A Chat With: Matt Maeson

Considering he grew up playing music in prisons and at biker rallies with his parents, you could say singer songwriter Matt Maeson has quite the interesting backstory…But ultimately, it’s his dynamic vocals, piercing lyrics, and knack for storytelling that hooks listeners and fosters the growing buzz surrounding his music. With millions of streams racking up on Spotify and appearances booked at major festivals around the country, the momentum surrounding Maeson just keeps building, and he hasn’t even released a debut full length yet.

The music Maeson has released so far remains sonically multifaceted, with each song on his two EPs having a distinct sound of their own. Most of his songs tend to cover serious subject matters, but to juxtapose the heaviness that comes with some of his music, Maeson keeps the mood lighthearted on his social media, often cracking jokes on his Twitter. (Go follow him if you’re not already, trust me.) That same personality transfers over to his live show, so if you’re heading to Lolla this year, make sure you catch Matt Maeson on Friday, 8/3 at noon…but first get to know him a bit better. I recently caught up with him after his set at Bonnaroo last month, talking his favorite festival moments, his love of Chicago food, Johnny Cash selfies and more.

 Photo Credit: Matthew Reamer
Photo Credit: Matthew Reamer

So I know you grew up with a musical family, but when do you remember wanting to start making music on your own?

I was, like you said, raised in a very musical family, so from the time I was able to consciously receive music, I loved it. I started on drums when I was really young. I was like 3 or 4 and my uncle passed away and he left me a drum set. I just drummed away until I was 13 or 14 and then I picked up a guitar around 15, and that’s when I started writing songs. My dad would teach me chords. So 15, around that age was when I started writing, and I started performing live when I was 17. The rest is history.

When you started performing live, is there anyone you looked up to, or whose stage presence you admired?

That’s tough cause there’s different aspects. Vocals, Britney Howard from Alabama Shakes is insanely talented. Jeff Buckley is one of my all time favorite artists. Then Manchester Orchestra is a huge one for me.

Oh were you around yesterday when they played?

No I wasn’t I missed it! I missed them at Bottle Rock when they played the day after.

Oh no! One day you’ll get to see them! Anyone else who inspires you?

I love Johnny Cash. I love the way he performs… and I played in a lot of prisons growing up.

I caught your set earlier and before you played “Cringe” you said “This is the one everyone has been waiting for.” How does that feel since releasing that song to have such a viral response to it? What has been a highlight?

It’s sick! “Cringe” is my most streamed song so I know every show that’s what everyone wants to hear. I’d say that the really dope thing was I played this show at The Hawthorne in Portland, Oregon. That was the first show that I ever heard people singing the lyrics with me, and that was to “Cringe.”

Then you just mentioned you played Bottle Rock, you’re playing ‘Roo now, then playing Forecastle and Lolla too. What is your favorite festival moment and your worst festival experience that you’ve ever had?

I’d say my favorite festival moment would probably be the time I played this festival in Houston called In Bloom. It’s a smaller one, but it was my first festival. My girlfriend was there, I just played solo acoustic. And people were singing along. It was just the first big crowd at a festival I saw and played in front of. The least favorite was I went to this festival called Beach Goth in Orange County. It’s cool and the line up was amazing…it had three of my favorite artists; King Krule, James Blake, and Bon Iver were all headlining. The stages were so close together and it was so packed that if you were trying to see King Krule you were hearing like TLC play. And then if you were trying to see Bon Iver you heard this, and there was just so many people that I was like I don’t want to see any of my favorite artists like this. I’d rather wait to catch them in smaller shows.

What made you come up with the idea to release stripped versions of songs like “The Hearse” and “Cringe”?

[It was] mainly cause this is my first tour doing a full band thing. So everything before that was just acoustic. So that’s what people who have seen me live have grown to love. That’s when I think the songwriting really shines, when there’s not all this big production behind it, but it’s just this simple thing where people can really focus on the melody and lyrics. We put a couple out and people loved it.

My mom loves the stripped version of “Cringe!”

Yeah that song is streaming extremely well! It’s streaming better than the regular one.

What about new music? Are you working on that on the road at all or just focusing on touring these songs?

I mean, both. I don’t really try and force myself to write too often because I think that’s when the writing feels like it’s a job or something. It gets a little less sincere when you’re trying to force something out. Typically what happens is I’ll go on tour, I’ll get so drained and so exhausted, and then I’ll get home and write an amazing song. We’re definitely writing for the album right now.

So you’re coming to play Lolla, and I’m based in Chicago–

Yeah I love Chicago!

