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16-12-2011 // interviews: Interview with Matt Stalker & Fables

As a "Farewell 2011"-series i have tried to get a little interview with the bands/artists that have made this a memorable musical year for me (and hopefully for you). Most of the bands i got in contact with responded very sweet and they have been so kind to answer a few questions about their 2011 and off course about their plans for the year to come, these will be posted in December every few days.

This 3rd interview is with Matt Stalker & Fables. They've released their beautiful album "The Man Who Said This Died Of Alchemy" this year and have found their way to my stereo's heavy rotation system with that. I just wrote a tiny little something on this album back in April, as I was still discovering my style on the blog (I still am, but I’m getting better at it), the poor 5 lines I spend on it back then do not do honour on this work of beauty.
This album has succesfully moved itself into a special spot on my mp3-player, which is under a lot of change due to the only 1GB that’s on it. This album never gets removed though, as I desperately need it on the train in the morning. It’s hard to decide what it is, but waking up on the train with coffee and this relaxing, yet cheerful album makes the world a beautiful place. Sometimes it really is that easy..

Use the Bandcamp-player below and read how Matt Stalker & Fables have experienced 2011.

If you had to name one moment, what would you consider your highlight of 2011?
I flew to New Zealand in January for a two-month holiday, but then Jenny (cello) decided to join me for three weeks. She rented a cello, I borrowed a guitar; we got 500 copies of our debut album pressed in Auckland, found a tour manager, and then toured the album round the north island. We played eight shows, and got play and do an interview on national radio NZ on Valentine's Day. It was an amazing experience.

Then on April 1st we launched the album back home in Sunderland, UK. Fables expanded to a nine-piece band and played to an audience of 150. It was a real milestone in my life, and a defining moment for the band. It was truly lovely to know we had such support in our hometown.

What are you doing at the moment (november 2011)?
We are currently writing and arranging a new EP, aiming for a February 2012 release. Adam is now a permanent 'Fable', playing viola, bouzouki and guitar and providing backing vocals. He's a real asset to the band. And as always, Jenny and Baz both bring great ideas to the table. It's such great fun being in this band right now. I'm truly in my element.

Which great band or artist did you discover yourself in 2011? Any favourite albums?
I didn't discover either of them in 2011, but both Bon Iver and Laura Marling put out records this year that blew me away. Adam Jenny and I saw Bon Iver play in Edinburgh in October and despite the hundreds of gigs we've been to between us in our lives, we all agreed it was the greatest gig we'd ever seen.

We toured New Zealand with an amazing artist, Katie Scott. Her EP, That's The Game, has just been released globally, and is amazing. She reminds me of Feist. But sexier.

There are lots of great bands on the local Newcastle/Sunderland scene, but Ajimal and Bridie Jackson & The Arbour are two acts we really love. Bridie is launching her hotly anticipated debut record on January 12th and we're playing support. Ajimal is also in the studio, which is pretty exciting.

How will you celebrate New Year’s Eve?
Hmm, I have no idea. I am not a fan of NYE in general; it's kind of forced fun. I'm more of a fan of spontaneity. But I imagine whatever happens I'll be with a few close friends, probably musicians, probably with lots of gin, old records and good food. We'll probably not leave the house for days!

What are your plans for the new year?
The new EP is pencilled in for January recording and a February release. We hope to tour, possibly with Bridie Jackson, to promote it.

- Thank you so much Matt Stalker & Fables for your responses. That February release is noted!

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