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  #1  
Old 11-18-2009, 07:09 PM
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Default Matt Smith Update.

Hello,

This is just an update to report that things are going very well here in Europe. As some know I spent time here when I was 12-14, and after some thought I decided to leave the States for a time and tighten up away from the main scenes. I felt I would have far more opportunities than I have back home, where I have trouble even getting into venues because of my age.

I am mainly based in Bucharest where I work a great deal in the club scene, especially the two primary jazz clubs. But I work with a number of groups as far west as Belgrade, Prague, Budapest and Berlin. I was also fortunate to hook on to numerous jazz festivals and got to serve drummer duties for great artists that I had always previously enjoyed as a listener. Some of the gigs were a little pressure packed, but I enjoyed it. Next month I will start TV pit work for a game show and a variety program, while gigging and rehearsing with new projects at night.

I didn't really want to come around to debate aesthetic drum issues as much as to simply report on how things were going.

See you,

Matt
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  #2  
Old 11-18-2009, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

Funny, I was just thinking about you this morning and wondering how things were going. your father posted here a few weeks ago and gave as a quick update that things were going well. Glad to hear it..
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

Very cool, I never went to Europe to play!

Bermuda
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  #4  
Old 11-18-2009, 09:55 PM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

Sounds great Matt! Good luck on the TV work and other projects.
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  #5  
Old 11-18-2009, 10:20 PM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

That's great to hear Matt. I was wondering how things were going for you over there in Romania.

Would you mind elaborating a bit on this game show and variety program you're talking about? Sounds interesting.
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  #6  
Old 11-19-2009, 12:06 AM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

Great to hear! Make sure you develop a plan so that on your return, everyone knows what you have been doing!

Take care

Paul
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  #7  
Old 11-19-2009, 12:17 AM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

Good to hear from you Matt, Glad that all is going well for you. It sounds like you're getting an experience of a lifetime over there. It must be great to be young and accomplished at your art.
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  #8  
Old 11-19-2009, 03:56 AM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

The kid has left and will return a man. Sounds like you are breaking new ground with your musical experiences.
Have a blast, Matt.
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  #9  
Old 11-19-2009, 07:45 AM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

Matt, we've had our disagreements but I've seen your clips and I do admire what you do on kit and tuned percussion.

I read that you'd played with Chick Corea. That would have been a buzz! You're having an amazing life.
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  #10  
Old 11-20-2009, 02:08 PM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

Good to hear, Matt. All the best.
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  #11  
Old 11-21-2009, 10:06 AM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomgrosset View Post
Would you mind elaborating a bit on this game show and variety program you're talking about? Sounds interesting.
Just backing up acts on one of the television networks and outlining triads when someone wins a new car on the game show...nothing special, but it's another experience.
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  #12  
Old 11-23-2009, 08:15 AM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

I had wondered what happened to you. If you had said you were off you Europe I missed it. I'm glad to hear you're staying busy playing. You've worked hard for it. Stay well, stay in touch and don't go to the "Hostel." Nasty place.
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  #13  
Old 07-20-2010, 04:46 PM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

I wanted to share that I just did a small recording project that ended up involving direct participation of Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park. Now more might be coming from it. So it's one of those things you want to update people about while the possible payoff announcement can't be announced yet for a million different reasons.

I guess that doesn't make much sense. But hopefully it will as things begin to come together. If you never hear any more about this, it simply did a typical music business thing and became a could have been deal. But that's all I better say for now.
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  #14  
Old 07-20-2010, 06:31 PM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

Hello, Matt.

Keep giving us feedback.....blessings on their way, in your visionary life.

Cheers,

Ian
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  #15  
Old 07-20-2010, 09:44 PM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

Yea Matt we love hearing what you're doing, along with what all the other pro's are doing too.
It gives us part timers a way to live vicariously through a full time working drummer, something most part timers have always wanted. It's just cool to sorta "know" someone who is living the life.
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  #16  
Old 07-20-2010, 10:25 PM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

Agreed. Keep up the stories!
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  #17  
Old 07-21-2010, 02:12 PM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

Last 24 hours...

Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park is also managed by Daybreak's /band I am in/ manager. Shinoda does other projects on the side including the band Fort Minor. Daybreak bassist and I laid down drum tracks for his Fort Minor promotional spots. That led to Who's the drummer?

Shinoda then does voice over on a track I already did with someone else. New song on somebody's new album/Linkin Park/ Fort Minor/ or other Shinoda project.Leads Shinoda to ask What exactly is this Daybreak business? Manager plays him new EP and shows youtubes.

