POZ Interview: Matt Pryor
PropertyOfZack spoke with Matt Pryor a week or so ago for a fantastic new interview. We chatted with Matt about his quitting and coming back to music, the family of Rory Records, podcasting, and ended on Matt’s opinion of the current #EmoRevival phase that mainstream internet is currently chasing. Read the interview below!
It gets mentioned here or there on Nothing To Write Home About, but I don’t think many fans know that you tried to quit music for a year. What pulled you back?
It was the combination of a few different things. One was that I actually did a resume for the first time in my life. On paper, I was running a semi-successful independent company for the last sixteen years, but in reality when you write it down, my last job was in the mid-90’s. Also, at the same time, Dewees reached out to me and asked me if I wanted to do a few songs with him and it was really fun. There wasn’t any pressure with it. I guess I had just had enough time away from it. Also, I had sort of realized that I’m a grown man and that this is what I do for a living. Being paid $8 an hour as a farmhand wasn’t going to cut it for my family. I also fell in love with it [music] again.
Do you think doing a real human job also pushed you back into realizing that, though music can be frustrating, it’s where you should be?
It put things into perspective. It also made me realize what I do is actually a job. Everyone is hustling no matter what you’re doing.
A lot of original Get Up Kids fans are at the point where they have a family or are getting there. It’s an interesting point where you see your favorite artist become a “real adult” with a family. Do you think you’re just better at balancing family and music now?
I’ve become better at accepting the reality of it. My daughter is eleven, so I’ve been touring with kids longer than I ever toured without kids. I know how to do it and my family knows how to deal when I’m gone. I think I’ve definitely come to terms that it’s just the nature of the beast.
You jumped back into things with Wrist Slitter. The release is a lot more rock than May Day. Was that a direction you wanted to go in on purpose?
It was intentional. I did the EP with James a year ago now and it just felt really good to yell. I was coming out of a really dark place and a friend of mine would refer to a really depressing record as a “wrist slitter.” So I’d say that I don’t want to write a wrist slitter. There’s one slow song on the record, and I would intentionally not work on at least somewhat upbeat songs. The songs themselves, I wanted them to have a positive energy to them because I needed to sort of come out of that darkness a little bit.
POZ: When people saw the title though, I think some thought it’d be a emotionally heavy record.
Matt: I don’t know if I even like the title anymore. It’s tongue and cheek, and I realize now that it’s a term that is sensitive to a lot of people. I didn’t mean it to be. To me, it’s calling a fat guy tiny. This record is obviously not early Nine Inch Nails. It’s not something that’s terribly depressing. Every time I try to say something like that though, some of the lyrics are really dark. But the songs are upbeat.
POZ: Sort of like a Saves The Day record.
Matt: That’s a really good reference. I didn’t realize that until I started touring with Chris a lot and noticed his lyrics are dark. He writes some gory shit. It’s interesting. I see why so many people are so heavily attached to what he does.
The release is on Rory/EVR. Did you plan on going with a label, or did things fall into place with Max?
I decided I wanted to do something and make a go of it again. This whole thing started around a year ago now with making the decision to do a record and that it’d be cool to work with a label. It’s hard enough being an artist and a work at home dad and being your own manager, and then being your own label. I wanted to find a partner. Around that same time, Max started texting me. I asked around to people because he seemed so stoked about it, and people told me it was awesome. So far, it’s been absolutely fantastic.
The Rory situation is interesting. The functions of labels have taken a turn, but the roster feels like a throwback between Say Anything, Saves The Day, and you.
It’s similar to how Vagrant was when we first went there. It’s small enough and everyone likes everyone else and all the bands get along. Hell, half the roster is half of Max’s wife’s family. It’s literally a family and I am the interloper.