Matt Jaffe Talks Bringing The Distractions To CBGB Festival
October 11th, 2013 10:16am EDT
He's not even old enough to drink yet, but Matt Jaffe is fronting a rock trio that's about to take the stage as part of New York's CBGB Festival. Before their show, BFTV sat down with Matt to get the scoop on Matt Jaffe and The Distractions, and what it's like for him to balance his band aspirations with growing up.
"There is no other business for me in a way," Matt told us, explaining why he's chosen to pursue music while simultaneously studying at Yale University. "There's no way of knowing if we can ever really make it in music. We might as well start trying now, and hope that it works out. The more time we're able to try, hopefully something works."
After being discovered by Jerry Harrison of the band Talking Heads, Matt joined forces with Alex Coltharp and Sammie Fisher to form Matt Jaffe and The Distractions. "Knowing that they're the right guys basically just had to do with the absence of a lot of the problems that made former people the wrong guys," Matt explained. "These guys, hopefully I'll be playing with well into the future. We work together really well."
Now the trio are working to establish themselves in the music world, with the releases of singles 'Backs Of Our Eyelids,' 'New Continents' and 'Fear of Flying' this year alone, as well as several shows on both coasts. You can check out the video for 'Backs Of Our Eyelids' below.
Their major gig happens tonight, as they're participating in New York's CBGB Fesrival. Describing the show, Matt told us, "We're doing sort of what we always do. We are adding a few singers to join us which will be a new element to our set, which I'm very excited about, [but] part of what I really enjoy about our band, it's very much aboot just playing the songs and appreciating them in the exact live context without prerecorded tracks or it becoming a theatrical production. I think there's something very cool about sort of going in, playing without any sort of frills."
After tonight, the guys will hit the road for a handful of dates. "We have a couple gigs on the East Coast, and then I'm going to be back in the Bay Area in November and I have about three or four gigs lined up for that period," Matt added, telling us that "In December we're actually trying to plan a British tour," but that nothing's been finalized overseas yet. For upcoming show dates, you can check the band's website, which is listed at the end of this article.
How does being a working musician touring cross-country affect the rest of Matt's life? Not as much as you might think. "I think has an effect in how a community at large views me. I think to people I know well it's just sort of what I do, but I'm just another person to them," he reflected, telling us the most unique moments have been when his path intersects with someone whose work he admires. "Getting to work with Jerry was originally such a surreal thing," he continued. "Before I really got to know him, I'd probably watched [the Talking Heads concert film] Stop Making Sense like a dozen times."
So what kind of musical legacy does he want Matt Jaffe and The Distractions to have? "I think a lot of the bands that I really respect find a sort of perfect middle ground between spontaniety and [a] sort of more thoughtful approach," Matt told us. "The music we make is fun, but a lot of it is based on sort of more academic stuff. like literary influences or poetic ones. I hope that people can sort of gather both sides of that equation."
Matt and his band will be playing as part of the CBGB Festival tonight, October 11.
(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse awith permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Susan Blond Inc.