We had the pleasure to talk with the lead singer of the band Matt Jaffe and The Distractions, who just finished a 23 city tour across the USA as the opening act for Blues Traveler. Their first EP Blast Off was released in April 2015, and they’ve just grown bigger and bigger since. Matt told us about the band, their music and plans in the future.
CelebMix: Please introduce yourself and tell us what you and the rest of the boys are bringing to the band!
Matt: Hi, my name is Matt Jaffe of Matt Jaffe & The Distractions, and we bring great energy and passion to our own brand of rock and roll.
CelebMix: You were discovered by Jerry Harrison of the band Talking Heads. How did he find out about you?
Matt: Jerry walked into an open mic I was performing at in a local bar.
CelebMix: Are you still in contact with each other?
Matt: Yes, very much so. He has helped me with creating my sound and stage show.
CelebMix: That’s awesome! Your band’s a rock band, but you play plenty of other styles. Punk, folk, pop… How do you get the right sound of your music?
Matt: Good question – the sound is influenced by what’s going on in my life and the music I am listening to.
CelebMix: What gives you the best inspiration, who are the people that are giving you motivation?
Matt: I find inspiration in the things I do and people I meet, and books and movies.
CelebMix: Here’s your song called ‘Girl From Buenos Aires’. Who inspired you to write it? Is there a girl whose face you can recall?
Matt: A short story by the Argentine author – Jorge Luis Borges – called ‘The Shape of the Sword’ was the inspiration for this song.
CelebMix: What about ‘Fear of Flying’?
Matt: The song was inspired by a plane ride I took during a big electrical storm. The video borrows from a famous American TV show – Twilight Zone.
CelebMix: That’s so cool What is the backstory behind the musician side of things?
Matt: I started playing violin when I was age 5 but found the guitar more fun at age 10.
CelebMix: Yeah, you play on instruments, you’re a singer and songwriter. Which part do you like the best?
Matt: I love writing my own music and performing it to audiences – singing and playing instruments are both wonderful!
CelebMix: How was the reaction to your first EP, Blast Off, that was released April 21?
Matt: It has been very positive. Many excellent reviews and lots of fun messages from our fans.
CelebMix: You’ve got a growing fan base in the US, you’ve reached 120 000 likes on Facebook. What do you think appeals to the fans about the group?
Matt: Our image appeals, but I hope it’s the music that makes people stick around.
CelebMix: Why did you choose the name ‘The Distractions’?
Matt: It was to pay homage to the great Elvis Costello and the Attractions.
CelebMix: Wow! Which is your favourite song that you’ve written?
Matt: I can’t say that I have a favourite. But one of my favourites is ‘I Wanna Be Cruel’ which is on our new EP – Blast Off. An interview Bob Dylan did was an inspiration and the melody, I am told, gives people a Beatle like feel.
CelebMix: I just love that song! Could you tell me about your Yale experience?
Matt: I completed 1.5 years at Yale – I found the school and the people very inspiring. But I felt the need to more actively pursue my music.
CelebMix: This is great. What are your plans in the near future? Are you planning to go on tour in other countries?
Matt: Our plans for the near future involve doing as many shows as possible. Our biggest gig to date was on May 17 at Bay to Breakers in SF CA 40,000 people saw us play at Ocean Beach next to the Pacific Ocean. And we also went on tour on the West Coast of the USA in June.
CelebMix: That’s amazing! 40 000 people and they’ll be growing and growing through the years! What do you like doing in your free time – other than music?
Matt: If it grows beyond 40k – that will be something! I love to bike in and around where I live and to go backpacking in the wild.
Matt: Follow your passion and never stop!
Matt is working hard with his band. You can all check out his latest music video for ‘Write A Song About Me’ here:
You can also check out their official website here: http://www.mattjaffemusic.com/
Make sure to drop a comment below or tweet us @CelebMix if you liked this interview!