Interview with Matt Fawcett
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I started writing poems as a kid and would sit in the back of our van on trips trying to guess the next lyric of a song. My mom wanted all her kids to play piano so me and my three sisters took several years of piano lessons. I was never fond of piano (though I regret that now and I’ve apologized to my piano teacher multiple times since then because of it) but always wanted to play guitar. I begged my parents as a kid for a go-kart, a skateboard and a guitar for every gift-giving opportunity since I was a kid. I got the skateboard first when I was like 6 and I finally got the guitar for my 11th birthday. I’m still waiting on the go-kart though...
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I love hanging out with my wife and kids. We live on a small little homestead raising rabbits, chickens and ducks. If you want your creativity to expand, just ask my kids to tell you a story. That’ll stretch anyones creativity.
How long has music been your career?
I’ve been full time in music for just a little over a year. I’ve been writing, recording and performing as a side hustle for over 15 years, but just took the plunge last August to pursue it full time.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I’m based out of northern Indiana, though I spent most of my life in southern Ohio. It’s definitely influenced a lot of my perspective on why I create music and how I try to connect with people. Midwesterners don’t know a stranger, their front porch is always open and if we can get you inside, you’re getting a meal. That kind of hospitality is one that I take with me musically. I create to comfort the afflicted and confront the comfortable. Life isn’t always easy, but it’s worth living and living together in community.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
The worst was probably one that only my parents and the venue staff showed up to. I was super excited but found out after the show that the venue hadn’t done a show there in maybe 10 years and it was the same night as high school prom and a handful of other things. I still played my heart out. I’ve learned a lot that you never worry about the empty seats. Serve the people who came and don’t let those who didn’t get you down. Give such a performance that anyone who wasn’t there is bummed they missed out. Needless to say, my parents and the venue staff loved the show.
The best is a hard one. I’ve played for large and small crowds, but the best are typically the ones with the moments you know you changed someone's life. And those shows might not be my best, but they were for that person and that’s what matters.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
My favorite venues to play are outside. I opened for Tenth Avenue North back in 2017 at the Fraze Pavilion in Kettering Ohio and being able to play outside is always a treat. One of my ultimate goals is to sell out RedRocks. That would be absolutely amazing.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Needtobreathe, Garth Brooks, Chris Jansen, and Steven Curtis Chapman. Problem is I’d probably just watch the show and forget when it was my turn to play.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into music?
Really ask yourself why you are doing it. There are plenty of things in this industry that can drag you down, but if you truly understand why you are doing it, that will keep your head above water. Learn to serve everyone you meet. Even the guy wrapping cables at the local bar or venue. How you treat people speaks more about you and your career than your music ever will.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
Savor the moments. Don’t be so focused on the next thing that you miss what’s right in front of you. Every show, every chord, every conversation has the possibility to carry the weight of changing someone's life. Let that weight be known and never waste a moment.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Currently it’s a song called “Run” . It's a song that took years to write because I didn’t want to make it be this cheesy song that tells other people to go help others. In that time of writing and rewriting and waiting, I came up with a song that not only does I give everything I have when I sing it, it bleeds out of my life. It’s a song that resonates to my core every time I get a chance to play it. It’s all about running towards others disasters, but it’s written as a choice that is made and not a command that is given.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
My most requested is a parody song I wrote based off of the song “Lord I Need You” but it’s changed to a song about caffeine. It makes me laugh and I think it really resonates with all of us coffee-aholics out there. That’s definitely the most requested and the second would be “My God Is Bigger” which is also one of my favorites to play. It’s a song my mom accused me of copyright infringement because she thought it was written by someone else because it was so good. (My mom’s a librarian and copy writing is something she is very passionate about, so to me it was the highest compliment she could have given me.)
What is the creative process for you, and what inspires you to write your music?
Knowing that my best songs are still to be written. I’ve received countless comments and messages from people telling me how my songs have changed their lives, or helped them through a tough time. That’s like gasoline on the fire of songwriting. There are so many more songs that need to be written to help give people a friend to walk through life with them.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
That people are made on purpose with a purpose and that I want them to go, live and walk in that purpose. When I say I write to comfort the afflicted and confront the comfortable, I do it because I love people deeply and want what’s ultimately the best for them. Everyone was created and designed with purpose. I want them to live up to that calling and shy away from it. Too many people play it safe in this world and miss out on the opportunities they have to impact others by being who they were made to be. Sometimes people just need someone to tell them to go for it, sing with them their own song and tell them they aren’t crazy for chasing their dream.
Do you ever have disagreements when collaborating and how do you get past them?
I have only done a few collaborations and all of them so far have been relatively smooth. What handful of disagreements that have come up are typically solved with just a little more discussion. When I choose to work with someone we start with the premises of why we are creating and keeping that in focus helps everyone to be able to take a step back, look at things more objectively and then decide what’s best for the song and the listeners. We might not always agree completely, but as artists and creatives, we all want to serve the song and the people who hear it and sometimes that means giving someone else’s vision a chance to breathe.
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