Shinoda decides he really likes Daybreak and records/ unbelievably/ a Daybreak cover the same day. Then he adds Daybreak cover to his promotional spots.

Shinoda hears Daybreak is to tour Southern England in December, and says We should do something together.

2 hours hours later/ new tracks show up for Linkin Park's current recording project that it turns out Shinoda is also producing. Tells manager something is missing and is thinking about some alterations. Then says Check on what Daybreak's drummer wants to do with them, then maybe we'll see. I then listen to the track and told to not share any info regarding what the music sounds like.

With all this more or less exploding, band learns that the name Daybreak is liscensed by 40 different bands in something like 60 different countries. Daybreak can only remain Daybreak in Romania alone. Change needs to go down today or no Shinoda spots and covers.

Hasty meeting called for name change discussion. Long suspicious guitarist does not attend. Other agendas are afoot with this guy and they're all stupid including thoughts of band leadership and strangely not wanting to be in new band photo. Last week decides to charge his own band for rehearsal space at his place and has been lobbying for his long time friend drummer from the band he likes better to be Daybreak's drummer/all secretly of course, but because he assumes I am as stupid as him thinks he's keeping all that under wraps/. By far the weakest player in the band and has delusions of grandeur, but isn't smart enough to know what grandeur is.

Band changes name to Silence Before. Not Daybreak, but OK.

Bass player text mesages guitar player about name change.

Guitar player arrives unannounced 10 minutes later. Says bad things, calls everyone losers who will never make it to step one, don't have his name rec, experience etc.

Band remains straight faced not showing hand.

Guitar player calls manager idiot without the connections or motivation to put together a decent tour of Romania which he believes is the pinnacle of this whole thing.

Manager then explains last 24 hours plained to guitar player.

Guitar player quits band 30 seconds later.

Silence Before starts invitation only guitar auditions next week. Plays pop festival July 31 with new lineup.

In the meantime all of this can still end up a fantasy. Personally I don't count on something happening until it does. But now the fantasy has legs.

Aren't bands cool?
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  #18  
Old 07-21-2010, 03:11 PM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

That's so cool Matt.
Sounds like this could be leading up to a breakout for you and your band.
Keep the news coming, it's really very exciting, thanks for letting us in on it.
I feel bad for the poor guitar player who seems to have a part in him that prevents him from being successful. Oh well at least there are plenty more of them around.
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  #19  
Old 07-21-2010, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

Hey Matt, be sure to tell should you ever come to Switzerland :).
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  #20  
Old 07-22-2010, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

As part of this crazy week/ more off the wall drama happened later/ I have decided to work with the Adrian Klein Agency /UK/ I had a great meeting and they want to promote me as an act of my own. I will supposedly get access to the studios where I can learn and produce things that come to me. They also have a little studio here in Bucharest. So I'm going to try to stay for a while and figure out the next steps. This will not interfere with other ongoing projects like Silence Before. If that stuff continues into the future then I plan to be part of it. But this open door where I can explore different ideas while I learn how to do the mechanical stuff is something I've really wanted. I might not make big money in the beginning, but this is probably the first step to getting somewhere.

As things currently stand I will be doing shows in the UK starting in October. That all sounds good.

Will update when development turns into something else. If you hear no more about this for a while then it's still developing.
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  #21  
Old 07-27-2010, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

[quote=mattsmith;725215]
.

Guitar player arrives unannounced 10 minutes later. Says bad things, calls everyone losers who will never make it to step one, don't have his name rec, experience etc.


QUOTE]

Then says " I'm taking my patch cord, my mic stand, my distortion pedal and I'm leaving!"
haha hope it all works out Matt, good luck!
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  #22  
Old 11-02-2010, 05:28 AM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

I've been gone for a while playing in Northeast China. What a different place that was and so many people. Shenyang especially was a trip.

When I got back this evening I learned that Daybreak was over for good. The guitar player had already caused a row some time ago, wanting more money than anyone else because he felt he was the leader of the band, while I just rolled my eyes in acknowledgement of how our singer was the obvious draw. So he quit in a huff but I could care less because he was always an issue. He had already pulled a diva act a while back and I was the one totally against bringing him back in. I say one serious transgression and you're out. But in the silly world of band democracy you can get out voted even when the eventual outcome is obvious.

Then just before I left /the band was already in turmoil by then/ I heard that the guitarist had already signed with one of our primary rival bands and was already commited to performing in this huge televised Battle of the Bands event with them, with Daybreak already scheduled to perform on the very same show. He was obviously playing both bands down the middle to get the best offer and was willing to break one or 2 separate contracts to do it. It was a punk move and I told him so along with informing him that now we could work with a guitarist who could actually improvise. He was uttering some nonsense about being a Balkan music God when I turned my back on him to head for the airport.

