Matt Thomas has won several international fingerstyle guitar competitions (twice in “contemporary thumbpicking” and once in “open style”), is an avid harp-guitar player, and has played with some of the biggest names in the acoustic guitar world (Tommy Emmanuel, Stephen Bennet, and many more).  Aaron Sefchick and Joe McMurray talk to Matt about his personal journey, fingerstyle techniques, acoustic pickup systems, recording, and gigging.
In part 2 of 2, Matt continues telling the guys about acoustic amplification.  As any acoustic guitarist eventually realizes, amplifying acoustic guitars can be difficult if you want to preserve the natural sound of the guitar and avoid the sometimes “quacky” or “tinny” nature of many pickups that come stock in acoustic-electric guitars.  Matt talks about different acoustic pickup systems on the market, including the K&K Trinity, the K&K Big Spot, the K&K Pure Mini, the Fishman Matrix Infinity Mic Blend, and the Skysonic Pro-1.  He also talks about different acoustic pre-amps on the market, including those from Grace Designs, Pendulum, and D-TAR.  The guys also briefly examine issues of phase alignment.
Matt tells Joe and Aaron about his performance goals and opportunities, and the guys discuss the complexities of booking shows as an instrumental musician.
Welcome back to Fret Buzz The Podcast. Hello, my name is Aaron Sefchick and every
week, together with my co-host Joe McMurray, we get into conversation with
professionals all across the musical field. Whether that’s talking about
guitar, bass, drums, vocals, piano/synth… We’ve talked about recording, mixing and
mastering. We’ve talked about music schools and job opportunities. We’ve
covered a lot of ground in the past year. So, with that, we continue the good
discussion on acoustic pickups. Later on, Joe goes on a rant about Latin. So with
that, by all means let’s jump into part 2 with Matt Thomas on Fret Buzz The Podcast.
And you also use the the Big Spot for your kick? I do. I do.
Um, now Petteri uses a shot and Uli ray where he kicks and it’s a very um fee
sound and I tried several different ones at one point I was using a DiMarzio
black angel PI so but I found to be that when I liked cleanest I now just a Petry
when he’s using the shot and Uli he’s getting a little bit of hiss and he was
having to gate it and you know just transient noise problems so and the big
spot was just so quiet and simple and it was working at the time for me because I
could get it directly from knk with an RCA output and he I came up with this
crazy idea that instead of having all these holes out of the back of the
guitar maybe having one big hole with six PO ghosts in each each signal would
have its own hot-and-cold that way so I wouldn’t have any his foreground issues
and connect everything on the inside using those RCA leads that KNK was using
so really I kind of started using it because of the factors that it had but I
love the the way it responded so much I kept with that big spot so I used the
big spot for the kick and Fishman came out with a new under saddle and mic
combo the matrix mic combo and man does it sound so good
really it reminds me very much of what the matin pickup does it’s very similar
and it’s feel so I get let’s look at the jollies of pastimes in the feeling of
the strings because of the Fishman so go go Fishman on that one good job on that
and I actually separated out TRS it comes on to TRS we are output and I use
the grace Felix to separate the under saddle on the mic and you can get the
most out of both of them that way you can just really keep the B for the under
saddle without having a low cut the whole signal and then rely on the mic
for it to do what it needs to do instead of putting a lot of bass on the internal
microphone for your cake type stuff you rely on that with the big spot you know
that goes to its own channel and gets eq’d like a kick drum so you hit around
the guitar you wouldn’t really want your your tappy tappy stuff to sound boom
with Ian Wolfie and the PA so the microphone does the the load of taking
that end of the spectrum on that’s all so yeah that’s like that’s
that’s it’s just the idea of sonic placement yeah you let you let each
pickup do what it does best in the manner that you’re trying to use it for
now you know the knk is just all it is is a transducing electrode it’s two
pieces of metal together that when they have enough pressure they put out a
signal so essentially if you have a rate underneath where you’re hitting your
phone if you if you put a little extra base behind it and just a little bit of
gain all that you’re really gonna hear is a thump out of it and i roll off all
the highs and mids out of it at the touch mix I’m pretty much shelf it so
that it’s very narrow all that it’s really listening or responding to is
that frequency range and it does quite well for me now it’s not something that
is really needed for a lot of the solo type stuff but where I find it it comes
really in handy is when you get into group play if you’re playing with
someone else and you’re really trying to keep the integrity of all your sounds
you can really just you get the response you need out of each different one when
you get into a band setting or a duo or trio setting you’re no longer fighting
the band and that’s something that if you watch Tommy playing with bands or
other things there is a battle you know the maton does not like to play well
