Burnaby-born Matthew Good – a fixture on the Canadian music scene for nearly two decades – is nothing if not prolific. Since 1993, the (reluctant) Juno winner has penned four LPs and three EPs with The Matthew Good Band (including 1999’s double-platinum Beautiful Midnight), and four solo LPs (including 2003’s Avalanche and 2007’s Hospital Music). Good has also made forays into painting, design, blogging, poetry, fiction, and even monthly manifestos. In his forthright fashion, Good decodes the many projects he’s taken on over the years, acknowledging the good, the bad – and in the case of the notorious T-shirts he designed – the sarcastic.
Why this tempestuous relationship with the press?
I guess it kind of happened back in the Nineties, in what I would call the greatest era of Canadian music. There were so many bands doing very well here in the country, but a lot of them didn’t speak their minds and I did. It was kind of a bizarre juxtaposition and a lot of people in the press decided to play on that.
You’re on virtually every social network – why?
It’s promotion really and obviously, they’ve become extremely important. I repeatedly get asked the same questions on my Facebook Fan Page that you could easily get the answer to if you just went to the website (laughs).
I was surprised to see personal photos on your Flickr profile.
Well (laughs), not a lot of people go to that page – I get maybe one comment and it’s from someone I know – and I could probably make it private but it’s just me being lazy. Flickr has primarily become a place to save images and have them in one spot instead of on different laptops and things. You’re probably right, though; I should probably put a filter on that.
I’m not necessarily advising it – I just know you value transparency and wondered if the photos were a part of that.
Well, yeah. I’ve no problem with having it all out there but the safety of my kids is also important. As a father, I obviously love my kids and post pictures of them, but given what I do for a living, privacy has to be taken into consideration.
It’s commendable to be so open online.
Well, back in ’96 or ’97, my manager at the time said the Internet was a good way to put myself out there and ‘why didn’t I put some of that great nonsense that I write there?’ So I started to do that, and people seemed to like it. Back then, the number of unique hits you’d get was immense: 40 or 50,000 people would show up on the first of the month to read it because I was just posting once a month. Actually, there was even a period where I didn’t even have the Internet myself; I’d give the Webmaster of the site a floppy disc (laughs). I kind of did it half-assed. Over the years I’ve had site content come and go: it gets taken down when I get threats because it’s really not worth it, but then I’ll wait for an appropriate amount of time and something else will come up and I’ll start it up again. It lasts for as long as it lasts.
And your book?
When I was approached to do [At Last There Is Nothing Left To Say], I was like, ‘Yeah…I guess.’ In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have done it because it’s not very good at all. After September 11occurred – and in the wake of the mass hysteria and immense amount of propaganda – I started writing about current events.
What happened to Dear San Diego?
I still have all of them somewhere. I began writing that after I got divorced. It was an exercise to push things out and I wrote about myself in a lot of ways. But I got remarried, I had kids and…you know…it was no longer relevant to my life…
Is there a distinction between Matt Good the musician and Matt Good the writer?
I don’t know. When it comes to art, I’ve done pretty much everything. I was a painter and I wrote before I even picked up the guitar. I spend my time with all kinds of creative things…I even do some design.
Like T-shirts that say, ‘I hear Matt Good is a real a______’?
Next week, Matthew Good shares his thoughts on Dallas Green quitting Alexisonfire and openly critiques each of his solo albums. Good is currently touring Canada in support of his newest release, Lights of Endangered Species. For a complete list of concert dates through December, visit www.matthewgood.org.
*Originally published under ‘Interviews’ on MyTelus.com.