Then apparently, Ana the singer decided to just walk off and retire from singing. I've seen this flakiness from her before and knew the writing was on the wall, so I had already made another connection just in case I needed a new source for rent money.

Starting this Thursday my new anchor job is with the house band at the Hard Rock Cafe in Bucharest/3 nights a week/. I feel bad for the bass player but I think he was falling for the singer and didn't see the headlights when they were coming. This new gig is led by a very serious pro /behavior wise as well/ guitarist who I think can also be used for my hip hop project. Meanwhile I continue to book the Blue Monks /the organ band/ and any projects that come to mind at the 2 jazz clubs, while I work on my touring show, which is like an updated Miles Davis 70s thing using a lot of analog stuff.

In the meantime I'm swearing off collective so called equal say bands. They never work. Give me a clear cut leader every time.

But too bad about Daybreak because they had potential. I already hear that our manager has found a new singer and I will work with the new incarnation as time allows, but you have to think the good old days are in the rear view mirror as you point your eyes forward towards the new road ahead.

Bands come and go. That's just a fact. You can't get too attached, but you give it your all while you're there.
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Last edited by mattsmith; 11-02-2010 at 05:51 AM. Reason: double words
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  #23  
Old 11-02-2010, 05:17 PM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

Love your tales of the trials and tribulations Matt. I get a lot from them. Keep em coming. Sorry about everything, but not really, it was meant to be like that, so whatever, that's how stuff goes. Good thing you can see the previews of things to come before they actually arrive. But your stories are enjoyed and appreciated, by me at least, more than you might know.
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Old 11-02-2010, 05:39 PM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

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Love your tales of the trials and tribulations Matt. I get a lot from them. Keep em coming. Sorry about everything, but not really, it was meant to be like that, so whatever, that's how stuff goes. Good thing you can see the previews of things to come before they actually arrive. But your stories are enjoyed and appreciated, by me at least, more than you might know.
No sweat or trials at all Larry, just a lot of learning experience stuff. All that's already in the rear view while I currently work on getting the big project together in time for a tour. Now that one would be a blow if the same kind of thing happened because it's my deal alone. But if it does then more learning, right?

What's funny is when you're here exactly in the middle /where you're officially out of the garage but still waiting in the larger wings/ how you run into some of the angriest, most frustrated musicians in the world. I think its a shame not to consider it a blessing when you're paid to play music, especially when most of us would be doing the exact same thing for free.

I'm seven weeks shy of my 21st birthday. Still plenty of time.
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:55 PM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

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Originally Posted by mattsmith View Post

Bands come and go. That's just a fact. You can't get too attached, but you give it your all while you're there.
This is true.

I just wish I had learned this lesson when I was your age instead of my age. LOL.
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:33 AM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

Matt, I have to say:

You are living the life I can only dream of right now.

All of this gigging and touring and bands and drama sounds like the most accurate definition of an adventure. I'd be having the time of my life if I were in your shoes.

So, just so I don't sound like some sort of creepy fanboy...

Any tips for someone who wants to go this way with their drumming?
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:37 AM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

Matt at your age your laughing, things can only go up and up................just don't do silly things like getting married and reproducing..........man if I had my time over again, at your age I'd have done it all very differently
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:56 AM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
This is true.

I just wish I had learned this lesson when I was your age instead of my age. LOL.
The lesson I wish I'd learned was this:

Quote:
In the meantime I'm swearing off collective so called equal say bands. They never work. Give me a clear cut leader every time.
I've always worked in democratic bands, apart from one ... which was really enjoyable before the leader moved interstate. It's great to play with a band with an obvious leader with latent and who has his/her head screwed on to provide direction.

Shame about Daybreak, Matt. I thought the group had potential too ... it would have been good to hear new material. Never mind, I'm sure you'll always fall on your feet.
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:46 PM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

My dear friend, keep following your perfect dream and adventure.

All The Best...
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  #30  
Old 11-04-2010, 02:51 PM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

The new project sounds interesting Matt. In my dim & disappointing past, I went through some of these trials too. Tension always seems to be greatest at the cusp of recognition. Either side of that, it's just the usual background level band BS.

Your primary self driven project should take absolute priority IMHO. At least you have a greater degree of control in that environment, & it ultimately will light the fires within you that make the inevitable disappointments bearable. The rest is just rent & experience, with hopefully a bit of fun attached.