with others so fortunately this new set up is
something that I can jump in and play with a group and have an on/off Headroom
to be louder than the band at times and that’s fun taking the acoustic guitar
and changing its power abilities it is now it’s just the forefront of the group
where it’s always been supplemental or just a side color oh can
we add some acoustic guitar on that just put it off into the left somewhere over
there you know and that’s kind of that’s how they treated it for the
longest time and that’s just not not ever one I wanted for you know um I
liked on Ross’s I think on million Brazilian civilians he’s got some tracks
with a full band that like but he’s playing his normal stuff but he’s with
the band it’s really cool sounding man he gets into the horn section stuff I
love that I love I love the double horn lines with the melodies and stuff it’s
it’s just it’s really clever and as a matter of fact if you enjoy that Adrian
Belew also has its own trio project it is I mean it is it rocket and it’s a lot
more metal terrific than Don Ross’s Don Roz kind of has like this this crew of
jazz vibe yeah about it whereas Adrian’s is a group of Berkeley musicians that
are calculated everything that they do is in the pocket it is it is it’s cool
cuz it I mean you almost just want to sit there and try to nab it because it’s
so awesome so big shout out to Adrian right that dudes going places hmm Oh
with going back to these pickups take take like our general listenership
probably not professional fingerstyle guitarist but definitely some players
out there you know I mean even for myself like I’m starting to bring my
acoustic out to shows and I’ll do mini acoustic sets you know every you know if
I’m playing three sets I might do you know six acoustic songs or something but
it just doesn’t sound good and I’ve got my tailor with it’s it’s a 2001 tailor
with the built-in Fishman under-saddle pickup what like where’s the first place
someone should start because I don’t think most people are gonna go and get
like three pickups and they don’t know how to wire all this stuff together like
what’s like the first thing you should do in order to get a pretty good sound
for just your you know ever person now if it were just if you want
to just plug and play pick up that kind of tries to do it all they’re starting
to become more of them now the knk trinity is everybody’s go-to and it it
does quite well with the percussive finger style stuff not so much for
sending effects but if you’re just a singer-songwriter and you just want to
plug in play Dustin Furla has a great great response
with it and it does quite well with just just about every setting for songwriting
um and you know with some percussive guitar as well now my buddy Travis
Bowman he has been working with a lot of Asian companies and keep your ears and
eyes open from that area of the world because there’s all kinds of new
technology coming out every minute it’s it’s terrifying and awesome because I
remember him telling me like three years ago about this crazy Bluetooth wireless
guitar system then you’ve literally just plug into your guitar and plug it into
the PA wherever and you could just walk around and he was doing it at NAMM just
like going around playing Hotel California playing at other people’s
booths while it’s playing it has booths sort of thing and there’s no latency in
its bluetooth what it does make any sense and it’s this company called sky
sonic they make a lot of different types of pickups now so they’re they’re just
diving down the route if we want to make everything and give you options of just
about anything you want and they got this really cool new triple pickup
all-in-one and it’s you can install it yourself you don’t even have to have a
luthier do it as long as you have in pinhole but it’s a magnetic sound hole
pickup and contact underneath the saddle line
so it sits on the bridge plate like a knk and it’s also got a microphone
built-in to the magnetic pickup itself so you can dial in all three of those
tones on one output or it’s also got the option for TRS out and it’s got a little
switch so if you wanted to on preamp your mag and mic separately from your
transducer you can’t it gives you the option so that’s it’s a really cool
route you could get something simple like that and it would provide the
ability to do multiple of these things without having to have three individual
pickups so there’s there’s becoming more and more companies giving the option of
multi sourced pickups so you don’t really have to go the route of putting a
lot of them and you can just rely on one that’s already all together so in really
if I had to I just go with that Fishman mic combo the the matrix mic does so
well I went ahead and put it in my harp guitar as well it just sounds really
natural I know I think I’ll pet away also uses it and takes it as a matter of
fact that’s that’s why I even went down the fishermen matrix route is Kim told
me that one of the best live sounds that she had ever heard was all pet away with
his rain song live and it had that darn Fishman in it so I tried it and I again
it feels in response very much like the maton pickup died did and so duck does
and so compared to the compared to the K and K Trinity what’s the difference
between the mate the Fishman matrix my combo and the knk Trinity there’s an
