Today, I happy to provide another “get to know your blogger” interview with one of my favorite blogs, The Perm & Skullet. The guy behind this blog is Matt, and he’s been kind enough to give some really well thought out and well written answers. Please make sure you check out his site, and I hope you enjoy the interview. Thank you Matt for your time!
Let’s get some general background on you. Where do you live, how long, etc.
First, let me say thanks for asking me to participate in your GTKYB series. An honor and a privilege. So here goes…
I live in Raleigh, NC with my wife and we have been here for about 5 years now. I love the city and it’s neighbors, Chapel Hill and Durham. There is a pretty large music scene here and my buddy Todd, who was a DJ for WXYC, and a fellow music fanatic, has been bringing me up to date on, let’s say the past 15/20 years of this area’s music scene.
Before NC, I lived in Gainesville and attended the University of Florida for my college experience. Looking back now, I guess UF really shaped my musical tastes. It was a great scene, a lot of great people and I practically lived at The Covered Dish.
I want get an idea of your musical taste evolution if you will. What were some of the first albums/tapes/CD’s you bought?
Man, this has really made me think back. I’m an only child, so I didn’t have the luxury of an older brother/sister paving the way with cool punk/indie bands or whatever. So I kind of had to feel my way around a bit. The first tapes that I remember, and they were gifts, were John Cougar Melloncamp’s Scarecrow and The Cars: Greatest Hits, but I was listening to my parents vinyl at a really early age. I had a little plastic record player and I think I wore out their 45” of Yellow Submarine, bands like Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Elvis Presley, The Beatles…so I got a great foundation early on.
I loved Micheal Jackson’s Off the Wall and Kool and the Gang’s Celebrate growing up, but as I got older and I could actually buy tapes/cds, my tastes went though many changes. I remember buying R.E.M.’s Document and playing that thing to death. I remember my rap phase that held some great stuff I still listen too, The Beastie Boys Licensed to Ill literally got played until the tape broke and Run DMC’s S/T was always on. I guess it’s only recently (the past 7/8 years or so, that I really got into more folk, acoustic guitar, alt-country (although I hate that moniker) and stuff like that.
How about some of the more recent CD’s you’ve purchased?
Last year was an awesome year for music in my opinion and I feel like I’m playing check up with my emusic subscription to some of those, but you said recent, let’s see, I just got Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy’s Summer in the Southeast and CYHSY S/T on vinyl, I got my copy of J. Tillman’s Long May You Run, J. Tillman, I recently downloaded the They Shoot Horses Don’t They release Boo Hoo Hoo Boo, The Mountain Goats’ The Coroner’s Gambit, and Unbunny’s Snow Tires. I purchased the amazing deal of the year in The Jolly Rogers/Oh No Oh My! CDR for a buck fifty. Best Dollar Fifty I’ve ever spent. And the best purchase of the year so far has definitely been Tortoise and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy’s The Brave and the Bold.
Where do you buy the majority of your records? Do you support a particular record store in your area, buy online, and if so, where?
I buy a lot at School Kids Records here in Raleigh. I try to buy local, mainly vinyl though. I’m a big downloader too. At first with iTunes and then now about 90 songs a month from emusic. It’s such a great way to get your music. And of course, though the artist’s themselves and at shows. A lot of what I listen to, this is the only way to get their music.
When I started listening to music, there were certain musicians that led me in the path of a lot of other bands. Did you have any similar experiences with bands growing up?
I listen to more music now than when I was “growing up” but I totally agree that a lot of bands lead you to others. An example, The Beatles lead me to George Harrision’s All Things Must Pass, which lead to A Concert for Bangladesh, in turn to Leon Russell and Eric Clapton. I saw R.E.M. on tour in 1995 and Radiohead opened for them and now Radiohead, well actually from then on, they are one of my favorite bands. The Velvet Underground to Lou Reed to early Bowie, I mean I seem to find it works all the time. When I hear something I like, I want to hear their influences, and honestly sometimes, others that sound similar. I love reading reviews that lead me to some great artist because someone said their sound was similar to Neil Young’s or Will Oldham’s, or whatever.
What are some of your favorite records of all time?
Favorites, that’s a tough question. I refuse to name favorite movies, because there are so many, and I guess I’m that way with music. I’ll list a few records I could not live without, how about that. Neil Young’s “Ditch Trilogy”, or “Dark Trilogy”, are must haves for any music lover (Tonight’s the Night, On the Beach, Time Fades Away) Dennis Wilson’s Pacific Ocean Blue, The Flying Burrito Brother’s Gilded Palace of Sin, The Cars’ Greatest Hits, The Clash’s The Clash. Some newer stuff that I can’t stop listening to is Radiohead’s Kid A, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy’s Master and Everyone, Joanna Newsom’s Milk Eyed Mender, Cocorosie’s Noah’s Ark, Jen Lekman’s Oh Your So Silent Jens, and anything by Iron & Wine.
Any idea how many albums are in your collection?
I have around 150/200 lps, 200/300 cds, and a little over 40gb on my Mac.
If you could spend time with 3 musicians, who would you choose?
The first would be Neil Young without a doubt. His music has been a constant on the soundtrack of my life. The second would be Thom Yorke and the third, although I would be afraid for my life and enjoy every moment, would be Shane MacGowan of The Pogues. Man would that be fun.
I’m sure you’ve seen some great concerts. Can you tell me what the first concert you saw was and when? To follow that up, are there any particular shows that stand out in terms of being favorites?
