Artist Spotlight - Matte Black

What is your name?
Matt McAlpin

Where are you located?

What is your artist's name?
Matte Black

How long have you been writing music?
All my life. Since childhood. I didn’t pickup a guitar until I was 12 years old but I had already been writing songs. I was 4 when I started recording myself singing on my parents stereo. Mostly making everything up on the spot. I wish I still had those cassettes! A few years later, I remember writing songs and playing the springs on a desk lamp in my bedroom. I figured out how to adjust the pitch by adding a reliving spring tension. When I plucked them i thought it sounded like a guitar with distortion. I truly thought it was revolutionary at the time.

What inspired you to start playing and making music?
I think I’ve always wanted to make music. I’m not sure if this was the initial spark but I remember hearing David Bowie’s Space Oddity on the radio as a child. It totally blew me away and really opened up my mind.

What are your favorite artists or other artists that inspire you to write music?
David Bowie, Trent Reznor, Jimi Hendrix, Robert Smith, Bjork, Kurt Cobain, Brian Eno, David Gilmour, Buzz Osborne, and Roky Erickson are some of my all time favorite artists that have inspired me to write music.

When I was a teenager I spent some time playing guitar with Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson Airplane). His lessons and encouragement are still an inspiration after all these years. He was the first person that made me feel like I had a unique musical voice. I’m forever grateful for that.

How would you describe your style of music?
My music isn't always genre-specific, but there is a through line. I find it hard to describe my style. Sometimes it might sound like post-punk, ambient, metal, etc. I try not to overthink it and make whatever feels good.

How is your personality reflected in your work?
Interesting question. I’m not really sure how my personality is perceived by others. I love making music and hope that comes through in the work.

Can you describe your creative process when you write new music?
I don’t always follow the same process. Usually I don’t set rules or restrictions but that can be rewarding too. Sometimes I start with a melody or rhythm that I have in my head. Often I just start playing and let the music show me where it wants to go. My favorite way to write is to just play with Fidel and see what happens. He’s my dude! We’ve been playing together for so many years that we have an unspoken musical language. For me it’s really about being open, like a conduit. I like how David Lynch talks about creativity. Catching the big fish. I like to think all these ideas are floating around us and you can catch them.

What is the name of your latest release?
Portrait and Landscape. Portrait and Landscape are two very different companion albums that compliment each other. Portrait is the heavier of the two. Landscape is a quiet instrumental album.

Can you tell us any "behind the scenes" stories about writing or producing this release?
We drove to Stamford, NY, to do live band tracking for Portrait with Charles Burst. He had relocated upstate and moved into a wing of an old inn that had been closed for a long time. It was wild. During breaks, we would do a bit of exploring. Rooms with abandoned personal items and unmade beds. Others filled with only televisions, chairs, or lamps. Shadows crawled across the walls as our music echoed through the building. It felt like recording an album in a haunted house.

What are you currently working on?
New music and getting ready for live shows with our brand new bassist Steve Pellegrino!

How can folks get in contact with you?
Instagram: @Matte_Black

Brooklyn-based semi-industrial, post-punk-informed heavy goth rockers. For fans of dark fuzzy riffs and haunting melodies.

Matte Black
Dust of This Planet

heavy-psych / post-grunge / post-metal / post-punk

"a heavy dark opus"

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Matte Black

ambient / heavy-psych / post-grunge / post metal / post-punk

"Immersive atmospheric ambient"

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Matte Black

ambient / heavy-psych / post-grunge / post metal / post-punk

"Heavy-psych grooves and haunting melodies."

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Matte Black

ambient / heavy-psych / post-grunge / post metal / post-punk

"Desert rock to rain-glistening-on-sidewalk-at-night vibes"

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