Interview – Matthew Liam Nicholson

We’ve featured Matthew Liam Nicholson a couple of times in these pages now, so I decided it would be a good opportunity to find out more about him and his music – read on below and don’t forget to check the links to his socials at the bottom of the page!

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a new single titled Dusty Bones. What can you tell us about the track and where can it be purchased?

It was recorded in a very fancy LA studio with a couple of producers I was working with at the time, it was fun to make. It’s a tender reflection on death & grieving, always such a great ice-breaker. It’s the first single from Universal Outsider, a fairly epic studio album that will be released in 2022, that I have been working on for quite some years. It’s available on all the usual platforms – and has a music video by Peter Kagan – who made numerous hit music videos in the 80s: https://vi…/597313777

Have you got any plans to release a full length album/EP anytime soon?

My first full length LP as Matthew Liam Nicholson – a meditative, immersive sound bath style piece called Nine Movements was recently released by www.longfo… Universal Outsider, by contrast is very much more rocking, will come out sometime April/May-ish 2022.

What is the writing and recording process like for you?

Intuitive, multi-instrumental, personal, mysterious, staggered, channeled, poetic, often spontaneous, fluent, enjoyable work, layered, gifted, ongoing, ever-developing… It’s my favorite thing to do and I’m in an intensive of recording new songs at the moment, a kind of creative retreat out here in the forest.

Do you plan to release any more singles at any point in the near future?

Yes, the next single is The Worm Turns coming out on January 13.

You’re based in California. What is the music scene like there at the moment and are there any local band/artists you can recommend?

Things are picking up again with some festivals and shows, but its an extremely fraught time for artists who are already struggling to make ends meet. Things on and off, booked & cancelled numerous times, it’s a shit show. Fortunately for me at this point I’m not particularly interested in performing – I have my work cut out big time in the studio over the coming year. A lot of my work requires a sizable group of highly skilled musicians to perform, and I look forward to doing that when it’s less a struggle and more a joy. As ever there are many awesome things happening in LA & SF artistically, too many to list. The Leaving label, for example, is hip & happening locally in LA, doing good things including a free Saturday show in a lovely park.

What/who influences you most as an artist? What have you been listening to recently?

I find spirit in a wide range of works of music, art, poetry, activism and plant life across space and time. Lately I’ve been loving the Longform Editions discography – a treasure trove of experimental & ambient work, and in the realm of songs, a bunch of albums by artists including Rodeola, Tonstartssbandht, Richard Dawson, Pascal Babare… And revisiting the devotional masterpiece by The Trees Community, The Christ Tree LP.

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

Performing yes of course. Writing and recording – it has probably actually sped up or concentrated the process.

Do you have any tour dates lined up?

Not right now – but I will probably perform around the LP release in Northern Hemisphere spring 2022. I did a lot of touring in previous years and burnt out somewhat. I do look forward to approaching it anew when the signs line up. My partner Michelle and I performed ambient shows, sound bath style, before things locked down – that was great, we may well do that again.

What can people expect from one of your gigs and why do you think people should come and see you perform live?

If I am successful, a powerful and consciousness-expanding immersive group musical experience. If not, me weeping and cursing on stage for an hour.

Any last words for the fans?

If I have fans – I love you and thanks for spreading the good word about my work.