Interview by Shawna Adams:
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The Matches Interview w/
Shawn Harris, Matt Whalen
Randall's Island, NY
Saturday, August 7, 2004
The Matches are:
Shawn Harris -- vocals, guitar
Jon Devoto -- guitar, vocals
Justin San Souci -- bass, vocals
Matt Whalen -- drums
Shawn and Matt of The Matches sit down with Cityzen to discuss making enemies and which band member has the nicest butt.
Cityzen: How did the band form?
Matt: Me and our bass player, Justin, have known each other since we were young. We met Shawn in high school and all started playing together. Then we met Jon about two years ago. (Shawn enters wearing a pink Motion City Soundtrack miniskirt...)
Cityzen: Where did you meet Jon?
Matt: On the Internet...he had an ad offering his services.
Cityzen: For how much an hour?
Matt: A LOT (laughs).
Cityzen: How did you guys come up with the name The Matches?
Matt: It was sort of inspired by Jon.
Shawn: Are you saying it's not cool? What are you trying to say?!
Cityzen: I didn't say anything!
Matt: Well Jon had a fire problem when he was a young boy -- he was a pyromaniac. He once set a mattress on fire with a book of matches when his mom was paying for something.
Shawn: Amongst the other things which led to us choosing that ridiculously awesome name, it's one of those things that you chose 'cause it's just so cool and then figure out why you chose it so when people ask you why you chose it you have something to say (laughs). Anyways, it's the opposite of The Clash - The Matches versus The Clash -- and we're inspired by that band. Homage!
Cityzen: How did the Live, Loud, and Local (L3) shows at iMusicast come about?
Matt: There were just no places to play...
Shawn: There were no places in Oakland...
Matt: And we played this club iMusicast one time...
Cityzen: It's a club?
Shawn: Well it didn't start out as one -- it started out as a studio where shows were broadcasted live on the web -- but we talked them into doing shows.
Matt: Yeah we needed a place to play and they let us do it.
Cityzen: How many years ago was that?
Matt: Two and a half, almost three years now.
Shawn: Our anniversary is almost here!
Cityzen: You named your debut release "E. Von Dahl Killed the Locals." Who is "E. Von Dahl"?
Shawn: She's from Chicago. It's actually spelled "Yvonne Doll." She has a band called The Locals, and we used to be called The Locals -- if you can believe that we had a name like that -- a bad band name like that. But we were called that throughout high school, and around the time we got Jon in the band we were already chatting about changing our name to something as cool as The Matches. We were asked by her lawyer to change our name so we decided to take that opportunity to change it. We don't have many enemies...but we just met Lars Fredrickson and he says if anybody fusses with us he'll take care of them, so we decided we need a couple of enemies. We don't want to make enemies but if anyone messes with us Lars will take care of it (laughs).
Cityzen: Everyone's been saying good stuff about you guys though!
Matt: Yeah except Yvonne Doll! (laughs)
Cityzen: Have you heard from Yvonne Doll after you named the record after her?
Shawn: Not that I know of, but actually, our fans always go on her website and go to her shows and boo her (laughs).
Cityzen: So she's your only enemy?
Shawn: Well we actually had an enemy -- what's that band called...well one of the guys punched me in the face 'cause I kissed him (laughs). They're a metal hardcore band and we were doing the cabbage patch in their moshpit and the guy said something like "This song doesn't go out to any of the faggots in the room!" and we were like "You can't say that!" so I got in the moshpit and started doing 60s dancing, and then the dude started charging at us saying "Get these fags out of our pit!" so I grabbed his face and kissed him on the mouth and he punched me in the face. We were supposed to fight afterwards but I think they were too cross eyed and brain-dead to actually fight. You know, like the kind who'll push you against a wall for about 10 minutes until they forget what they're doing...then they'll see an airplane in the sky and get completely distracted. I forget what they're called but that's probably a good thing (laughs). I should figure it out though so we can make them our enemy too, now that we have a posse going and all.
Cityzen: (laughs) Sounds like a plan.
Shawn: I mean we've been picked on all our lives and now we got some guys offering to protect us, we gotta take advantage of that, aight? (laughs)
Cityzen: What are the best and worst aspects of playing Warped? You guys weren't on Warped last year were you?
Shawn: No, last year we were playing our acoustic guitars in front of the gates to the San Francisco Warped though.
Matt: That was two years ago. But Warped...it's the best of times and the worst of times is how I've been phrasing it...
Shawn: That's how, uhmm...what's his name...Charles Dickenson! Would phrase it...
Matt: Yeah something like that. There are really cool things about Warped, like getting to meet all these really cool bands and getting to meet all these new people when we do signings.
Shawn: And it's really good exposure.
Matt: Yeah it really is.
Cityzen: So besides your own set, what band's set do you recommend checking out at Warped?
Matt: International Noise Conspiracy are good...
Shawn: Of the small bands blowing people out of the water, there's this band called Underoath. They're a hardcore band but they're really pushing the sound of that scene. I mean, I don't know if that scene is stagnate or anything, but I just haven't been interested in it for a while. But when I saw them I was just like "Holy yeahhh" they've got something going. So I'm pretty excited about them.
Matt: I really enjoyed The Sounds. They were on the first half of the tour.
Cityzen: Yeah I wanted to see them and I'm so bummed they're not on this leg of the tour.
Matt: Also another good band that was on the tour before is My Chemical Romance.
Shawn: They're really cool. They kinda have a Smashing Pumpkins vibe to them.
Matt: Scatter the Ashes is really good too. They were only on like five of the days though.
Shawn: Matchbook Romance, I love watching their set.
Cityzen: What's the most embarrassing CD in your collection?
Matt: Ever or what I still have?
Cityzen: Ever had...
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