Interview with Denton, TX musician Matthew Gray of Matthew & the Arrogant Sea on the urge to live raw, dream silly, and decategorize everything.
1. What’s the first piece of music you listened to today?
“Bewley In White” by Bibio.
2. What are your vices?
Yo La Tengo, served with a whiskey sour and a conversation about alternate life forms.
3. What is one of your prejudices?
A lot of music is viewed as a “trend.” Albeit that is true on some levels, it just kind of makes me sick that we have to categorize everything.
4. In what way do you think music has the ability to change
the way people live their lives?
You know, I don’t know if music itself changes the way people live their lives, I think it’s the other way around. I think people change the way music changed us for the very first time. It’s a vicious cycle.
5. At what age did you first feel distrust?
The day Kurt Vonnegut died.
6. Do you think that your name is appropriate for you?
(If not, what name would be more appropriate?)
I think my name very appropriate. I mean, when I wake up in the morning it’s comforting to look into the mirror and say, “Good morning, Gustaf!”
7. What is the best piece of music you’ve ever created,
in your opinion?
“You Can’t Tame a Wild Rabbit.” Get ready for it.
8. Right now, how are you trying to change yourself?
Musically, learning new tunings, and studying chords and scales, it’s a new world.
9. If you had the time, what else would you do?
Open a vegan diner in Denton, TX.
10. What social cause do you feel the most strongly about
(negative or positive)?
Veganism. It has absolutely changed the way I live my life, in every way.
11. What are your fears?
Becoming “too” attractive.
12. What is your favorite joke (tasteful or tasteless)?
I like jokes the same way I like my dreams. Interesting and silly. For instance, I recently had a dream where I went with a few friends to the zoo. Turned out to be a beautiful day, up until the hunger pains hit my friends. It was quite the dilemma, you see, she wanted a taco and he wanted a burger. What on earth can a man do with such a problem? Well, I went exploring and found this joint called Burger Border. In the end she had her taco, and he had his burger. And I shouted a great big YAY! And then my arms fell off.
13. Who is your favorite author?
Bukowski. Factotum changed my life.
14. What is your favorite movie?
Of recent years, Synecdoche, New York. Of past, High Fidelity.
15. Favorite album(s) from the last few years?
One Day I’ll Be On Time – The Album
Leaf End Of Love – Clem Snide
Lady & Bird – S/T
Neon Golden – The Notwist
Fewer Moving Parts – David Bazan
Pinesticks & Phosphorus – Robert Gomez
The Gentleman Losers – S/T
Handcranked – Bibio
Litany Of Echoes – James Blackshaw
No Flashlight – Mount Eerie
Yesterday Was Dramatic, Today Is Ok – Mum
The Ken Burns Effect – Stars Like Fleas
Love Is Real – John Maus
American Football – S/T
Songs of Green Pheasant – S/T
16. What would you like to know more about?
17. What is one thing you would like to do/see/accomplish
before you die?
Visit Matthew & the Arrogant Sea on MySpace.