This is an interview I did with MusiqArts magazine in Second Life:
MATTHEW PERREAULT : THE VIRTUAL MATTHEW SHOW
Written by Liza Veliz
Published: 24 May 2014
Matthew Perreault, (Matthew Broyles RL) has his own band, the matthew show, in RL and he performs several days each week in Second Life. I met him at the venue of MusiqArts right before his solo gig and the first thing I asked him is of course how he found Second Life.
MP: In 2006, I spotted a small mention of Second Life in Popular Science magazine. I was staying at home all day with my new baby, so I wanted to be able to check out live music while he was napping. It turned out to be a good avenue for me to perform and also carry out my dad duties.
LV: Does it benefit your RL career to be here?
tms: It is a definite benefit to my RL music career. I've met many people who have helped me make my music outside SL, and playing as often as I do in here has sharpened my skills quite a bit. Since I play many times a week, it encourages me to learn new material to keep things from getting stale. That helps stretch my music muscles. In RL, there is much more competition from other stimuli. Loud drunks, random traffic noises, plus the vagaries of the room's acoustics. In SL, it's just your music. I like that uncluttered presentation. Plus I'm an introvert, so having my own space while performing helps me relax. I still enjoy doing RL shows, but they are definitely a different beast. SL shows have loosened my anxiety about RL shows, because I know for a fact I can do it. Often in RL, I just close my eyes and pretend I'm at home.
LV: Do you get groupies?
tms: I've had a few stalkers, but they've been friendly ones. The type of music I do doesn't tend to attract the hardcore crazies, either in RL or SL. I think musicians often unintentionally invite that sort of behavior. If you're on stage, you have some sort of need to be recognized and appreciated, and anyone who gives that gets preferential treatment. Fortunately for me I have a happy marriage, so my need for acceptance is lower. Possibly too low, as I often piss people off. Mostly just by not doing what they tell me to do."Learn this tune!" "No." "Upgrade your av!" "No." I've been doing music for 23 years, and it's fairly common. People often think they should "help" musicians by giving them advice. And again, there you are out on stage, putting yourself up for judgment by anyone and everyone. So I'm not surprised.
LV: You are your own manager I guess?
tms: Yes, with some help from the good folks at Music Not Politics, one of SL's oldest promotion companies. Run by Throughthesewalls Moody, a good friend.
LV: What was the best concert you had in here? And which was the absolute worst?
tms: Hmm. There've been a LOT of shows, it's hard to narrow them down. I would say that when I was the 2nd performer in the Live N Kickin' series many years ago, that was cool. Probably the largest audience I've ever had, plus it was simulcast online. But I've also been part of some amazing benefit shows, which is one reason I love SL. Worst shows would be any and all that have involved technical difficulties. I don't get thrown off by many things, but glitches will do it.
LV: What benefit shows do you like to do the most?
tms: Ones that help people I know. I did one recently to help Jordan Reyne, who is an amazing performer. All of her gear had fried, and she makes a lot of her living through online performance, so we got together and did a show to replace her gear. Things like that are great, and really show the spirit of community that SL can have at it's best.
LV: Do you perform with other musicians or solo?
tms: Depends on the show. I often dual-stream with Beth Odets (Beth Brown RL), who is also in my RL band. I send my stream to her, then she adds her stream to mine, and the mix gets sent to SL. Occasionally I do full band shows. Those I generally have to get everyone in the same room for, so they're less frequent.
LV: Is it financially benefiting for you to do SL?
tms: It is, but of course like the music industry at large, it's not much. Shows in here can drive mp3 sales and RL awareness, though, which is beneficial for someone who can't tour physically.
LV: Do you tour physically in RL?
tms: No, not really. I'm the primary caretaker for my son, so I gotta wait till he's old enough mind himself. But I do play locally in RL.
LV: Did you enlarge your audience a lot by doing SL you think?
tms: Yes, I have many fans spread out geographically that I would never have gotten otherwise. And met people locally who I wouldn't have met in all likelihood. Beth, for instance. We met at a SL jam. Even though we were living not far from each other, we'd never met in RL till then. We met at the 2009 Dallas SL jam.
LV: You mostly do your own material I guess?
tms: It's about 50/50. A lot of my covers are reinterpretations of other songs, so they're almost originals...
LV: Is it different to write for SL audience then for RL audience? Does it affect the format?
tms: In terms of shows, yes. If you're playing in a RL bar, you have to keep it a little louder. But I write a lot of things that are quieter, knowing that there are people online who will listen.
LV: When did you gain interest for music?
tms: I was in junior high school before I cared anything about music.The reason was mostly loneliness, and seeking refuge in music. That's when I discovered Pink Floyd, the Beatles, and artists who seemed to speak my language. My goal remains to give people a voice in dark places. I feel that I've done that, and have received comments to that effect. As long as that's being accomplished, I'm happy. Originally I was going to be a comedian. Weird Al Yankovic was my first hero. But Pink Floyd really put me on the path I'm still on.
LV: When you write lyrics do you have a favourite theme?
tms: They only come when something is bothering me, so it changes depending on circumstances. Generally they're about difficulty in understanding what most people are on about all the time. My song The World Of One Percenters is probably my best effort on that front. It predates the "1 percent" economic thing, and actually refers to the 1% of the population I feel I can interface with. I can get along with people, but there are only so many that I feel I have a real connection with. There are social pressures to conform, and the path of least resistance is much easier. My second album, february, covers a lot of that line of thinking. I interviewed several people for it, and interspersed their thoughts with the music.
LV: You do a kind of music journalism?
tms: Yes. I sometimes call it docu-pop. I became interested in photo monographs and other forms of documentary composition a few years ago, and thought it could integrate well with the type of music I do. I have an ongoing podcast series, The Band That Never Was, which takes that to its logical extreme.
LV: What's next then?
tms: I've been trying my hand at prose lately. The ideas I have these days are longer form than song-length, so I'm chasing that muse a bit. I'm keeping details in my hat for the moment while it's out to some trusted test-readers, but I can say that it's speculative fiction. With any luck, it'll be out late this year or early next.
LV: Do you still live in Texas?
tms: Yes, in Fort Worth. It's where I was born, and after a few years in New York, I find that I belong here more than I originally thought. Being in NYC really helped me to form my creativity into a shape that I wouldn't have if I'd stayed here all my life, but it is sort of like college: Good while you're there, but you can't stay. In my case, anyway.