To coincide with the release of their brand new single and video Glitches, we were blessed with the opportunity to interview New Jersey band Serious Matters to find out more about the meaning of the song, their journey as a band, the effects of the past year and a half, and their hopes for the future. Here’s the conversation in full.
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Hi guys – thanks for the chat, and congrats on the new single. Glitches is mighty. What can you tell us about the track; how did it come to be?
Thank you for the kind words and thank you for the interview! I (Matt) wrote the song about my struggles with being a very anxious and manic person to where I have reached the point where my mind pretty much overloads which results in me struggling to articulate my words, feelings
and actions in a healthy way. (Stuttering on words. Having outbursts of anger. Manic thoughts of depression. Harming myself. Not thinking for myself).
What inspired you to tackle the topic of removing toxic or disloyal people from your circle, and is the song simply you venting the experience or a means of inspiring others to do the same?
The interesting thing is, the toxic person in the song that I’m singing about is me. I have had big patterns of self-sabotaging behavior in the past and I just want to finally face them and put an end to these problems by getting the right help.
The structure is brilliantly creative, unpredictable and inventive – is this intentional, and / or typical of your style, or does it simply tie in with the expression at the heart of the writing?
Thank you! That’s a very good question! We’ve been a band for about six years and we are five different guys with five different tastes in music so we kind of just throw our influences in and see what mixes. It’s been a huge trial and error process finding our sound and I believe that Glitches is a product of the band really meshing together and finally finding our sound.
What’s your favourite lyric from the new song, and why?
During the bridge part when I sing “What the hell am I supposed to say when every word I speak has never come from me!” I just felt like that was a clever line.
Given the nostalgic punk-rock weight and energy of the track, where do you see yourself performing in the near future – any particular festivals or events you’d like to grace the stages of?
As a band we like to have small goals and stay as humble as possible. We try to take any show offer that comes our way and we’re happy to play anywhere that will have us.
The video has a very natural feel to it, a performance in the studio, complete with the masks that coincide with the times. Was there a decision process to this set of visuals, or did it just make sense to capture the recording?
It was a kind of decision we made as soon as the recording process of the song was over. We brought our good friend Kris Khunachak of Kris Khunachak Multimedia to the studio with us just to document the recording of the single and he got so much great footage that we decided to make the video.
Who’s in the band, and what’s the songwriting process like?
The band is Kenny Byles (Guitar), Criss Madd Jr (Guitar), Daryian Kelton (Drums), Michael Seltzer (Bass) and myself (Matt) on vocals. The writing process starts with Kenny and Criss mapping out the song idea with guitar parts and then they come to Seltzer, Daryian and myself with the idea.
Why did you decide upon Serious Matters as a name?
Criss and Kenny came up with the name in 2015 as they were demoing out some new music. When it came to building a band they didn’t have a solid line up. After a few weeks dealing with different musicians, Criss had texted Kenny suggesting that they just write themselves and move “On to more serious matters”. They both thought that might be a pretty awesome name.
Is there much of a scene for this type of music in New Jersey, pre-covid of course?
Absolutely! I think there is going to be a big boom with not just our music but all music everywhere. Musicians are hungry to return to the stage.
Is there a longer project on the way, or more music to look forward to?
We will eventually be returning to the studio to record some more songs.
Who currently inspires you in the music world?
Every artist that has kept busy throughout this pandemic. So many different musicians have helped literally and figuratively throughout the writing process. There are just too many to cover.
What keeps you making music in times of turmoil?
I think for a few of us, we discovered how cathartic it was to write new songs while things seemed like they were crumbling around everyone. We also all took our own personal time to explore and experiment with different genres of music. Writing felt like something that was normal. Everyone also buckled down and got some type of recording equipment to be able to create with each other without having to be in the same room.
What’s the best thing people can do to support indie bands right now?
It’s really cool to be living in the age of streaming music and streaming whatever we want whenever we want but the best way to support indie bands is to buy their merch and buy music from either their website or Bandcamp.com page.
Is there anything else we should know?
Thanks to everyone who has supported this band and our endeavors so far. We love you all very much.
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