Interview with Matthew Rochford from Abrasive Trees.
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I started playing guitar when I was 13 and enjoyed it. I grew up in a musical family so there was no escaping it. I don't believe being a musician has made me avoid or not focus on other things. It's more of a polymath thing for me - i.e. music, writing poems, practicing meditation and being interested in Tai Chi.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Some of the things I mentioned above (meditation, and Tai Chi) enhance creativity. They make things clearer, and this is helpful when creating music.
How long has your band been around? Also, please tell me about the dynamic of the band of what brought you all together.
Abrasive Trees started in 2018. The advantage we have is that we all bring something valid and interesting to the project, but also can arrange and design the sonic layers of the music.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
We are based in Totnes. It's a small town that has a strong creative scene. There are several bands and artists from here that are making great art and taking it out on tour.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
It comes from Buddhism. There's a nightmarish realm called "The Mountain of Abrasive Trees'.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Ones that we have played? We played at the Black Heart in Camden this year and it was great. The room was full (thanks to This Is Radio Silence) and the energy was good. We just played a gig in our hometown and that was incredible. Everyone was really into it, and we played a new track that went down a storm. That was a good feeling.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
See above, but also Colchester Arts Centre. We'd like to play more in Bristol, at The Louisiana for example.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
I'd like to play at Portals, or ArcTangent. Ideally with Five The Hierophant.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
I think to have confidence in your gut instinct.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I think Kali is pretty emotional, but then so is Now You Are Not Here, which is about losing my father and what he meant to me.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
People really respond to Kali. I do love playing Star Sapphire and the new song, Carved Skull. They really kick off.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Mainly I write the music, but we all arrange things together. Recently Jay has been writing too.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
It's ok to be not ok.
Do you have any new singles, videos, or albums out that you would like to tell me and your fans about?
Yes, we have a new live session that features Star Sapphire, Tao To Earth and Kali. It's on our YouTube here: youtu.be/qaxvOCY...3c_vb2
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
The next thing is to record our debut studio album.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
The best way to keep up with us is via our bandcamp page: