Interview with Twisted Illusion’s Matt Jones.
Jovi: Thank you Matt for inviting me to the Red Wall recording studio to talk about your new and upcoming album – Insight to the Mind of a Million Faces.
Matt: Hey you got the title right. It’s a long one isn’t it?
Jovi: Yes it is! Twisted Illusion’s line up has changed recently, so who have you got to replace them on this album?
Matt: Ah, it’s a secret at the moment, I am not allowed to tell you! If you have seen us live recently you will know who the line-up is. But, other than that I can’t say anything. The people who played on the album are not permanent band members; they’re just some very good friends who have come in. We have got Steven Ellis on Bass from a band called Kaine that you should check out. He came and did the Bass – he was amazing, and then we got a lad called Philip Shacklady from a band called The Last Reserves. He came in and did the drums and he was ace so I can’t say anything about the new line up sorry. I’m not allowed.
Jovi: The new album is going to be a double disc. As I’ve listened to your previous two fabulous albums, how long is this one going to be?
Matt: Only one of my previous albums is fabulous! I don’t like one of them. This new album wasn’t intended to be this long. I didn’t want it to be a double album but I just kept writing and writing and writing and didn’t want to chop anything off. It was like “let’s just be a legend and just put out whatever I can and how much of it I can; let’s just do it all!“ So, I just threw in the kitchen sink in this album. Literally, it just has everything. There’s like some Malteasers, a box of Cheerios, a puppy dog in there, a roller coaster ride, there’s a romcom in there, a bag of Skips, some ice cream, a few peanuts, a pint of lager, and a can of Coke, some Rainbow Drops, and then a Freddo. There’s a lot of stuff on the album basically.
Jovi: So basically the whole shop?
Matt: Yes, that’s it.
Jovi: Your new album will have eleven tracks; which one is your personal favourite so far, and why?
Matt: There’s a song we have been working on today called “I Wish I Was There”, and I really like it because it’s so cheesy and 80’s. It sounds like an 80’s Yes song. Really catchy, and a really good chorus. I’m not sure I think it would change when I have finished all the vocals but that’s my favourite up to now.
Jovi: What is your process in writing your songs? Is it the tune that comes to mind first or the lyrics?
Matt: Always the music first for me, I don’t do words. I literally write the words as I sing them. I have a blank song and I will go” Hmm, what chocolate do I crave this week? I know I will put that in the song.” I’m joking! But, definitely words second for me. It’s the least important part as you need to remember a tune in your head don’t you? I’m rubbish with words. I don’t remember words. I can’t remember the words to my favourite song, so that’s how important they are to me. I just want tunes to remember; that make no sense! I just want tunes YOU will remember!!!!
Jovi: When is your album due to be released and where will people be able to purchase it from?
Matt: I’m doing a pledge campaign for this album so it won’t be released for a long while yet so it’s not going to have an official release at least until summer time. But, if people are pledging they will get the album a lot earlier. So that’s going to help me contribute towards this record.
Jovi: With your pledge campaign, what can people except for the money they pledge and how much are you hoping to raise?
Matt: I was mainly inspired by Massive Wagons to do this pledge because I know Baz was always against doing it just like I was, and then he did it and he really enjoyed getting to know the fans a lot more, as you get to give people who are enjoying music a lot more for the money they pledge such as £10 for the album and a t-shirt and a download of the album. So everyone wins really as the fans get a lot more for their money.
Jovi: How much time have you spent in the recording studio recording this album and have you nearly finished?
Matt: FOREVER!!! I can’t leave this place. I have been here since the first day of January, literally after New Year’s Day we got here and started tracking. I felt ill, so I was in bed for a week and this is my first day back today, it’s taking ages. Temple of Artifice was recorded in April and it took 8 days and now we are on our 17th day of recording this album and we are not even close to finishing. There is a hell of a lot more material to do on this album.
Jovi: I must say the art work for your album is amazing! I believe it was designed by Andy Pilkington of Very Metal Art. Did you have any input in the design or did you just trust him to come up with the goods?
Matt: I pretty much just trusted Andy. The way I usually work with Andy is that he will ask what the album is about, what kind of lyrics they are, and I obviously don’t do lyrics till I am singing them. I don’t have a clue, so I’m making up like I know what I am talking about. Andy just second guesses me and kind of knows what I am going for and I tell him what album covers I like and like the look of. He will use that and listen to music I recommend and that will give him an idea of what visuals I want to see. He just runs with it really; he is just brilliant to work with. He knows exactly what to do. Like you said, the art work is amazing.
Jovi: How do you personally feel about your new album? I know that you wasn’t particularly pleased with your first album Calm the Dark, even though you should be.
Matt: You had to bring it up didn’t you? I just think Temple of Artifice was a big step up from Calm the Dark. It almost felt like a debut on its own. I feel like this album is a continuing album to it. I think it is a good standard as well. It felt like a different band, a different step in time. The first one to me does not measure up to what I have done since. It was a starting point and I should appreciate that and I do, so that’s why I am going back to the songs. One of the songs off Calm the Dark is going to be on this new album. We have redone it, with lots of new harmonies in it that makes it sound a lot prettier and sexy. It sounds really good but I will always hate Calm the Dark and it’s going to die!!!! I will make it die!!!!
Jovi: Your second album Temple of Artifice was received well from your fans. How do you think your new album will be received?
Matt: One thing I’m not expecting from it and this might surprise you, but I’m not expecting to get any new fans because of it. This is more of a present for the people who supported Temple of Artifice and supported the endless line-up changes and still came to watch us and didn’t go “oh no, there is another line-up change” and didn’t come to watch us. It’s for those who continued to support Twisted Illusion as a project. It’s more of a present for those who are already into the band. It’s not a marketing tool to get new fans to make money or anything like that. It’s just a big Thank You to those who already like us.
Jovi: Will I get to review it?
Matt: Of course you will. You will get a really early copy. I just expect a really good review!!!! You are not allowed to let your parents hear it though. You will get it for professional reasons only and we will get you to sign a contract so if you show it to them, then I can sue you!!!!
Jovi: OK, and thank you for your time
Matt: you are not welcome!!!!