when you have a under-saddle pickup there’s an initial response from
the string that happens whereas the K&K; is much more like a microphone where as
you hit the string and then you hear the note where as an under saddle pickup you
hit the string and you immediately hear the attack
not even the note but you hear the attack of you hitting the string and if
you don’t have it EQ properly like if you have it wide open and you got a lot
of bass pushed through the PA all you’re gonna hear out front is you’ll hear the
percussive attack of your pick and not even the no so there there’s that
problem too you know um if you don’t EQ an under saddle properly all you hear
out front is thuds from your pick that’s what I kind of get when I play with mine
like it’s – as soon as I use a actual flat pick its way to your bright and the
techs see it well and that’s that that’s where you’re where the problem locks you
know um I actually I don’t like the upper end of under saddles
so I actually roll all my highs off of the under saddle and the upper mids as
well because it’s got this this nasal miss and the 800 range that I don’t like
so I keep it more suited to relying on from about 60 Hertz to maybe about 300
but that’s where it’s best is in that low and low mid-range area that’s where
it it growls it gives you that oomph and that power and drive behind your sound
did Tommy when he starts digging in with a thumb pick you feel it start to pick
up and you go okay we’re going somewhere and that’s that’s what you’ve won out of
an under saddle but you don’t get that out of a K&K; it doesn’t provide the same
sound unless you really have it beefed and then get into feedback problems and
you decide do I want to ride the feedback train or do I want to go
different route now we look at Andy McKee he has just made it I don’t want
to deal with any of that he he does just a pure mini he doesn’t even do the
trinity anymore it just does the pure mini into a D taar1 signal that’s it
cuts all the highs out basically keeps it real bass heavy and a lot of times
has feedback problems but he rides that he rides that train and he’ll work with
it on the stage he’ll find his zones where he knows he can and can’t be and
he works with it with the music um you know you’ll allow him you’ll watch them
allow certain notes to lead forward and then choke it out if he asked you um it
just it’s in it it’s also an entertainment thing is that how you want
to perform as chasing and writing sound or do you want to conduct it and that’s
that’s something that I kind of made a decision I want to be the conductor I
don’t I don’t want it to drive me I want to drive it I want to have full control
over every bit of the sound so and it’s so much it there’s so much to this
they’re really so much harder than just just playing an acoustic guitar it is
going going down electric guitars and that’s why they have engineers and
people that this is what they it’s just their whole job you know a few years ago
I didn’t even think about any of this stuff I just wanted to play the guitar
but you know sometimes you just got to think about some of these things in a
different perspective and go okay how can I make it go to the next
level and one of the simple steps was just breaking down some of the problem
areas and trying to address them and make them a little better but they’re
not perfect there I don’t know that they will be like again that endpin idea was
stupid I loved it at first but unfortunately I
had to have a custom cable made and I with that for about six months and I did
more shows without half of the pickups working than I did with them working and
I it was really unfortunate because that a really big show
I was headlining the tin pan in Richmond and I just got my brand new custom layer
of a and had I drilled that inch hole in the back for that that panel mount and
got on stage soundcheck was roaring was perfect I got it up there did the first
song it was great went into the second song where I really
used the effects and it just stopped working everything everything but the
Fishman quit working and I went okay Fishman you guys did good you guys did
good and and yeah I kind of I learned what I can rely on and you know it’s
nice to have a standalone pickup they will get you to the other side of the
river because it when you’re dead in the water it sucks it sucks real bad so um I
went back instead of having them all out of one output I separated them just
because the cables can be bought it guitar center or your local music store
that’s another thing to be said is being able to get your equipment
if it breaks when you’re at a gig and you’re on tour somewhere you don’t want
to create a situation where you don’t have a fail-safe
you don’t have a way out oh it’s yeah I have I have a backup
power supply for my pedalboard I have backup of every type of cable yeah you
never know what’s gonna happen out there well and unfortunately with the rig that
I built there’s always certain parts that I can go okay I can have two of
those cuz like the QSC touch mix you know they’re not $1500 I can’t have a
spare one of those just sitting around same thing with the grace Felix that was
1,500 I think they just went up after last name because they’re becoming so
popular so um the the gear itself can get really expensive especially when you
want certain things out of it good acoustic preamps are not cheap and
there’s only a handful of them out there that are really really good grace is one
