By November 12, 2014 Read More →

InterView- Matt Nathanson

Matt Nathanson Returns to Modesto
By Chris Murphy

Matt Nathanson is an honorary Modestan and each and every one of us can feel good when you hear his songs on the radio. Matt has lived in San Francisco since 1997 and quickly became a regular fixture in the Modesto music scene. The first X Fest in 2000 featured Matt Nathanson and he has performed at most all venues in Modesto during regular appearances here through 2005. He has performed top bill shows and some 92.9 Underground Lounges in the last few years here in Modesto.

Between 2005 and 2007 he hit the big time, with his album “Some Mad Hope” burning up the charts everywhere unleashing hits like the platinum selling “Come on Get Higher” and “Car Crash”. “Faster” put him in the top tier of music in 2011 and the rest is global history. His newer records sell like crazy. He has toured with Kelly Clarkson and headlines his shows that sell out. His most recent project was to assist with providing 1000+ hearing aids in Peru with the Starkey Hearing Project. The “Headphones” video will melt your heart and the song will lift your heart.

You will never forget a live show with Matt, whether in a room with 20 people or a packed auditorium. He is funny, clever and amazingly talented. We caught up with Matt just after his return from London.

Chris Murphy: Matt, so excited to hear that you are coming back to Modesto for Hit Radio 92.9 Acoustic Christmas. It blows my mind to see you now on MTV and documentaries feature you as a “spokesperson for music” and part of the top tier of successful musicians. We are lucky that you really got your start in music back here in Modesto, way back when.

Matt Nathanson: I know, it just doesn’t seem like it was that long ago. It all started to happen back with X Fest in 2000. It was a really good line up back then and then I have played all over Modesto and big shows like Summerfest and it always feels good to play here.

MV: It is really crazy for me as I remember when we first started the Acoustic Christmas shows, and my daughters were doing the decorations, wrapping the monitors and you were there with Megan Slankard, Matt Fish, Patrice Pike and so many others.

MN: I feel like I am part of the Modesto community. I know so many people and am really familiar with Modesto. I’ll be getting ready for a Modesto show and the tour manager will be starting to give me the directions, turn here go there, and I let them know that I got this. I know where to go. I really feel at home in Modesto and especially at the State Theatre. We have had some great shows there.

MV: So how have you been and what have you been up to? You just came back from London.
MN: I always thought that jet lag was fiction, but it’s not, I’m pretty wiped.

MV: Were you there to perform, for work or just having fun?
MN: I went to London to do some songwriting with some other friends that inspire me. Walking around and exploring gives me some fresh inspiration and different things to think about.

MV: For inspiration, did you make it to Abbey Road?
MN: Oh no, I didn’t get there. I have been there a few times and haven’t made it and I even had some free time this weekend and didn’t make it over there. It was really good to go someplace different like London to think and write.

MV: Your new video is really important and is a big departure from your other videos.
MN: I wanted to make something that wasn’t the traditional “guy gets girl” music video with a scripted storyline. I felt that I had a lot more to say than that and this organization really made an impression on me. I really wanted to say something different and the Starkey Project was right up my alley and was more about who I am. I wanted to do something different that meant something.

MV: What did it feel like to make such a personal impact on these kids?
MN: It was amazing to actually get to feel and touch these people that had hearing loss and helping give them something that we all take for granted, like hearing. It was so real and it was really powerful and makes you realize how fortunate you are.

MV: That first moment must be incredible when they get the gift of hearing.
MN: I know, these are the things that we just have and it’s the way we are and you don’t know what it is like to not have those things, and these people have adjusted to life with little or no hearing, and now they can.

MV: So this is something that now that you are famous, it can really make a difference.
MN: Yeah, it is really kind of different to know now that if I get involved with something , there will be more eyes and ears on it and can really help reach more people.

MV: How does it feel to be super famous Matt Nathanson? It wasn’t that long ago you were covering “Laid” by James here in downtown Modesto in 2000. I personally have stolen some of your stage heckling, like what you do on Freebird. Now you have had a string of hits like “Come on get higher”, “Car Crash” “Faster” and “Kinks Shirt” as well as long time favorites like “Answering Machine”. What can people expect at Acoustic Christmas?

MN: It makes we want to come back to Modesto and do an even better show. This line up is amazing and I want to show that I can do a show that is like 300% better than the shows I did before. I want this to be the best concert ever. I can’t wait to be back in Modesto.

For more Matt:

For Hit Radio 92.9 Acoustic Christmas
Matt Nathanson, Andy Grammer, Echosmith and American Authors
December 2, Doors at 7 show at 8.



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About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.