Matt the Electrician returns with new tunes, more beard.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Matt Sever, aka Matt the Electrician, has never played by the rules: After a short stint as a journeyman electrician, he decided to move to Austin, Texas – without knowing anything about the city – to pursue a music career.
Six albums and eight years later, Sever delved headfirst into another area he knew nothing about: writing songs with people from other countries that he’d never met.
“It’s been fun but there’s been some challenges that go along with it,” he says. “You never know who you’re going to be writing with but in the long run it’s been an amazing experience because it forces you to think on your toes and meet people quickly in a deep way.”
Two years ago, Sever hooked up with a Danish organization called The House of Songs. The group’s mission: “to link talented musical artists from two countries that appreciate, cultivate and exalt live music into worthy collaborations that produce new material and to find new ways to share the results with the world.”
On Friday, the Pacific Grove native will return for a show at the Alternative Café where he’ll play many of the songs from his seventh album, Accidental Thief, which include several written in his newly-adopted, collaborative songwriting style.
“I’m always interested in things that challenge me as a writer,” he says. “I like throwing myself in situations that I don’t know much about.”
One of the tunes from the album, “All I Know,” is about a little boy’s summertime family vacation and falling for the girls he sees sunbathing at motel pools. Though the pleasant folk tune sounds autobiographical, Sever wrote it with a Norwegian woman.
“We had a discussion about our individual experiences,” he says. “We both started opening up about family vacations as kids and first loves, which turned out to both be universal things.”
Several years after making the move to Austin, Sever doesn’t regret the drastic geographical change.
“I’ve become aware of a whole cast of songwriters that I never knew about, like Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark,” he says. “[Austin] is also such a great music community.
MATT THE ELECTRICIAN plays 8pm Friday, Sept. 23, at the Alternative Cafe, 1230 Fremont Blvd., Seaside. $12. 583-0913.