From an age POV, you're going through this cycle early. That's a good thing in so many ways. As long as you can keep wearing the bullet proof vest of realism, you'll be good to go. You come across as very driven. You need to be. Just think of it this way, with every twist & turn, up & down, for so long as you're still at it, you're turning the likelyhood of succeeding from an if to a when.

I got emotionally involved. I hurt too easily, especially on behalf of others. I blew out the miniscule chance I had to progress.
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

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Originally Posted by Coldhardsteel View Post
Matt, I have to say:

You are living the life I can only dream of right now.

All of this gigging and touring and bands and drama sounds like the most accurate definition of an adventure. I'd be having the time of my life if I were in your shoes.

So, just so I don't sound like some sort of creepy fanboy...

Any tips for someone who wants to go this way with their drumming?
As much as I hate to say this and although I continue to believe that the US is probably the best country for music and everything in general/ and head and shoulders over other places when it comes to convenience/ our country is probably the worst place for a young player to get his foot in the door. If you're living in Maryland, unless you're in Delmarva you have almost have no chance, because the DC-Baltimore zone is saturated with world class musicians. And as you also know these venues are so tough on the under 21 players.

Europe is a breeze compared to all that, especially when it comes to the young player. Moreover, you are mostly seen in Europe as a player and not a player of a certain age, whereas older American musicians are obsessed with your age to the point that few of them I believe can hear the music. For some its almost like a phobia. Mostly I find this weird seeing as how more musicians exist in America then any other country by far /mostly due to the school band programs/ and a good 80% of them are under 21. Or maybe that's why the older average American players are that way in the first place. I don't really know why all that is that way, but it is.

And the worst of that bunch is the middle aged average US player who will do anything to block the door and are the first to babble on about that when you older you'll etc, etc foolishness. I frankly got sick of waiting around for a so called chance at a chessy gig while being lectured by a guy that I wasn't sure could teach me anything past holding my temper. Then you play that game for 3-4 years then someone blesses you with middle ground? No way... I wanted middle ground now, and mostly because it was really time... not when somebody else decided based on nonmusical and frankly unprofessional factors.

To see the middle road USA drummer's attitude, you have to go no farther than these forums. Not this one so much, but check out a couple of the USA based drum forums where a handful of guys brag about how they go there because it has an older more pro attitude. Then when you check it out, it's a bunch of cocky 40 year olds playing twice a months and giving kids a lot of attitude while pretending it's a pro vibe. Well i think all that's a joke.

If you can play, you can play. If you can play, wear the right clothes and get to the gig on time while speaking only when asked then you're a pro regardless of age. sure the vibe is that way sometimes out here too. But the real attitude is back home.

Now I'm aware that the center for the music business is America. It just is. It's the place where you actually make it. But first you have to have a place to work yourself out, while waiting tables in Brooklyn pretending to be a New York musician isn't my idea of all that. That's why I'm fixing stuff here, edging out towards Holland and the UK. When that's firm then I go back home.

But if was still in Atlanta I'd be under acheiving for sure.

So my only advice is if you're living in a hot zone and are trying to work out your business, get out. Since then I haven't looked back.
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  #32  
Old 11-05-2010, 12:52 PM
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edging out towards Holland and the UK.
And be sure to post here when you do. I'd be delighted to prop up the bar at one of your gigs.

Interesting insight into hierarchical ageist nonsense. Such a shame. How these people ever regard age as a playing quality qualification is beyond me. I'm living proof of that!
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  #33  
Old 11-05-2010, 12:59 PM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

As far as I know Germany is quite a music market, too.
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  #34  
Old 11-05-2010, 01:42 PM
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As far as I know Germany is quite a music market, too.
You're right. I 've done some work there already and it's great. But that market is inundated with incredible players already, and a huge number of Americans who are there for the same reason I'm here. Then the money's not so great there. I think it's because you have too many players chasing down gigs and are willing to play for close to free. Then if you go anywhere that used to be old East Germany the money is close to the same as you see here in Eastern Europe, but with a lot more competition and Americans galore.

See, some Americans want to do Europe but only the part they feel is cool Europe. Well I think if you do that you're back in the same situation you were in before you left. It's like one day a guy gets tired of waiting for something decent in Austin and says You know I'm going to Paris. Well how many Americans do you think have already made that move? I already know. It's a ridiculous number. Besides, the place is already loaded with French musicians who can play big time. So you just went to a lot of trouble to stand in just another line, and with the Euro kicking back up a more expensive line.

