INTERVIEW: Matthew Mirliani
by Cyrus Rhodes
“End of Our Age” is Mirliani's latest release and the result though far from a self-indulgent ego trip, rather a moving and elegiac artistic statement from start to finish. This is not your overly predictable Ramon Noodle Ambient Artist. Instead Rodriguez could be classed as a 4 genera artist: Ambient, Chill, Dub and Progressive Industrial. Rodriguez has way too much precision and clarity to live in the shadows of overly-predictable Ambient/Chill. Indeed this is clearly evident in songs like “Spotlight” Joshua” and “Drums” which methodically ups the ante to a very respectable level of catchy musical expression and craftsmanship that transcends pigeonholing.
IMD What do you want fans to take from your music?
SVR I want my fans to know where my music comes from. When I listen to my favorite artists, I not only get lost in the music itself, but I also try
to understand what inspired the lyrics. More than anything, I want people to relate to me. I want to be remembered.
IMD Who are some of your top musical influences?
SVR I grew up performing in a Southern Baptist Church, so my first musical influences came from gospel music, contemporary Christian artists and Christian musicals. The first pop record I owned was Avril Lavigne’s Let Go when I was in third grade. I started writing music at 12 after being introduced to Steely Dan and Donald Fagen. To this day, Fagen’s album “The Nightfly” is one of my biggest influences. My earliest songs were inspired by the album’s jazz-rock sound as well as the instrumentations of the Christian music I listened to. The dance music of British singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor and the bubblegum sound of Britney Spears inspired the first pop songs I recorded at 13. As I continued writing throughout high school, I started to be inspired by Kanye West and Owl City, and eventually Radiohead and Lana Del Rey. Lana Del Rey and Katy Perry inspire my live performances.
IMD What was the best concert you guys have ever been to?
SVR I saw Barenaked Ladies in Charlotte, NC. Though I did not grow up listening to their songs, the concert was exhilarating. I could really experience the power of live performance and what effects it has on the audience. The sound and staging were incredible,and it was overall a fantastic and uplifting experience.
IMD Tell us about your latest release?
SVR End of Our Age was written last year after I graduated from high school. It’s about reflecting upon how my life is changing, and the big transition from high school to college. It’s the second album I’ve officially released. The first album was called Shy on the Dancefloor and was a pop-dance record. I really wanted to make End of Our Age more ambient and more abstract, while still keeping the songs based on my everyday life.
IMD What’s the best and worst things about being an Independent Artist in your area or locale?
SVR Well, as a 19 year old, it’s hard to get attention for my music. That is probably the worst thing. Also, there are not a lot of opportunities for young singer-songwriters in my hometown of Alexandria, VA. But, as a student member of the Recording Academy, I am able to network with people outside of my area. The best thing about releasing an album in high school was that the tight-knit community allowed the word to spread quickly.
"II want my fans to know where my music comes from. When I listen to my favorite artists, I not only get lost in the music itself, but I also try to understand what inspired the lyrics."
- MatthewMirliani -
IMD Do you remember the first song you ever wrote?
SVR After hearing Fagen’s “The Nightly” and Steely Dan’s “Aja,” I began writing little songs here and there on the piano, cello, or on the computer. I didn’t write my first pop song, though, until I was 13. It was called “Shy on the Dancefloor,” and it was inspired by a middle school dance and Sophie Ellis-Bextor. I recorded it during the spring of my seventh grade year. Funny thing is, I didn’t release it until my junior year of high school. I can really say that started everything. After I wrote that song, I continuously made pop-dance records throughout middle school and high school. I tried out different sounds and stage names in every project.
IMD Is there a track that stands out on your latest release that stands out as being your personal favorite?
SVR The song “Joshua” means the most to me. I wrote it after hearing a sermon at my church about how Joshua in the Bible asked God to stop the sun from setting so that he could win a battle. I wrote the song about leaving high school and asking God to stop time so that I could enjoy the last few moments of my life back home. It’s also starting to apply to my life in college. I’m learning more about myself, and I want to take the time to enjoy all of life’s surprises and pleasures.
IMD What’s the best thing about performing live?
SVR I grew up doing theater, so performing live is just very comfortable for me. I love relating with the audience and seeing how they react to my music. I also like how I can go beyond the recording with my emotions and convey my message more clearly.
IMD Any touring scheduled to support?
SVR The only performances I have done to promote the album have been at small venues at Dartmouth College and in Hanover, NH. I am planning to perform somewhere in the D.C. area when I’m back home.
IMD What’s next for Matthew Mirliani
SVR I am about to release another EP called “Suburban Development.” Other than that, I’m not sure what else is next. I’m optimistic though. My ultimate goal is to sign with a record label, and work with a group of songwriters to construct and solidify my sound. I’m planning on just going with the flow, keeping an eye out for opportunities, and continuing to do what I love.
interview conducted by Cyrus Rhodes. Property of Indie Music Media LLC.
Copyright © 2013
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