Wednesday, October 11, 2006

FFHH's Midweek Mutiny: Matt

Editor's Note: This post was written by Matt Warfield. He is the bassist and a vocalist for Baltimore's Faster Faster Harder Harder.

I pretty much hate everything that was recorded before 1980. I probably like some stuff that was recorded before then, but I would just rather put a date on things and say that all music recorded before 1980 is worthless. I know that is a lie. Actually, I really don’t think about music all that much outside of thinking that it sometimes sounds pretty neat. People who want to talk a lot about the history of music and who influenced who and what band was doing it with some other band and how that one guitar part totally sounds like this combination of some obscure 15th century composer mixed with Greenday or something, yeah, those people are damn annoying. I just think music sounds good and sometimes it sounds bad, but just like people who you might think are ugly and what not, someone out there likes it – the ugly people and the music.

If I had to talk about the music that has played an important role in my life, and that perhaps has shaped the way that I play today, I'd start with Jawbreaker. Jawbreaker is the greatest band ever. Pure and simple. There are probably much greater bands, but remember the ugly people – we all have different tastes. So Jawbreaker…Jawbreaker has gotten me through the many years of mental torment that I threw upon myself, because in all reality life is in no way fun if you are just gonna be sane about everything all the time. So, yeah. When I was a teenager in high school getting expelled for doing drugs and what not, Jawbreaker was there to blast in my car with the windows down while driving at night on the backcountry roads. And when I was in that “what the hell am I gonna do now that I graduated from high school and I am 19 living in some crappy town home across from the Frederick Town Mall and I am going to Community College and I think someone who literally had like ¼ of a human brain could do awesome at Community College” stage in life, Jawbreaker was there to blast on my stereo in that crappy town home across from the Frederick Town Mall - and yeah, I said stereo. This was before everyone had 73 computers in their house and stereos actually had a purpose. Really if you think about it, we pay $1,000+ for this box that we pretty much only use for a stereo, access to Myspace, porn and some funny clips on YouTube. Maybe we will write a paper or two.

So when I finally moved on in life to go to that awesome so-much harder (joke, laugh, hahahaha) school in Towson and I left my partially insane girlfriend behind, only to enjoy months of endless arguments via the telephone, Jawbreaker was there to sing me to sleep at night as I cried in to my pillow. Even now, some 12 years after first hearing the sweet sounds of Jawbreaker echoing within the crevasses of my inner ear, Jawbreaker is still there to sing along to at the top of my lungs and get that little bit of ‘everyone hates me I am so depressed whoa is me’ that Jawbreaker puts down to music so well. Yeah, all that stuff. Jawbreaker is the shit!

Their greatest CD is Dear You, though they are all great. Since the entire CD is amazing, I will randomly pick a song…mmmm, 7.

Jawbreaker - Million

About two and a half, maybe three years ago, I got all wrapped up in this indie rock scenster bullshit that consumed everything here in Baltimore. All the so called hip clubs have been squeezing the hell out of this scene until it is finally coming to its last breaths. When it was in full effect there were something like 10 dance parties a week. They all had the same DJs and they all played the same music and had the same Cocaine doing snobby ass scenster ‘I am so Hip’ kids popping in and out. Now it’s just full of frat boys and sorority girls who got on the train wayyyy too late. Anyway, thanks to that scene I became obsessed with trendy poppy indie rock electro type stuff. Considering what’s cool in that scene changes about every 15 minutes, I think that I am actually giving it too much time there. I suppose my likes have to change along the same timeline. One amazing band that came out of all of that hoopla is Interpol. Honestly, they are really amazing both musically and lyrically. The bass playing from Interpol and the overall flow of the songs have really influenced the way I play. I try to mimic their style on many occasions.

