Matt Pond PA is a New York based indie band. Their new album "Dark Leaves" will be released April 6th. The song "Startling" is available for free download here.

How much did the cabin and wilderness influence this album?

Matt: Let's please start at the end, where I would confuse the whole conversation by claiming my influences are based on a positive emptiness.

The cabin. Just about everything on The Dark Leaves had to hit off those walls before coming to life. (Walls and resiliency are recurring themes)

Something must've happened to me in my younger years. I don't remember specific incidents or people, but I remember numbly falling into frozen rivers in the winter. I remember staring out my window at night, out at the dark. I remember going deep into the woods, chasing invisible adversaries.

There isn't anything I idealize more than being alone and quiet. Strange then, that I'm such a terrible sleeper.

Did you take a different process with this album than with previous albums?

This time around we built it all up and then ripped it all down.  Over and over. We did that about fifty times, went out for a yearlong coffee and it was all done.

Forest creatures have been known to go the opposite of wild and secretly finish rock and roll albums. It's true.

Was there something in the previous albums, or in your life that made you make this retreat into nature?

"Last Light" made me implode. After that, I really didn't know what to do other than avoid everything.

There were times when I liked seeing how frail my thoughts were. Now that I've done that, I'd prefer to think of them as something worth thinking about. I mean there's got to be reason for being built to confront our existence. Right? Unless Ashton Kutcher is god and it's all for the cameras. 
 
What were your goals with the new album?

I find 'goals' to be a bad framework for building a collection of songs. As in, I don't know what I know until I know it.

With too many expectations and regulations, creativity's going to head for the hills. Me? I just like to run at walls as fast as possible and see what happens.

What was it like composing the soundtrack for "Lebanon"? Had you worked with films before?

It's like writing music to someone else's thoughts. I loved it.

Years ago, I'd done a few shim shams for television. It was like writing music to a doorknob's thoughts...

Some parts of the world have been built backwards.

What are your plans for the rest of 2010?

I drifted away there for a bit. Didn't think I'd come back. It's hard to know what the point is, being on this side of paradise. But songs keep coming out of my mouth in the middle of the night. And I'm not going to say no to my mouth.

I also love playing as one of The Wooden Birds. Andrew Kenny is a heckuva person and a helluva songwriter.

Plans are hard to make in this here music world. All I know is that I got a prickly itch on the back of my neck and I feel somehow strangely lucky.

Visit Matt Pond PA's website.

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© 2009

Matt Pond PA Interview

Marshall Rake