of the best ones in the world grace designs they have a Felix the Alex
and the Bix now that the smallest one and I’m I’m part of their team I love
their things the roadworthy yeah I don’t have to
worry about it and then you get to like the pendulum stuff that’s that’s very
expensive like I have the rack mount the SPS one which is what James Taylor tours
with and and David Wilcock and it’s a $3,000 rack mount preamp it’s you don’t
travel I don’t I wouldn’t dare travel with that just because I won’t for one
like I said earlier Greg is retired so they’re no longer being made you can’t
get them unless you buy one from someone now so that sucks but Felix is basically
the pendulum in pedal form now there is a new company out of Japan and I’ll send
you guys some links cuz I wouldn’t dare try to pronounce some of the things
just I know better but they’re they’re very similar but there are there on the
very expensive from like 3,500 to 4,000 dollars and again it’s it’s just it’s a
very expensive route if you want to have good clean acoustic sound now didn’t we
I need to rewind a little bit here yeah of course I have so here’s my tailored
is that the prefix yes it’s the prefix plus this is a 2001 model mm-hmm bit
this is the preamp right built into this yes box here so I don’t need a separate
I mean obviously this doesn’t sound as good as I would like it to sound but
this I don’t need to go out and buy a preamp correct or good it helped
potentially it could help oh okay because here’s the thing is the onboard
preamps only have so much tone shaping and control right um and also power
preempt power you’re working I believe that’s a 9-volt right yeah so that
that’s that’s the power source that you’re working from and when you go to a
an actual preamp that’s depending on the type of power
like for instance Dustin’s D tar 16 volt power but it’s a weird wall wart so and
its proprietary so if it goes out he’s dead in the water so he doesn’t use it
all the time he only uses it for special shows um
now that the Grays has a standard like power cable you can swap it out from
anything and what that’s 120 volts so the the amount of power and in amping is
the difference with a fact um so you can get louder
it’s just it’s the presence it’s not so much that it’s louder because loud is is
a relative term yeah you know it’s just like a microphone amp exactly where you
can know you can get your scarlet solo or I have the claret or you know you can
get a manly or you can get there’s there’s hundreds if not thousands of
different preamps out there for mics and they all have their different levels to
you can you can get a simple one and it will do it it’ll sound good but until
you start hearing the different levels in Y there’s just there’s my new
different clarity differences that you’ll hear in in frequency ranges and
that is something that is again I know it might sound bonkers but when you a be
them side by side you really will hear a difference in like a a an upper
mid-range spectrum or just a you know an eighty to ninety Hertz
OMPH bump and you’re like oh that’s why that thing is so awesome because of that
range because that’s what it does um so that’s that’s the thing is an onboard
guitar preamp and only it’s very limited in what it does like the grace each
channel has its own like its own impedance switch as well so you can be
running powered pickups side by side with passive pickups that’s not
something that a lot of preamps have the ability to do because they’re just
trying to deal with either two things or even just one so there’s those things
that also separate the little boys from the big boys and preamps your ability of
changing each individual channel separate from the other is also you know
what you pay for low cuts things like that those those are really great for
for acoustic guitar keys if you have a microphone channel a lot
of times you do need to have shelf on the on that to where it just
doesn’t want to roar and feedback in the low end but um your prefix I don’t know
I believe it’s only a mono out so the downside to that is if you have a under
saddle in mic combo it doesn’t really matter
you’re only gonna send out what you’re able to send out um and that’s lend it I
mean I don’t have that there’s it’s only under saddle but oh okay so you don’t
even have a mic on that one no okay like a mic well I’m asking you
all these questions oh well okay grab what I’m gonna do
well then that’s a different question um if I were to look at yours and go what
could we add if you just want to add a mic um there is actually this thing
called the to mic and Trevor Gordon Hall uses it Alex Anderson harp guitars also
uses it it’s a really feedback resistant preempt mic and it’s actually literally
two mics why they call it the to mic but it comes on its own gooseneck that has
this double light position thing so it does one like at the soundboard area and
then one in front of the the bridge plate area and they’re really feedback
resistant they it’s like they got their own shelfing built in so they don’t
they’re not even listening to the lower-end spectrum and that’s so that’s
something that I think his I think his name is Jim Mills they they have a
microphone they can be added to like the KNK Trinity or it’s a really high-end
microphone and that’s essentially what they do they put in a low shelf and
