Photo by John Gilhooley
Photo by John Gilhooley

Aural Reports

Matt McCluer is a songwriting machine. As a writing member of defunct bands the Wayward Naturals, Part the Clouds, Matt McCluer and the Eighth Notes, and currently a solo artist, he has to be.

Do you prefer the solo acoustic thing or playing with a band? Um . . . shit. A couple months ago I put together a live electric band. I had backup singer girls, full-on dance moves. It was totally cheesy on purpose. It was called Matt McCluer and the Eighth Notes because we'd only play songs that were eighth notes all the way through because it was easier to learn them. We only played a couple of times. I don't really like to do acoustic shows, but that's all I've really got right now. Basically I don't even have a band right now.

Is it tough getting shows as a solo act? Everything's been friends of friends. Bars kind of suck. They're kind of loud. I played at Avalon one time, and I couldn't even hear myself over people talking. I've always been in rock bands. I record acoustic stuff because I write the songs and I want to get them recorded. As far as performing, I always like having a band going. Acoustic is because I have to. I'm not that kind of person.

Do you usually write songs based on your band at the time or plans for future albums?I would like to be in a band again with other songwriters, but I don't see that happening. As far as style is concerned, I just finished a whole rock album. It's called A Good Day to Rock. That's going to be my third solo album. That's crazy I-don't-know-what music. I write with the band in mind. The Eighth Notes were around during Part the Clouds. I just spazzed out last summer and wrote 20, 25 songs. Those are being divided into these next two albums. The acoustic album is going to be called Let's Be Mellow.

Are you still writing at that pace? I'm still catching up. I just finished A Good Day to Rock, and those songs have been done for a few months. And I accidentally wrote all these other songs for this third thing, which is random shit that doesn't fit with anything. If I can pull it off, I'm going to put out three albums this year. So I'm not really writing. I'm trying to record all the shit that was supposed to be this acoustic album that I never got around to, and I keep accidentally writing these rock songs that don't fit into anything. And at the same time, I'm like, "Fuck, I need to start a band." But when I do start a band, what songs am I going to play? I'm tempted to start a three piece, but I'm also tempted to start a 10 piece.

Will those be self-released albums? Yeah. I just do them, and try and sell them if I can. That's when it's important to be playing more shows: okay, I have a bunch of albums now. How am I going to get rid of these?

So what's after the three different records? I have no clue. A friend of mine made a joke. "You should do a fucking box set. A self-promoted demo box set."

Have any favorite local record stores?I don't really go to record stores. Honestly, I don't really listen to music. I'm not a huge music collector.

Why don't you listen to music? Originally I had the idea that I wanted to keep a clear mind and not really be influenced by stuff. I also have a hard time finding stuff I like. I'm super-picky.

What originally inspired you to play music, then?Probably just from hearing the Velvet Underground. I always wanted to be in rock bands. When I was a little kid I loved Van Halen. Fuck yeah.



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