Interview Matt Howden ( Sieben )
10 Questions / 10 Answers
- When and why did you become a musician
I became a musician at school, aged fifteen. I was very awkward when talking to girls, so music was my way round it. One girl in particular had an old violin, so I feigned interest in the violin. And then found real interest in it when I started playing in bands and writing music. I have used that same violin for 30 years, on all albums and 1,700 gigs. This year, for the first time I bought a violin; a five-string, kevlar electric violin. New era of heavy-beat Sieben 😉
- What are your characteristics? What makes you special?
I’m a one-man band, looping, thumping, scratching, bowing and singing into a violin, to make the sound of a one man ‚raw-chestra‘ with a sound like no other = what more do you want? 😉
- Who and what inspired you?
I think I’m pretty self-contained, really, musically. I taught myself music and writing music. At the age of fifteen I decided not to learn the songs of others in case they influenced me. But lots of things and people are inspirational. Our capacity to be decent and kind. People who work for what is good for all, rather than themselves, for instance.
- Who are your most important role models and why?
I don’t think I have particular role models.
- How do you imagine listening to your music? Where do you like to listen??
With my music, it is in my little studio, which I love. Everything where I need it. I can’t say I ‚like‘ to listen at this stage- I’m in analytical mode, writing and recording elements continuously, trying to make a perfect ‚fit‘. Its hard to abstact myself from this process, and try and listen like a ‚listener‘.My favourite listening is when I’m travelling, with mp3 player on. It is about the only time I relax when listening to music.
- What role do social media play in your career? How important is YouTube or Instagram for you?
I started before all of this; sending letters and flyers through the post, walking around town to advertise your next show. So, I appreciate the expansion social media has given us. Unfortunately It has also added massively to the workload of a DIY musician such as myself, where you are artist, producer, promoter, label, and manager. The positive of having contact and interaction with people who appreciate and support your music has out-weighed the workload problem. I’m a worker, and put so much time and energy into what I do, happily.
- Do you actually do anything besides the music?
I teach Music Technology in a city centre college, Red Tape Central, in Sheffield. I love the job, and have a really good set of students, usually for two years. For some of them, it is their first gig you’re settting up, for some their first ever release that you’re helping them with. A real pleasure to do. A pain in the arse, at times, of course, and hard work. Even more hard work currently due to the trial zombie-apocalypse we’re working through- teaching has moved online currently…
- What has been the best performance you’ve seen so far?
So many memorable ones, I couldn’t pick one. But I have to say, I pretty much only go to local gigs and venue gigs, or gigs when I’m playing too. Not really been to stadium or arena gigs, ever. Currently loving Wonk Unit gigs, been various places to see them. And a local Sheffield band called Yo Dynamo who are fabulous live. I’d add a couple of my ex-students bands to that list too, FUS and Sickboy Method, both great bands for live shows.
- Who should play you when your life is filmed?
I’m think I’m too magnificent for a mere mortal to play me 😉 So, Maybe take a pale sock, add two wonky buttons and some strange ears, stick your hand up it, and act like never before.
- Last question: What do you want for the next 10 years,
Ooh, it’s like my very own Miss World question 😉
Well… I’d like world peace, an end to hunger and injustice – and a nice fur coat please. Addendum: I’d also like the evil, psycopathic war-mongering, greed-grabbing, self-interested, nasty bastards of this world to crumble to syphilitic dust. / and my new album 2020 VISION to be instated as a ‚modern classic‘, of course 😉
what do you need for it?
My own army and time machine will suffice J