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The Matches possess an amazing raw talent and have already – in just three years – toured all over the world. Composed of vocalist and guitarist Shawn Harris, bassist Justin San Souci, guitarist Jon Devoto, and drummer Matt Whalen the Matches fill any venue with “Audio Blood”. They have artistic backgrounds and their creative genes are apparent throughout their music. Shawn designs many of the band’s clothes and also creates the artwork displayed on the CD jacket. The Matches promise great things to come – I sense some good fortune in Jon Devoto’s blonde ‘fro.

How did you form as a band?
Shawn: Well, me and Matt and Justin were already together and then we found Jon three years ago. We found him in the Wanted ads either in the newspaper or on the internet. Our guitar player left to go to the naval academy. So we weren’t really a serious band for a number of years. We had no idea we could book real shows and whatnot. We’ve been around for three years, yeah I’ll just say that...three years with our current lineup.

What is the basis for the bands name?
Shawn. The opposite of the Clash if you think about it...matching, matches...the clash. Which if you think about then we’re the opposite of their slogan we’re the only band that doesn’t matter... (laughs).

What are your major influences?
Justin: Music. (pauses...looks up) God. (laughs)
Shawn: Tooth and Nail Records.
Justin: I’m just joking. Priests and Michael Jackson.
Shawn: Our vocalist teacher in ninth grade.
Justin: She taught me how to be a man...
Shawn: ...the hard way. Musically, oh I don’t know. I don’t know how to answer that. I’m a flip-flopper.
Justin: My favorite band one week, I won’t listen to the next week. Like when we got home we were listening to like Nirvana.
Shawn: RUSH! haha
Justin: What happened was I lost all my CDs and I only had one CD and the one CD I had was my Rush CD. So it was the only CD I could listen to.
Shawn: Yeah and we all hated him.
Justin: It wasn’t just Rush, it was their early stuff and it was like all this synthesizer bullshit and I tricked myself into liking it until I got another CD.
Shawn: Then he was like: “Wow, the Gin Blossoms Rule.” Nirvana is pretty much a constant for all of us. We just got a live copy of Nine Inch Nails concert that happened in Glendale, my friend bootlegged it for us. He goes in with a microphone on his hat and pulls his hood over it. He
had a prosthetic leg so they can’t get it with metal detectors. Anyway, we listen to everything really.

What is your favorite song from your material and why?
Shawn: My favorite track is the last track, doesn’t really have a name. We still call it Track 11, but it’s Track 12 on the epitaph CD. When people ask us to play the last track we’re like “Oh yeah, we’ll play track 11.” And they’re like “but you played Sick Little Suicide in your set.” That’s my favorite one.
Justin: I really like Sick Little Suicide.

Have you read any books that have changed your perspective on society?
Justin: Oh man, I’m reading this book called The Jungle and it’s about the meatpacking industry in the early 1900’s. It’s brutal. I don’t think I’ll ever want to eat meat again, besides that meat sandwich I just ate. But yeah, I mean just about labor and it’s so unfair. Read it, read it
and it will change your life. Or you won’t be able to finish it.
Shawn: I’m reading a book called Infinite Jest right now, but I’m not sure if it makes me want to do drugs or not do drugs. One or the other very drastically. I’m pretty torn.

What political issues most concern you?
Shawn: Ummm...well, we lost in the presidential race, so we can not care about politics for the next four years.
Justin: We got a war or something going on that I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to like.
Shawn: That’s not very cool to talk about anymore because it’s past. Just kidding. I say that but I’m kind of guilty as well.
Justin: (sarcastically) I’m really looking forward to when they take off all the restrictions off the coastline of Alaska and start doing all the drilling and killing all the wildlife. And developing national forests into parking lots. I’m excited for it - it’s a whole new age. I hate politics and politicians - it really just makes me disgusted. That’s kind of a naive answer.
Shawn: Did you know the coolest thing in the news of late? Did you hear about the Tyrannosaurus Rex. They had to break the bones in half to get the bones out of the cave. They don’t like to break the bones in half, but they had to. And there was still live blood marrow inside. They have it and we’re gonna fucking make us some T-Rexes baby. YEAH! JP - Jurassic Park. (Justin and Shawn start humming Jurassic Park theme)
Justin: We’re going to drop Tyrannosaurus Rex into other countries and they’ll eat other people.
We’ll strap lasers to their heads and let them loose in urban areas.

What is your biggest regret?
Shawn: Not having a really good answer to your last question.
Justin: My biggest regret was probably something I did in fourth grade.
Shawn: Do you remember your really good quote about regret? Justin said one time, “I’m gonna start regretting things that I did do, not regretting things that I didn’t do.”
Justin: I’m getting there - I’m working on it. Getting better,
Shawn: He trashed out hotel room, not just our room - our whole floor. On his birthday after he trashed himself. He put all the furniture in our floor into the elevator and sent it down to the lobby.
Justin: But I replaced it all with ice. There was like an inch of ice on the floor.

How do you spend time besides with music?
Shawn: Wow, your easy questions are really hard.
Justin: I’ve been reading a lot...more than I usually do.
Shawn: We draw a lot, we do all the art and everything. being busy like
doing merch for our band or other bands. We do our web site.
Justin: We just finished doing the art for a compilation for a label
called Take Over Records.
Shawn: Yeah, we have two songs coming out with Take Over Records. Kind
of a pre-album release. We’re animating a video for our next album. So
we’re always busy being artists.

Where do you see yourselves as a band in five years?
Justin: Hopefully we’ll still be a band.
Shawn: We’ll be on tour because that will probably be two albums from
now. And at this given moment we’ll be in Japan.
Justin: Yeah. That’d be fun.
Shawn: Maybe...yeah, we’re going to start to get mad as a band. Because we’re going to have very sheltered lives. So in five
years we’re gonna be kind of pissed about that. we’re going to have a
love/hate relationship with the road.
Justin: In five years we’re going to be behind ten years mentally
because we’ve been the road so long. It’ll be obvious that there’s
something wrong with us. Right now it’s just beginning to show.

Could you describe the song writing process?
Shawn: Yeah, we have a new song writing process. We assign homework and everybody has to come up with like two parts that match a rip we came up with. The next day we go over what works and that one song will turn into like ten songs. And then we take like two of the ten songs and do homework on those. So we have all these songs splayed out and we take the best pieces out and make it into an entire song. And I write a lot in my books and I usually end of writing like folksy type of songs - mellow. And I make all these slow songs and I take words out of them and
put them into the rhyme schemes.

Any other comments?
Shawn: Yeah...she won’t say it but I used to date the girl in the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Justin: I used to uh...
Shawn: He used to date the drummer of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Justin: Yeah, we were a hot couple.


 

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