Matt Damon, Matt Dillon…Mat Kearney? There’s a new Matt on the scene, and not just because he spells his name with one “t.”
Mat Kearney, a singer-songwriter from small town Eugene, Oregon recently performed his acoustic set at The North Star Bar on April 19th. Kearney will return for another performance at the North Star Bar on June 11th to continue promotion of his new CD, Nothing Left to Lose.
What do you think about Philadelphia?
It’s actually my first time here, but I really like it. Everyone I’ve met seems really cool and open. It’s really different than my hometown [Eugene, Oregon]. I never really thought about how strange my hometown was until I traveled out of it.
What do you think of your rising fame?
I’m really not sure what to think. Rising fame, is that what you called it? It’s awesome when you start to see some of the same faces at shows and you finally see that you’re starting to have a following. It’s crazy to know that people know your music and that they enjoy it.
What did you think the first time you saw people singing your songs?
The same thing that I still think … I look to see who’s behind me! It’s weird to think they are singing my songs. I’m so grateful that people like them.
Your new album, Nothing To Lose, reminded me of hip-hop fused with Bob Dylan. What were your inspirations?
Well, when I was in high school I listened to a lot of hip-hop, especially A Tribe Called Quest. But, like any other singer-songwriter, I’m inspired by Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash. I like music that I can consider poetry.
Since your sound is so different, what genre do you put your album in?
I try not to. It’s a little bit of everything … it’s hard to categorize, and that’s the way I like it.
You, like a lot of other artists, are on Myspace.com. Do you think that has helped your career?
Definitely. Our computer-apt generation is part of the myspace phenomenon. It’s amazing to play a show, go home, and see comments from people who just saw me play. The instant feedback is amazing. I treat it like I treat my Website… it’s another way for me to get in touch with those who like my music.
I have a very Philadelphian question for you … cheesesteaks. Do you like them?
I do like cheesesteaks, but I haven’t had any in Philadelphia yet. I think I’d like the chicken ones better. I hear you guys have good cheesecake too.
What do you see yourself doing in five years?
Honestly, I have no idea. I know that is kind of a cop-out answer, but I really don’t know. I don’t even know what I’m doing tomorrow. I just hope to continue to make good music that people enjoy, because that’s really what it’s all about.