We caught up with Nashville based artist THE F-USE following the release of the magnificent single, ‘For The Love Of God’. Read the full interview now!
Hi Matt, tell us about yourself?
Well, hi, I’m Matt Estevez! No, I don’t have a preference of Matthew or Matt, and if you say any obscenity loud enough in my direction, I’ll answer.
I’m an almost 23-year-old trying to navigate this somewhat apocalyptic world. I grew up with my mom and brother for nine years in Florida and then nine years in North Carolina before heading off to college.
Music has always been there for me when I felt as if nothing or no one understood me, and I wanted to be surrounded by it for the rest of my life. Whenever I’m not drumming or singing along to the Foo Fighters, I’m either watering my little garden of baby bell peppers or binging New Girl.
What is your songwriting process?
Is it weird to say that I don’t have one? I don’t even have a preference of what to start with; sometimes I’ll have a lyric or an idea that inspires a sound, or vice versa.
Whenever a general idea is set, I mumble my way through a bunch of vocal melodies until I find one that I like. I usually never write out a full song on guitar or lyrically; I always take the song one section at a time.
Once I demo out a song on my laptop, I play around with ‘filler’ sounds or guitar melodies that are never really a main aspect of the song but will give you new things to hear with every listen.
Tell us about your latest release?
‘For the Love of God’ is the first single off of the first album I’ve ever written. I wrote it in a very desperate time of my life, where I could do anything, scream as loud as I could, and no one would hear or bat an eye.
It’s the battle between feeling trapped and all of the anger that comes alongside it. Scream as loud as you can, play as loud as you can, listen as loud as you can.
What message do you think your music conveys to your fans?
If there’s one thing I can convey to my fans, it’s that they’re not alone. For me, the Foo Fighters saved my life. Their music spoke to me in a way that no friend, no advice, no therapist could… it made me feel seen and heard like it’s going to be alright.
Who are your musical influences?
Oh gosh, it’s all over the place. On any given day I could be singing along to Slipknot or Ingrid Michaelson. If I was forced to choose a top five, it would be The Beatles, Foo Fighters, White Stripes, System of a Down, and Paul Baribeau.
Who are your non-musical influences?
I’ve never really thought about non-musical influences before. My mom is definitely a driving force in my life in terms of support but also motivation. I mean, who can’t be inspired by a mother who beat cancer and raised two kids on her own?
Another came from music but had an influence outside of music. His name was Lea, and he was my high school drumline instructor. He became a father figure for me (probably without knowing it), and always inspired me to better myself in every way and never to settle on being ‘good enough’, always to get better.
What’s the best gig that you have ever played?
That’s hard to say, as much as I want to say playing my own music, it was when I filled in on bass for my friends’ band. I was flown out to play a show with them at Whiskey a Go Go; my flight was at around 4 or 5 in the morning of the show, and when I got there we started practising.
We were part of an evening-long lineup that ended with Steve Adler playing with a cover band for what seemed like an eternity. The show went well on our end, but it was all of the badass people I met throughout the night.
After the show, around 2 am, I was watching the gear outside while the band went to get the van. Then, Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal walks by, and without any thought, I said “Jesse?” He looked back and said he enjoyed the show, and I had to fangirl over his music since I regularly listen to it.
That was my first time in LA, and by the time I blinked, I was on the flight back home the next morning.
What is your funniest gig moment?
My friends and I were playing a little New Year’s Eve show at a neighbourhood clubhouse a few years ago. Some of our bassists’ family had recently moved into the neighborhood and were all there, a lot of friends and people coming in from hearing live music.
As the night went on, the adults drank more, and more…and more. Towards the end of the set during a song, I saw a bra land in my lap. Confused and taken off guard, I had to finish the song first. The bra was from one of our bassists’ aunts that had just moved in, a funny first impression!
What do you think are the biggest obstacles for bands/artists today?
With the way the world is going, live shows won’t be happening any time soon. Even when they do, so many people are going to be hesitant to go for good period of time.
The music industry is always changing, especially with social media, the hardest thing to comprehend and tackle is keeping content fresh. Not only that but sticking out in the seemingly unlimited amount of music that’s accessible now is sometimes hard for famous bands.
I think social media influence on what music ‘should be’ is a really big obstacle that isn’t talked about, especially for younger musicians starting out. We’re drowning in what’s selling and hot, and the next week we forget it even existed. So, I would say don’t write for today, write for tomorrow.
What advice would you give to other bands/artists starting out?
Be yourself and let your influences come out through your music; don’t try to be anyone else! You are the only person in the world who listens to music the way you do.
There might be times where you can’t come up with ideas for maybe months on end, don’t let that discourage you. And always, I cannot stress this enough, always find an outlet that isn’t music. Because music may always be there for you, but it may not always get the job done (I highly recommend hiking or gardening).
What are your hopes for the next two years?
I like to dream big, so I have to say to be a signed artist. I don’t want to be stuck to a label my entire life though, a good one or two album contract sounds nice.
Other than that, to be able to create a career with music. I definitely want to put another album out by the end of next year, and since no one can play shows for the foreseeable future, it’s the perfect time to write.
FV Music Blog September 2020
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