So what are you looking forward to about Lolla and coming to Chicago in general? Are you sticking around at all?

I will be because I’m doing a Lolla set and then I’m doing an after show, and then I’m doing another show…I think it’s just acoustic. So I’m doing the acoustic show and then I’m opening up for Gang of Youths, they’re awesome and I’ve done a couple shows with them! Then I do the actual Lolla set, so I think I’ll be there for three or four days.

Did you check out the rest of the line up at all?

The line up is insane. So good. I’m pumped. There’s definitely people I want to see, but I’ll know in about a month and a half from now.

Anything else you’re looking forward to doing in the city while you’re there?

I love Chicago. I would 100 percent live there if it didn’t get so cold. It’s brutal. I’ve been there in the winter and it’s so brutal. But Nando’s, I love Nando’s and it’s one of the only states that has them. Au Cheval, the burger spot. It’s insane. I love food. I still haven’t been yet, but my buddy works at the restaurant called Alinea. It’s insanely expensive. I just love Chicago, I love the people there.

Also your Twitter can be really hilarious, and I saw the other day you posted about people DM-ing you selfies. So if anyone in the world were to DM you a selfie, who would you want to slide into those DMs? We can even do dead or alive.

I would say Johnny Cash. Cause not only would that be amazing to receive a selfie, it would also be hilarious just to see a selfie of Johnny Cash.

Yeah, those don’t exist. Then last thing, do you have any unknown facts or something that you’ve always wanted to talk about that no one has brought up yet in an interview?

That’s a hard one! I skate…nobody ever asks me about that! If you look at my Instagram or something everyone I follow is pro skaters. I never get starstruck and the only people I get starstruck by are pro skaters. Which is funny cause they’re usually the chillest dudes.

When did you get into skating?

When I was super young, around 7. I’m not like great. I was better when I was 16, but I still love it. Love the culture.

Anything else you’re looking forward to or any last closing comments?

Looking forward to getting this album done. We don’t know when it’s gonna come out. It’ll either be late this year or early next year. Then we’re gonna do a fall tour that I’m pumped about. We’re still figuring it out if it will be a headlining or support tour.


Chicago, if you’re not going to Lolla this year, you can still catch Maeson at his aftershow–snag those tickets here.

This article was originally posted on ANCHR Magazine

New Vinyl Releases 6/8/18


  • 30 Seconds to Mars – America (White vinyl)
  • Bad Breeding – Abandonment EP
  • Black Sabbath – Supersonic Years: The Seventies Singles (10x 7″ Box Set)
  • Kadhja Bonet – Childqueen (Indie Exclusive on Color vinyl)
  • The Drowning Craze – Singles ’81 / ’82 (180gram White vinyl)
  • dvsn – Morning After
  • EPMD – Strictly Business (‘Respect The Classics’ Reissue)
  • EPMD – Unfinished Business (‘Respect The Classics’ Reissue)
  • The Get Up Kids – Kicker EP (180gram Pink vinyl)
  • GUM – The Underdog
  • Laura Jean – Devotion
  • Kississippi – Sunset Blush
  • Liz Phair – Whitechocolatespaceegg (Reissue)
  • Liz Phair – Liz Phair (Reissue)
  • Liz Phair – Whip-Smart (Reissue)
  • The Rolling Stones – Their Satanic Majesties Request (180gram Reissue)
  • Royce Da 5’9″ – Book of Ryan
  • serpentwithfeet – soil (Limited Opaque Yellow vinyl)
  • Shannon Shaw – In Nashville
  • Paul Simon – The Paul Simon Songbook
  • Jaden Smith – SYRE
  • Jorja Smith – Lost & Found
  • Soundtrack / Simon & Garfunkel – The Graduate
  • Soundtrack – Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story
  • Soundtrack / Colin Stetson – Hereditary
  • Uniform / The Body – Mental Wounds Not Healing (Limited Clear vinyl)
  • Tom Waits – Small Change (‘Indie Exclusive’ Reissue on Blue vinyl)
  • Whiplash – Power and Pain (Reissue)
  • Hilary Woods – Colt (Limited Blue vinyl)
  • YOB – Our Raw Heart (Metallic Gold vinyl, Limited to 2500)
  • Young Widows – Decayed: Ten Years of Cities, Wounds, Lightness, And Pain
  • Zeal & Ardor – Stranger Fruit (180gram Purple vinyl)

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Polygondwanaland

Friday we release our 2nd Pressing of 50 made on 180 gram UK black vinyl.
Hand Printed black & white “coloring book style” screen signed & numbered cover by Andy Schmidt from Starman Press