already wired in to the microphone and that would be a great solution for you
and that’s something I’d need to go to luthier a luthier and have them put that
in was a Saab can put in yourself you got some drill bits I don’t want to
drill into me yeah and well and that’s that’s that’s that is another thing is
you know what requires a luthier to me drilling an end pin hole I don’t require
a luthier um I’m okay with scarring it about myself if I need to but soldering
connecting things that’s that’s not something I’m so good with so I rely on
a luthier rosewood guitar repair here in town we’ve had Larry’s been on the show
if you oh wow our listeners out there if you want to listen to larry ger wolde an
awesome local luthier here in Virginia Beach yeah absolutely 20 I believe yeah
yeah Larry Bird Walt is also a harp guitarist well and as a matter of fact
his harp guitar is the one that I recorded my album with he has a very
unique bronze Spillers harp guitar that is very beefy sounding and he’s had it
for many years and it’s aged and ice and I kind of a beat it with the one that I
had at the time I had a cedar in koa Merrill and the the Sitka and mahogany
just had a growl ear tone that I was going for the cedars just a little more
compressed and even which of course is great but you know I just wanted a
little more dynamic value yeah mm-hmm yeah Larry’s super super cool guy and
he’s up he’s up for a task you know I’ve had solder all kinds of different weird
projects because this has been you know going on for a few years now that we’ve
tried different types of K and K s or DiMarzio Zoar under saddle transducers a
I’ve tried a lot of different things um but it comes down to
what do you want to be able to pay for and continue to do like you know I’d
love to have a a trance system or things like that but those are like six hundred
dollars and for just one of four or five pickups that’s too much so I’ve tried to
find the with the internal pickups the simplest way of going about it as well
even though I know it sounds crazy because there’s you know four pickups
coming out of the guitar but they’re they’re all things that you can just go
to the store and buy pretty much without having this special order them and
that’s yet again something I reverted back to because yeah it’s fun having
custom unique proprietary things but it can it can cripple you when one stops
working they’re not yeah I just keep on going back to this thought of phase with
when you’re working with multiple multiple microphones on a source that
phase is going to become a really big issue and placement of those pickups
within you know on that source yeah and making sure that it displays out front
and the same timing and manner to Erik it creates an image because that’s what
you’re doing is the placement of the sound out front really translates to an
auditory image that people hear and if certain parts are fighting there
suddenly feels like this void out front or sometimes it’s not even you know the
whole room it’s certain parts of the room that feel lacking and it’s just in
the way that frequencies respond in a room and phase aligning them it’s
something that a lot of people don’t even think about to try but it’s it’s a
really simple thing that you can do to just suddenly bring the life back to
what the interests supposed to be doing with where the
pickups are and sometimes it’s different between different guitars I mean for
instance like my lyre Bay is a 12 fret er so the soundhole pickup in the under
saddle pickup the distance is different from my other
guitars so the phase alignment has to be slightly different as well because the
sound is coming from different areas it can’t be the same exact thing it’s not
the same exact thing so that also becomes another thing is you know are
you having more than one guitar to plug in and that was another route to go down
I wanted to keep the harp guitar is similar to set up possibilities as as I
could because I don’t want to carry more stuff um I’m already at that limit of
pissin TSA off and I’m charging me more you know unfortunately I don’t have the
Flex an inflow of gigs that some other musicians do so I I do have to be
patient and decide ok how do I spend the money so making it easier for myself is
what I try to do so the Fishman route just made it so great because you know I
don’t have to deal with several different pickups now it’s just just
that one thing and I can send it to my Felix and let grace do what it does best
sound shape and pretty much the sound of the guitars especially since now the
layer bass of 12 writer in my new harp guitars a 12th writer ah you see what I
did there yeah the intent is it’s trying to keep them as close as possible so
that I don’t have to overwork myself as well
back when we had dust and on on episode I believe it was 27 28 we had also
talked about something about along the lines of concerts in your home and I was
wondering about you were do you have an agent and how do you go about doing your
your gigs and how does that all go down um yes and no I do I have an agent I
don’t have a manager service so to speak if someone asked future manager I’m
gonna tell them Kim person cuz she I will always rely on her word over
someones just because her extensive knowledge in this and she’s been very
instrumental in leading me in the right direction so as far as management she
would be considered or I would consider her my manager she doesn’t book cakes
