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Monday, December 11th
Interviews: Matthew Jordan
Matthew Jordan
Matthew Jordan

An exclusive interview with Musiqtone
Matthew Jordan
Matthew Jordan is certainly one of the young talents for 2007. He has a flair for taking you in with his music, before he even sings like thge first song off his debut album, 'Horizon.' We gave him high marks for the album and now here is our exclusive with Matthew, done by Alan via AOL Instant Messenger.

Here is the transcript: note---due to privacy, screennames have been replaced by their names and initials.

Alan Ho (4:14:18 PM):hey there matt, whats up?
Matthew Jordan (4:15:20 PM):Is this part of the interview? LOL
MJ (4:15:34 PM):Not much, I'm at work right now... but it's pretty slow, so you should have my undivided attention :)
AH (4:15:05 PM):thats good, thanks for sitting in our hot seat today
MJ (4:16:20 PM):Now that you mention it, this seat IS hot. OW! What if I changed my mind?
MJ (4:16:29 PM):I'm a complete dork, btw. Just warning you in advance.
AH (4:15:39 PM):lol, too late
MJ (4:16:34 PM)::-P
AH (4:15:48 PM):the seat also has arm straps
AH (4:15:53 PM):controlled by me
MJ (4:16:50 PM):uh... I'll cooperate.

AH (4:16:13 PM):ok...well tell our readers a little bit about yourself
MJ (4:18:03 PM):Um... I like long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners...
MJ (4:18:47 PM):Ha. But seriously. I'm a keyboard player and singer-songwriter. Definitely piano rock. Lots of that pounding on the keys kinda stuff.
MJ (4:18:59 PM):But I have a sensitive side as well *sniff sniff*.
MJ (4:19:20 PM):And I've just released a new CD called "Horizon". Which was reviewed on your site, obviously - thank you so much for the kind words, Alan!


AH (4:18:47 PM):not a problem, actually I wasn't sure what to expect so I have to ask you this
AH (4:19:01 PM):have other people tried to compare you to Teddy Geiger?
MJ (4:20:03 PM):You know, not that many...
MJ (4:20:25 PM):but I've *definitely* noticed that on MySpace, Teddy Geiger's fans and Tyler Hilton's fans are VERY likely to like my music as well.
MJ (4:21:32 PM):I've gotten Ben Jelen before, but that might just be because of the long hair and the piano playing.
MJ (4:21:53 PM):I dunno, I think Teddy is very talented, so being compared to him is a compliment in my book :)

AH (4:21:24 PM):lol

AH (4:21:33 PM):so was music something you always wanted to do?
AH (4:22:13 PM):and what was your first memory performing?
MJ (4:23:37 PM):Ever since I was about 5. The story is, a friend of mine in kindergarten was singing "We Didn't Start The Fire" (by Billy Joel) out on the playground one day... I heard it, loved it, and asked my dad who sang it. That pretty much opened up his whole record collection to me.
MJ (4:23:59 PM):I'd come home from first grade, put on Billy Joel's greatest hits, and bounce around on the couch singing along. Silly huh?

AH (4:23:55 PM):you should have seen my mom jamming to him, tom jones, and barry manilow...that was before i was born lol
MJ (4:25:02 PM):Anyway, I didn't know this at the time, but my dad was a staff songwriter for Warner Brothers Music in the old days... he wasn't doing that when I got into music. But he was very supportive and basically said "well, if that's what you want to do, let's get you piano lessons, and when you're a teenager I'll teach you how to write songs."
MJ (4:25:17 PM):That's exactly how it went down. We have a great relationship, and still write together to this day :)

AH (4:24:48 PM):wow, thats real good

AH (4:25:00 PM):so who penned 'Jessie' and 'Insomniac' on your album?
MJ (4:26:25 PM):We co-wrote all the songs together.
MJ (4:27:20 PM):And actually, co-produced it as well. So many people say their parents were never supportive of their aspirations, when it comes to music... I'm fortunate enough to have had the opposite experience.