New Vinyl Releases 6/1/18

  • Alien Weaponry – Tu
  • Big Black – Headache
  • Blind Melon – Nico (1996)
  • Cancer Bats – The Spark That Moves
  • Neko Case – Hell-On (Indie Exclusive Peach vinyl)
  • The Coathangers – Live (Black/White/Red Split vinyl, limited to 1500)
  • Gabriella Cohen – Pink is The Colour of Unconditional Love
  • Def Leppard – The Collection: Volume One (7Lp Box Set)
  • Control Denied – The Fragile Art of Existence (Indie Exclusive on Oxblood w/Splatter colored vinyl, limited to 500)
  • Juliana Daugherty – Light (Limited Edition Milky-Clear vinyl)
  • Richard Edwards – Verdugo (Limited Red vinyl)
  • Sam Evian – You, Forever
  • Express Rising – Fixed Rope II
  • The Flaming Lips – Greatest Hits Vol. 1
  • Galactic Empire – Episode II
  • Jerry Garcia – Run For The Roses (75th Birthday Reissue)
  • Ghost – Prequelle (Indie Exclusive Coke Clear, Clear Smoke Deluxe and Black)
  • Johnny Griffin – The Man I Love (Indie Exclusive Reissue on White vinyl)
  • Gruesome – Twisted Prayers (Indie Exclusive on ‘Easter Yellow’ vinyl, Limited to 200)
  • Joan of Arc – 1984 (Limited Edition Yellow vinyl)
  • Joe Coffee – When The Fabric Don’t Fit The Frame (Limited color vinyl)
  • Kataklysm – Meditations (Clear with Black Splatter vinyl, Limited to 750)
  • LUMP – LUMP (Limited Translucent Green vinyl)
  • Dave Matthews Band – Under The Table And Dreaming (150gram Reissue with 3 Unreleased songs)
  • Mazzy Star – Still EP
  • Albin Lee Meldau – About You
  • The Nectars – Sci-Fi Television
  • Now, Now – Saved
  • Petite League – No Hitter
  • Natalie Prass – The Future and The Past (Red vinyl)
  • Professor Rhythm – Professor 3 (Reissue)
  • Damien Rice – O (Reissue with 4 Bonus Tracks)
  • Paul Simon / Various – Graceland: The Remixes
  • Soundtrack / HUMANS – Dead Shack (140gram Pink vinyl)
  • Soundtrack / Alan Silvestri – Predator (Blood Red & Predator Dreads Blue Splatter vinyl, Limited to 900)
  • Soundtrack / Matthew Wilder & David Zippel – Songs From Mulan (Picture Disc)
  • Spiritus Mortis – The God Behind The God (Black vinyl Reissue, Limited to 300)
  • Vicktor Taiwo – Joy Comes in Spirit
  • Token Entry – Jaybird (Reissue on color vinyl)
  • Conway Twitty – Icon (Reissue)
  • Vance Joy – Nation of Two
  • S.M. Wolf – Bad Ocean (Blue vinyl, limited to 300)
  • Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson – Apart

