Grateful Web recently had an opportunity to chat with Memphis Crawl's Matty O'Brien about the bands influences, his love of Memphis music, a sexy dance down in the south, and where he'd like to live 'down under.'
GW: Hi Matty O’Brien. My name is Sarah; I’m with the Grateful Web. How are you doing today?I
MO: I'M DOING GREAT ITS A PLEASURE TO MEET YOU
GW: Memphis Crawl, formed in the summer of 2004 has had a revolving door of band members. It’s my understanding that in 2008 you made a final decision on band members. There are five people than make up your band, am I correct?
MO: WELL AT THE TIME OF THIS INTERVIEW ITS ACTUALLY BACK TO A FOUR PIECE.....OUR GUITARIST NICK VINCENTI IS ON HIATUS....HE WENT TO INDIA TO FIND HIMSELF LOL
GW: Who is “Mr. Powder,” and does your cousin “Red” still play the drums for the band?NO MY COUSIN RED WAS ON BOARD FOR YEARS,HE LEFT IN 2008, MIKEY POWDER WAS RED'S REPLACEMENT AND LET ME TELL YA ..HE'S AN ANIMAL ON THE DRUM KIT, A MUST SEE!!!
GW: The newest member of Memphis Crawl is Nick Vincienti, who plays rhythm and lead guitar. How would you describe the impact that adding Nick has made on the style of your band?
MO: NICK WAS A GREAT ADDITION-BUT WE HAD SOME DIFFERENCES ABOUT THE DIRECTION OF THE CRAWL ......HE'S STILL PART OF THE MC FAMILY AND WE LOVE HIM...BUT AS OF NOW WERE BACK TO A FOUR PIECE
GW: Memphis Crawl was founded in NY. Is that also where you grew up?
MO: YES...WERE ALL FROM NY
GW: Music Influences every fan. What was your inspiration that pushed you to start the Memphis Crawl?
MO: OH MAN WE HAVE SUCH WIDE INFLUENCES ANYWHERE FROM HENDRIX AND ZEPPELIN TO RAVI SHANKAR THE GRATEFUL DEAD...JACK WHITE ETC.
GW: Mad Friek is a bass guitarist that you played in another band with in high school. What bands have you been a part of through the years, and how has your style changed/stayed the same since high school?
MO: YEAH MAD FREIK AND I HAVE BEEN PLAYING ON AND OFF SINCE WE WERE 17 YEARS OLD...HE'S THE ONLY CONSTANT MEMBER OF MC BESIDES MYSELF...THE DUDE WAILS ON THE BASS!!!....I'VE BEEN IN BANDS FROM NY TO CALIFORNIA...BUT MEMPHIS CRAWL HAS MY HEART
GW: With forty original compositions, where do you see yourself and the band in the next five years?
MO: MAKING A TON OF ALBUMS AND TOURING
GW: What was the inspiration of the bands name, Memphis Crawl?
MO: THE MEMPHIS PART COMES FROM MY LOVE OF THE MUSIC THAT CAME OUT OF MEMPHIS...SO MUCH GREAT INFLUENTIAL MUSIC CAME OUT OF THERE....THE CRAWL PART IS FROM THE GEORGIA CRAWL, WHICH WAS A SEXY DANCE THAT PEOPLE WOULD DO IN JUKE JOINTS DOWN SOUTH
GW: What is the Georgia Crawl?
MO: THE GEORGIA CRAWL WAS A SEXY BLUES DANCE FROM BACK IN THE DAY
GW: Your latest album, “Falling Down Against The Sun” is a woven texture of styles. How would you describe the bands “texture”?
MO: OUR TEXTURE IS JUST A BUNCH OF DIFFERENT EMOTIONS FROM THE FOUR OF US PUT INTO A BLENDER
GW: Do you feel that the EP release of “Falling Down Against The Sun” gives fans an accurate depiction of your style?
MO: YEAH I THINK IT TENDER AS WELL AS ROUGH AND BALLSY.ITS LOUD AND SWEET..LIKE A GOOD ROCK N ROLL EXPERIENCE SHOULD BE
GW: Your newest most listened too song, “Wildflower Annie’s” lyrics hold meanings on several levels touching on loyalty, poisonous love, and addiction. Translations of songs vary for everyone, on what level were you touching when you wrote this song?
MO: TO BE HONEST WHEN I WROTE THE LYRICS THEY JUST SPEWED OUT!!!!.....IT WASN'T FOR A LITTLE WHILE THAT I STARTED REALIZING WHAT I WAS TRYING TO SAY.THAT HAPPENS A LOT-YOU HAVE A STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS AND THEN YOU SAY"WOW OK THAT'S WHAT I WAS TRYING TO GET AT".
GW: Memphis Crawl is regarded as one of the most exciting live acts around with fans as infamous as the band. What about your shows brings out the “wild behavior” out of your fans?
MO: I THINK THE EMOTIONS THAT OUR MUSIC BRINGS OUT KIND OF MAKE THE LISTENER LOSE THEIR INHIBITIONS IN A LIVE SITUATION ITS LIKE A PRIMITIVE DANCE AROUND TE FIRE-ITS A REaLLY MAGICAL EXPERIENCE
GW: How has touring this year influenced your music?
MO: IT JUST HELPS YOU GAIN MORE THINGS TO WRITE ABOUT AND IT ALSO HELPS YOU LEARN ABOUT YOURSELF AND MEET CRAZY PEOPLE AND THAT'S WHAT KEEPS IT WILD!!!
GW: Your next tour is on the ninth of September at the Trash Bar, in Williamsburg, NY. Will you be covering Wildflower Annie at that show?
MO: ITS ACTUALLY SEPTEMBER 15TH.....YEAH WILDFLOWER IS A MUST AT EVERY CRAWL SHOW!!!!!
GW: This year you attended one of the largest music festivals in the U.S. Was it epic for you?
MO: YEAH IT WAS WILD...WE HARDLY REMEMBER BEING THERE...I KNOW WERE ALL LOOKING FORWARD TO PLAYING SXSW IN MARCH
GW: If you moved to Australia, where would it be, and why?
MO: WE'D PROBABLY HAVE A PLACE IN SYDNEY,WHERE WE COULD GET INTO TROUBLE AND A HIDEOUT IN THE BUSH LOL
GW: You are considered one of the most powerful, charismatic rock singers of this day, with a strong background in songwriting. Were you once a solo act, and what lyricists have been the most inspiring for you in regards to your singing style, and writing style of your songs?
MO: WHY THANK YOU!!!! MEMPHIS CRAWL HAS ALWAYS BEEN MY LOVE...I'VE NEVER REALLY HAD A DESIRE GO SOLO....I THINK THE GUYS IN MC ARE THE BEST MUSICIANS IN THE WORLD AND AS FAR AS LYRICAL INSPIRATION ...BOB DYLAN IS THE KING!!!!!!!
GW: When do you expect to tour again on the West Coast? Thank-you for being a part of the Grateful Web, Is there anything else you’d like to add?
MO: HOPEFULLY THIS WINTER WE'LL BE TOURING THE WEST COAST AGAIN.......THE PATH HAS ALWAYS LED WEST.........THANK YOU FOR YOUR HOSPITALITY!!!!