though she she just more has creative direction and inspiration sort of thing
keeping me centered but as far as booking agents I’ve been with more music
for years and in the four years I’ve been with them they’ve got me two gigs
um I’ve been with rock star booking for two years and same thing they’ve gotten
me to gigs they treat me like they don’t know what to do with me okay um cuz I I
don’t sing I tell stories and then I let the music do the talking
um and I do more of a concert type setting thing so unfortunately it’s been
more spread out than a typical career path I would love to be able to just
tour and do house concerts and stuff like that at one point I did apply for
concerts in your home and because I don’t sing they they turned me down and
then Dustin Furillo they applied for us as a duo
and they kind of turned us down and then he applied Solon when they accepted him
and then we just ended up doing some of his solo boat concerts in your home gigs
as do well right so it’s it’s been a an interesting process like I don’t quite
understand why yeah it is it is um I would love the ability to do more of
those things but I’m also quite aware that it’s reality you know the majority
of people want to hear singing they want to hear things that they’re used to
hearing and that type of setting in and that’s okay and I understand with like
concerts in your home and listening room Network they want singer songwriters
they don’t they don’t want like what I do it sounds old type of thing yeah
that’s more suited for I guess big concert so type concert stuff and
there’s just such a big gap in that it’s it’s weird for me um because how you
sustainably function and all those when there’s so far spread out um
so unfortunately over the years I’ve relied on the restaurant geeks and
coffee shop cakes but that also does devalue and hurt an image to a certain
extent taking those types of gigs and you know it hurts which you are and what
people want to pay for they see you playing there they’re not gonna pay high
dollar to have you at their corporate event when they know they can go see you
for free down down the street here versus you know no I want to go see him
at an actual seated venue with the best sound possible and have an an evening
and an experience so um and part of that you know
I wanted to make sure I could bring that to people so um
in house concert realm I feel like I kind of moved both dust and an eye into
the direction of we can provide some of the best sound possible for the listener
where that’s not something that a lot of the house concert people do with people
that are touring and going and playing these house concerts a lot of times
they’re just bringing an amp or whatever they can get by on and and that’s I
don’t it’s not bad that’s what they like to do but I’ve never wanted that for
myself or for the listener I’ve always wanted to be able to give them the best
that I could potentially give them and for them to expect that as well because
you know when I went and saw Tommy in the early days I expected him to be out
there giving him every bit of himself I mean you’d see him in sweat blood tears
you knew it was the moment and that that’s that’s what I got entranced with
and that’s what I’m going to feed off of because that’s what hooked me was that
feeling that I had as a listener in that room I know what it can do I’ve seen its
power I’ve seen its ability to both hurt and empower and make people better in
general um because after they’ve had that experience
later that evening in the next day they’re gonna be better humans period
and it’s good it’s good for their neighbors it’s good for their neighbors
neighbors so it’s something that I I always found like I said before playing
guitar is an output of energy you’re putting out something so if you’re
exchanging energy voids at four and to me if you step on that stage that energy
you should be putting out how perpetuate the other people’s next day
or even their next week or in an instance of what Tommy and Steven and
Michael Hedges and when all these people have done for fingerstyle guitarist like
me they perpetuated a life you know an idea that oh maybe we could do that too
maybe I could be that one on the stage giving you that feeling and that’s
something I’ll always chase after is the idea that it can be done yeah I think to
fully kind of pull in the experience like you’ve been talking about
throughout the episode is this idea of kind of taking it up a level whether
it’s you or Tommy or any one of these upper tier guys that
are kind of taking the experience and making that bar a little bit higher and
a little bit higher whether it’s you know through the sound and making sure
that the audience’s is you know hearing the true sound of the guitar and all of
the frequencies that it that you know can just penetrate you with yeah you
know what I mean like just come and heal you yeah absolutely
whereas you know a lot of these guys like you had said they’re you know
pulling along their little roll behinds and they just kind of plug in and you
get that direct sound and it’s like okay and that works for you and that’s great
but you know what we’re trying to do you guys what you’re trying to do is this
raise that bar and make it so that you know you can go to a theater and have a
seating you know and just sit there for the full value of of what’s about to