First concert…I really can’t remember. It probably would have been like Poison or Def Leppard, some eighties “rock” band. Some outstanding concerts have been Noahs Red Tattoo at the Cover Dish (any time they played) That R.E.M. concert I mentioned earlier (The Monster Tour. No one likes that album, but I love it) Sufjan Stevens and Devendra Banhart from last year were pretty awesome.
What are some bands that you haven’t gotten the chance to see live, but would really like to?
I would like to see Iron & Wine, and Joanna Newsom. I think they both would be amazing.
How did you choose the name of your blog?
The Perm & The Skullet. The name comes from a faux band that my friends and I created after a late night at The Flying Saucer here in Raleigh. The night started like any other, but would culminate with the meeting of two middle aged individuals, one male, one female, one hairstyle a perm and the other one a skullet. They chattered amongst themselves, courting and toying with one another. Finding this combination fascinating and bizarre in our state of mind, we could not turn away. We started joking with the name and thought it would be the perfect name of a metal band or something. We made flyers and talked “the band” up at some shows, just for laughs, but it kind of caught on, even so much that we got asked to play at a local bar. To all you bands out there, PROMOTION…that’s the key. I needed a name for my blog, so as I joke, I changed the name from Hayhurst’s Blog (prior name) to The Perm & The Skullet back in July and for some reason it just stuck.
Can you tell me what got you into blogging, and are you surprised by the popularity your blog has attained?
I started blogging because of one of the television shows I produce. Our website was down and we needed a way to get out information. I started exploring the blogging community and I was amazed. I had already had a music recommendation/mix tapes page up at my homepage I put together for my family and friends and when I saw the possibilities for reaching others through blogs, I jumped at the chance. I was totally surprised and continue to be fascinated by the growth of the community. My blog isn’t the biggest or best one out there, but it’s the music I like and I figure I’ve got a few regulars that share the same taste in music and I appreciate everyone who stops by. It’s truly amazing!
What are some of your favorite blogs? Music or otherwise.
When I started exploring music/mp3 blogs I only knew a few, like Fluxblog, and Gorilla vs. Bear had just recently started up, and my favorite up to the day Josh took a break, was Uncommon Folk. Josh was actually the first blog to link to me and I’ll never forget that. Since then blogs have been popping up everywhere. The ones I read on a daily basis are this one, Muzzle of Bees, GvB, Ear Farm, Aquarium Drunkard, So Much Silence, My Old Kentucky Blog, and Songs: Illinois. I have a list of blogs on the side of my site and I visit every one of those almost daily and all are great or they wouldn’t be there.
How important do you think music blogs are in general? Do you think they will continue to be as popular as they are today?
Music blogs are extremely important to both fellow music lovers and for musicians. For one, it’s free publicity, who doesn’t want that. But it’s great for independent or diy bands to get the exposure they deserve and trust me, there are a lot of great labels reading these blogs. Look at the bands like CYHSY and others that have had a huge following through the net and now everyone knows who they are. I get tons of email from labels about their latest releases and I didn’t ask to be put on any lists, they just realize the great resource blogging can be for them and their bands. I will say, I don’t post everything I get, I feel that I have to really like the band to post about them, but my point is, if it wasn’t an important resource, then the attention we are getting wouldn’t happen.
As far as a selfish reason, I love it when I find out about a new band. When I head over to one of the above mentioned blogs or wherever, and listen to a band for the first time that I like, man it’s awesome. It truly connects not only the country but the world in terms of spreading the music. So, yes, I think music blogs will be around for a while, but like everything, it will hit it’s peak and then recede, leaving those dedicated blogs standing.
Let’s get away from music for a bit. What are some of your favorite movies and television shows?
The favorite movie question. Yikes. Well, I watch a ton of films, that was my major in college. I make films and tv for a living, so entertainment and art are a big part of my life. I guess I’ll just start listing a few favorite directors and films. Directors: Monte Hellman, Samuel Fuller, Werner Herzog, John Cassavettes, Jean Luc Godard, David Lynch, Errol Morris, Robert Altman, Anthony Mann, Jim Jarmusch, Alfred Hitchcock, The Coen Brothers, Darron Arnofsky, Cameron Crowe. I know there’s more, but off the top of my head, that’s what comes out. I love documentaries, foreign films, westerns, sci-fi, comedies. Movies that I can always watch, no matter what are High Fidelity, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Big Lebowski, Two Lane Blacktop, Aguirre Wrath of God, and any early Clint Eastwood western.I pretty much will give any movie a chance within reason.
On TV there are a few things that I always watch. I love Arrested Development, hopefully someone picks it up. I like Scrubs, Family Guy, The Sheild, Robot Chicken, and I’m catching up on Freaks and Geeks with Net Flix.
Outside of music do you have any other interests or projects?
Outside of music, I live and breath film and tv. I co-produce a show titled Second Cinema, in which we highlight filmmakers from across the region and we showcase their films, go to festivals, conduct interviews, etc… It airs throughout the state and has been on around 3 years now and it just won a Telly Award this year. I also just started a new show called The Collective which airs music videos from local as well as national known musicians. I’ll take this time to say, that if anyone is in a band, knows a band, or represents a band and has music videos please send them our way. We would love to put them on the show.
A lot of people have a favorite concert t-shirt, do you have one?
I don’t have a favorite concert T.
In your opinion, what’s the best place to eat on your city?
I really like this Mexican joint, El Rodeo that’s by my place. I like Buffalo Brothers and this sports bar, Playmakers. Honestly, I really enjoy to grill out at my house, have some people over, a few beers, and make an afternoon of it. That’s my favorite way to eat.
Animals dressed as humans. Funny or not?
Not funny. More like sad.