Interviewed by Denys (Site Founder/Senior Staff Writer) Myglobalmind Webzine
Myglobalmind: Hi Matt and thanks for taking a few minutes to talk to us here at Myglobalmind!!!
Myglobalmind: Before we get into your new album “Gravitas”, tell me a little about where you’re from and how you got your ?rst big break in the music industry?
Matt: I live in Brighton UK .. British born and bred. The very ?rst break into The music industry was back in 2001 when The band Pride released the album ‘Far from the edge’. We released a second album in 2003 and then not long after folded the band. This is when the ideas of a heavier band to be named ‘Furyon’ came into play.
Myglobalmind: What we’re some of the ?rst bands that you we’re part of growing up? Particularly before the band Pride?
Matt: Wow! I do take a look down memory lane quite often with these bands. Apart from having a band with two pretend friends as a little kid, The very ?rst band was actually with guitarist Chris Green when we were around 15/16 yrs old. This band was called ‘Spreadeagle’. I left this band and actually considered giving up music. These thoughts didn’t last very long and it wasn’t long until I joined a band called ‘Dirty A!air’ at 17yrs old. We recorded demos and made waves in our local scene. This band was a bit of a sleeze rock band looking back on it, haha. This band changed names I remember to ‘Catch 22’. The band fell apart as people moved away to study there chosen careers. I by this point had the bug for music and was keen to carry on. This is the time when I started to play alot of acoustic shows by myself. I still do this today and love playing acoustic shows. I moved away around this time with a friend and his wife who I was working for. He was a builder and I was his boy. They were kinda like second parents to me in a way. We moved to Portland and Weymouth and I moved into a bedsit.
It was my ?rst time out on my own. I soon joined a band that were advertising for a singer in the paper. The band was called ‘Dancing with Angels’ and I got to play 12 sting acoustic in this band whilst singing which I loved. This was the best band I’d been in so far and I remember being blown away (at the time) with there musicianship.
Whilst in Weymouth I decided I wanted to go and study music. i feel that times were different then and advise on these kinda of things were not half as clear as they are nowadays. I ended up studying Jazz/Popular music and loved it. My knowledge grow and my songwriting also. Playing around this time with many bands with no name.
After college and a vast amount of smoking myself into an oblivion I joined a new band called ‘Airport’. I was 20 yrs old and this band was the most serious to date and we wrote daily and recorded weekly. We played all over the South of England and on the London circuit. I remember we had some great interest and record companies wer always out to see us play. ‘Airport’ had a sound somewhere between Bon Jovi and Pearl Jam. Was Rock/Grunge/Pop I guess.
Now … this is where things became interesting. Around this time I was hanging out with Chris Green again and we were getting on like a house on ?re as we always did. He had a band called ‘Mind’. Also in that band was guitarist ‘Pat Heath’. now I had also known of Pat and his skills as we all grew up in the same town of Burgess hill. Chris pretty much poached me out of ‘Airport’ and into ‘Mind’. This band was seemed very exciting to me. It was real Progressive heavy Rock and seemed like the natural progression for me. We wrote and recorded some great songs and I still believe that we had something very cool with that band. ‘Pride’ came next.
Myglobalmind: Well for some that don’t know you and guitar player Chris Green we’re part of the Melodic Rock/AOR band Pride. How did you guys initially get into playing in Pride and the AOR/Melodic Rock genre?
Matt: We were asked to write and be part of ‘Pride’ by Ivan Gunn ( ex Balance of Power ). ofcourse we had been writing together for a while and thought it a good idea. Also the kind of songs we were writing for the band were easy going AOR and seemed easy for us to do. we did enjoy it.
Myglobalmind: What bands did you listen to personally growing up? For instance when listening to that early Pride material I can see in?uences from bands like Magnum, FM, Bad English etc. Did you listen to any of those guys growing up?
Matt: Absolutely! I remember listening to FM. The band we liked as young teens were the like of Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Iron maiden, Guns n Roses, Queensryche. Bad English were a great band. I like John Waite.
Myglobalmind: The reason why I ask this is because of the complete 360 transition to your current band Furyon and the more straight ahead mainstream Hard Rock sound of your new album “Gravitas”. I was always wondering how hard or simple of a transition that had to be to change styles like this? What do you think and how did this come about?
Matt: We wanted to do it. Chris and I wanted the heavier sound. Our music likes were changing as they do and we wanted to expand and experiment more. The transaction was a little weird at ?rst thinking back as we had been so melodic at one point. But all in all it was fairly natural and now it feels pretty perfect.
