Interview with Matthew Wright from The Getaway Plan
Jordan: Dark Horses was released last Friday. How has the feedback been so far?
Matthew: It’s been awesome, man. It’s been really really good. A lot of positive reviews. There’s negative ones but they’re always fun to read. The fan’s response has been awesome. I mean, it’s still early days and you kind of get to know more when you start touring the record but people have been telling us their favourite songs. I mean, generally most of the record has been covered so far by what people have been saying so I think we’re doing well.
Jordan: That’s brilliant. It looks like you’re going to be placing pretty well in the ARIA chart this week so congratulations to that.
Matthew: Thank you, man. Yeah. We’re not anticipating anything. We have no idea what to expect. If we land in the top 40, man, we will be absolutely stoked. Being that this is an independent release, you know, the charts weren’t even really on our minds at all you know? But hearing the news the other day that was wonderful. That was really cool.
Jordan: Beautiful. The album was a fan funded release. Obviously you have a dedicated fan base that was more than eager to help. What risks were you most cautious about in taking the pledger route?
Matthew: I think just having to take people’s money is the scariest thing, man. Take people’s money in advance for something that you haven’t even created yet. That was the scariest thing for us but I think now that we’re there it all kind of – I think we’d do it again.
Jordan: What were your biggest reasons in deciding against recording and distributing with a label?
Matthew: I think we just enjoy, we kind of came to a decision. Sorry. We were forced to make the decision whether we wanted to make this record with a label or without and we just weighed out the pros and cons and although there could have been a label out there that could’ve worked for us, we just knew that this way. Although it’s a lot more work for us short term, in the long run it would’ve been better. Getting to own your own masters I think is the biggest thing.
Jordan: How challenging was this compared to your other albums?
Matthew: Oh, dude, epic. The last few records were a breeze, man. Having a record label it’s just like, “Yeah, go do what you want. Chill out. We’ll sort it. The CD will be on the shelves in a couple of weeks,” and then it’s like, yeah, cool. But this time around it’s like we had to oversee every single aspect of putting that record on that shelf and there’s a lot of work that people may not even know has to be put into a record, that we certainly didn’t know before going into it. Yeah.
Jordan: I guess you could say it’s more rewarding that way?
Matthew: Absolutely, man. It’s way more gratifying for sure.
Jordan: The name of the album Dark Horses would imply a reflective view on the band’s journey so far. Does the album deal with things of your surprising progression?
Matthew: Yeah. I think the band is always going to be a huge part of what I write in my lyrics. It’s the biggest part of my life, man, and we’ve been through a lot of shit in the last ten years too. It’s kind of impossible for me not to write about it.
Jordan: Although it’s been almost five years without a recorded release, as well as the departing and gaining of multiple band members, you guys have played a few shows throughout. How’s the experience of performing as an evolving unit?
Matthew: There’s been some scary moments. I think that when we lost our first member, Dave – when Dave first left, our bass player, that was probably the scariest point for us because we hadn’t lost a member in years you know?
Matthew: Aside from when we broke up and got back together but that was the first time that that original lineup had been changed and that was a scary point for us. But it didn’t take long for us to realize that Clint and I, without sounding up ourselves, were the driving force of the band. But now we have two more members that we feel are equally important as we are which is wonderful, man.
Jordan: How has the sound of the band evolved starting with Other Voices, Other Rooms to Requiem and now Dark Horses?
Matthew: I think it’s just a natural progression but the fact that there are are five years between releases makes it sound like we are progressing way faster than we should. I think if we were to put out a record in two years it might sound a little bit more similar to Dark Horses than Dark Horses does to Requiem. I think with the new rhythm section too that just opened up our ability to sort of try a lot of things that we haven’t been able to try before.
Jordan: I can see that. The album is a very emotional journey in itself. Some of my personal favourites are F(r)iend, Castle in the Sky, and Monuments which are all very, very different sounding. Where did you draw the inspiration for such varied track?
Matthew: I think that just happened naturally, man. We wrote something like thirty five songs, yeah, before we went in and when you’re writing that many songs eventually you just want to take things places that you hadn’t been before. Then when we came down to narrowing the songs, that was just again a natural choice for us to create a nice dynamic between songs on the record. We hate bands that just release a record of ten of the same songs. It’s like what’s the point?
Jordan: I really enjoyed listening to it. It changes so much so that it was so interesting. It sounded full. Sounded, I don’t know, kind of hit everything and more, which was nice.
Matthew: That’s great. Thanks.
Jordan: No worries! Is there any plan to release any of those tracks? You said you had thirty five.
Matthew: Yeah, well generally whenever we finish writing a record we’ll always have a few songs left over that we kind of overshot at that point. They always generally make a good starting point for the next record. I think if maybe we can put out a couple of songs before then we’d like to. I think I like the idea of kind of just sort of trickling stuff out over time. I like that idea.
Jordan: You’ve been quite vocal in social media sharing your struggles of mental health. This is a really brave and admirable thing. How big a part of the writing process for Dark Horses do you think this had?
