“Honestly, I’m really not a fan of the music industry and a lot of people that work in it, and a lot of bands will know what I’m talking about. I won’t go into great detail, but it’s mostly 99% rejection and pain with about 1% joy so musicians be prepared for a lot of failures, but stay true to yourself and just play for the joy of playing.” – @RouchMan_85

Listen to the live Interview
Episode #326 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax :

Jacqueline Jax logo photoGETTING TO KNOW MATT ROUCH
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio


Music business…
Honestly, I’m really not a fan of the music industry and a lot of people that work in it, and a lot of bands will know what I’m talking about. I won’t go into great detail, but it’s mostly 99% rejection and pain with about 1% joy so musicians be prepared for a lot of failures, but stay true to yourself and just play for the joy of playing.

Social media…
I like how engaged so many people are with social media. I’m kind of old school and didn’t use to participate in a lot of it, but now that I’m trying to put myself out there more I’ve received a great response so that’s been encouraging. The challenge I guess is keep up with ALL of the sites, you almost need a social media manager as a band these days.

Singles vs an album…
I like an album, it’s the toughest thing to make, at least a good one anyway, and a lot of bands and musicians I know never end up doing one. Again I love a lot of old music and if you listen to bands from the 60’s and 70’s they made complete albums where every song was great. I get the idea behind singles, because you only need one hit to make you famous worldwide overnight, I just prefer listening to groups that take the time to make great albums.

I would love to have 5 minutes alone with…
Colin Meloy of The Decemberists, he’s the entire reason I was drawn to folk and alt-country Americana music over a decade ago, he had this incredible voice, unbelievably clever and witty narrative writing style, and his songs were historical, with stories about legionnaires and mariners, he basically made it cool to be a nerd, he’s one of my idols for sure.

Do you find that there is to much emphasis on being current and trendy…
I think there is, but you have to play the game a little. I try to balance it out as much as possible. So many band and artists you meet are all trying to “out cool” each other. I personally would wear sweat pants and a mustard-stained undershirt every day if it were socially acceptable, but as performer there is pressure to look a certain way and dress a certain way, probably for the better in my case.

I am most afraid of…
Personally, giving into rejection and fear and giving up on music all together one day, or worse, having success and turning into a cruel and mean person.

My personal definition of success is..
Being able to do what you love, that old cliché, if I ever get to the point where this is my full-time gig and I can pay the bills and eat on a regular basis I would consider that success. As far as a success story, really anytime I book a gig, because a lot of the time it’s the touring headliner or their agent who approves the bands and recently a lot of people have been picking me to play with them and I can tell you how much that means to me, the same with winning over a new fan at a show, even if it’s just one, it’s overwhelming for me that someone likes my music enough to come tell me, I’m truly grateful for all of my fans.

My over all goal for my life & career is…
To be a good, smart, kind, caring, loving, human being. If I can do that, everything else is just a bonus.

3 Ways that I challenge myself …

1) Keep listening to more music, to people who are much more talented than myself, and instead of getting discouraged, get fired up and motivated to try to write even better songs.

2) Try to stay calm and collected and grounded as a person, I suffer from high-anxiety so I can get moody and really unpleasant to be around pretty quickly, so I challenge myself to stay positive and in a good frame of mind.

3) Practice kindness to everyone, even enemies.

My mom put me in band when I was in the 4th grade…
playing the clarinet so ever since then I’ve been in love with music, but even at a younger age my parents always had music playing throughout the house, whether it was my mom playing Genesis or my dad playing Springsteen. I always wanted to play guitar though so when I got to high school I started playing in the jazz band and everything took off from there.

This Side of Paradise…
As morbid as it sounds I think this song is about someone dying. Maybe not exactly a literal death, but if you lose someone special in your life and you know you’ll never see or speak to them again it certainly feels like they were dead. I heard a great quote from someone sometime who said, “The hardest thing you’ll have to endure as a human being is mourning the loss of someone who is still alive.”
It just kind of came out one day, I wrote it pretty fast and I really wanted to explore the idea of a breakup being like a death.

Link to Purchase the tune & support the artist:

When we were shooting the video for this, Adam Reynolds, who runs Acentric Video Productions in Denver had brought his little daughter along. She was in the studio while the track was playing and she was dancing around all happy telling us how much she loved the song, but when I told her what it was about she stopped all of a sudden, looked at the ground, and said she was sad now and that it made her heart hurt, it was really touching, and I felt bad for bringing her down.

This is the first album I’ve ever done…
I’ve been in bands for over 10 years and never did anything more than a 5-song demo. The songs on here span that same length of time as well, it’s a good compilation and reflection on the last decade or so of my life. I just tried to write honest songs about love and loss and I hope I had made it slightly entertaining at the same time.


I live in Denver, Colorado…
I moved here last summer from Virginia, I grew up outside of Washington, D.C. The Denver scene is great, it’s really exploded recently from what I can tell, especially with bands like The Lumineers, The Fray, and Nathaniel Rateliff leading the way. One fun thing I like to do is get out to all the breweries and distilleries that are here, I love good beer, and I’m a Virginia boy so I love Bourbon even more.

Social Media:
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Twitter: @RouchMan_85