This blog caught up with Singer/Songwriter, Matt Tarka to chat about life and his music from different angles. He also discusses his folk-rock single “Vison Hazy”, which carries an emotional significance for the artist. Discover why right here!
1 — First of all, why we should listen to your music?
In this day and age, many of us have lots of resources at our fingertips to listen to music and discover new artists. I hope that when people take time to listen to my music, it provides a sense of warmth, sincerity, and something that the listener can apply to or an escape from your everyday life.
2 — Do you think music can change the world?
I do believe music can change the world and even alter or heighten your consciousness on issues. Whenever I express myself through music, my hope is that people connect to a song in a way that feels natural to them. Music has brought people together with very disparate opinions – like Bob Marley performing at the One Love Peace Concert in Kingston, Jamaica in 1978. Or comfort in times of trouble such as R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts.”
3 — Tell us about your new track “Vision Hazy”. To whom is it dedicated to?
“Vision Hazy” is the title and lead track off my new record. A few friends of mine – Sean and Brendan Kelly from A Fragile Tomorrow played synth and mellotron, which added some extra colors on the palette of this track.
Lyrically, there are some elements of nostalgia and reflection, yet turning to the present tense. If there are any themes throughout the record, it’s that life is full of chances – some you accept, some you cast aside, and sometimes you’re forced to say goodbye to a friend who left this plane unexpectedly. You do the best you can, learn from past experiences and keep going, so to speak.
4 — In your opinion, what’s the best way to overcome the sad feeling of losing a close friend?
Everyone copes with loss differently, but when I’ve had to face it, I’ve tried to cherish the memories and channel them into something positive.
5 — How long did it take you to write its lyrics?
For me, it’s rare when a song reveals itself in a short amount of time, but for some reason, “Vision Hazy” was realized pretty quickly. The chord changes and lyrics all came together in one fell swoop one afternoon, which was incredibly exciting and somewhat scary! (laughing)
6 — Do you offer songwriting services to other artists?
At this point, I have not offered any sort of official songwriting services, but am open to collaboration with other artists when it makes sense.
At first, yes. Often times, I’ll sit down with an acoustic guitar and notepad and allow the ideas to manifest themselves. Every now and then, I’ll pick up my bass and puzzle out some related progressions. I also have a little cigar box electric guitar that I tool around with to avoid falling into any potential writing traps.
8 — We know in the past you participated in different bands. What do you miss from those times?
In Colonel Potter, I was the bassist and one of the principle lyricists and songwriters. That project was a nod to M.A.S.H. in name and existed in the now archaic days of MySpace. We were heavily influenced by bands like Credence Clearwater Revival, AC/DC, The Cure, Moby Grape, and had enough material to cut a full-length, but there were limitations on time and commitments as a group. When the four of us were in the same room locked in to a groove or building ideas off jams on the fly, the chemistry was undeniable. So I do miss exploring some of that territory.
9 — What’s the most challenging part of being a solo artist?
Being okay with vulnerability on stage. It’s you, your instrument, and tuning between songs, so good stage patter is key.
10 — What can Matt Tarka fans look forward to?
Well, I hope to announce a handful of East Coast shows on the books later this year in support of Vision Hazy. I’ve also been working on a few demos, and plan to let those songs marinate for just a little while. More to come!