MATT WALKER


1.0  Who was your favorite drummer growing up? Hard to pick one! Stewart Copeland, Stevie Wonder, Neil Peart, Bill Bruford, Steve Jordan.

2.0  Does playing guitar also make one a better drummer? Yes and vice-versa , anything with harmonic/melodic qualities will help a drummer think more musically, and playing drums can certainly help inform other instrumentalists about feel and good time.

3.0  Do you have a favorite stage kit? I like to change it from band to band , tour to tour. My old standby is any good ol’ 4 piece a la Charlie Watts , but sometimes I take it to extremes…last Morrissey tour was a Gretsch USA Custom 6-piece kit, but with and orchestral Bass Drum and a massive 8-ft Paiste Gong as well…oh yeah and about 10 cymbals, all Zildjian.

4.0  Is it okay to be nervous before a show? Definitely, nerves can help step your game up, but to be fair they can also stiffen up a performance. It goes both ways. I don’t really meditate but before a show – I try to find a minute or two to close my eyes and focus my energy…really visualize how I want to play. It really works.

5.0  When you write a song, where does it start for you…. as a riff, a beat, a melody, a lyric? Anywhere and everywhere. I get more song ideas when I am out walking or riding my bike than anywhere…which usually results in me racing home to record it before I forget it. I write more on piano than any other instrument, but when I have the time my favorite writing technique is to spend a few hours going back and forth on the instruments. I might have an idea on guitar, but before I finish writing it I’ll go over to the drums and play with the song in my head, because I’m more comfortable on drums than the other instruments I’ll come up with dynamics and arrangement ideas that I wouldn’t have otherwise. Then it’s always back to the piano to really figure out harmonically what is happening with the song.

6.0  What’s up with MDR? TheMDR is still happening, but a couple of the members have left town so we are focusing more on finishing recording/mixing our last EP. I have been working on a kind of solo project called of1000faces. Its based on my writing but the idea is to record and perform in a variety of contexts with different musicians from all genres. We just played our first show in Chicago a couple of months ago and will be playing again Nov12 at The Bottom Lounge.

7.0  How did the Morrissey gig come about? A few of his band members live in L.A. and are friends with my brother Solomon and ex-Cupcakes band mate Greg Suran. When Morrissey found himself in need of a drummer to tour for “Ringleader of the Tormentors”, my old Chicago pals put my name in for the job which got me an audition….ironically, a year after I became his drummer, the original bass player quit and my brother joined Morrissey’s band as well.

8.0  Any tunes in his repertoire that were more difficult to learn than you may have expected? Some of The Smiths songs are a challenge. Not from a technical stand point, but trying to capture their essence which is largely dependent on the style of drummer Mike Joyce, and the way the drums and bass interacted. Additionally, there was a certain sound they had that lent itself to Morrissey’s vocals – In a live situation, with a catalog as expansive as Morrissey’s, it’s challenging to go from one era to the next in a single set, it’s almost like time travel.

9.0  Who was your favorite 80’s act? Again, how do i pick one?!! Adam Ant, Gary Numan, Icicle Works. Talk Talk, Split Endz, Tears for Fears….its a long list.

10.0  If you could be anybody else in history who would it be? I see this question in some magazine….what is it…GQ? Cosmopolitan? I would be David Bowie because no one can touch him.

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STEVE GERLACH w/ TOMORROW THE MOON

Is Rock & Roll dead yet? Rock & Roll is hanging by the skin of its ass. We are that skin.

What is your favorite stage guitar and why? I can get by with just about any Gibson. For me, at this point, the pedals are almost more crucial than any specific guitar.

How would you describe Tomorrow The Moon? Tomorrow The Moon is about quality songs and a spacey rock vibe. We don’t go out of our way to try and be “different,” but some people still seem to think that a band can’t have  prog leanings and still be ‘punk.’ The fact is, music is still evolving, or at least trying to. But if you try too hard, you’ll lose sight of the songs. If you don’t have a song, you don’t have anything. There are things ‘Tomorrow The Moon’ will never do. “Jamming” is one of them. There are others, too, like growing beards.

You have toured a good deal, how do you like the road? I enjoy the bits of touring I’ve done because I know they will end. Some people don’t want it to end. I have a life here in Chicago, and particularly in the summer, I don’t have an urge to leave. But music has taken me places I wouldn’t have otherwise gone, and I have no regrets.

Have you ever smashed a guitar? I did sort of smash the hell out of one of my favorites due to a terrible monitor mix that only got worse. The neck was badly broken… I immediately felt bad about it, but it made some cool noises when I jumped all over it, so I guess the audience must have loved it, not that I was aware… I had pretty bad bruises on my knees the next day. Tommy Keene refers to those sort of incidents as “glamour fits.” The guitar recovered fully.

Why do you love The Kinks so much? Songs! I saw them on Sept. 17th, 1980 and it was super high-energy. By that time they had a wealth of material, the best material any band ever had. And they just totally rocked.

Do you ever get angry when you are playing guitar? Is that an emotion that makes sense in rock? If the song is angry, sure. Not as many things make me angry now as when I was young. One of the things that makes me want to slit my wrists is that happy, upbeat positive music that you hear on ‘adult rock’ radio stations. There’s a place for that stuff, I guess, but that place is not anywhere near me.

Will radio ever have a “Tivo” feature? I don’t know if there are enough people listening to radio for the development of a Tivo-type feature to make sense. Satellite radio and Pandora have that covered more or less, right? If it’s cost-effective, then it will happen.

Does every band need a love song? No, I don’t think every band needs a love song; in fact, it can be very awkward when a band whose range has never included love songs tries to go there. Metallica suddenly tried to add that layer to their bag of tricks one day, and if it wasn’t a commercial flop, well, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an artistic flop.

What happened to Sting? Sting got famous writing songs that were inspired by and about being very unhappy, and then all of the sudden he couldn’t tap into that emotion anymore because has was too happy. Success completely changed him, as it does to almost anyone. McCartney was happy to begin with, so he was relatively unfazed by success, whereas Lennon started whining about his childhood after the Beatles broke up. The truth is, he was out of ideas, so he started trying to tap into his unhappy youth. Who cares? He had already peaked. I’m starting to sound like Gene Simmons, so it must be time to go ~