The Warehouse Studios Session EP

Canadian singer-songwriter Matthew Ryan Jacobs has steadily been putting out music for the past few years, including The Trouble In Me EP earlier this year. He’s just released an acoustic, live-off-the-floor EP, The Warehouse Studio Session. We caught up with Matthew to chat about the new EP, how he usually finds new music, and the advice he’d give his younger self.

From The Strait: Tell us about The Warehouse Studios Session EP. What drew you to want to create a live release, and what was the recording experience like?

Matthew Ryan Jacobs: Last November I was in BC and decided to check out The Warehouse. A lot of bands and artists that I’m a fan of have recorded there, so I thought it would be a cool experience to record a couple songs live; and once I found out they had a Neve board I knew I had to.

I wanted to capture a handful of my songs in their infancy. My goal was to have a little time capsule of what the songs sounded like when I first wrote them, just me and a guitar. The recording experience was really cool, Ryan Enockson, who recorded and mixed the songs was great to work with. It was at 10 in the morning and pouring rain out, I couldn’t find parking…but once I got in and set up in the live room I felt great. Everything went pretty smooth, and most of the songs are first or second takes, guitar and vocal recorded together.

From The Strait:How do you feel that the live versions differ from the album versions?

Matthew Ryan Jacobs: The biggest difference between these songs and the album versions is that it’s just me and a guitar. They’re really raw and far from perfect, and I probably even sing them differently now, after finishing the album versions and playing them live. But this is how they sounded in my living room while I was writing them, and that’s what I wanted.

From The Strait:Which song (or songs, of more than one) stands out to you most on this live release?

Matthew Ryan Jacobs: I think Skip the Gin and Street Lights stand out the most for me on this release. They were the newest of the bunch, I’m pretty sure I’d only played Street Lights a few times all the way through prior to recording this. I know the bridge was very new to me, and I think I screwed up a few of the words. The other 3 I knew a little better, especially Living in Between, which was from my first release. But, I think that’s why those two stand out, there’s a little magic and excitement when the songs are so fresh.

From The Strait: We’ve done quite a few Q&As with you over the years, but maybe there’s a question you’ve been waiting for us to ask. So – what’s one question you wish you were asked in an interview? (And what’s your answer to it?)

Matthew Ryan Jacobs: That’s a hard question! I do love gear, and guitars in particular. So sometimes I wish I could do an interview just on what we used to record, or pieces that inspired certain sounds or tones. I really love fuzz pedals, and a lot of the leads on the last two EP’s were a Tone Bender or variation of one. Another key piece was a 1962 Gibson 120T, it’s kind of an oddball and not an overly popular model, but I fell in love with it. I used it to write most of Skip the Gin, and almost all the guitars on The Trouble in Me (song) were recorded with it. I’ve started using it for solo shows as well, it’s knocked a few old favourites off the top.

From The Strait: Which bands or artists are you listening to most right now?

Matthew Ryan Jacobs: I’ve really gotten back into Tom Petty lately, but mostly his later albums like Mojo, or stuff off of Echo or The Last DJ. Have Love, Will Travel and Room at the Top are two of my all time favourite Petty songs. Other than that I’ve been listening to lots of Gregory Alan Isakov, City and Colour, and Coheed and Cambria has snuck back into the mix!

From The Strait: How do you usually find new music to listen to, and what’s your favourite way to listen?

Matthew Ryan Jacobs: I think the best way to find new music is through friends, or other people who have similar tastes. I love a good recommendation. I also stumble across new stuff through Spotify or even Instagram occasionally. My favourite way to listen to music is definitely in the car. I love cars, especially old ones, and driving, and you can turn the volume way up. It’s the best way, at least for me.

From The Strait: If you could go back in time and give yourself advice as you were just starting out, what advice would you give?

Matthew Ryan Jacobs: If I could give a younger me advice, it would be to focus more on playing and writing and ease up on the partying. I don’t necessarily have regrets, and I had a lot of fun, but I think I gave drinking far too much of a priority back then.


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