The Beginning and the End – Interview
Interview with Matt and Jamie from The Beginning of the End and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
M&J We really have a hard time answering this one!! Many sites require us to state what genre of music we are, but we feel we don’t exactly fit into any particular genre in particular.
We are definitely in the metal spectrum, but didn’t set out to make a certain type of sound when we made the music. Our tracks have quite a wide range of sounds in them so can be attributed to quite a few genre types!
PD. Tell us the brief history of yourself.
Matt – I was in a band called Valfader for 5 years. After we spilt I really felt I had a lot of noise I needed to get out. I created the first few tracks for this band quite quickly recording at home and working through my frustration and disappointment. I spoke to Jamie about the bass lines I created, and he was willing to have a listen to what I had and worked on developing them into full songs.
Jamie – My brother and I always wanted to be rock stars, since we were really little kids! We had a bunch of bands together whilst we were growing up, the last one being a weird noisy thing called Jim Fear, based in the South West, (although we played to empty rooms across the UK… we weren’t picky). When Robb died in 2005, I kinda put making music to one side and made films instead. By the time Matt sent me his recordings, in 2015, I had started playing around with cover versions a little bit, but it took this to wake up the passion for writing music that was always huge part of me. I’m very grateful for that!
PD. Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Matt – I love a wide range of metal music but in particular I’m a huge fan of post metal. My favourite band was Isis and I still follow everything Aaron Turner does.
I love Converge and think everything Jacob Bannon and Kurt Ballou touch turns to gold! Also a big Glassjaw fan and love the vocals of Daryl Palumbo.
I’ve never considered how anyone or anything non musical would influence my music – it’s a great question! I like to include a lot of ambient parts and soundscapes in my music – I wonder if this is influenced by some of the nihilistic or dystopian novels I’ve read??
Jamie – Although I lose my shit to a fairly wide variety of musics, and including the stuff Matt mentioned, my main squeeze is 90s rock/metal – Tool, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, NIN, Faith No More and all that.
David Lynch is very inspirational, in terms of making it OK to be strange and different with your art, and his ‘art life’ way of living.
PD. What are your dreams and goals?
Matt – I think I’ve already hit my first goal in seeing this musical project come to completion!! Beyond that I hope to turn this collaboration into a live band as I love performing and trying to make a connection with the audience in front of me.
PD. Who writes your songs, what are they about?
Matt – as I mentioned, I started the process by getting some bass line ideas down in the first instance but beyond this, all of the structure, ideas and concepts came from Jamie so I’ll let him answer this one!
Jamie – I just set about (slowly) building on Matt’s compositions, usually starting with drums, then layering guitars; just figuring out what felt right to compliment or embellish Matt’s ideas as I went along. Once we had the bones of the songs I wrote lyrics independently, then shaped them to fit melodies that seemed right for the tracks. For a few of the tracks it took re-working them numerous times, for others it fell into place quite easily.
‘Terminal’ and ‘Hiraeth’ are mostly reactions to the frustrating political situations that we’ve found ourselves in of late… I find myself pretty furious at the hate-mongering and blatant lying and lack of reason and sense in many people. The other tracks are trying to deal with the stuff that keeps me awake at night – all the stupid things I’ve ever said, my battles with my body… y’know, the usual stuff.
PD. How do you promote your band and shows?
M&J: Promotion so far has been through the usual online methods. We have a website, Bandcamp, Facebook and Twitter account so have been using these mediums to get the initial word out!
We’re not ready to put on any shows, so haven’t had to think about that yet!
PD. What do you think about downloading music online?
Matt – I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand I’m really in favour of it as it allows bands to get their music out to a wider audience and be heard. I’ve also discovered so many great underground bands from streaming and downloading music as you can afford to be a bit more adventurous rather than in the old days where you had to spend £10 on a CD of a band you were fairly sure you already liked. However, sometimes it does feel a bit overwhelming with the amount of music now out there and you can get a bit lost in the mix. I also worry the effect it has on musicians trying to afford the cost of making and producing music, and the listening habits of people these days.
Jamie – In the grand scheme, it was only a tiny window where music was something people bought regularly, so I don’t think that we can be sure that was the best way to do things… There’s no point trying to stop technological (or social) progress, so we might as well embrace and try to find our place in them. It may be that the solution to making music as a sustainable lifestyle is more to do with how we run our society (UBI, more services free at the point of use, etc) than forcing a price tag on everything. Personally, I really like buying records and CDs! I love the artwork and the liner notes and having a physical representation of music that I can hold in my hands. And it feels good to be supporting the artists.
PD. What song do you wish you’d written and why?
Matt – Hym by Isis – it’s literally the perfect track. It has everything in it, is SOoooooo cathartic to sing along to and I defy you to find another track with better drum production.
Jamie – That’s a great question! To have written ‘Firework’ would make life easier, financially at least, but it’s not really in my wheelhouse… Three totally different tracks that never fail to give me goosebumps are ‘Without You I’m Nothing’ by Placebo, ‘St Matthew Returns To The Womb’ by Botch and ‘Unfamiliar’ by Oceansize. I imagine it would be blissful to be able to lose your mind to any of them on a stage on a regular basis. Hey Matt, let’s start a band!
PD. What are some of your pet peeves?
Matt – I always try to act laid back but I really can’t stand lateness and laziness when it comes to working on projects so I guess I’m not that laid back at all! I don’t like to be made to feel that my time is somehow less valuable than anyone elses!
Jamie – I try not to keep pet peeves… I think ‘learning to let go’ is a good mantra. Having said that, it drives me nuts when people don’t park at the end of a parking bay, so you can’t fit enough cars in! haha!
PD. What is your proudest moment in music?
Jamie – I have to say I’m also really proud of my friends and family for the tribute gig we do for Robb each year. It’s tricky to pull everyone together now they are spread across the country, but each time we make this beautiful, chaotic, special little night happen, I’m so glad to know these people and in awe of their talents.
PD. So what are you working on at the moment?
M&J: We’re currently putting together a full band, so we can play some live shows!
PD. Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
M&J: None booked yet but when we do you can rest assured we will give it everything we have and leave nothing out!!