AH (4:27:11 PM):fortunate indeed. Was there any inspiration behind 'Jessie?'
MJ (4:29:18 PM):"Jessie" is actually one of the older tracks on the album. One of my earlier songs...
MJ (4:29:25 PM):We revamped it for the new record.
MJ (4:29:31 PM):There was a girl I was on and off with all throughout high school...
MJ (4:29:53 PM):We were best friends, and dated occassionally.
MJ (4:30:25 PM):And just like the song, she'd be dating other guys and always ask me for advice and stuff, totally oblivious to the fact that I really liked her and wanted our relationship to be more serious.
MJ (4:31:26 PM):The guy in the song doesn't have any romantic relationship with the girl in question, at all... but it's a similiar story. Generally, all my songs are based in some way on things in my life. But they're not usually exact - they parallel events or experiences I've had.

AH (4:30:59 PM):definitely a story and situation a lot of people can relate to


AH (4:31:10 PM):what about 'Insomniac?'
AH (4:31:26 PM):the song was my favorite song in the album
MJ (4:33:13 PM):"Insomniac" was actually written for an old friend of mine... it was a pretty tough situation. Out of nowhere, he tried to commit suicide over a girl he had broken up with. Luckily, he was unsuccessful. But that song was written from his point of view, trying to understand where he was coming from.
MJ (4:33:22 PM):Musically, it's very inspired by Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys.

AH (4:32:45 PM):really?
MJ (4:33:53 PM):Usually, the music comes first for me... and when I wrote that melody, it really reminded me of Brian Wilson. "God Only Knows" is my favorite song of all times, no questions asked.
MJ (4:34:19 PM):And because of the similarity, we produced the record almost as a tribute to "Pet Sounds". All the ooh background vocals at the end, and the horse clops, stuff like that.
MJ (4:34:41 PM):Just me paying homage to one of my musical idols :)

AH (4:34:43 PM):wow and I'm sure if Brian heard it, he'd be proud
MJ (4:36:09 PM):Aw. That's really nice of you to say! I hope so. I'd just be thrilled to have him listen in the first place.

AH (4:35:36 PM): so what was it like to live next door to tori amos?
MJ (4:37:22 PM):LOL. Well, I wasn't really old enough to remember it well...
MJ (4:37:39 PM):I called her "To-ey" and she rented a room in the house next door to us, where my best friend lived as well.
MJ (4:38:54 PM):My dad was a professional photographer at the time, actually. He did her pictures a few times.
MJ (4:39:28 PM):And actually, the first time I met her, I was outside in a stroller... and she was driving around the corner and almost ran me over, LOL. My parents were kinda freaked but she came over, apologized and was really sweet :)

AH (4:39:30 PM):lol, did you ever get to meet her later on older? i cannot imagine what the conversation would be like!
MJ (4:41:12 PM):LOL good question! I haven't yet, not since she's gotten famous. But I'd love to... it'd be an interesting reunion.
AH (4:41:02 PM):i can sort of imagine i think the first thing you'd say is hi, im matthew...remember me? you almost ran me over!
MJ (4:42:39 PM):Well, that would at least intrigue her if she didn't remember, haha.
AH (4:41:57 PM):yes it would

AH (4:42:24 PM):ok, so we ask everyone this
AH (4:42:32 PM):what's your philosophy on music?
MJ (4:43:56 PM):Wow. Uh, I feel like I'm writing a college paper all of a sudden! No one said anything about deep thoughts when I signed up for this interview...
AH (4:43:16 PM):lol, putting you on the spot?
MJ (4:50:15 PM):I mean, music, to me is something everyone needs. It's a language, almost like a conversation between the listener and the musician(s). It can speak to you in so many different ways... can get you through hard times, or just set the mood for whatever you're doing. Every different person has their own soundtrack, accompanying them on their different journies through life. Once, I saw an early version of a film before the music was put in. The whole thing just seemed dead... lifeless. And to me, that's what music brings to the table. Color, emotion, just life. Did that make any sense?
MJ (4:50:48 PM):It might have just been one of those BS answers I learned to give in college... lol. I think it made sense though.

