Matthew Wright of The Getaway Plan (Melbourne) talks new album Dark Horses, Pledge Music, depression and cats on Instagram

  • Jana Angeles
  • September 23, 2014
  • Comments Off on Matthew Wright of The Getaway Plan (Melbourne) talks new album Dark Horses, Pledge Music, depression and cats on Instagram

Fresh off the road as support band for Anberlin, and recently opening up a Pledge Music campaign for their upcoming album Dark HorsesThe Getaway Plan are taking a step forward, releasing an album without the help of a record label.

When I first heard “Where The City Meets The Sea” on the radio when I was 15, I immediately fell in love with the chorus, the instruments, the vocals and everything that resonated with it. It was magical to say the least and I was so excited to share this track to my friends. It was honestly the perfect, opportune moment to get the word out and to make sure everyone knew this talented Australian band.

When I first asked Matt about the Anberlin the shows, he was really excited by the experience and grateful that it happened. It was obvious that being on stage with the band was an experience of a lifetime and something he would cherish for many years to come. Although, we did share our sorrows when it came to the realisation that it was Anberlin’s final tour ever in Australia.

“It was great. It was so good to be able to play in front of some psyched audiences. It was just awesome. We get along with the Anberlin guys really well and we’ve toured with them before overseas and in the UK. It was sad that it was their last tour because they’re such a rad band. Kind of sad seeing them disbanding, but overall, the tour was amazing, and the response from the crowd was awesome and we were psyched.”

Apart from all the tour shenanigans as well, Matt also shared some insights on the band’s exclusive acoustic EP, Journaux, giving insight on what the title meant and the recording process of how it all came together. It was clear that the EP was something the band wanted to genuinely do, stripping back from all the rock elements and just taking full control and obviously having fun while getting back into the whole recording process.

“‘Journaux’ is French for journal. So basically, it’s just a collection of songs that we have written over the years. The title is meant to represent our personal journals for the last ten years musically. The recording process was pretty rushed. We only kinda decided to do it a few weeks before we announced the pledge campaign which is what the EP has for free with. We did it all ourselves at home. We recorded the drums in our rehearsal space and then kinda did our parts separately from home and then I just sent them all to myself. I kind of did a dodgy mixing job and it was the first time I’ve ever really done that. It was a little bit nerve-wrecking but I think it turned out quite well in the end. We’re all pretty pleased with the result.”

When I mentioned to Matt about the band not recording for a while he said that the EP helped the band ease them back into recording.

“We spent some time in a studio recently and did some demos, so it kind of got us back into the rhythm of recording, which was awesome.”

He was also overwhelmed and overjoyed by the response from fans towards the music pledge on Dark Horses. When you’re in a band that wants to reach their full potential, sometimes record labels can get in the way of that creativity, which is why The Getaway Plan have taken a much more challenging but rewarding route to release an album independently.

“Every single release the band has done, except for one that we did last year which was just a couple of songs, has been done with the help of a record label and the funding of a record label. We just decided we’re kind of sick of that route because it doesn’t really matter who we work with. I mean they’re in it for the money generally and we are not, so there always comes a point where we butt heads. We just decided that we wanted to take full control this time and of course, give back to our fans who are responsible for funding it. The response has been overwhelming to say the least. We didn’t expect it to be moving along this fast.”

As I continued to speak with Matt about record labels, I then began to understand the struggle many musicians face when it came to meeting the requirements of a contract. He also revealed that releasing an independent record just wasn’t a piece of cake.

“There’s kinda just some moments when we were doing our last records where the record labels just got a bit too involved for our liking. They just tried to give us opinion on things which they probably shouldn’t have. We’re all about having full creative control of everything from start to finish and when someone’s giving you a shitload of money to go and make a record, it’s kinda difficult to turn around and say to them, ‘No, fuck you. We wanna do this our way’, without them coming back and being like, ‘Well, we gave you all that money so you better do what we say.’ But I mean, doing an independent thing is a shitload more work. It’s pretty goddamn stressful. Like we are working seven days a week, non-stop, all day but at the same time, it’s so, so gratifying.”

