I love all kinds of music, but music that makes me happy, well. That clearly is very high on the list. I have no idea how I discovered Matt Wertz, but I know I have his first album Twenty Three Places on CD somewhere in the basement – the place were all our CDs now reside. The song 5:19, from his second album Under Summer Sun is among my most played songs. (I just checked, nearly 500 scrobbles on Last.fm alone.)
So, yeah, I like Matt Wertz.
So, yeah, I was kind of excited to get on the phone with him late last week.
Even more excited when he was absolutely HILARIOUS and VERY nice. I am not sure I captured the hilarious part in the interview, so you better go see him live to experience it. Unfortunately, he plays Denver the same weekend at Riot Fest, so I won’t make his show. As you can imagine, even the happy music won’t fix my sadness over this.
But I am happy that the new Matt Wertz album, Heatwave, was released today.
Your new album ‘Heatwave’ is a bit of an homage to the 80s. Why did you decide to do that?
I have always loved music from that time period. Especially people like Kenny Loggins and Richard Marx. I couldn’t stop listening to their albums. I also identified with John Mellencamp and Bryan Adams. I love the tone of their guitar playing. And music from the 80’s is drenched in reverb. I definitely wanted to do an album that had that feeling to it but wasn’t a novelty album or a gimmick… so the whole album won’t be as much of that style as the single, “Get To You,” but it has been so fun exploring it.
What do you think about the state of the music industry right now for musicians?
It’s funny, through a friend I actually got to meet Richard Marx and we were talking about this subject recently. It’s kind of scary. How far can things go? The value of music has dropped in general and all kinds of services like Spotify require content, but I’m not sure people realize how many people go into making a record and how much it costs. I’m kind of setting up my album a little differently, where you can’t get the new album right away through those services. Kind of like Netflix, where new releases don’t go there right away. I’m calling on my fans to support the album as you would a new a movie. It’s a bit of a mission, you know, to support new music and allow artists to keep producing good art.
What musicians are you listening to right now?
I love the new Tegan and Sarah album. And I just saw Fitz & The Tantrums and Bruno Mars play and that was an incredible show. I also really love the new HAIM EP. Katie Perry’s new single Roar is great. There’s a lot of really fun music being put out right now. But basically I can’t stop listening to Tegan and Sarah.
You are coming to Denver in September, what is your tour like?
I’m a little terrified to be honest. You kind of get comfortable with what you know works on the road and then you have a new album and you have a hard time figuring out what to play. But it’s almost like a bonus round that’s exciting and fun. I have a young new band playing with me who are super energetic, so I think the tour will be really fun. And also – that neon sign from the Get To You video is gonna make an appearance as well.
Speaking of the video, I noticed you are auctioning off the clothes from it for charity?
Yes! Isn’t that hilarious? We thought it would be a great way to give back, and also let all those great clothes live on.
But I don’t see the rainbow shorts you wore in the auction!
I know, people are asking for them! I might need to put them up there too.
I have to tell you. I am 10 years older than you, meaning I was a teen in the 80’s, and the infomercial for the album hit me in the face like a wave of nostalgia.
Ha! That is great, and exactly what we were hoping for. I have talked to a bunch of people in their 20’s about it, and they thought it was funny… but it’s great to hear someone who lived through it say it looked real.
You seem to like Colorado, because you come here to tour a lot – is that true?
Yes! I love Colorado. It feels like a second home. My family and I used to visit often when I was child, especially up in the mountains. I try to come back as much as I can.
Well. I wish I could see Matt here in Denver on 9/21. But here is the whole tour schedule for #HEATWAVE – which released TODAY. (Congrats, Matt!) It’s another example of happy music that I love. (I’ll let you know the scrobble count in a few weeks).
MATT WERTZ #HEATWAVE TOUR with Elenowen
9/04 Athens, GA
9/05 Knoxville, TN
9/06 Greenville, SC
9/07 Nashville, TN
9/11 Phoenix, AZ
9/12 Los Angeles, CA
9/13 Santa Anna, CA
9/14 San Francisco, CA
9/17 Portland, OR
9/18 Seattle, WA
9/20 Salt Lake City, UT
9/21 Denver, CO
10/02 St Louis, MO
10/03 Champaign, IL
10/05 Kansas City, MO
10/06 Little Rock, AR
10/16 Columbus, OH
10/17 South Bend, IN
10/18 Chicago, IL
10/19 Grand Rapids, MI
11/01 Ann Arbor, MI
11/02 Cleveland, OH
11/03 Cincinnati, OH
11/05 Pittsburgh, PA
11/06 Washington, DC
11/07 Annapolis, MD
11/08 New York, NY
11/09 Boston, MA
11/10 Philadelphia, PA
11/20 Carborro, NC
11/21 Charlotte, NC
11/22 Atlanta, GA
11/23 Birmingham, AL