AH (4:50:08 PM):lol it made sense
AH (4:50:15 PM):we always have a different answer when we ask that
AH (4:50:36 PM):OK, we'll go easy on you from this point on
AH (4:50:44 PM):no more exposes lol
MJ (4:51:42 PM):I'm not surprised! It's an intense question. I probably could have rattled on for hours about that topic...

AH (4:51:06 PM):speaking of college, what did you major in?
AH (4:51:18 PM):and where did you go to?
MJ (4:52:15 PM):Actually, I majored in Music Industry at the University of Southern California.
MJ (4:52:45 PM):It was the perfect major for me... I took classes in the recording arts, regular business classes... everything from music management to music law to live music production. Pretty awesome :)

AH (4:51:56 PM):so you were a Trojan, I'm a Purdue Boilermaker
MJ (4:53:16 PM):And my degree is a Bachelor's of Science. A B.S. And the Music Industry is all BS, at least that's what I always say. So it worked out perfectly ;)
AH (4:52:30 PM):lol
AH (4:52:37 PM):but has that helped you in your career?
MJ (4:54:56 PM):Hm. Well, I met some really cool people through the program, who have become major supporters of mine, and tried to help me out in the biz. And I learned lots of valuable things, which kind of helped me "wise up" as a struggling artist. It's good to know when someone in the industry is trying to take advantage of you! Being able to decipher a record contract, for example, is a good skill to have.
MJ (4:55:05 PM):But did it move my career forward in a major way?
MJ (4:55:20 PM):I don't know. Not really, not so far... but you never know what the future holds.
MJ (4:55:48 PM):I'm sure if I ultimately want a job in the music industry (other than being a songwriter and recording artist) it'll come in handy.

AH (4:55:14 PM):yeah you never know

AH (4:55:15 PM):how was MTV 'Duets' and how did you get on and landed Vanessa Carlton?
MJ (4:56:35 PM):Wow... that was a while ago.
MJ (4:56:49 PM):Well, a friend told me about the audition, so I figured "what the heck" and tried out for it...
MJ (4:57:34 PM):Later, I got a call saying "you're in the top 25, we want to come to your house and film you." I was pretty excited, but when they got here the producer called and surprised me by saying "you're actually in the top four!".
MJ (4:57:42 PM):They wanted a genuine surprised reaction, you know?

AH (4:57:21 PM):yeah thats why reality tv needs a quotation on the reality
MJ (4:59:25 PM):It worked, lol. Vanessa didn't end up picking me... I think I may have come across too professional. I gave off the impression I was a fan, but also wanted her advice on my career as a musician. They wanted someone who idolized Vanessa and just happened to play the piano... that added drama trying to teach the piano part and everything.
MJ (4:59:58 PM):Still, it was a great experience. But... well, that show was not the highlight of my life when it comes to hair style and fashion sense.
MJ (5:00:20 PM):I don't think it's easy to find a copy of it anywhere, and let's just say I'm not upset about that, lol.

AH (4:59:32 PM):yeah
MJ (5:01:30 PM):Actually
MJ (5:01:49 PM):The COOLEST part of the experience, by far... was that MTV featured me playing my song "Close" on TV.
MJ (5:02:04 PM):It's pretty rare for an unsigned artist to get exposure singing and playing one of their own songs on MTV.
MJ (5:02:08 PM):That was really awesome :)

AH (5:01:27 PM):yeah it is
AH (5:01:39 PM):many musicians kill to get their music on one of their shows

AH (5:01:43 PM):so what would it mean for you if your song is the one sung by either melinda or blake (my expected top two) in the finale for American Idol on May 2?
MJ (5:02:59 PM):Ah! I didn't even know you'd heard that song.
MJ (5:03:21 PM):It was written especially for Idol, really trying to keep that experience in mind... I'm totally thrilled with how it came out.