take place and like you said go home and after the experience and be just
overwhelmed by the experience and and kind of say okay the value of what of
what I’ve just experienced is just that much better and then that just kind of
bleeds into the rest of the the environment of your finger style guitar
and hopefully not I would dare say I would I would dare say this word
religious yeah um you know that a lot of times
scares people um and will put them on edge or put them in a certain direction
but to me music is my religion it is it has always been the one thing that I
feel leads me in positive direction gives me the best hope and is a language
that has no bounce it doesn’t matter what culture it is or anything music is
it’s timeless and doesn’t need words it you can move
people without even needing to say one thing yeah um I have a tag line and all
my email says music is a universal language and I’d love to have a
conversation with you precisely um you know those came from
you know I’ve always wanted to to speak another language um I went to performing
arts high school and unfortunately they led me in the direction that you don’t
need any foreign language in high school Wow you don’t have to take those classes
so I I never did um and I’ve really just I never dissected the English language
much either because I was was put in so many music classes throughout high
school that that was the language that I focused on most and unfortunately you
know and I look at some of these monster players like I don’t even know if this
is the proper way to say his name but some college on or he said jeongsun ha
hey I’m not sure but he can speak multiple languages
same thing with Alexander misko and Patrice Arriola these are all people
from around the world that were brought up and cultures where they’re taught
multiple languages so that they can go abroad and communicate both people but I
didn’t ever learn that so to me I’ve always really tried to rely on the fact
that hopefully my music will reach everywhere else and a lot of times
it just it has and that is because of what music is it’s universal
it doesn’t it doesn’t discriminate it can speak to just about anybody and that
that that goes beyond humans yeah – I cannot tell you how many unique
experiences I’ve had in nature where I’ve been writing a song in the animals
around me we’ll walk up and have a moment or something in that sense
happens and I know that my son foo-foo is all get-out but I cannot I’ve had
people experience it with me um animals that just don’t do that
they just music has the ability to move more than humankind and it doesn’t have
to have a human attachment like words you know it is a powerful thing my dog
sleeps on my feet well I am using I’m playing I want to go back I took Latin
in high school I think Glen should not be tired
I like I think you aging I it’s not even that it’s just like I feel like I and I
know there’s some doctor kind of medical field people that’ll argue against this
but who are not listening to our podcast I feel like I was cheated I feel like I
was cheated out of learning an actual usable language I I wish that they had
not offered Latin and not they tell you like Oh Latin will help your SAT scores
and yeah you and I hope you’re learning the language yeah it’ll help you to
learn other languages we’ll just have us learn the other language don’t make me
spend five years taking Latin and now I’m like I gotta read that why couldn’t
I have learned Spanish or something where I could go you could’ve learned
Spanish why should I learn Spanish well I’ve since I’ve had to pick it up but
I’m like they really made it – right right 13-year old going into
high school or I was in eighth grade they made it seem like it was the best
thing ever and well you should do this and this is what the smart kids are
doing and really it was a place it’s very important at a young age during
that stage of learning because that your language center is is kind of changing
and learning and if you don’t learn how to break down those communicative steps
they just don’t get learned like at this point I don’t know that I would even try
rosetta stone I’d probably toss it out the window just
because I I feel like I have an idea of what I think communication is and
because that’s the way that my brain has formed it but if you look at European
countries everywhere else in the world really if they teach them from such a
young age but the simple dissection steps of what language is how to
communicate in those manners and and actually form sentences and things like
that so that you can some languages they they place them in different orders and
that’s not something I even understand I get it with music but not not language
but I completely agree with this I’m just saying I think everyone should
learn multiple languages yeah oh yeah for your own personal benefit it’s
awesome to be able to go somewhere else and be able to communicate with people
but Latin should just not be where the language is promoted it should be a bit
if you really want to take Latin it I think maybe should be available but they
should not promote it in the way that they do where he has Latin root to and
that’s unfortunate but you don’t need to take Latin in high school I hope I love
my Latin teacher but I never used this
that’s great we actually got to go when I was in high school I was in the Latin
