Matthew Good Vancouver-based platinum-selling-in-Canada musician Matthew Good…
- Posted on Mar 20th 2013 3:30PM by Curtis Sindrey
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"My list of songs that I wanted to put on [Old Fighters] was pretty long," Good tells Spinner. "I chose songs like 'Non-Populus' and 'The Fine Art of Falling Apart,' and a few rarities so it was really eclectic."
One notable addition to the album is Good's mega-hit "Apparitions," but unlike the version most widely heard on Good's 1997 Canadian breakout album Underdogs, he opted for the haunting live version that appeared on 2008 concert album Live at Massey Hall.
"I don't play ['Apparitions'] like it sounded on Underdogs at all, nor have I since the band broke-up," Good explains. "The one song that I have to play every fucking show of my life, 'Apparitions' had to evolve and if I look back in time I could have played it acoustically then like I do now, but I wasn't in that mind-frame because I was 25 or 26 years old and I wanted to hear big guitars."
Good's forthcoming album will be called Arrows of Desire. Instead of working with long-time producer Warne Livesey (Midnight Oil, The The), who produced 2011's Lights of Endangered Species and 2004's White Light Rock and Roll Review, he opted to produce the record himself because, "I just looked at the material and I knew what I wanted done and budgetarily you have to make those decisions as an artist."
"With Lights of Endangered Species, I needed him 110 percent," Good says. "I needed to be the artist in that situation and I needed him [to be the producer].
"With the completely different direction with this record, this was way more my territory and I know what I was looking for and I was very comfortable in doing it that way."
After getting off the road in support of Lights of Endangered Species, Good rediscovered a lot of music that he grew up with including Hüsker Dü, the Replacements and Afghan Whigs, which, he says set the tone for Arrows of Desire. Good began recording Arrows of Desire in late November 2011 and he finished his vocals within a week.
Good admits that his songwriting has become more succinct over the years as he no longer writes "22 songs for a 10 song album" anymore. He can now freely admit that his past work may not have been that good, despite what his fans might say.
"Last of the Ghetto Astronauts [from 1995] was a fucking horrible album," admits Good. "It's massively immature, the songwriting isn't good, and I think a lot of Underdogs is terrible too, but that's me as the artist looking back on stuff and your editing process back then was to write more material, [instead of] taking a harder look at what you already did.
"As you get older you get better at it and you get better at knowing what you're going to do and what serves the song best. You get better at figuring that stuff out before you go into the ring."
For the title, Good drew inspiration from the forward to a poem by William Blake called "And Did Those Feet in Ancient Time," which serves as the preface to his epic "Milton a Poem."
"[Arrows of Desire] goes back into far more metaphorical territory like [1999's] Beautiful Midnight was," says Good. "I don't know if my personality is dark entirely, but it's not like I'm writing about unicorns and rainbows on this album. This is a Matt Good record!"
The phrase "first world problems," which was first coined by Good in Matthew Good Band's 1995 song "Omissions of the Omen" with the lyrics: "someone would love to have my first world problems" has blown up into a cultural zeitgeist and Good's original message of illustrating the often hollow complains made by those in the "first world" has since spawned videos and memes.
Success like this has never been important to Good.
"Artistically you create what you create and it's always an ongoing thing," he says. "You put things compartmentally into context in regards to where you are in your life and you go on and do something else."
Good has developed a well-earned reputation for being mercurial over the years. One of the things that would anger him is invasiveness of fame. By the time he was a platinum selling artist in Canada he had come up with a definitive opinion about it.
"By the time Beautiful Midnight was at its peak I couldn't walk down the fucking street," he says. "I wouldn't wish global fame on my worst enemy. How could you ever conduct a normal life?"
"For me, fame [is] the definition of insanity and that's coming from someone who is mentally ill."
The collection of hits comes ahead of his sixth solo studio album Arrows of Desire's release in September.