I decided to conduct my very first interview with the lovely young gentleman, Matt Jamez Cochran. Why? Well, I’ve met a lot of people I’d love to interview and eventually will end up doing so in the near future, but there is an easygoing, playful but somewhat wise nature that surrounds him. And I was curious. Matt is the sort of dude you want and need to know in the Brisbane music scene. He’s got his hands busy in many different projects, and he is certainly switched on in regards to the business side of things. Anyway have a read 🙂
1. List all of your creative projects and your role in each.
Minus Nine – Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar
Muddy Chanter – Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals
Walken – Lead Vocals/Guitar [Lead/Rhythm/Bass]
2. What are the differences between each of your creative projects? I.E Why different bands?
Well all the bands are different in their own right and the reasoning between each one is just purely
to have another creative outlet, a different band with a different direction. It just keeps life interesting
and means I can write as much as I want and still be able to utilize most of my material!
Minus Nine is my main project and the one I’ve been involved in the longest.
I’m the primary writer, manager and booking agent so it’s my busiest role.
We’re more Alternative Rock, Grunge and Punk Rock inspired but stick to pop structuring and whatnot.
I tend to refer to it as ‘Pop Grunge’ hahaha.
Muddy Chanter is where I can unwind and not have to worry about vocal duties as much,
probably my favorite band to play with out of the three purely because I have the freedom of not
having to sing all the time. I can let loose, rock out and just move around. It’s fun as!
We’re more Indie/Indie Rock, Alternative Rock, Grunge, Blues and Pyschadelic influenced.
Walken is my most recent project that I started with Joe Daley.
It was merely kind of a band that I wanted to form to see kind of test the waters of writing as a two piece (as Minus and Muddy
were the only other bands I’d been in, I’ve only been accommodated to writing as a 5 piece)
It was also a band based around my Fender Jag I was getting modified to replicate Scott Lucas’ (from US band Local H) bass/guitar hybrid set up.
We also primarily write whilst we jam. So we don’t write any parts before we go to rehearse (at Tall Poppy Studios), we write as we jam
so we can get a natural and improvisational sort of feel about it all. It’s really just a different way to do everything for myself
and I’m really loving how it’s all turning out!
3. When did you first become involved in writing and playing music?
I started playing guitar when I was in Grade 9 (so 2008),
I started learning to sing in 2010
and I’ve dabbled in as many instruments as I can in the past few years as well.
But according to my Mum, the first song I wrote was when I was 7 years old (I don’t remember it but she does hahaha).
4. What was the first gig you ever went to and when?
Well I’d been to a few shows of bigger bands (RHCP, Foo Fighters, Arctic Monkeys, etc.) a while ago,
But the first local gig I went to (that I didn’t play) was Violent Soho at Tym Guitars for Record Store Day.
During Minus’ first year of gigging, we were all 17 so going to local gigs was typically a no go due to mostly being 18+
5. What was your opinion of the Brisbane music scene 5 years ago?
To be quite honest, I’m not really too sure.
Being in Grade 10, my knowledge of the Brisbane music scene was very limited!
But I have heard it was pretty decent.
6. What do you think of the scene now, in terms of music, art, culture and anything else you want to add?
I honestly think the scene is great.
In the past year it has honestly just gotten so much bigger, better and beautiful-er. I love seeing all these amazing bands play,
let alone playing alongside them! And all the local artists are just amazing.
There’s honestly some amazingly talented musicians and artists in Brisbane.
7. You have an EP and live recording coming up. Where do you think this will take you? An album? A tour?
Well everything is really ‘up in the air’ at the moment.
Minus Nine is recording our live EP at The Zoo on Saturday, 31st of May which should be great.
We’re releasing that a few days after the show online for free.
We’re in the final writing stages of our next EP (which we’ll hopefully record late this year)
and hopefully we can do an East Coast tour as well late this.
Muddy Chanter is in the final tracking process of our Demo CD (recorded at Worx w/ Bones from Dead Wolves)
and that is sounding absolutely unreal so far.
Hopefully we can get to the studios again late this year and record our debut EP, as well.
Walken has just gotten our final masters back for our debut EP, which is awesome.
So we have a single launch (debut single ‘Float’) at The Waiting Room on Saturday, 24th of May which should be great
and then hopefully we can keep writing, gigging and get another EP done for a release late this year/early next year.
8. What do you think about the current state of live music venues, given that the Tempo has closed down, the Hideaway seems to be closing too (rumour?)
It’s a shame about The Tempo, really. I hadn’t even heard about any news on The Hideaway, but that sucks too.
It happens though in this business and in a scene were there’s all these great bands but not enough people/places to support them.
But to be honest I’m too busy looking at the positives in terms of our venues (i.e. The Underdog’s opening a few months back,
Brightside’s opening this month, etc.)
I think it sucks when venues close but I’m glad that there are still new venues opening up.
9. In your opinion, do you believe that music venues are heavily swayed/influenced by current trends in music? Do they choose bands to play at their venue based on what is popular?
I think venue bookers will just book music for the sort of audience that attends their venue.
10. What are some of your experiences with booking gigs? Has it been difficult or easy?
Well I usually book all of Minus, Muddy and Walken’s shows.
I honestly find all the local venues and bands real easy to work with.
The only times I’ve had a bad experience with organising a show is when I have to deal with
people who aren’t from Brisbane, organising on behalf of other bands, etc.
Some of them are just so slack and can’t even give you an answer to some of the simplest questions.
Like Minus’ played Rics a few months ago with two Sydney bands and it was organised by a Sydney based booker.
He gave me the wrong date for the show, wrong set times and wrong info about the backline.
It’s not exactly a ‘hard’ job to give someone the correct information and even if you’re unsure about it, just ask the venue! Haha.
11. How would you describe the band camaraderie in Brisbane right now? I.E tight knit? accepting of up and coming bands? etc.
In the past 12 months I’ve really noticed alot of the Brisbane rock scene uniting and building a bigger scene all round.
There’s all these awesome bands being formed by members of other bands and all these bands always playing shows together, it’s great.
It’s honestly just become this giant Brisbane rock scene…family, almost.
And I love all the guys I get to play with and hang with, like family. They’re amazing.
12. What influences your writing and playing?
Well my musical influences would have to be Smashing Pumpkins, Pixies, Violent Soho, Blink-182, Elliott Smith, Nirvana, Title Fight, QOTSA, Screamfeeder, Red Hot Chili Peppers,
Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, Jawbreaker, Sunny Day Real Estate, Postblue, MBV, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Foo Fighters, White Walls, Basement, Luca Brasi, Toadies, Jeff Buckley, Heatmiser,
Billy Talent, Interpol, Pedro The Lion, The Strokes, My Chemical Romance, The Cure, The Mars Volta, Jamie T, Sublime, Children Collide, Custard, Aeroplane Flies High, Cable 35, etc.
The list goes on and on and on.
My first ever really big guitar influence was definitely John Frusciante.
13. What are your favourite Brisbane bands currently?
There’s honestly way too many to name but standouts are The Keepaways, Junkyard Diamonds, The Grills, Columbus, Whiskey & Speed, Dead Wolves and Elston Gunnn.