinds of music in between our first record and making this one, but that we just had more influences within ourselves to pull from that we hadn't been able to show yet. We pulled a lot from our love of bands like the Talking Heads or Prince with the grooves and sometimes more aggressive sounds, but still used rootsy melodies and riffs that are engrained in us both. In addition, we had been on the road for two years and took a lot from the way our shows had evolved, and in doing that, our songs and sound evolved as well.
Having had such success with your debut album, did you feel any internal or external pressure when writing your forthcoming album?
The only real pressure we felt was the kind that we put on ourselves to always make something better, and to BE better. We always hope our fans will connect with our music, and that we will connect with new fans but we didn't feel pressure from them...except maybe that they would've liked us to hurry up and release something! : )
Describe the sound of your next album in four words.
Nashville. Guitar. Pop.... definitely.
Who/what have you been listening to lately?
John Mayer's The Search for Everything, Gary Clark Jr., Tame Impala, Jon Bellion, Frank Sinatra, Bill Evans, HAIM, Lorde, The Weeknd, Daft Punk, Paramore, Django Reinhardt, of course our friends Johnnyswim...maybe this is why we made an eclectic record!
You’re coming up on the end of your tour with Johnnyswim, any notable (funny) stories you can share? What are your favorite venues/cities to play?
On our second night in New York, during our second to last song, Sarah (she plays a tambourine with her foot while playing guitar and singing) was kicking the tambourine so hard it pushed the microphone off of the edge of the stage....guess she was just rocking out too hard ;) That was a good laugh.
When we were in Austin, it was so hot out that Justin’s bass drum shell actually melted when we were on stage...which was kind of amazing....
We've hit so many amazing cities on this tour, but our top few would have to be San Francisco at The Fillmore, LA at the Novo, and New York at Irving Plaza.
And definitely looking forward to playing in DC, which is always one of our favorites!
What can people expect from a Striking Matches show?
Lots of energy...LOTS of guitar dueling where we constantly try to outdo each other...Lots and lots of harmonies. Hopefully when fans leave they feel like family and that we've just taken them on a fantastical musical journey... oh, did we mention guitar solos?..
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
We'll finish up the tour with JohnnySwim in mid-November, and then have a little time to be home around the holidays. We'll be in the process of putting all of the plans together for releasing the full album, and lots of exciting things being announced really soon....2018 is shaping up to be really awesome.
Keep up with Striking Matches at the links below!