2015 album project // Matthew backstory

Hey y’all, Matthew here. So far the blog has been all Marcy with a few mentions of me, but since we’re called The King Crew, I figured I needed to go ahead and actually participate. So here I am, world, whether you’re ready for me or not!

My wife Marcy is so cool, because she’s got these great projects like Twelve Blankets One Year and her 2015 Goals [for real though, check those out if you haven’t]. As far as my projects go, sometimes it feels like there are so many things I want to do and I never take enough time to sit down and focus on just one long enough to really finish it or make something worthwhile.

For example, I’ve had a few blogs over the years that each eventually fell into disuse since my focus moved on to something else. I’ve had my hand in film, graphic design, photography, music, leather working, a tiny bit of woodworking, painting, and more. Sometimes your heart has so many passions, hopes, and dreams, you never follow through long enough to see any real fruit from them.

So here’s the deal: Marcy’s inspired me to do something about my indecision and split affections. This year I am going to write and record an album. There! I said it! Now to actually do it!

Music runs in the family, so really it’s about time I did something more with it. My father has played guitar and piano for many years, writing songs and serving as the worship leader at our church. My mother studied piano performance in college and is a truly amazing musician. Two of my sisters played in marching band and wind ensemble in high school, one of whom traded out the clarinet for a chance to sing in the chorus instead. My third sister played in a jazz band with me for several years in middle and high school. You could say we have a knack for it.

Mom taught us all to read music on piano from a young age, which I was not too happy about then. Looking back, I’m so grateful for the way it’s impacted my life. After piano, I started playing trumpet in 5th grade and kept playing until halfway through college. In middle school I picked up my father’s first guitar, a beautiful electric guitar made in the 60s [there’s no brand name on it, just a generic music store guitar, but it was certainly cool to me].

My first guitar (and also my father’s). One day I’ll replace the pickups and tuners and get it rocking again.

Later on in high school I became obsessed with the Finnish metal band Apocalyptica, whose members all play cello. I had to do it too, so after saving up, I bought a cheap cello on eBay and began taking lessons.

Even with all these instruments [most recently I’ve started learning the mandolin], it’s always come back to the guitar for me. Throughout middle and high school I practiced as often as I could, always wanting to get better. I took lessons from Barre Gambling of Daylight Dies, a melodic death metal band from here in NC. Barre was a great teacher and really helped me understand a lot more about the guitar than I ever knew was possible. I kept at it, and eventually began playing with my dad during our church services.

One thing that really frustrated me during that time was not being able to sing and play at the same time. When you’re learning, sometimes it’s all you can do to remember how to play each chord. You spend all your time thinking about finger placement and not having a super awkward strumming pattern, so then having to think about singing at the same time? No way. It took me at least 3 years to feel comfortable with singing and playing at the same time [sometimes it’s still a challenge]. So if you’re struggling with that, just keep trying. It takes work, but you’ll get it eventually!

In high school I began to try my hand at songwriting. I was awful. I mean, you’re not going to write good songs right off the bat, but man oh man was I terrible. I eventually became convinced that songwriting was not for me and stopped trying to write. It wasn’t until college that I tried again. I don’t really remember why, but I just felt like I had it in me to do it at that point. I wrote one song and played it at our youth group where I led worship, and no one seemed fazed or annoyed at how bad it was, so that was encouraging! Maybe I can do this!

Anyway, enough back story. In the past year I’ve gotten back into writing songs. I really enjoy it and I’d really like to share it with others, so that’s my goal. This year I will write and record a whole album, and you get to see the progress along the way! Woohoo for you! So stay tuned and you’ll hear from me soon.

Working on the first song!
2015 album project // Matthew backstory

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