Posted May 25, 2007, by Big Hoss.
Interview with Matt Breen of Emanuel by Big Hoss & James Ransom
Big Hoss: Names and Positions in the band?
My name is Matt Breen I am the vocalist and songwriter for the band Emanuel
Big Hoss: What genre is your music?
Matt: We are somewhere between indie rock and alternative rock.
Big Hoss: Do you guys have any previous band names?
Matt: No, we have been Emanuel since 1998.
Big Hoss: What venue would you want to play that you haven’t played yet?
Matt: I guess the Enormodome.
Big Hoss: What venue has been the best and worst to play at?
Matt: Probably Headliners in KY or the Social in Orlando and here at Chain is always great because there’s always a party in the parking lot. The Worst…. I mean no offence to anybody there and it’s not the club or maybe in the people but Boise Idaho every time I go there it always sucks.
Big Hoss: What inspires most of your lyrics?
Matt: The vocalist for Sunny Day Real Estate, Smashing Pumpkins and a lot of 90’s alternative is what I listen to more then any thing.
Big Hoss: Where do you wish your band to be in 5 years?
Matt: Still making music, still making records, I don’t know how much longer any band can make records in the state of the industry today but still making records and supporting my self would be nice.
Big Hoss: Since you guys have been playing the new stuff, where have you been playing and how’s the response been?
Matt: It’s a step back, like when you make a new record, no one knows who you are and they are not singing along and there just like staring at you and when you first get out doing that you almost take offence to it at first and you think they don’t like you, but really they are just absorbing and figuring out who you are, so its like that again most of the time people are looking at us trying to figure out what the new stuff is like but I understand it now so its been pretty good.
Big Hoss: Any funny or interesting stories after a show or wile on tour?
Matt: Ummm Yea…ok…. Yea well the other night, I’m not going to go to jail for this one. This one really annoying person I have to be really vague about this was stealing our liquor like they kept coming in to our van like we were trying to load out and they kept coming in and taking out liquor and we would be like go away I don’t know who you are please leave me alone any they were really inebriated and they kept coming back and stealing the bottle so they were really inebriated so I took the bottle of whiskey then I had a little bit of whiskey and then I filled it up with piss and they came over and snatched it out of my had and chugged the entire bottle of piss and they were like “what do you think about that?” well I think its great its awesome man that was a good one.
Big Hoss: What do you guys think about UFO’s?
Matt: I think that I saw one onetime, well I don’t know I’m a full on skeptic I’m an atheist I don’t believe in any thing. I figured out Santa claws wasn’t real when I was like 4 years old. I don’t really believe but I saw something one time in the sky that was really weird, and we toured with this band Code 7 who really adamantly insisted they were abducted by aliens so you should ask those guys.
Big Hoss: What were some of your favorite bands growing up?
Matt: Like when I was in Middle School it was like Alice and Chains and Smashing pumpkins and Deftones it was all those bands and in High School I got in to punk rock like Saves the Day, Get Up Kids, Lifetime and part of it was because I liked it and part of it was at that time like 8 or 9 years ago it was like a community and it was really fun.
Big Hoss: What do you guys do to keep busy on the road?
Matt: Sidekicks we all talk to our girlfriends on our sidekicks and there’s this random prank call records from the early 90’s Longmont Potion Castle and it is the absolute funniest stuff
Big Hoss: Do you have any advice for bands about to go on there first tour?
Matt: If you’re like me just bring a million pairs of socks I have to change my socks every day and don’t get bummed when people don’t freak out about your band because it takes along time for that to happen
Big Hoss: Your new cd title “Black Earth Tiger” how did you guys come up with that?
Matt: it’s hard to explain. The title comes from the lyrics I say black earth tiger in the last song on the record and its like the black earth tiger is a big tarantula that lives underground and there is a lot of illusions on the record to the end of the world. It’s hard to explain a lot of the lyrics on the record are like I‘m terrified of spiders and a lot of the lyrics deal with the end of the world or phobias its really chaotic nightmares and it kind of falls in to lyrics.
Big Hoss: During recording in Seattle did it feel like it went by slow or fast for you guys?
Matt: it was long it was 2 Months 6 days a week 12 O’clock noon to 1 A.M. every day it was a long process but being there was amazing and it never got boring.
Big Hoss: How was the weather?
Matt: It was funny the weather at home we are from Indiana and it get pretty cold in the winter time and we left home and we got to Seattle and we were like its 75 and we are calling every body at home its 75 its sunny ha ha ha and then 2 days later it was 40 and rained for the next 80 days so not so well.
Big Hoss: After recording were you guys satisfied with it?
Matt: It was unbelievable. Terry doing the new Pumpkins record and Deftones record and it was one of those situations where we were like, wouldn’t it be crazy to get Terry Date to work for us and it fell in to place. It was so much better then we could ever ask for.
Big Hoss: Where can we get it when it comes out?
Matt: Nearly every record store in the world
Big Hoss: What are your fans saying about the new stuff your playing?
Matt: It’s hard to tell you know? We took a big step in another direction on this stuff. When we wrote “Soundtrack To A Headrush” I’m almost 24 now when I wrote soundtrack I was 19 and it was before bands were doing rock riff stuff so I felt like I was on the cutting edge of something and I felt really proud of it and it was exciting for me, and now its like ill open up magazines and it will be like Halifax and it said it sounds like Emanuel “Soundtrack To A Headrush” and it was like well then the idea I came up with has been truly perverted at this point so its time to do something different or don’t do it at all so I did something different so we will see how it goes.
James Ransom: How come you guys don’t play Medusa, Viscera or any of the pumpkins songs you guys covered?
Matt: We don’t play disarm by the pumpkins because its acoustic but I love that song and we don’t play mayonnaise because I was super unhappy the way it turned out. Viscera we learned for this tour we are actually are going to play it at sum point and we have the search and destroy cover we don’t play because we have no idea how to play it, they were like we are going to put you on a video game and we learned how to play it recorded it in the same day and never played it again and medusa we don’t play ill tell you why, Because there’s a riff on the new record that is from that song its that ascending riff we use it in one of the songs off the new record and I really liked that riff so we were like since its on the Japan version no one will really hear it so we used it again.
Big Hoss: Why did you guys release two extra songs on the Japan version as opposed to the U.S. version?
Matt: This is some stuff that id actually like to discuss. For some reason in Japan and England the American cd is not good enough for them its just like when an American bands comes out with a new cd they expect extra tracks to be on it or its like whatever I’m not buying it yea its really weird and as a matter of fact to be totally honest with you every thing im saying is going to piss somebody off at some point I’m sure like the label and distributor is like we want us to have extra songs so its almost like “hey you guys have and B-Sides?” no we don’t have any B-Sides we recorded 11 songs that’s all we have “ well can you like record another song and pretend its like B-Side” and we were like not really, I mean I will if I have time to record another song and put it out and let them download it off our site but I don’t have any thing right now.
Big Hoss: All right that’s it is there any thing you would like to add?
Matt: Just our new record comes out August 7th its called Black Earth Tiger and we are really stoked on it so show some love and pick it up!