Interpol – Leif Erikson

I like to be emo. I really really enjoy overly emotional times. People that can show their emotions at the drop of a hat are favorites in my book. So with that in mind, I dig on music that is emotional. For example, I don’t think that I can really get into a lot of Hip Hop that talks about sweaty balls or backing that ass up. I mean, yeah, I love to shake my junk from time to time. But when it comes down to it, I would much rather curl up in the corner of a barren room lit by pre-dusk light pouring through the windows, in a sweater, gently rocking back and fourth to the sounds of say... Bright Eyes. Even though the lyrical contect of Bright Eyes' music is amazing, the music that I am gonna bring up here has little to no lyrics. My favorite band at the moment happens to be Explosions in the Sky, but since I don’t really do favorites let’s just saying that I really like them. I like them because they are amazing musicians and amazing performers. I can only hope to one day be as they are.

Explosions in the Sky - Yasmin the Light

Now I am gonna talke a bit about something we wrote. It’s called Count Down and the reason why I really like this song is because it grew out of a 15-minute jam session. I think it is pretty amazing when four individuals with different lives and their own craziness going on, can come together and create something out of nothing. There we are standing in a room together making music that flows together, not by some premade structure or set of guidelines, but by simply reading each others’ changes through sound. Each person plays their part with no one telling the other what to do – it just happens. It's almost like you develop a sixth sense. So with this song, we started jamming and 15 minutes later we stopped. Slightly out of breath, I kind of looked around and thought to myself, wow, so I feel like I just got laid. Honestly…when you get it right, when you play a really good set and everything comes together perfectly, it’s like having a 45-minute orgasm. Compared to the 15 second crap orgasms men have been cursed with, 45 minutes is pretty damn sweet.

When I was setting out to write the lyrics, I had this apocalyptic yet hopeful feeling in mind. I dig thoughts about the end of the world as I would go for Mad Max style living any day. So I am thinking about this timer that is set in place and I was thinking back through all the stuff that has gone crazy over the past few years. And of course, airplanes flying into buildings came into mind. Being that I exist on the extreme left of political ideologies, well, I think I am coming a bit towards the center – that is if center is more like socialist and left is more like anarchist.

Anyway, within the left (and I imagine the right as well), there is the idea that 9-11 wasn’t all that it was cut out to be. It wasn’t so cut and dry – scary Arab men hijack planes kill innocent heroic Americans – cry – revenge – bomb bomb bomb – wave flag – eat McDonalds and drive big cars – the end. No. I mean, there is a lot of evidence out there showing that something was up beyond the package that we have been consuming. Saving you from 84 pages of ranting - I started thinking about perceptions of reality and how we determine what is real or not. Reality is kind of a scary thing, because it only exists within our heads. Our minds are pretty fragile places. So even though you may think all of this around you is real, it might not be. It could totally be in your head. For example, I was watching the second season of Lost last night and one of the episodes is when Hugo is freaking out about seeing his invisible friend and the invisible friend is trying to tell him this entire thing – the island, the plane, everything – is just in his head. Supposedly, he is still in this mental institution asleep dreaming all of this. Yeah, that’s how short reality can be. So maybe planes didn’t crash into buildings. Maybe something else happened. But what definitely happened is that our world changed drastically, on an internal level.

I remember watching the day on the big screen TVs at my college. We got let out of class and I went up to the library with some friends and it was just shown over and over again – planes hitting, buildings falling, people jumping – again and again and again. That does something to people, it did something to all of us. So yeah, this song is kind of about that. It's about an internal conflict, about how real reality really is, and about the idea that we are always in a count down to something new. Whenever we become stagnant in life and continue to accept what we have, something drastic will happen to take it all away.

Faster Faster Harder Harder – Count Down

Editor's Note: What the hell is this? See here.

The rest of FFHH's mutiny can be found in these locations:


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed Matt's post. It said alot about the way I relate to music and the world. I was glad he did not just talk about his band but himself and ideals. I was not familier with FFHH but look forward to listening to some of their stuff. Thanks for letting us get to know the man behind the music.

Thursday, October 12, 2006  

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