club because you know they they want you to do all this stuff to get into college
like as many extracurricular activities as possible but the one thing that
Club did that was really cool as we went to Europe in the summer and I got to go
to Switzerland in Italy and you know nobody speaks Latin in Italy even no
useless but uh yeah yeah yeah I enjoy Europe and but they they look at us
funny and I know I I know I’m for unfortunately I I feel guilty for not
being more aware and not knowing more um I know that’s my own fault and so well
maybe one of these days I’ll try to learn another language just just because
of that guilt I think the people in other like I was recently I was in Spain
last year and Spanish is probably my best out of all the foreign languages
I’m I can communicate in Spanish not me not like a tan on a poetic level but I
think that people appreciate the idea that you’re trying and they’ll even if
they speak perfect English they’re just like maybe they’ll respond to you and in
English when they realize like you speak to them in Spanish then they’ll respond
back in English but with I think a friendlier just they’re just nicer about
it because they’re like okay you came to our country you tried appreciate the
effort how good I’ll talk in English how humbling is that I cannot tell you how
many times I’ve not had that experience here in our our own country and I think
that’s where the guilt comes from is I see the latter I see I see what I’ve
seen other people do to those who are trying to speak English and we look at
them I don’t but a lot of people look at the
blog why can’t you speak English there they’re speaking fairly good English
they’re trying they’re trying real hard they’re doing pretty darn good they’re
doing better than I wait if I was trying to speak Arabic or you know Tagalog or
any feel those foreign language right so yeah it’s humbling
all the time to see foreigners here communicating with us so it’s more and
more makes me want to just pick up a guitar and communicate with people and
and play for them and go okay this is the one way that I do know I can talk
with anybody yeah and that’s that’s that’s it’s always driven me to continue
to do what I do no matter what I feel like I have to because it’s what I’m
embedded to know best I wish people the general public did
appreciate instrumental music more people are just your general person you
know they could be a wonderful person but they don’t the general public
doesn’t appreciate instrumental music they just there’s something about
someone who’s a good singer even if they put far less time into their craft they
just happen to have a good voice kind of by luck or they’ve had some some
training but you know they can strum four chords and sing the general public
seems to want that more than the guy who’s put in 10,000 hours in to crafting
his you know into his craft into his instrument and it is it’s very
frustrating a guy I feel your pain cuz I feel like I get the best response
playing like the easiest song and then I’m like I’ll play the hardest thing
I’ve ever played in my life and like pull it off and I’ll crickets yes I look
around people are like there’s a couple couple musicians paying attention yeah
you know maybe people would be like saying dude I’m like come on yep alright
well unfortunately it’s not good to quote Bill Cosby but he did say
something great one of the easiest to find ways to fail as
to try to please everybody and so I heard David Wilcock at one time making
this reference that you know music is a deep pool and yeah you could stay in the
shallows and try to get everybody and do something that everybody will get but
there’s there’s something really satisfying in depth going deeper because
the ones that are down there in the depths that understand what you’re doing
you’re going to catch on so much more of a deep level and an understanding that
it’s gonna make worth waiting and not dealing quick the general public that
might not understand what you’re doing and that there have been several
instances like that over the years that they do make it well worth while so I I
do I try to stay a little on the deeper rum with intent and try not to make it
palatable for everybody because why it’s not for everything I understand that but
I don’t want to tell anybody who it’s for either you know how much I want to
leave that open so I just try to to do its best that I know and write as
intensely as I know how to in the steps that I grew up learning music theory and
the approach that music has the ability to move people in certain ways so I am I
just stay with that go crazy with it hey guys this has been pleasure Matt
thank you so much for for joining us it’s been it’s been great thanks for
having me on and again a lot of this stuff is always changing so
I I said anything that offended anybody don’t worry
it might change tomorrow like what’s your website yeah like to plug anything
your album your web you know as we said before there’s lots of Matt Thomas’s so
which one am I I am the Matt Thomas calm and your
albums available on all the all streaming platforms it’s called man on
the moon that’s right it’s a dedication to Stephen Bennett all right cool. Well
you guys have a great one. Thanks guys for having me on. Yeah, hope to
see you guys out and about at shows. I’ll be in touch. All right man.
See you guys. Okay. See you Aaron. Yep

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