Matisyahu Talks About Touring with Sublime With Rome and His New Album

Categories: interview
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Beau Grealy
When Matisyahu goes onstage tonight at the House of Blues in Anaheim, it will be after a couple of weeks of touring with Sublime with Rome and the Dirty Heads. But the beat-box master, known for his Hasidic Judaism and spiritual songs, says there's nothing weird about sharing the stage with party bands. 


On touring with Sublime and the Dirty Heads and performing for a party crowd:
 "I've done three weeks of shows with Sublime with Rome, but majority of the dates this summer are my headlining shows. There's a definite SoCal reggae-rock sound, and some of those bands fit my music. My music isn't really party music; it's really not about that. There might be some similarities in style because of the reggae, but that's pretty much it. Music is a spiritual thing to me; I think it's inherent to my music. When I go on stage, I don't tailor my tour to who's in the audience. I just try everyday to do the best I can; I don't change my set too much depending on the audience. If I'm able to get into the music deep enough and sing it and perform well, then people will like it."

On whether his songs are written to uplift audiences spiritually:  "When I write a song, I'm not necessarily thinking about other people or thinking about how I can affect or uplift people. When I write a song, that's just what I do. And I feel music is inside of me. It's just part of who I am. The byproduct is people might listen to it and might be uplifted by it."

Coming up: I'm writing new songs right now; we're going to be recording in a couple of weeks. The first big record I had was Live at Stubbs, most people know me through that live record, with that kind of energy to it. (It was the album with the live version of "King Without A Crown.") We're writing new songs for a new album that has that same kind of energy right now." 

On proving people who called Matisyahu's Hasidic Judaism a gimmick wrong: "My goal is always to get better at what I do; I still feel that I have a long way to go as an artist and a person, and in my talent and abilities. Every single tour, I'm trying to get better at what I do. My goal is to focus on my art. I've never been focused on naysayers or people who had nothing good to say about me. If  you spend your time focusing on that kind of stuff, it just eats away at you."

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