Fans know him as the lead guitarist of the MuchMusic Video Award/Juno Award winning and platinum selling Vancouver based band Marianas Trench, but back in 2008, Matt Webb began a solo outing that showcased a different side of his music. Right Direction is his new sophomore EP released through 604 Records this month and this week Matt Webb offers his first solo headlining tour beginning on March 5 in Hamilton.
“Obviously Marianas has been very successful and we keep busy working on new stuff but we had some downtime,” explains Webb. “I had a little bit of time to get into the studio, I had some ideas that were brewing in my head for a while and I decided to get them down on tape. It wasn’t anything that we could fit into the Marianas mould and it’s been exciting and a lot of fun.”
Webb’s 2008 solo EP debut, Coda and Jacket featuring the single “Bad Girl”, offered his first explorations outside Marianas Trench but this time out Webb decided to make things simpler.
“My first EP — as a songwriter, whenever you do your first thing it’s always a strange mix of a bunch of different ideas you’ve had for years and years,” reasons Webb. “This time around I wanted to have a more cohesive sounding record and I knew what I wanted to do and the instruments I wanted to hear and what I wanted to talk about lyrically. I think I just had a much better idea for this one and how I wanted to represent myself and I’m really happy with how this turned out.
“We kept it simple with real simple performances,” adds Webb. “I wanted to do something a little more stripped down and raw. I let my drummer and bass player sparkle when they needed to but I was really inspired by the likes of Tom Petty; simple driving music that is all groove oriented with nothing that would take away from the drive. I was just going for some easy listening, late night drive music... Lyrically, I’ve been on tour a lot with Marianas and I wanted to reflect on how that affected personal relationships and life in general. I got that all down on paper like a diary and people get to learn a lot more about me.”
Recorded with producer and co–writer Kevin “Kevvy Mental” Maher, drummer Al Glassford, bassist Peter Davyduck, pianist Andrew Belson, “Right Direction” avoids the bombast of Marianas Trench and could offer the most mature music of Webb’s career. But while his new collection of songs debuted at Number 5 on the iTunes Canada Overall Album Chart, Marianas Trench fans don’t have to worry about the band breaking up. A new Marianas Trench album is tentatively set for this year, but in the interim, Matt Webb is hoping to get a little more intimate with his music and with his fans.
“It’s not as slick and produced as the pop music you might hear on the radio although this might find its way there,” offers Webb on the new recordings. “I’m not trying to do anything specifically, I’m just trying to make music I feel good about and I’ll let people decide the genre. I make music for myself and hopefully the fans dig it and so far it’s been really well accepted. I’ve had a lot of support from the guys in the band. Anything that is good for one of us is good for all of us. Josh has had a ton of success writing for other people — he was co writer on “Call Me Maybe” — and that lead to great things for our band so that’s awesome. I’m very lucky to have such supportive fans and a built in fan base with Marianas. A lot of them have checked out my stuff but with my first solo tour, I hope to make a few new friends and fans along the way and see how it goes.
“Like the recordings, we plan the shows to be a much more stripped down and more intimate setting,” adds Webb. “With the smaller shows, it’s a great opportunity for me to interact with the audience on a personal level, kind of like what we did with Marianas in the early days but don’t get to do much anymore because it’s just grown so much. It’s a real simple set up with a drummer, bass player and another guitar player. Nothing flashy; we’re just playing songs and cracking jokes with the audience and hopefully it goes okay. It’s my mission at every one of these shows to jump off the stage and hang out with the crowds so if anyone wants an autograph or a photo, I’ll be there. It’s the least I could do for these people that have come out and supported me and paid good money to see me.” V
Matt Webb plays this Wednesday March 5 at the Bay City Music Hall with Fake Shark - Real Zombie!, Jessica Lee and Good Morning Chicago.
Click on facebook.com/MattWebbOfficial