AH (5:02:44 PM):actually i havent heard it
AH (5:03:15 PM):i knew that you submitted a song for them and ryan was talking about the songwriter's competition and what the prize was for the winner, being that it would be sung on the finale
MJ (5:04:17 PM):Well it's called "Catch My Breath" and is on my MySpace page right now. I'm not sure how long I'm going to leave it up there, though... so anyone who reads this, sorry if it's now there anymore!
MJ (5:04:24 PM):*not
MJ (5:05:05 PM):To get my song featured on the show would be amazing... I mean, there's no show more popular than Idol. It'd be an insane amount of great exposure, and plus it'd just be awesome to watch one of those amazing singers cover my song on the Idol stage :)


AH (5:06:22 PM):so how did john ondrasik pick you to be the feature on '100 Years?'
MJ (5:08:05 PM):It wasn't actually John Ondrasik himself that picked me... again, I auditioned for it, and was cast by an amazing casting director named Scott. K. Lazarus.
MJ (5:08:31 PM):I've actually since found out Scott passed away... I'm not sure how, but he was an awesome person. Such a sweet guy. My best goes out to his family and friends.
MJ (5:10:17 PM):My brother's manager (he's getting into acting) told me about the audition. They needed a young pianist for a music video, Five For Fighting's song "100 Years". Coincidentally, I had just heard the song that day and really loved it... I had already worked the piano part out when I got the call for the audition. So it worked out pretty well :)
MJ (5:11:06 PM):Doing that video was just a great experience, all around. John Ondrasik became a friend of mine, and gave me some great advice on the music biz... I also met Lucy Walsh (daughter of the Eagles' Joe Walsh), who was in the video as well.
MJ (5:11:43 PM):And I got to climb a 50 foot Oak Tree, fall out, and almost die. Well, not really... but they had me harnessed up and it was pretty scary. Almost like my own personal "Fear Factor", lol.
MJ (5:12:19 PM):To top it all off, I had a gig that night... so after spending the whole day (from 4AM) on the set of the music video, I had to go perform. Exhausting, but an awesome day!
MJ (5:12:52 PM):I also made a lot of great fans and friends that way. People would Google "who was the kid in the '100 Years' video?" And would find my website and write me e-mails :)

AH (5:12:42 PM):that must have been fun
AH (5:12:47 PM):seeing your inbox grow

AH (5:12:53 PM):so before we head to The Burn
MJ (5:13:54 PM):The Burn?
AH (5:13:10 PM):what are your goals...where do you see yourself 5, 10 years from now?
MJ (5:14:05 PM):It's already hot enough in this seat. No more burning! LOL.
MJ (5:14:13 PM):Great question.
MJ (5:16:26 PM):Whatever I'm doing, it's going to be music-related. Honestly, I'd love to have a career making music. It's what I love to do. Like, a lasting career. Someone like John Mayer or Ben Folds... those guys have huge followings that are always going to support them, and they're going to be able to spend the rest of their life making music. To be able to play music for a living, and create songs people will love to listen to all over the world... that's what I want to do.
MJ (5:16:43 PM):Of course, it's easy to say that. Life is a roller coaster ride. Completely unpredictable. Who knows where I'll actually end up?
MJ (5:17:38 PM):Hopefully not out on the street, living in a box... with my keyboard, but nowhere to plug it in, lol.
MJ (5:17:43 PM):That'd be bad.
MJ (5:17:51 PM):5 years, 10 years... however many years...
MJ (5:18:08 PM):I see myself doing what I love: making music. And hopefully in a position where lots of others can hear and enjoy it as well :)


The Burn:

