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Matt interviewed by Jennifer Seay



Jen Seay: Have you always been really into music, or is it something that developed?

Matt Walker: Developed. I always listened to it since I was like in kindergarten, with Paul Simon and Peter Gabriel and what not. I think I truly gained a deeper love and understanding for music in seventh grade upon obtaining the Smashing Pumpkins' Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

JS: Are you aiming for this band to be a career, and if not, what are your plans for the future?

MW: It's whatever. We're just trying to do whatever we can. I think our goal is not that concrete, just to see how far we can get in the time given to us.

JS: Is your songwriting mainly done by yourself, or is it more of a full band thing?

MW: Well I usually write the initial songs by myself totally, and then they develop into something bigger once we all start playing it. But of course James writes a little too. Of course there's "The Kid" on our upcoming e.p., but he has also co-written some stuff that hasn't been solidly laid down yet.

JS: Will he be writing more after this e.p.?

MW: Well we don't really plan out who's writing what, it just kind of happens, but I doubt it anyway. I have about fifteen more songs backed up that I've just waiting to get out so...It'll be a while. I've become more prolific lately. It's frustrating in a way because I have all these songs that I think each one is better than the next and they all get backlogged.

JS: How would you describe the Emaciated Rabbit's music, either in today's general categories or however it seems to you, in an original weird description?

MW: I try not to label my music, partially because I can't do it well, and mainly because I don't like people to have premonitions about what it will sound like. It's just what it is.

JS: Do you consider your sound pretty original?

MW: I think some stuff is pretty original, but I dont try to break ground with every song I write. Sometimes I almost consciously pick a style or certain influence and do my own little take, which is cool because it never works out that way and ends up being more original. For instance, on Charcoal/Veins I was originally trying to rip off The Pixies. You can kind of tell: like having a main progression with the bass carrying brunt of verse with just a little lead guitar, and then the guitar playing the chords of the same progression in chorus. But the sound certainly changed after a while. That was one of those ones where it really developed as the full band rehearsed.

JS: Do you find a recurring theme throughout the songs you write?

MW: Yes.

JS: Will you tell what that theme is, or do you try to keep things like that open to the listener's interpretation?

MW: Neither. If you can figure it out, cool, but I won't tell you. I mean I love for listener's to get their own feeling or interpretation, but each song has a one "real" meaning and theme.

JS: Do you place equal value on the lyrics and music?

MW: Depends. Usually, yes, but sometimes I get an amazing song, musically, and the lyrics just dont come and I have to force myself to get the lyrics out, and its sort of a force fit. But then, I still wont just put out trash. It'll be good, just not as meaningful to me as the music itself.

JS: What most inspires your writing and playing? Not who, but what makes you want to play? Any message you're trying to get across, or is it an emotional outlet, or something you really enjoy, or all of the above?

MW: Well the music I listen to makes me want to make music, but I wouldnt say it inspires my music. I always love to play, and I do every day, but strong emotions, usually sadness, are what usually get me to just sit down and write. But sometimes Ill just be messing around and something just comes out unexpectedly. Like today for example, I was killing time, and out came these really great hooks.

JS: Do you ever force yourself to write, or does the urge to write and the idea for a song usually just randomly overtake you?

MW: I've had to force myself for lyrics because of deadlines, but I always have a huge surplus of songs, more than I can handle most of the time, so I have no need to write. Sometimes I think it would be better for these new ideas to stop surfacing for a while so I can just concentrate on what I have.

JS: What artists have influenced you and the rest of your band the most to make music, and which ones have most influenced your sound?

MW: Smashing Pumpkins, The Pixies, Modest Mouse, Yo La Tengo, Mogwai, to name a few.

JS: What do you think you most want listener's to get out of your music, or does it matter? Do you or James write music mostly for yourself almost in a therapeutic sort of way, and you happen to have a band, or do you write for your band?

MW: Whatever they want really, as long as its something. If its just to hear a good hook, great. If its to help emotions or whatnot, great too. As long as they're listening. Well I write for the band...but if I didnt, Id still write. I think I have to write at this point, but it also really helps to have an outlet for the music. I have a need for productivity. I think if I wasnt actually "doing" something with the music, it would feel like a waste, like I need to feel I have accomplished something more than writing it- like recording it or performing it or whatever.

JS: Boxers or briefs?

MW: Neither.