Vancouver rocker Matthew Good is celebrating life these days.
After having endured a few rough years of personal struggle during which he was both divorced and diagnosed as bi-polar (as documented on his 2007 record Hospital Music), Good has many reasons to be joyful. Among other things, his newest record Vancouver is now in stores and he will be playing Oxygen Nightclub in Moncton on Thursday, Dec. 3.
It is great to have perspective on the ups and downs of the past decade, as far as Good is concerned. In fact he is just plain grateful to be still making music for a living.
“You put everything into context at the end of the day,” Good says from his Vancouver home. “At the age I’m at now, I’m grateful that my career didn’t end after three records and that I was able to continue making music. I can sit here today and be proud that I never pandered to those voices on high who wanted to interject their opinions as to what my music needed to be an even greater success.”
Recorded in Vancouver in January and February of this year, Good’s latest record is the second effort he has self-produced after having worked with producer Warne Livesey for some of his most commercially successful records.
“Warne and I remain extremely good friends. We had worked together for so bloody long that it became obvious to me that I’m in a position that I can produce my records. I love working with Warne though and could definitely see working with him again in the future.”
While there seems to be a mass exodus of bands leaving major labels, Good re-signed his deal with Universal Music Canada, one of only four major labels remaining in the country. Good’s previous success afforded him the position of being able to leverage that success into negotiating a better deal at the end of the day.
“My contract with Universal had come to an end and my A&R person was one of the few people I still had a solid relationship with at the label,” Good says. “So when it came time to explore my options, he and I met. One major sticking point that I had with re-signing to the same label was that (Universal) had placed the debt from the Matthew Good Band onto my solo contract and I wasn’t necessarily happy with that. But they ended up agreeing to absolve the debt so I agreed to sign back on with the company. With the current state of the music business, it made a lot of sense.
“One of the only things I wanted out of this new deal was for them to be cool with bringing outside promotional and marketing people in to help promote Vancouver. I wanted to be sure we had all avenues open to sell this record and they were amicable to those ideas,” he says.
When my discussion turned towards the upcoming Olympic Games in Vancouver, Good becomes instantly passionate about how the games aren’t going to be the magic wand to solve the city’s problems by any means.
“For anyone to think that what is going to happen in February is going to be fantastic for the city is naive and holding onto some preconceived notion that the Olympics will serve as some kind of launching point for the city. The Olympics no longer serve any purpose. More importantly, Vancouver is not set up to hold the Olympics.
“For the amount of money being spent on the Olympics, how many schools could you have built?” he asks rhetorically. “The IOC says that these are the most expensive games that they have ever dealt with and everyone knows that the debt associated to the games will be paid off by people who had no say on holding the Olympics in Vancouver.
“Think about what we could have done with that money,” he continues. “BC has the highest child poverty rate in Canada and I think it is tough to justify holding the Olympics when there are so many other pressing issues that could be attended to.
“It is a f#ck#n’ nightmare.”
See a well spoken and well versed Matthew Good live at Oxygen Nightclub on Thursday, Dec. 3. Vancouver band Mother Mother will be opening the show. Advance tickets to the show are available via www.ticketpro.ca and at Read’s Newsstand, 985 Main Street, Moncton.