Matt Langlois on The Welcome Matt, Matt EL and What We Can Expect Next

The Welcome Matt

Matt Langlois, otherwise known as Matt EL and The Welcome Matt, is an indie, acoustic rock artist based in San Francisco. His relaxed style of rock is great for the casual radio listener or live show, and is definitely a playlist must for the ride to anywhere.  This budding artist rolled out the welcome mat during an interview with us, and I had the opportunity to pick this artist’s brain about his music.

Read on to learn a little more and enjoy his kind of music.

When and why did you start playing?
“A long time ago in basement far. far away. An acoustic guitar was given to my brother and I for Christmas during my fifth grade year. My brother gave it up and I didn’t. Playing guitar gave me instant sanctuary. It created a calm in the eye of the storm during those early years of growing up. All children should be given a chance to learn an instrument.”

Do you play any instruments?
“Yes and in this order of capability–guitar-vocals-bass-keyboards-drums/percussion.”

What were your favorite songs/musicians growing up?
“I loved and still love a lot of the classic rockers but, for some reason I gravitate to a lot of English bands, who will readily admit they were influenced heavily by American rock n roll, but their take and style that comes out on their end, I find to be very creative and different from purely homegrown American music. One can start right up with The Beatles, The Kinks, The Who, David Bowie and carry right on through to more modern day bands such as Gorillaz, Blur and Radiohead. I’ve always loved the alt-new wave American ‘80s bands like DEVO, R.E.M, The Replacements, The B52’s, and more recently I’ve really gotten into St.Vincent, Vampire Weekend and Arcade Fire (Canada) to name a few out of so many!”

How would you describe your own sound and music?
“That is a complete mystery to me, considering the list of the afore mentioned bands, I would have to say I tend to straddle a kind of melodic rock americana britpop divide and I apologize for such a broad stroke of an opinion, but I think whatever style I aim for ends up sounding completely different in the end. I may actually have inadvertently developed my own style.  Britacana? I said it first!”

How do you handle mistakes during a performance?
“When in danger or in doubt run in circles, scream and shout! After many many live performances mistakes become easier to glide over. Most importantly though, you really need to just keep the energy and intent in place, then the mistakes won’t make a difference. Also, you can turn them into an advantage. For example, during a power outage I had to sing to the room “unplugged” and it ended up being a much more of an exciting personal performance for myself and the audience. I guess that’s more of a technical difficulty than a mistake though.”

Do you get nervous before a performance? If so, how do you deal with it?
“Yes. Not as much, but it’s the same deal, take that nervous energy and channel into your performance, and remember your on a stage therefore you have the license to be a performer. So perform. Get into it!”

Do you attend jam sessions? What makes a good session?
“Not really anymore though I jammed constantly with friends in high school. It’s a great way to learn how to interact with other musicians when you’re starting out.”

How often and for how long do you practice?
“I think it’s a good idea to do something musical everyday if possible, whether it’s warming up on an instrument or chipping away at half finished songs. Length of time isn’t the most important thing, but of course the longer you can work on things the more you get done!”

What’s next for you?
“Well I have several music projects in the oven. Next year I’ll release the second Welcome Matt compilation CD. “The Panhandle Years Volume 2” will include two new songs. With Matt EL I’ll release several more singles and instrumentals in accordance with the modern dance performances of CALI&CO dance since I am the music director. Lastly, I’ll be chipping away at the Matt Langlois 2-disc “solo” CD, but that’s going to take a while. There will be live performances and a tour or two in 2016 as well.”

Matt seems enthusiastic and is looking forward to working on music in the future. I can’t wait to see what’s next for him!

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