Time and time again it's seemingly always come down to London as the European jump off point to the good USA venues, and I suppose the whole Beatles relocation became the model used for the last 40 years. And a large number of those guys seem to get their final touches added on in Amsterdam. Then you do the UK well and you're in New York... not entirely in, but on a far better footing than had you stayed home and had your butt kicked.

I might be entirely wrong. But I don't know. It's just always seemed feasible to me.
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  #35  
Old 11-05-2010, 09:34 PM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

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You're right. I 've done some work there already and it's great. But that market is inundated with incredible players already, and a huge number of Americans who are there for the same reason I'm here. Then the money's not so great there. I think it's because you have too many players chasing down gigs and are willing to play for close to free. Then if you go anywhere that used to be old East Germany the money is close to the same as you see here in Eastern Europe, but with a lot more competition and Americans galore.

See, some Americans want to do Europe but only the part they feel is cool Europe. Well I think if you do that you're back in the same situation you were in before you left. It's like one day a guy gets tired of waiting for something decent in Austin and says You know I'm going to Paris. Well how many Americans do you think have already made that move? I already know. It's a ridiculous number. Besides, the place is already loaded with French musicians who can play big time. So you just went to a lot of trouble to stand in just another line, and with the Euro kicking back up a more expensive line.

Time and time again it's seemingly always come down to London as the European jump off point to the good USA venues, and I suppose the whole Beatles relocation became the model used for the last 40 years. And a large number of those guys seem to get their final touches added on in Amsterdam. Then you do the UK well and you're in New York... not entirely in, but on a far better footing than had you stayed home and had your butt kicked.

I might be entirely wrong. But I don't know. It's just always seemed feasible to me.
Interesting.

I'd think London would just be an extension of the USA scene. At least based on the music coming out of it, it seems to be much the same these days.

I would assume Germany is much more happening, but I guess it makes sense that it's become over done with American's moving there based on how many people I know of who have moved there, or toured there.

If I were 20-something, I'd love to check out the music scenes in Amsterdam, Sweden, and even Finland. But what do I know, I've never been to Europe period.

Good stuff Matt, Keep it coming. :-)
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:02 PM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

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Interesting.

I'd think London would just be an extension of the USA scene. At least based on the music coming out of it, it seems to be much the same these days.
Of course there is some crossover, but it has it's own distinct thing. There are a lot of world class players in London, they just don't get the same hype as American guys. A few British guys have been able to make the move across the pond partially or totally, but for many there is no pressure to because they've got plenty of work here. There are a whole lot of pop bands and acts that do very well in the UK who people in NA have never heard of, or only get limited exposure there. There's also studio work for British film and television which is unique from the U.S.. Add in the fact that the West End has dozens and dozens of theatres with musicals playing and that the size of the country allows for touring musicals to be profitable, and there really is a self-contained thing here.

And Matt, I know we've had our differences, but I was really happy to see you take the risk you took and get yourself playing. It took some guts and aplomb and it sounds like you've been working hard, and I applaud you for that. Well done. Best of luck.
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Old 11-06-2010, 04:09 AM
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Coldhardsteel Coldhardsteel is offline
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

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So my only advice is if you're living in a hot zone and are trying to work out your business, get out. Since then I haven't looked back.
Sounds like a plan.

Thanks for the advice and experience.
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Old 11-11-2010, 10:10 AM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

Well it's been a busy week in the studio with the live musicians coming in this weekend in prep for the fused project that feels a lot like old and new school funk, hip-hop and some jazz influences. But I'm happy with this direction and will spend some time with it. I've been writing a lot of new material lately and these sounds have been buzzing around in my head. And when we're ready to jack up the tour this will be what I'm bringing.

It's great having a studio to go to when you need it and I've learned a lot.

A short mini documentary of the project is up now in the Your Playing section.

Like I said...these are just the samples. The real music cranks up this weekend. But it's enough to see what's trying to happen.
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Old 11-17-2010, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: Matt Smith Update.

Just read through the thread, very interesting read. I'll be in Romania over Christmas, assuming you're there over Christmas and are playing in the hard rock cafe I could come check you out! It'll be good to put live music to a DW poster.
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Old 11-18-2010, 12:12 AM
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Just read through the thread, very interesting read. I'll be in Romania over Christmas, assuming you're there over Christmas and are playing in the hard rock cafe I could come check you out! It'll be good to put live music to a DW poster.
I should be Neil. Currently I have no plans not to be. Come on a Thursday night. That's usually the best. Still you might want to check out the live music in the Lipscani district in the middle of town. I'm usually there too. And I'm always lurking around the Artjazz club at Universitate.
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