It was interesting to hear Matt’s reaction when I asked him about where the passion came from when it came to the making of Dark Horses. It made me realise that their journey as a band has been incredibly rewarding even if they did go through a couple of rocky moments.

“I mean we’ve had like the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, you know. We achieved quite a bit of mainstream success with our debut, full-length and saw some pretty crazy radio-play and then straight after that, we broke up and it was in our minds, that was it, that was the end. We absolutely had no intention of coming back and that was a pretty devastating time for us. It sucked but I mean, now, we are where we are. It feels like everything has happened for a reason because we’re in the best place we have ever been as a band musically and our relationships are so strong now. It’s just an overall incredible vibe.”

Not to mention, it was extremely helpful to find out what Dark Horses really meant for the band and deep down I knew this record was a turning point for The Getaway Plan.

“Well basically, it’s just kind of meant to represent ourselves. We kinda see ourselves as the dark horses of the music scene right now. It’s a little bit optimistic because a dark horse is someone that unexpectedly comes out of nowhere and wins the race. So we’re kind of seeing into the future and seeing this record as our return to form.”

With September seeing a focus on mental illness and suicide prevention, I asked Matt about his own struggles and the advice he would give to people that were battling demons of their own. This was then I knew that he wasn’t just a lead singer of a band, he was a fighter and a brave one too.

“Don’t give up. Doesn’t matter how hard it gets. There’s always going to be a light at the end of the tunnel, you know. I mean, I was in a really dark place a few years ago. I’m not gonna lie and say that the thought of suicide didn’t cross my mind but looking back now, I’m really grateful I went through all that because I’m able to have something to compare to now. What kept me strong was just not giving up. There were many times where I just wanted to throw the towel and give up on life and the thought of me ever actually doing anything like that right now is fucking devastating for me. But it’s also nice to reflect and to have known and learnt about myself over the years. I think people just need to hold on. Everyone’s different, everyone’s going through different things. It’s kind of hard to give anyone specific advice but just remember that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.”

He also agreed that depression and anxiety tend to be overlooked as health issues.

“People don’t take it seriously you know. And I can understand because it’s difficult looking from the outside in. Somebody who is unable to control their own thoughts because you’re not in that state, it just seems kind of silly. But when you’re there, it’s a whole different kettle of fish.”

Matt seemed pretty eager with recording for the new album as I asked him what his short-term goals were for the rest of the year and for the band.

“We’re entering the studio ASAP hopefully, so at the moment we’re writing as much as we can. We’ve got like, I think 35 songs now that we need to narrow down to an album’s worth of material so that’s the immediate goal for us is to just write the best possible record we can and pick the best songs we possibly can. With every single record we’ve ever released, we want it to up our game and we really want to out-do ourselves. We’re feeling really good about the songs. Really fucking good. (laughs)”

Even after touring with Anberlin, touring Australia again would be something that would inevitably happen anyway.

“We do have plans to tour Australia. Those dates will be announced soon actually. As for going overseas, that’s always on the card for us but we just want to wait for the right opportunities to come along. We don’t have a strong enough fan base to do our own shows overseas yet and that’s fine. We’re happy to do supports, gives us the opportunity to play in front of people we wouldn’t usually play in front of and we’re big believers in our live shows that if people just see us, they may be able to get what we’re about and hopefully appreciate it.”

It was also confirmed that Matt loves animals more than humans as I was curious about his cat-filled Instagram account. To be honest, who could blame him for it?

“I love all animals more than humans. Humans are full of themselves generally (laughs). They think that they’re way too important where as animals are kind of unbiased. They don’t really have an opinion on anything. They just live their lives and enjoy the sun.”

With the new record in the making as well as the intention of touring as well, it can be expected that 2015 will reap of greatness for The Getaway Plan. Suffice it to say, it may be the breakthrough needed for them to get to where they want to be and with their hard work and determination, you’d be sorry to ever doubt them for a second.

“After this record, we just don’t want to slow down. We just want to keep the ball rolling as much as possible. As far as 2015 goes, we just wanna tour our asses off, play as much as we possibly can and get the record out ASAP.”

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Dark Horses‘ crowdfunding campaign is at 65% of its target at the time of printing, with 69 days left. To support their independent release, head along to: http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/thegetawayplan

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