Friday New Vinyl Releases 5/25/18

  • Amorphis – Queen Of Time (Limited Edition on Red with Black Splatter Vinyl)
  • Big Ups – Two Parts Together (EU Pressing)
  • Bjork – Arisen My Senses (12″ Single on ‘Slug Genital’ Colored Vinyl)
  • Blouse – Blouse (10th Anniversary Reissue on Coke Bottle Clear Vinyl, Limited to 500)
  • The Casket Lottery – Survival Is For Cowards (Limited Edition Reissue on Blood Red Vinyl)
  • Chvrches – Love Is Dead (180gram Indie Exclusive on Translucent Clear Vinyl)
  • Dawn Ray’d – The Unlawful Assembly (Limited Edition on Silver Vinyl)
  • Deeper – Deeper (Shuga Records Exclusive on White Vinyl) and Cassette Tape
  • Destroyer – City Of Daughters (1998) (Limited Edition 1st Pressing on Red Vinyl)
  • Destroyer – Thief (1999) (Limited Edition Reissue on ‘Orange Creamsicle’ Vinyl)
  • Graveyard – Peace (Yellow with Black Splatter Vinyl, Limited to 500)
  • Hoobastank – Push Pull
  • Jenny Hval – The Long Sleep (limited Edition on Purple Vinyl)
  • The Love-Birds – In The Lover’s Corner (Limited Edition on ‘Grass Green’ Vinyl)
  • Micawber – Beyond The Reach Of Flame
  • Numb. er – Goodbye
  • Numero Group – Periodical Numerica Vol. 1 – The Exotica Issue (Limited to 1000)
  • Chris Orrick – Portraits
  • Ocean Alley – Chiaroscuro (Transparent Blue Vinyl with Foil Cover)
  • Overkill – Feel The Fire (Live In Overhausen Vol. 2) (Limited Edition on Green with Orange and Yellow Splatter Vinyl)
  • Pedro The Lion – It’s Hard To Find A Friend (1998) (Limited Edition Indie Exclusive Reissue on Clear Vinyl)
  • Elvis Presley – On Stage : February 1970 (180gram Black & Blue Swirl Vinyl)
  • Prince – Nothing Compares 2 U (Limited Edition Reissue 7″ with Silver Foil Sleeve)
  • Joshua Redman (feat. Ron Miles, Scott Coley & Brian Blade) – Still Dreaming
  • Skating Polly – The Make It All Show (180gram Splatter Vinyl)
  • Soccer Mommy – Clean (Indie Exclusive on Coke Bottle Green Vinyl, Limited to 500)
  • Sting & Shaggy – 44/876
  • Stone Temple Pilots – Stone Temple Pilots
  • Split Cranium – I’m The Devil And I’m OK (Red Vinyl)
  • Tracyanne & Danny – Tracyanne & Danny (‘Peak Vinyl’ Limited Edition on Red Vinyl with Bonus 7″)
  • Various – Technicolor Paradise : Rhum Rhapsodies & Other Exotic Delights (3 Lp Compilation Box Set)
  • Various Artists – Outer Himmilayan Presents (Sacred Bones Compilation)
  • Wallows – Spring EP (Pink & Green Vinyl)
  • Wand – Perfume EP
  • Wooden Shjips – V. (Indie Exclusive on Blue Vinyl)

Friday New Vinyl Releases 5/18

  • Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel (‘Indie Exclusive’ Pressing on Red Vinyl)
  • Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel (black Vinyl)
  • The Black Dahlia Murder – Ritual (Reissue on Metallic Gold Vinyl, Limited to 1000)
  • The Black Dahlia Murder –Unhallowed (Reissue on ‘Sea Glass’ Colored Vinyl, Limited to 1000)
  • The Black Dahlia Murder – Everblack (Reissue on White Vinyl, Limited to 1000)
  • Bombino – Deran
  • The Breeders – Mountain Battles (2008) (Reissue)
  • The Breeders – Last Splash (4AD Reissue)
  • The Breeders – Pod (4AD Reissue)
  • The Breeders – Title TK (4AD Reissue)
  • Jennifer Castle – Angels of Death
  • Erasure (with Echo Collective) – World Beyond (LE Pressing on Red Vinyl)
  • Ludwig Göransson – Black Panther (Original Score)
  • Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Sparkle Hard
  • Guru – Jazzmatazz Vol. 1 (3 Lp Deluxe Edition)
  • Quiet Slang (Beach Slang) – Everything Matters But No One Is Listening (180gram Pressing on Clear Vinyl)
  • Michael Rault – It’s A New Day Tonight (LE Pressing on Colored Vinyl)
  • Lenny Kravitz – Greatest Hits (2 Lp Comp)
  • Red Kross – Third Eye (1990) (‘Indie Exclusive’ RSD Reissue on Green Vinyl)
  • Mary Lattimore – Hundreds of Days (LE Pressing on Gold Vinyl)
  • Paul McCartney – Chaos And Creation In The Backyard (180gram Reissue on Gold Vinyl)
  • Paul McCartney – New (LE Reissue on Pink Vinyl)
  • Parquet Courts – Wide Awake
  • Parquet Courts _ Wide Awake (Collector’s Edition with 15-Page Art Booklet)
  • Otis Redding – Dock Of The Bay Sessions (’50th Anniversary Celebration’ Pressing)
  • Percy “Thrills” Thrillington – Thrillington (180gram Limited Edition EU Reissue on Marbled Vinyl)
  • TT (Therese Wayman of Warpaint) – Lovelaws
  • Various – I, Tonya (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  • Vitamin X – Age Of Paranoia
  • Pink Floyd – Relics (1971) (180gram Remastered Comp)
  • Pink Floyd – PULSE (live) (4 Lp 180gram Box Set with 52-Page Book and Slipcase)
  • Ryley Walker – Deafman Glance (Chicago, IL)
  • Waz Chattels – Wax Chattels
  • Wings – Wings Greatest (1978) (LE Reissue on Blue Vinyl)
  • Wolves In The Throne Room – Live At Roadburn 2008 (10th Anniversary Reissue)