Myglobalmind: Would it be accurate to compare the band’s style to acts like Alter Bridge, Tool, Soundgarden etc?
Matt: Yes. We/I really started to like the good side of grunge rock like Soundgarden, Alice in Chains. And as for Alterbridge, I think they are a great band. Band like Tool were a big in?uence also and so was Mastodon.
Myglobalmind: At what point after Pride did you guys decide to move on and start recording in this new style with Furyon?
Matt: Very soon after. Infact, When Furyon was very ?rst in the rehearsal room and starting to write it was pretty much made up of members from Pride. Myself, Chris Green, Simon Farmery and Rick Eade. Rick decided he couldn’t commit fully to what we had planned for ‘Furyon’ and this is when Lee Farmery came in on drums. This is very early ‘Furyon’.
Myglobalmind: I described the bands style of a cross mix between Modern Hard Rock with Progressive Metal elements. It has a little of everything with a big focus on your great vocals, powerful rhythm section and a great guitar playing. How would you describe Furyon’s sound to new listeners?
Matt: This is what I say. If you like your music heavy as fuck with great guitars and melodies, Vocals that you can understand. Then Furyon will be your bag! There is touches of intelligence in the music and like you said there de?nitely is a prog element in some of the songs.
Myglobalmind: You spoke earlier about the evolution of the band from Pride to Furyon, did at any point in time you guys think the sound would not work? How do you know when recording that “hey this is what we want to do” and you feel comfortable playing this kind of music?
Matt: Well we recorded demos ofcourse and played many shows showcasing the new material. when recording the album it was clear that it was going to sound huge from early on in the tracking process.
Myglobalmind: The name “Gravitas” is Latin for dignity, importance, substance, etc. Is there any back story behind the album title? Where did it come from?
Matt: We wanted a title that would signify all these things ‘Gravitas’ means. It seems perfect to call it that. It had been a long process for us from the time Furyon was born to the album recording. ‘Gravitas’ was right.
Myglobalmind: How would you rank this album in comparison with other music projects you have been involved in throughout your music career?
Matt: A different league.
Myglobalmind: What’s currently going on in the Furyon camp? Any updates on touring?
Matt: Yes .. we are doing shows here in UK. And being booked for future tours and festivals. We are writing for a second album and getting into the demo process now.
Myglobalmind: When you guys go on the road and perform these songs live for the fans, what kind of reactions are you getting?
Matt: The crowd reactions are great. We have been opening with ‘Voodoo Me’ as of recent and as soon as we hit into the ?rst chorus the whole place is singing! It’s great. The more intense songs like ‘Souvenires’ tend to get the crowd and the band well connected.
Myglobalmind: Furyon signed with Frontiers Records for the release of “Gravitas”, what made you decide on this label for this release?
Matt: Well we had done a couple of releases. Our own ‘Collectors Edition’ release which you can still ?nd through our sites. www.furyon.net and Metal Hammer magazine cover mounted a version of ‘Gravitas’ at the end of last year. Frontiers came forward at the right time with this Worldwide release option and we are pleased.
Myglobalmind: What has been your best experience touring since you have been in the music business?
Matt: It’s always great getting out on the road. Sometimes shows di!er. You have to take the rough with the smooth. Playing ‘High Voltage festival’ last year was pretty cool.
Myglobalmind: Who are some of your favorite music heroes to this day?
Matt: Well it was kinda mentioned before. My musical hereos to this day – some would have to be Chris Cornell, Myles kennedy, Joe Elliot ( still love that dude ) Steven Tyler, Paul Rogers, Richie Kotzen, Doug Pinnick .. that is some that I have up most respect for. All great singers!
Myglobalmind: If I was to ask you to say something funny about any of the band members we wouldn’t otherwise know, what would you say?
Matt: Our bass player Nickel. He is a great guy. Grew up in the Caribbean. He is one of the funniest characters I know. You will just have to meet him.
Myglobalmind: How do you keep your rocking voice in top notch shape?
Matt: I do look after my voice as much as possible. I make sure I warm up fri rehearsals and shows and I do daily voice workouts. I’m no Saint in my personal life so i feel these workouts are important in maintaining a good strong voice. I drink quite a bit of water to stay hydrated. Very important for singers.
Myglobalmind: Any chances you guys tour the USA?
Matt: We will hopefully.
Myglobalmind: Hey Matt thanks for taking the time and congratulations on the record. Final words are yours!!!
Matt: We hope to get out and play across everywhere and anywhere that the budget takes us. Please stay intouch and thanks again to all the Furyon fans.
Webzine Review for Furyon – Gravitas