Matt Massey, based in Fort Worth, Texas, has been playing in bands since his mid teens. Now the hard rocking indie powerhouse has gone it alone, this year releasing his debut album, ‘Dear Today’. His latest track, ‘Built’ shines as an example to all musicians that it’s possible to do it all yourself – Massey performs vocals, guitars, bass, and drums, and the entire track, just like the rest of the album, was recorded and produced by Massey, using a Pro Tools rig at home.
‘Built’ is a blisteringly powerful track, and can truly be something Massey can be proud of. The artist was born in St Louis, and raised in Fort Worth, where he started playing with his first rock band, playing all original music, at the age of 16. After 8 years at the helm of this group, he played in other bands, performing covers, pop, blues, country – basically the entire spectrum of music. With ‘Dear Today’ Massey returns to his rock roots, and shares his innermost thoughts. Speaking of the album, he says,
“I get more of a sense of accomplishment knowing that every bit of this is me than any other project I have ever done in my career. After playing with other guys half my life, and understanding the ups and downs of band dynamics all too well, a lot of what went into my decision to go solo was a matter of simple convenience.
“So I had the desire to keep creating new music, but not necessarily the time to get and keep a band together. It also presented a fun new challenge. I couldn’t just worry about the guitar part anymore. I had to work on every part and learn to be my own toughest critic so changes could be made when they really need to.
“It’s exciting to create with other musicians and awesome when things come together. It’s a different feeling of accomplishment though when you make it happen solo. It’s a complete expression of yourself. So creating ‘Dear Today’, ‘Built’ and my other recent single, ‘You Won’t Find Me’ was very liberating for me. When I start to play these songs live next year, I’ll have to hire a backing band which will be different for me too.”
While preparing to tour in support of the album, Massey keeps his musical chops in fine form by playing in a local ensemble, which also features his father on drums. The group performs covers, with everything from Nirvana, to Seven Mary Three, Tom Petty, to Collective Soul.
Massey draws on all aspects of his life for inspiration in his writing, and chose to embrace his rock roots because, in his words, “it keeps my brain entertained”. Conscious of getting everything perfect, ‘Built’ took a couple of months of meticulous writing; the song tells about how our individual experiences cause us to be who we are – not a bad thing, and indeed, somewhere to connect with others.
“We all have endured some sort of struggle,” Massey says. “It’s about saying, ‘Hey, we’ve been through some s***, but that’s okay, we’re awesome anyway. Struggles are part of what makes us who we are and everyone has them. As I say in the song, we all have matching scars. I wanted the song to be driving but also have a groove and some cool changes. It only has one verse, but two extended electric guitar solos. So I had to work to vary the solos and make changes during the choruses – all different from what I had done previously.”