During the week of SXSW 2018, SXSWfm interviewed Matt Davidson, the frontman of his alt-country project Twain. They discussed the impact of social media, thoughts on spirituality, and his upcoming release focusing on the meaning of being a “man child.” Read an excerpt of the interview below, and listen to it in full on our Mixcloud.
Twain Interview Highlights
How many times have you played here?
Twain: Six times.
Why is coming to SX so important to you?
Twain: Can I be honest? I want to play music for a living because I can’t do anything else. That’s not the main reason, but I’ve tried to do other things. Can’t do anything else. And it’s very important to me on one hand that I make a material life out of music. That’s hard to admit. Then I find it’s necessary to come and be visible…and then suddenly one day, you wake up and there are months and months of shows booked, and tours planned, and wonderful people helping you, and it’s a dream. Truthfully, last year at South By helped me organize that. I made contact with my label who put my last record out, began working with my fantastic booking agent, Jim Romeo, and it actually worked the way South By is traditionally supposed to work, or dreamed to work for the upstart musician.
Tell me about some of your inspirations, or your creative process when you write…
Twain: I meditate quite a lot – in practice, not so much sitting, but in the day. I like to think about problems that are happening in the world, and mostly problems that are happening to me. I think about a lot of internal problems and certain discomfort of the soul and body that I feel. When they become really intense and it’s time to write a song, then that’s how I make the words – thinking about the different problems that I feel.
Every song [on the album Rare Feeling] has a different story, but is there a theme? Or did you write music and it just all came together?
Twain: There’s not a theme. It was mostly some stuff we recorded in my buddy Scott’s toolshed. He’s one of my heroes and he invited us to hang out. We ended up taping most of the record and they were just songs from a couple year’s period of time. I’ve looked for a theme in them and I haven’t found one. There’s love songs for different people, there’s a few songs that are vague, there are spiritual numbers. But the record I’m working on now has a pretty distinct theme: being a man child.
Well what’s next, you said you are working on that next album, when can we expect that? Are there more shows to come?
Twain: In terms of recording, we are going to put out a record over the summer that’s two EP’s. One is Alternator which is out. But the other one is called Radiator and that’s basically side three of Rare Feeling – more songs that didn’t fit on one disk. That will be available over the summer. Hopefully by the end of the year another full length. I’m touring quite a lot. Going back to the East Coast after this and then to Europe for six weeks. And then lots of festivals – Nelsonville Music Festival, the Lost Sierra Hoedown, and then some more exciting ones that I’m not at liberty to discuss yet. It should be a fun summer.
Tune in to hear the full interview with Twain below. Keep checking our Mixcloud page in the coming weeks as more interviews with 2018 SXSW Showcasing Artists are released. You can listen to SXSWfm 24/7 via our online player.
2018 Showcasing Artist, Twain – Photo by Shelby Magness