The Matches' Shawn interviewed after Warped Tour 2004.

The Matches Do Warped Tour 2004
It's really nice to hear people talk about what has moved them into this wild realm of music. The Matches' live show was a blast because you could tell they were having a good time, I think that's what its all about.

We cornered lead singer Shawn just after their set. Here's what we got.

Q: what do you love about punk rock music?

S: Do they call it punk any more? What drew me in were the live shows. We grew up in Oakland, Ca. , in all honesty, the first I heard about punk rock was Greenday and some would debate whether that is still punk rock or not.

I saw Greenday on MTV. I was in the 6th grade. My dad played guitar and I thought guitar was kind of a lame instrument then I saw Billy Joe with his guitar slung around his ankles in the basket case video, taped it, rewound it a bunch of times and figured out how his fingers were on the guitar and I learned to play that way. That was the first thing. We're from the same area as them so we felt some pride with them, rancid and Op Ivy. We were going to live shows in North Cali and we were introduced to live music that way.

I think where the Matches are as far as a fit on a punk label like Epitaph would be is in our live show. We take bits out of all of the punk shows we've seen. I would rather listen to Radiohead than the Dead Milkmen, but I'd rather see the Dead Milkmen live.

I like the compliment the live show and cd give each other. I feel uneasy if someone only sees our live show or hears the cd. I feel like you really need both elements to understand because they are two way different dynamics. The cd is energetic and we try to do things different as far as song writing goes and that's what you hear from the cd. It's more in the vein of a really energetic rock record. The live show is definitely Iggy and the Stooges. I love the Clash, Elvis Costello, a little bit of everything and then of course all the new bands. I think a lot of people forget where the music came from, like power pop...Elvis Costello is my song writing hero.

I write Lyrics on acoustic guitar then take them to the band and that's where we all work them out.

Q: What is "commotion promotion?"

S: It got us where we are today. Its basically us taking our guitars around to shows and playing on the curb outside in San Fran, Oakland, high schools---as the schools would get out we'd run through the halls and throw flyers at everyone. We started doing it to promote a show we started in Oakland, L3. When we'd get out of our garage to play live shows, we wanted to play the Gillman, a famous club in Berkley, that and CBGB's are the main stages for punk rock. We'd try to get shows there, but there was an exclusive scene because of the way punk was being taken to the pop market. They were really protective of the bands that played there. It was hard for us to get a show there. We were just kids that didn't know anybody from any of the cool bands. We said screw that, we're gonna do our own show. We started the L3 thing a couple of years later after doing the commotion promotion, screaming out name to anyone who would listen. Friends from bands from across the country, well they are our friends now, heard about the scene and wanted to come check out Oakland.

After Greenday blew up, Oakland was a dead market. Everybody went to San Fran. Only the real underground bands would play the Gillman. Our scene on Telegraph Ave. kind of changed.

Q: How was the Japan tour?

S: It was amazing. It's ridiculous. We went out for our first show, we didn't have any songs going out there, our record wasn't out there, nothing. We went with our friends band called Zebrahead, which was really big in Japan, it was like selling out a 3 thousand seat venue 2 nights in a row in Tokyo, it was really neat. He first time we went on stage, we were really nervous cause this is the biggest crowd we'd ever played for---the crowd was really sedated, in like these single file lines almost, we thought they were gonna hate us. When we started the first song, the broke into this chant almost louder than our music...Oi! Oi...fists in the air in unison. We found that a bunch of our songs have this magic tempo for them, what ever you call it, pop punk, power pop, whatever, they were into it.

Q: What would be your dream tour?

S: We are very excited to be on Epitaph. We grew up listening to punk-o-rama, Rancid...its pretty amazing to be on a label with our heroes. Brett from Bad Religion was the guy that flew out to see us and told us that they wanted us to sign with Epitaph Records. We thought he was an imposter for a few days. There was no way the coolest most punk ass label wants us to put out a record we made in our garage. We did this album on a computer with a friend in the basement. I guess it would be the Warped Tour. I feel really cool on the back of the stage behind the drummer while some really big bands like Anti Flag were playing. I remember going to Warped Tour when I was a kid, seeing Weezer on stage then Tim Armstrong was standing on stage behind the drummer...the whole thing is like a big community. All the bands are really cool to us. Even Lars, he's huge and covered in tattoos, he came up to our guitar tech...nicest guy in the world, and he talked with him for 10 minutes.

From Onozine/Buzz Generator