MGMB is pleased to present you North Carolina based family band Matrimony who master anthems packed with strong, uplifting melodies and perfect sing-along lyrics. Their sound not only flows with great vibes and energy, but also a real family connection that clearly mirrors in their music. Having recently released their debut record Montibello Memories via Columbia Records, they’ve been on the road ever since and are currently on their first headline tour across America.
You can find out loads more about Matrimony in our following interview with singer Jimmy.
Eva: Let’s get to know you. Who are Matrimony and how would you introduce your sound to the UK audience?
Jimmy: Matrimony are my wife Ashlee (vocals & keys), her brothers Jordan & CJ (drums, banjo, mandolin & vocals) and myself (guitar, mandolin & vocals). So it’s a family band from North Carolina, though I grew up in Belfast N.I and have been living in NC for 8 years. Before Matrimony, each member had their own band and we all used to play in each other’s bands before focussing our collective energy on MTR. It’s been said that we sound like a “hill billy Fleetwood Mac”, so from what I can remember, folks in UK like Fleetwood Mac.
Your debut full length Montibello Memories came out last month. Could you tell us about this record and what inspired the songs stories?
The title takes it’s name from Ashlee and her brother’s childhood home in Charlotte NC. That house had a revolving door, there were always instruments and musicians and artists either writing there or throwing house shows, or just passing through. There’s a lot of history and so a lot of memories. Most of the songs either started there or were finished there, or are about things that happened there. For example, “How Do You See Me” talks about “dreaming of what used to be, a fiery past and a family tree, montibello memories” – that kind of sums it up. I think in retrospect, there’s an underlying theme of wondering where you fit in, of hope and of enjoying the good times while they’re there.
What’s it been like for you since the album release?
We’ve been on the road ever since, we’re still on the road. I’m actually in a little pub in Austin TX watching the World Cup before we have to sound check for tonight’s show. It’s a whirlwind, tons of driving and tons of shows – no complaints though.
At the moment you’re on your first headline tour across America. How is it going and which has been your favourite show so far?
The tour has been great so far. The best show for me was Raleigh NC at “Kings”. Great crowd (who knew all the words) and just an all round very memorable night.
Give us an idea about what to expect from your live shows, and what is it you love the most about performing in front of a live audience?
The live shows are different every night. We try not to put on the same show twice, we don’t say the same things…it keeps it fresh. We’ve always got a lot of energy and have a lot of fun. We switch instruments a lot too, which is a laugh especially if I get on the drums ha.
So what’s the music making process like in the band? How do you normally put the tracks together?
There’s no formula. We feel it out together on some songs and on others we have the lyrics first, and then others we have a riff or a melody. The feel of the record comes from us tracking it live and the lyrics come from Ashlee and myself.
I guess that being a family band reflects a lot in your music as well as live shows?
Definitely. We know each other so well that it makes it easy to anticipate someone’s next move, which really helps when you’re ‘in the moment’ so to speak.
Do you guys have time to write any music while out on the road?
We’re always jotting words down and recording melodies on our phones, being aware of our thought and our surroundings, which eventually ends up being in a song.
What kind of music did you grow up listening to and what are your current favourites?
I grew up on The Beatles, David Bowie, Nirvana, U2, David Gray, Oasis, Blur, Babyshambles, Interpol, Tom Petty, Van Morrison, Beck and the list goes on. I’m a huge fan of Hozier at the moment and also Boy & Bear.
Any chance of crossing the ocean over to the UK for a tour?
Absolutely. We will be over the first chance we get!