Feature Friday- Matt Finney (from Heinali and Matt Finney)

Posted: March 18, 2011 by Is This Revolutionary? in Interview
Tags: , , , ,

This guy cracks me up. Every time. Like, just talking to him one-on-one, he doesn’t even need voice inflection to be funny. Nevertheless, I brought him in for an interview where we shared a few laughs and got to know the ambient/spoken word duo even more.


Ben: How did you first “meet” Heinali?
Matt: We were drifting around Seattle and we both ended up in the same homeless shelter. We got to talking about music and Heinali said, “I can’t really play guitar but I know these 2 really cool chords.” and I said, “Well, I can’t sing but I can do this brooding spoken word thing.” So we devised a plan to score some Mexican black tar heroin. The artsy kids caught on and we haven’t had to struggle to feed our habit since.

B: Do you have any sort of control over the music itself, or do you just handle the poetry?
M:We talk about the way we want the lyrics and the music to go before we start writing and recording but we leave each other a certain amount of freedom. In the early days, we didn’t know what we were doing. We used to obsess over this but we got closer and more comfortable with each so there’s a lot of trust between us now. We’re like brothers. Heinali knows what to do with my words and he’s the best at what he does. I never worry about that.

B: Where does the inspiration for your music come from?
M: What we’re listening to at the time but there’s always the constant inspiration from certain artists. Lately it’s been on the black metal/doom metal side. A lot of blues artists have been in there as well. Here’s what we’ve been listening to lately: Alcest, This Will Destroy You (mainly their newer stuff. the live videos from Youtube and whatnot), Merzbow, Wolves in the Throne Room, Red House Painters, The Cure, Joy Division, The Angelic Process (of course), Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana, Skip James, Robert Johnson, Junior Kimbrough. Also, I’ve been listening to a lot of George Jones lately but that’s not leaking into our music at all.

B: Does the distance between the two of you hurt the musical process?
M: Maybe in terms of production/creativity differences… Not really. We talk everyday and we decide on things together so
there’s never been any arguments between us. You’d be surprised at how smoothly all of this goes. The only downside to it is not being able to play live. That hurts us more than anything but we’re doing everything we can to make this happen.

B: How long have you been writing?
M: Since I was 14 or 15. Really angsty, Nirvana influenced lyrics. They were all horrible. I discovered Charles Bukowski around this time and blindly lived by his word. It’s ridiculous the spell he had over me. But I grew out of that and I started to write the way that I wished bands would write lyrics. Raymond Carver is the biggest influence on me and he’s been around the longest. Highly recommended.

B: Is this the only musical project you two have? Even separately?
M: Nah. Heinali has his solo stuff going and I used to be a member of Finneyerkes but we aren’t active anymore. But this is the main project that we have going on.

B: Considering the distance, what is the recording/production process like?
M: We do our parts separately. I’ll write the whole album, see what Heianli thinks of it, and if it’s something that we both like I’ll record my vocals and send them to him. He’ll take it from there. He’ll write songs around my vocals or other times he’ll see what vocals fit with a piece of music. It varies from track to track but it’s a lot simpler than people think.

B: What song is your favorite/means the most to you?
M: “Lifetime” from Conjoined. It still hits me in the gut every time I hear it. Heinali completely demolished that song. And it’s connected to someone that I went through a lot of great times and rough times with for 4 years. We weren’t good for each other but we’ll never be able to let go. It’s complicated and melodramatic but it is what it is. I’m not even sure if she’s heard it but the thought makes me cringe. I’m looking forward to unleashing this new album. It covers what’s happened to us both since Conjoined so you’ll have to ask this question again once the new album is out.

B: Is there an end in sight for this duo, or will you keep working together?
M: There’s not gonna be an end unless one of us dies or something. We’re in this for the long run. expect a million more albums from us. We’ve got some big stuff planned for sure.

B: How many albums have you two put out?
M: 4 total. Conjoined is being re-released early next month by Paradigms Recordings and then they’re following that up with our 4th album, Ain’t No Night, this summer. We’re aiming for album of the year.
Unrealistic but we can dream, right?


Click On The Image To See Our Review Of Their Album

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