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Matt Costa - Cold December interview (exclusive)

Matt Costa

Interview by Jack Foley

AS Matt Costa releases his single, Cold December this week, we talk to him about his career and what it’s like to be a part of Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records label.

The 23-year-old Californian was a former pro-skateboard hopeful who turned to music following an horrific accident that shattered his leg at the age of 19.

Faced with 18 months of rehabilitation, he redirected his energy, passion and talent towards the guitar, conjuring a series of life-affirming, uplifting and melody laden tracks that eventually found their way to No Doubt guitarist, Tom Dumont. The result is his brilliant debut album, Songs We Sing.

Q. In past interviews, you said you were influenced by music from an early age. So what made you want to initially pursue a career as a pro-skateboarder?
A: I didn’t look at either as a career i just did what i like to do. Now i am focusing one hundred percent on music. I chose skateboarding but now music has chosen me.

Q. Do you now consider the injury to be a blessing in disguise? You seem to have remained remarkably upbeat.
A: Yes. Thank you!

Q. Who are your musical influences?
A: Donovan, The Carter Family, The Beatles and Neil Young.

Q. When did you first become aware of Jack Johnson? Did you ever surf as well?
A: About four years ago on the radio. I have just tried surfing recently and I’m terrible at it!

Q. How does it feel to be signed to his record label, Brushfire? How much does that mean to you in terms of career and profile?
A: It’s a great family. Everyone involved are talented, great people. So I’m very grateful to be a part of it.

Q. Have you enjoyed the experience of touring with Jack Johnson and ALO?
A: Yes, I share a bus with ALO so we are super close, literally. They are great musicians and we often play music together.

Q. What did you think of England when you visited?
A. Cold!

Q. Songs We Sing is a beautiful album. It’s really uplifting and packed with great songs. How long did it take to write?
A: Thank you! Two years.

Q. Do you have any tracks that you’re particularly fond of? Or which mean the most to you?
A: Well that’s a difficult one. They’re all like my children, but if I had to choose one it would be Wash Away.

Q. How did your demo find its way to Tom Dumont? And how was he to work with? Did you learn a lot from him?
A: RVCA clothing supports a lot of artists/musicians and they were supportive of me early on. Tom got a hold of my record through them. He is amazing to work with and we are now really good friends.

Q. Are you working on any new material at the moment? Or is it all about pushing Songs We Sing?
A: I’m always writing new stuff. But currently it’s all about touring and pushing Songs We Sing.

Q. What’s next for you after the UK tour?
A: I’ll be touring all around the States again.

Q. Have you become a fan of any UK-based bands now that you have had a chance to survey the music scene? If so, who has most captured your attention and are there any US bands you’d care to recommend?
A: Arctic Monkeys. UK bands are always better.

Read our review of Songs We Sing