Behind the scenes: Matthew P

We’re stoked to have Matthew P play at this year’s London Surf / Film Festival (Thursday 11th October), but our collaboration seemed fated from the get go. While out in Indo last year, Matt was hanging out with filmmaker Jimmy James Kinnaird who was working on a movie called Tracking with Tyler Warren, Ellis Ericson and Jason Salisbury. Jimmy heard Matt playing and asked if he’d record a song for the soundtrack of the film, which we happen to be hosting the premiere of at this year’s festival. Matt said yes and you can hear it – a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright’ here:

Then we heard the title track from Matt’s debt album Long Straight Lines and it fitted perfectly with the feel of the festival – so much so it became the soundtrack to this year’s trailer. So we caught up with Matt to find out what makes him tick and how he balances his passions of music and surfing.

LS/FF – How did you get into surfing and why?
We started surfing on the east coast on England at our local beach breaks. There was a handful of us doing it in our area but it has been a large part of our lives eversince. The surf is’nt the best in those parts but it definitely has its days and when there was’nt surf we would watch endless summer 2 over and over again, dreaming of waves around the world. I really got to grips with surfing going to Bali where my best friend Dave Lewis lives (originally an east coast surfer and the guy that inspired me and my friends to surf). Bali’s an ideal place to learn to surf.

LS/FF -What is it about the surfing lifestyle that has kept you engaged?
I see surfing as very similar to life in the respect that you might be out in the ocean for hours but the amount of surfing you do is a few minutes. Life can be like that, a lot of hardwork, waiting for the moment when it all comes together. I am a cruiser so I mostly ride a twin-fin 5’8″ and occasionally get my short board out when it’s bigger. I love to watch people enjoying their surfing when I am out there, it always a bonus when your mates are having a good one.

LS/FF – When did you first pick up a guitar and did you always want to be a musician?
I picked up the guitar when I was 11 years old. It was my dad’s Yamaha FG model and I started writing songs on it straight away. Both my brothers are musicians so we help each other with advice and playing on each others stuff. I always wanted to be a musician yes but I am more relaxed about my status nowadays. I like music to be part of my life rather than my whole life.

LS/FF – How do you balance the two passions of surfing and music?
I surf when I am not making music that’s the kind of balance I have. I try and get down to Cornwall or anywhere when possible to surf and play music. They go together pretty well I think.

LS/FF – How would you describe your musical style?
Simple songs from my little world of folk, pop and rock. Its easy to listen to but there is depth there to find.

LS/FF – Where do you draw inspiration from?
Everything and everyone that I spend time with. My family are a huge inspiration and my brother Jack is a gifted pianist I have been lucky enough to grow up with. A good example of my writing inspiration is the song from your trailer ‘Long Straight Lines’ its about when I used to put up fences for a living. I loved that job working on the land making endless long lines of fences. It was a job that had a great rhythm and that’s what I try to get across in the song.

LS/FF – You have a new album out – how did it come about? How long has the project taken to come together?
It has taken 3 years to record and get the album out. I recorded it in my bedroom and beach house in Suffolk and then worked with Jason and Adam Perry from a band called ‘A’. They helped me pull the album together and now it is out in the world which is a really nice feeling. The reviews have been overwhelming which I wasn’t expecting. Good times.

LS/FF – What is your favourite track on the album?
Ha ha, its got to be Long Straight Lines.