Interview with Bryony Matthews
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I’ve always loved music and singing from a very young age, I remember hearing hooks from songs on the TV or when I was out and about with my family and longing to hear them over and over because they made me feel so great.
When I was 7 years old at my primary school which was very small, we would have singing on thursdays after lunch for two hours and that was my favourite thing, we used to sing songs like “Flashdance” and “Bright Eyes” and a bunch of old war songs and things, I would sing so happy and loudly that one of my friends said I was hurting her ears.
I was also heavily into acting, and wanted to be an actor for a long time, but I gave up on that idea in my early twenties and started to focus on my music.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I like to be with good friends and spend time with my little family, I like to read and watch movies, I like to go to gigs and see music I haven’t seen before, I like to eat and drink good things, I like to travel and experience different places, these kind of things make me feel very happy and alive. My music writing is generally influenced by what I have experienced or what I see around me, sometimes what a friend may be going through or what is happening socially or globally.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I live in Christchurch New Zealand, but grew up as a child in a small part of NZ called Golden Bay which is incredibly beautiful and known for its alternative ideas and ways of living.
To be honest I’m not sure how these places have influenced my music, it probably happens without me realising it. I have definitely been influenced by my roots in Golden Bay and have written a lot of music while visiting up there and about times there. The landscape is really beautiful up there and its in my blood and memory so it definitely seeps into my music.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Ooooh, that’s such a tricky question. I think, if it could be any show? Glastonbury I reckon, I’ve been watching a few documentaries about Glastonbury recently and just love the vibe and the people that run it and how they have been constantly evolving and moving with the times, its so awesome.
I’d love to play alongside ‘Little May’, they are an Australian band who I’m quite inspired by. Also ‘Daughter’, love their sound.
Such a hard question, so many amazing musicians that I listen to that I would be honoured to play alongside.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Have a backup plan! Haha. I know this is something that parents say and you say “yeah yeah whatever”, but seriously, I wish that I had tried harder in school and been open to different ideas in life instead of being convinced I would be a famous actress by the age of 21.
I would also say to focus on myself and to not get stuck being loyal to people that don’t deserve my loyalty, especially lame boys who I thought I had to stick by.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
That is a very tough question to answer, but I do think my song ‘Here We Are’ is a stand out for me, because it represents a time of love for myself and positive change, so its always so nice to sing and listen to. Its also a song that has really evolved over the years musically, and the melody of the chorus I took from an old song that I wrote when I was 16, so it’s definitely one of my longest evolving songs.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I generally write from my own experiences and emotional states I have been in, so I guess for me it’s about being true to that and in doing so people will always relate to what you saying. Everyone experiences similar things and feels the same things, so when you can share something that is true and real, people tap into that and feel it too. I think that is one of the really special things about songwriting, you may be writing for yourself and for your own emotional release,but if its honest people will always pick up on that and feel what you are putting across.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
So many things I want to do! My next project after my up and coming album release, will be to make an EP with a friend Junus Orca, who also produced this album. I want to move into a more electronic direction with my songwriting. I have been playing on Logic Pro and I really enjoy the freedom of using different sounds and exploring that, and find my songs that I write are quite different and that excites me, so next year I will be focusing on that.