Matthew: Huge, man. Well, most of the lyrics. As I said, I’m a very personal writer so a lot of those lyrics on the record are about my struggles with mental shit, being a sad fuck basically. But it’s at the same time this record has helped me so, so much through everything, man. It’s been the light for me at the end of that dark tunnel, really this record. Yeah.
Jordan: That’s really great mate. Does the band have favourites or songs off the new album that you’re looking forward to performing more than others?
Matthew: Personally for me, I’m really looking forward to playing Dark Horses live just because, I don’t know, for me it’s my favorite song on the record. As far as the album goes I think it’s the most perfect thing that we’ve ever written without sounding egotistical. Yeah. I think, yeah. I don’t think we’ve ever done anything better than that in my eyes.
Jordan: Speaking of playing live, you’re touring the album in September and taking it all over Australia. Have you got anything special planned for the trip?
Matthew: Well, we just want to put on the best show we can always, man. I don’t think we’re going to do overkill on new stuff. When we came out with Requiem we kind of did a bit of overkill on that material and kind of shunned some of our old stuff and definitely pissed off some people so we’ll be making sure not to do that again.
Jordan: Good stuff. What do you guys do in your spare time when you’re on the road?
Mathew: Drink. That’s basically all we can do. Drink and eat.
Jordan: What’s your favorite drink and food then?
Matthew: I would say beer and Mexican for me.
Jordan: You’ve been touted as “everyone’s favourite high school band”. It certainly seems with the new album that over the last ten years you’ve really grown up, exploring new directions. As you’ve been kicking around for that ten year period, what are your views on the Australian music scene?
Matthew:I don’t know man. I’m a bit confused these days. I try to sort of stay separated from it. Radio confuses me a bit these days. I don’t know. I listen to Triple J sometimes but it doesn’t sound to me like it is what it used to be. I mean, I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes or get in any trouble saying it but, yeah, to me it’s, I don’t know. I don’t really enjoy listening to it that’s all.
Jordan: Do you think the new album is the start of like a proper permanent comeback for The Getaway Plan?
Matthew: I definitely think so. Yeah. I would like to hope so. The way it feels right now it just feels right and we are already thinking about the next record. We’re already starting to write songs now so I think it’s going to be full steam ahead from now. Yeah. We don’t want to slow down. We don’t want to wait another five years between albums. We would really like to get something out again in the next couple of years even, you know? That would be great.
Jordan: It sounds like you’re really excited. That’s good. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Matthew: Nothing that I can think of apart from people should just get our record any way they can. We don’t really care if people buy it or whether they download it. I mean, it would help us a lot if people wanted to go and purchase it because we are independent but, fuck, if they can’t afford it then please just get it because we just want it to be heard more than anything.
Jordan: Brilliant. Get it into your ear holes?
Matthew: Yeah, that’s it.
Jordan: All right, that’s brilliant. Thank you very much for your time.
Matthew: Awesome. No worries brother.
DARK HORSES IS OUT NOW
THE GETAWAY PLAN ON TOUR
TIX ON SALE VIA THE USUAL OUTLETS
Thursday September 3 – Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW
Friday September 4 – Baker Street, Gosford, NSW
Saturday September 5 – Studio Six, Sutherland, NSW
Thursday September 10 – Wollonong Uni, Wollongong, VIC
Saturday September 12 – Transit Bar, Canberra, ACT
Friday September 18 – The Gapview Hotel, Alice Springs, NT
Saturday September 19 – Railway Club, Darwin, NT
Wednesday September 23 – Dalrymple Hotel, Townsville, QLD
Thursday September 24 – Magnums, Airline Beach, QLD
Friday September 25 – Villa Noosa, Noosaville, QLD
Saturday September 26 – Parkwood Tavern, Gold Coast, QLD
Thursday October 1 – Racehorse Hotel, Ipswich, QLD
Friday October 2 – Wooly Mammoth, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday October 3 – Spotted Cow, Toowoomba
Friday October 16 – 170 Russell, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday October 17 – Riverview Hotel, Tarwin Lower, VIC
Thursday October 29 – Werribee Plaza Hotel, Werribee, VIC
Friday October 30 – Chelsea Heights Hotel, Chelsea Heights, VIC
Saturday October 31 – Workers Club, Geelong, VIC
Friday November 6 – Club 54, Launceston, TAS
Saturday November 7 – Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS
Thursday November 12 – Inferno, Traralgon, VIC
Friday November 13 – Hallam Hotel, Hallam, VIC
Saturday November 14 – Commercial Hotel, South Morang, VIC
Wednesday November 18 – Leisure Inn, Rockingham, WA
Thursday November 19 – Prince of Wales Hotel, Bunbury, WA
Friday November 20 – Rosemount Hotel, Perth, WA
Saturday November 21 – Mojo’s Bar, Fremantle, WA
Sunday November 22 – Dunsborough Tavern, Dunsborough, WA
Friday November 27 – Whaler’s Hotel, Warrnambool, VIC
Saturday November 28 – Fowler’s Live, Adelaide, SA