An Interview With MATT COSTA On His Forthcoming Album ‘Santa Rosa Fangs’ and More!
Posted On 17 May 2018
Meet the California-based singer-songwriter, Matt Costa! Tomorrow on May 18, he will release his first new full-length album in 5 years, Santa Rosa Fangs, via Dangerbird Records.
Costa is set to tour North America in support of the new record throughout the spring and summer, including a hometown record release show at Los Angeles’ Troubadour on June 5 and a slew of newly announced west coast dates. See below for a list of performances; additional tour dates to be announced shortly. Tickets are available for purchase at http://mattcosta.com/tour.
Costa’s previous album—his 2013 self-titled effort—was hailed by MTV News as “a full-blown orchestral-pop affair, with strings and horns urging the songs to grand heights and dramatic dynamic shifts,” while American Songwriter included it in their Top 50 Albums of 2013, noting that “everything is meticulously arranged, often with strings, horns and layered backing singing. They effortlessly capture a sweet, innocent, truly captivating folk pop whimsy that never seems forced, pretentious or outdated, even with its obvious reverence for an earlier time.”
In the early 2000s Costa was on his way to becoming a professional skateboarder when he was derailed by a serious injury. He changed his focus to his songwriting and an early demo found its way to No Doubt’s Tom Dumont, who ultimately produced Costa’s early recordings.
In the time since Costa’s 2013 self-titled record he has kept busy by soundtracking the award-winning documentary Orange Sunshine and independently releasing a series of EPs.
Learn more about Matt Costa in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! So where does this interview find you? What’s on tap for the rest of your day?
I’m in Huntington Beach performing a show for kroq. I am about to sound check.
Overall, how do you think 2017 was for you and your career? What is one big goal you have for 2018?
2017 was on the tail of Orange Sunshine a doc I scored and a big creative time starting the recording of Santa Rosa in the beginning of 2017.
Growing up, did you ever think that this would be the kind of life that you would? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
I did not think I would ever do this for a living. I imagined working at the LAX airport on computers like my father. Eventually I wanted to be a pro skateboarder. Skating turned me on to a lot of art and music. My life direction changed when skateboarding was my main focus.
How do you think that your hometown has influenced the kind of artist that you are today and the kind of music that you make?
I was raised in Orange County and my relatives lived up north in Modesto and the Central Valley. I would make that drive a lot it. I remember listening to a lot of music at young age In The back of my parents car driving up 99, the 5 and the 101. Also I listened to a lot of music from skate videos, from Archers of Loaf, Billy Holiday, Hieroglyphics, it was pretty varied early on from those videos.
What did it feel like to be releasing your first full-length album in 5 years via Dangerbird Records? What was it like putting this collection together? Did anything surprise you when you got back in the studio to record it?
It’s really important for me to put this record out. In the last 5 years I’ve been woodshedding and honing conceptual ideas and this is a manifestation of that process. I’m really excited that Dangerbird has welcomed me and been so supportive.
I read that the album follows three siblings as they search fo r love and meaning in their lives, which are ultimately cut short by the passing of both brothers in unrelated accidents.Can you elaborate on this theme and where this idea came from?
Its from 2 twin cousins of mine and came as a huge loss to our family when I was young. They would visit my uncle in his dreams till the end of his life. And that was the uncle who was so influential in the music that shaped the way I play guitar and write songs.
How do you think your already released single “I Remember It Well” and “Sharon” prepares listeners for the rest of the collection?
Hopefully the listeners are surprised. A song like “Real Love” with the doubled vocals of my wife Casey and the 5/4 timing is something that was pushing some sonic territory for me. I do also believe that for fans of my past records there is still a familiar voice I this record.
When you weren’t working on this forthcoming collection, how were you keeping busy all this time away? What other musicians did you get to work and record with?
I was doing a lot of studying different music styles working on production techniques producing other people and scoring films. I like the process of spreading songs out and not being tied to a lead vocal.
Can you talk a little about recording the music for the award-winning documentary Orange Sunshine?
I live back in one of the canyons that surround Laguna. The events in the film are centered very near my home studio. So it was a natural place to channel the music the film required.
How do you feel like you have grown as a musician over the years? What about your songwriting in particular has changed? What has remained the same about the way you create music?
I think that working on the Orange Sunshine film has made my music have a deeper groove. I’m trying to pull that out of all the parts in the songs.
Why do you think that Dangerbird Records is the right place for you and your music? How long have you a part of this label?
This is my first record released on Dangerbird. They are super supportive. I used to do shows years ago in the early 2000’s with Earlimart Aaron Espinoza’s band. He is heavily involved with the label now. Its great to be be creative with people now that I looked up to when I was starting years ago.
Do you have any upcoming live shows you would like to tell our readers about?
I have an east coast tour starting on May 19th in Philadelphia and a west coast tour that starts in early July.
We are living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious how you think being a musician gives you the most joy in life today? How do you think that music is going to reflect these challenging times?
Music heals and brings people together. I have been healed and met some the most influential people in my life because of music.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
I like Irving Berlin, Traditional British Ballads, Tim Buckley.
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music?
I hope they feel the life that was put into it.
Would you like to share anything else with our readers about yourself or your music?
Thank you for your time. Enjoy.