AH (5:18:00 PM):OKKKK...we now go to The Burn
MJ (5:18:58 PM):which is?
AH (5:18:06 PM):its like 20 burning questions
MJ (5:19:03 PM):uh oh
MJ (5:19:04 PM):haha
AH (5:18:16 PM):rapid-fire...try to keep the answers short
MJ (5:19:13 PM):alright
MJ (5:19:33 PM):I feel like we're in sudden death overtime lol
AH (5:18:43 PM):lol
AH (5:19:08 PM):what would do if it werent for music?
MJ (5:20:18 PM):Go crazy!
AH (5:19:49 PM):lol
MJ (5:20:50 PM):(do you need more of an answer than that?)
AH (5:21:12 PM):naw
AH (5:21:16 PM):that would be fine
AH (5:21:25 PM):what's spinning in your music player right now?
MJ (5:22:50 PM):John Mayer's "Continuum" and The Format's "Dog Problems"
MJ (5:23:01 PM):*Love* The Format
AH (5:23:10 PM):the things you can't live as a musician?
MJ (5:24:19 PM):wait, what's the question?
MJ (5:24:25 PM):can't live *without*?
AH (5:24:01 PM):yes
MJ (5:25:12 PM):If so... my keyboard (duh), my iPod... MySpace? LOL.
MJ (5:25:19 PM):I'm a MySpace-aholic
AH (5:24:30 PM):myspace?
AH (5:24:36 PM):yeah we all are probably
MJ (5:25:44 PM):yeah, but as a musician - it's priceless. It allows me to reach out to new potential fans every day :)
AH (5:25:03 PM):yes it is
AH (5:25:04 PM):what is the ultimate venue for you to perform in
MJ (5:26:30 PM):Wow. Wowwww. I've never thought about this question before!
MJ (5:26:37 PM):How about Madison Square Garden? It worked for Billy Joel ;)
AH (5:25:49 PM):yeah it did
MJ (5:26:43 PM):Actually, no
MJ (5:26:48 PM):The Hollywood Bowl. That'd be amazing.
AH (5:26:05 PM):wow, that would be amazing
AH (5:26:21 PM):music none of your friends would expect you to listen to
MJ (5:28:14 PM):That I actually listen to?
AH (5:27:52 PM):yes, anything you listen to that would surprise your friends
MJ (5:29:07 PM):*looks through iTunes* Gosh I'm predictable! LOL.
MJ (5:30:39 PM):Well, I used to love (and occassionally still listen to) some of the CCM/Contemporary Christian stuff like Michael W. Smith and Steven Curtis Chapman. I'm not necessarily that religious, it's just great music.
AH (5:30:52 PM):ok, so who would like to tour with or who'd you bring on your own headlining tour?
MJ (5:34:07 PM):Well I mean, I'd love to tour with Ben Folds... if I was big enough to do like a "two piano playing songwriters" kinda tour like he did with Tori Amos, that'd be fantastic. The guy kicks ass on the keys!
MJ (5:34:16 PM):can I say ass on musiqtone?
MJ (5:34:17 PM):lol
AH (5:34:18 PM):yes
AH (5:34:23 PM):lol
MJ (5:35:39 PM):good haha
AH (5:35:48 PM):non-musical talents
MJ (5:37:14 PM):I'm a pretty fast typer! Like 90 words per minute.
MJ (5:37:34 PM):If that can be considered a talent.
AH (5:37:20 PM):sure
AH (5:37:25 PM):favorite food(s)
MJ (5:38:43 PM):Ooh. I love asian food, thai food is my favorite.
AH (5:38:04 PM):cool
AH (5:38:59 PM):your most embarassing moment on stage
MJ (5:41:07 PM):My keyboard came unplugged during a song, once. And it was a solo show. So I was singing and pounding the keys and no noise was coming out... I was like "huh? what happened?"
AH (5:40:23 PM):lol
AH (5:40:44 PM):OK Matthew Jordan, you are officially off the Hot Seat, thank you!




Alan HoAlan Ho is the chief head of Musiqtone. You can reach him at alanho@musiqtone.com.







(C) 2007 Musiqtone. All Rights Reserved. Any part of this interview cannot be used without written express consent from both the representatives of Matthew Jordanand Musiqtone.
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