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LITTER - Interview

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by Karli Sample (subscribe)
Avid theatre-goer, self-proclaimed foodie and crazy dog lady!
Published June 21st 2020
Interview with Matt Downey of LITTER
LITTER band by Leah Jean

LITTER are an Australian project/punk group formed in 2013 by singer/songwriter Matt Downey.

LITTER's lineup includes Matt Downey (vocals), Damien Stofka (drums), Jo Terashima (bass), Matt Saliba (guitar) and Katie Jane Downey (live bass). In anticipation of their upcoming release, I was fortunate enough to conduct an interview with Downey. Check it out > > >

How did you all meet each other?

"LITTER was assembled via SMS. I threw it together on a whim and asked a handful of people that I liked to participate. Jo and Damien were both part of the revolving door of musicians in Death Mattel (another band I'm in). The final lineup was comprised of folks that all used the same rehearsal studio in Marrickville."

How long have you been playing together?

"Amongst several other projects, 10 years."

Which instruments do you play?

"Not really proficient in any, but I cobble together tunes on my keyboards. I envy real musicians and surround myself with super competent musicians who help me interpret my mess into something listenable."

Who are your biggest influences?

"LITTER was inspired by some brilliant painters whose exhibitions were always perfect, and perfectly representative of both their vision and time it took to create it. I found music - certainly live music to be a constantly paranoid and self-adjusting medium. I wanted to try and create something finite. You either own the album or you can't; you either saw the exhibition or you can't. It's done - until now.

Punk as a genre was the best vehicle for such a chuck-job; such a thrown together short-lived concept. As far as influences from that genre, I'd have to say The Buzzcocks, The Descendents and would be remiss not to include Frenzal Rhomb, hence having Jason Whalley produce the record. I don't think we sound anything like any of those bands, but it was certainly what I was hearing while writing."

What is your songwriting process?

"No idea. Such huge gaps in motive and motivation."

Who do LITTER sound like?

"I don't think it's really for me to say. It's fast and crunchy pop music."

What do you feel is the best song you've released and why?
"I like Carnivores on the first album. I've yet to settle on a favourite in this current cluster but, without any desire to appear conceited - understanding, of course, that music taste is entirely subjective, I wouldn't record it if I didn't "like" it. I'm too self-critical for that."

How do you handle mistakes during a performance?

"Actually, this was a critical concern for the early version because the album is comprised of live takes at each of the shows. So, live... I guess we just played on, but those songs didn't make the cut for the album."

How often and for how long do you practice?
"Haven't done for ages, but 3 hours a couple of times a week when we're gearing up for a show."

What's next for LITTER?

"Damien and I have demo-ed 9 of 10 new songs for the next album. The concept with time will be to make a polished studio record before considering any shows. The process (discussed long before the pandemic made it essential) is to record each part in isolation for the rest of the band. The drums will be recorded by the drummer/s and the files will go to Japan for Jo to play bass on, when he's done he sends them to the guitarist and so on until they arrive back for my vocals. I'm hoping to be surprised by the end result. There is more detail to the ultimate concept, but that's "what's next" enough."

Is there anything else you'd like readers to know about LITTER?

"I've long considered myself kinda Marxist - and certainly where arts concerned. While I don't think the world OWES anyone a living, this record will cost a bunch of money that we don't necessarily have to spend. If you hear it and you dig it; and you can afford to, maybe throw a coin our way."

For news, tour dates, videos and more Follow LITTER on Facebook.

LITTER - Hate Song (Directed, Shot & Edited by Hector B. Rossi)

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