Interview - Matt DeAngelis

Matt DeAngelis' intent is to spread positivity and inspire people with his sound. He recorded with legendary musicians on his new record such as Liberty DeVitto and Richie Cannata, members of Billy Joel's original band.

Hi Matt. Tell us about your latest release World I’m Comin’ For You.
“World I’m Comin’ For You” is my first official EP, which I released in January of this year. The process was long and grinding, as it took us three years to complete all five songs. We recorded these songs in Cove City Sound Studios on Long Island with legendary musicians from Billy Joel’s original band including Liberty DeVitto on drums and Richie Cannata on saxophone. I was honored to have had the opportunity to work with them. We also recorded the songs in Musically Speaking Studios close to home in Southern New Jersey where my producer has connections with Billy Joel’s members on Long Island. Although it was quite the grind, it was worth every minute and I’m very happy with the product at hand.

How would you describe your sound?
My sound is a mix of classic rock, progressive rock, and pop. Some refer to it as “progressive pop” because there are many moving elements in each song, yet hooks that resemble pop. My goal has always been to create a sound that is unique to me and can be recognizable to everyone that hears it. Although I’m always evolving as a musician and songwriter, my roots remain the same and the goal for me is to have people hear that.

What do you write about?
There are truly only three things I write about the most: the past, real world events and ongoing events in my life, and the future. Essentially, I write about the past, present, and future, each about real world or life events. But it’s a bit more complex than that. I try to avoid the clichés in songwriting, giving everything a deeper meaning. You can interpret my writing in an infinite number of ways. In many instances the personal material I compose can be viewed from a plethora of perspectives. However, in every one of my songs, I always have a positive spin on the perspective in the end, even if the majority of the song may seem negative or upsetting to the naked eye. I include God, my Lord and savior, in most if not all of my songs. You may not always recognize this in my lyrics, but He is in there.

What do you listen to when you are at home?
My biggest influence from the age of 8 or 9 has been David Bowie. I listened to his songs almost daily growing up which helped to shape my style as a songwriter. Although I still listen to him, I have since greatly expanded my musical palette, listening to progressive rock bands such as Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant, and more. Billy Joel and Elton John have also been very big influences for me. I still listen to them frequently. The list goes on from there. Sometimes no matter how often you hear a song, especially in progressive rock, there is something you miss. Each time you hear a song there may be something you’ve never heard before. This can be attributed to my identity as a songwriter, as I write about few things, but each time, right when you think I’ve run out of ideas on that topic, there’s more to be written about.

What has been your favorite live performance so far?
The most exciting venue I have played thus far has to be the Princeton in Avalon, New Jersey. I have played there twice and each time there were many people. The stage is also very high and you truly feel like a rock star.

Tell us a funny story that happened in the studio or on stage.
I’ve already had my fair share of entertaining experiences in the studio and performing, but I would say one of the best thus far occurred when we were performing at a wedding. The guitar player had started a song off for me when I moved from behind my keyboard to front, and the chord progression was very similar to another song we do. I began singing a different song on top of the song he was playing. We all shared a laugh, even the audience. I played it off to the audience by saying how much they enjoyed the other song, they wanted to hear it again. Luckily, I caught myself in the intro or I might have gone the whole song not knowing!

What are your favorite albums?
I have many favorite albums, so I’ll give you two from several of my biggest influencers. “Hunky Dory” and “The Man Who Sold the World” by David Bowie, “Tales from Topographic Oceans” and “Close to the Edge” by Yes, “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” and “Foxtrot” by Genesis, “Cold Spring Harbor” and “Turnstiles” by Billy Joel, and “Madman Across the Water” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” by Elton John.

A musician you would like to meet for a beer?
One musician I would meet up with would be Billy Joel. I would love to hear his experiences and life story in person.

What would you ask for backstage if you were the most important band on earth?
I wouldn’t ask for much, probably just a bottle of water. That’s all I really need before I perform.

What are your plans for the near future?
I already have several new singles that will be released during the remainder of this year alone, with many more to come in the near future. I plan to keep promoting my music and continue performing live in my cover band and performing my original songs. My goal is to have my songs be heard by the world and spread positivity and offer hope for everyone.

Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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