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Interview: Matt Emery (Stagecoach)

Occasionally known as the drummer for London indie-pop band Stagecoach, Matt Emery also has several solo releases under his belt with his latest being a free EP of Pulled Apart By Horses covers; 'Pulled Apart by Matt Emery'.

Alter The Press! spoke to Emery to discuss how the EP came together, his future solo plans, Stagecoach's recent tour with Twin Atlantic and more.

Alter The Press: To begin with could you introduce yourself and Stagecoach?
Matt Emery: Yes, hello my name is Matt Emery, I play drums in a band called Stagecoach, we are a 5 piece turbo fuelled rock band from London/Surrey, when not on tour or working hard with the band, in my spare time I also write and do a few gigs under my own name.

ATP: People may know you from playing in Stagecoach. How does your solo material differ from theirs?
ME: It’s really different, the solo stuff I write is way more of a dreamy atmospheric vibe, full of layered vocal harmonies and melodies going off (it’s like a choir of Matt Emery’s sometimes) it does verge into all sorts of different categories, many reviews have labelled it as kind of Sigur Ros/Thom Yorke sounding, Its definitely down that end of town, but it’s also got its own thing going on. In the words of Brother "it is what it is." Haha.

ATP: Recently you released a free collection of Pulled Apart By Horses covers. How did the collection come together?
ME: It came together slowly over time, I released the 'High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive' cover last year just as a free download, and it had such an amazing reaction of people getting in touch to say how much they enjoyed it and asking for more, so I then put together the EP in my spare time and again really amazed by the reaction it’s had again.

ATP: Are there any particular reasons for Pulled Apart By Horses covers?
ME: Yeah because they’re one of my favourite bands. I am a big fan of their work. They are maybe the best live band I’ve ever seen and have the songs to back it up too. And also they are so far genre/musically from what I do, it was the perfect band to cover. I had so much to play around with instrument and vocal wise, and shows there songs in a completely different light. They are such well written and constructed songs too, the hooks will shine through no matter what instrument or genre you covered them in.

ATP: I understand you're currently working on a new solo record called 'Open Heart Surgery'. What can you tell us about it?
ME: Yes it should be finished recording wise in a couple of weeks, it’s darker than anything I’ve done before, quite dramatic too, and it’s an EP of mini epics, most of the songs are quite short about 3 minutes long but maybe incorporate the journey of your usual 7-8 minute epic track within that time. So maybe best to compare it to Oblivion at Alton Towers; pretty short but still gives you the buzz of a longer rollercoaster like Nemesis.

ATP: Has your approach to the way you make music changed by your time in Stagecoach and vice versa?
ME: I’m not sure, not really, as our writing process’s are so different, but when you write your own solo stuff you get your own way 100% of the time, I normally sit and write and record all at the same time. In a band everyone has their own ideas and spin on things, in Stagecoach it’s great, we literally spend weeks if not months working on songs, sculpting and chipping away trying to find the best possible version of the song there can be, normally it’s the first version we recorded 2 months back but it’s an awesome creation process none the less. I enjoy both in such different ways, but it’s always great to be able to share the excitement of something new with your mates rather than just yourself.

ATP: Moving on to Stagecoach. You recently toured with Twin Atlantic. How did these shows go annd how was the reaction from fans?
ME: The tour was ace! Twin Atlantic were brilliant every night, and some of the nicest guys I think we’ve met since doing the band. The reaction for us was good, It took a couple of songs I think for the crowd to get their head around what was going on when we took to the stage, but definitely one of my favourite tours to date, hopefully share the stage with those again soon.

ATP: You've also been in the studio working with James Kenosha. How is the new Stagecoach material shaping up?
ME: Yeah it’s sounding big, we just finished a new single that will be released in a couple of months. I think we’re all pretty excited to get it out there, it’s one of my favourite things we’ve written.

ATP: Can we expect to see more activity from Stagecoach in the coming months?
ME: Definitely! We can’t wait to get back on the road, we love playing live, and have a nice few festivals lined up now for the summer, and will have a couple of tours as well, basically we’ll be back on everyone’s doorstop pretty soon.

ATP: Is there anything else you'd like to conclude the interview?
ME: Yeah I think Kate Middleton is fit! Prince William is a lucky boy.

'Pulled Apart by Matt Emery' by Matt Emery is available as a free download here.

Official Website

Matt Emery on Twitter.

Sean Reid

Alter The Press!