Wednesday, December 4, 2013

20 Questions with 80sMuscGirI-Interview with Matt Backer of ABC

Below is my first ever interview with anyone! The interviewee, world renowned guitarist and band member of the amazing group ABC! I had a lot of fun putting this together and I would like to thank Tammy Brackett with Moonstruck Promotions for setting up the interview and putting it all together! I hope you all enjoy it!

Matt Backer Black and White by Julian Lennon

Hello Matt Backer, My name is Rose Fullerton, aka 80sMusicGirl and let
me start off by saying what a fantastic opportunity this is
to interview you and give the fans more insight into your world

80sMusicGirl: Tell me a little bit about yourself, where were you born? 

Do you have brother and sisters?

Matt: I was born in New Orleans, and I'm a spoiled
only brat.


80sMusicGirl: What was the first musical instrument you ever played and at what age? 

Matt: I was always obsessed with guitar. There's a photograph of me aged about five putting a guitar into the paws of my Snoopy doll.

80sMusicGirl: Who do you think was the biggest influence in your life musically?  Teacher? Parent? 

Matt: All of the above. I remember being about fourteen and
my father (who worked for an oil company and didn't play an instrument)
heard me learning whatever licks I was working on and asked me how many
songs I'd written that day. That caused me to re-think lots of things

 80sMusicGirl: Did you always want to be a musician? 

Matt: Yep!

80sMusicGirl: When was your first solo gig? 

Matt: In seventh grade

Matt Backer and Martin Fry old band pic and new

80sMusicGirl: So tell me, being from the US, How did you come to be in the band ABC?

Matt: In late '99 I had just returned from a world tour with Julian Lennon. A
friend of mine asked if I would mind depping for the guitarist at a
corporate show. I'm still there. Guess I'm not a very good dep !

 80sMusicGirl:  Were you involved in any of the songwriting?

Matt: No, although Martin and I have written some songs that have yet to be

 80sMusicGirl: How did it feel to hear ABC on the radio for the first time?

Matt: I was in college, a jazz snob. I heard "Poison Arrow", heard the
production, lyrics, arrangement, and thought "I will allow this into my
ivory tower"...

 80sMusicGirl: Bands tour a lot, how did you adjust to so much traveling?

Matt: Sleep whenever possible!

80sMusicGirl: Of all the 80s bands that came out during that time, 
do you think ABC was in a category by themselves?

Matt: Yes. The orchestration, production (remember - pre MIDI - no
sequencers, so everything on "Lexicon" was played) - but a lot of the
post punk bands were doing their own thing in their own ways. People
get called "New Romantic" or "Synth Pop" or whatever in hindsight to
provide a handy marketing term.

80sMusicGirl: I was reading an article in other day in Guitar Player magazine and was surprised to find how many different types of guitars one musician can own.  Do you have a collection of guitars and if so, which one is your favorite :)

Matt: That's a tough one! It's like having to choose your favourite child.
Not counting mandolins, basses and ukes I have 22 (I think!) guitars. A
lot of them have specific roles and sounds - nylon, 12 string electric,
12 string acoustic, baritone, etc. But I have a marvellous 1963
Fender Strata-caster electric and 1946 Gibson LG-1 acoustic which is fab.

Matt Backer playing Gold Top Les Paul with Nick Heyward Band

80sMusicGirl: You have gigged with some pretty awesome musicians,  any humorous stories you would like to share? 

 Matt: I hope Belinda Carlisle doesn't mind me mentioning the time she fell backwards over the bass player's monitor. She's a yoga expert, however, so she bounced back immediately! 

80sMusicGirl: You write and perform songs for kids, how did you get involved with that?

Matt:  By having two of my own! 

80sMusicGirl: What tips do you have for young musicians/singers/songwriters out there?

Matt: Two things I stole from Robert Redford, which may seem
contradictory, but aren't. Trust your instincts and never forget it's a business.

Matt Backer and Julian Lennon 2013

80sMusicGirl: Thank you very much Matt for taking the time out to answers my
questions.  I wish you all the best

 Matt: You too, Rose!