“Either you get good at being yourself or you get good at being someone else.” For Matt Boyer, this is the pavement in the road that has been traveled.
The once-guitarist for the acclaimed touring band, Sun Kil Moon, Boyer has laced his tires with new tread and has set his odometer on 000,000. For while he has traveled many musical miles, Matt Boyer is now dropping his indie rock status and starting over. Having moved to Denver in early 2005 in an effort to begin anew, Boyer is walking the Queen City’s streets as any other man: On his own. Unrecognized. Unmentioned.
For this, Denver is lucky.
But for Boyer, the move to Denver wasn’t such a stretch. “Bands that play Chicago also play Denver,” Boyer stated, meaning that he believes venues are filling for the right reasons. And for Boyer, this was enough of an impetus to pick Denver as his new home.
However unafraid Boyer is about moving on, and starting over – he is as equally unafraid to talk about his past; and the road that has seen him fulfill his musical goals: Of becoming himself. Of touring Europe. Of his influences.
Having played the circuit in Indianapolis a multitude of times, and having become a well respected fixture on the Indy scene, Boyer was working at his day job several years ago when the call came. It was Todd Robinson, owner of Luna Music – who said that Mark Kozelek, of the Red House Painters, was interested in using Boyer for his upcoming European tour. Having only heard Kozelek’s, “What’s Next to the Moon” a few months prior and having subsequently fallen in love with the album – Boyer was astonished. The work that he would end-up performing with Kozelek and Sun Kil Moon on their European tour would enable Boyer to fulfill one of his childhood dreams.
Matt Boyer is unashamed about the eccentric collage of music that has helped shaped his musical past, and present. The spectrum ranges from everything unacceptable and even laughed at by the hipsters – heroic guitar rock, 80’s and 90’s progressive rock and technical rock acts such as Rush. For Boyer and his careful ears, everything has had an impact. And the impact has received its light in his achievement: Of becoming himself. Of touring Europe.
His demeanor is unassuming. His tone, in voice, is quiet, and polite. And while he is soft-spoken, he is articulate. Boyer’s EP, "Sukuinage", is as equally unassuming as his character – on the surface. In its essence, it is a man with his guitar, strumming and plucking and singing. In this sense it is, obviously, derivative. But digging a little deeper, one begins to see a sparse and often eerie work. As it holds its deep space because of its tone, "Sukuinage" is also a startlingly beautiful collection. And the album is all the more remarkable considering that it was recorded in its entirety, in one night.
In "Sukuinage", Boyer’s fundamental aim, which seems to be at the base of his all the reasons for making music in the first place – of remaining authentic and honest – has found yet another medium to concretize and blossom.
Boyer’s guitar playing is rich, with lots of alternate tunings and use of open, bellowing strings. But just as often as his guitar work is hearty and thick in tone, Boyer’s string work is also light, airy and melodic. And his dense, playful lyrics, penned in notebooks scattered around his life are, at times, brilliant. Poignant. Relevant. Statuesque.
Working from the premise that he will write about that which he knows, Boyer can be seen as the common man: Struggling with love. And dealing with all the four letter words that encompass life and the love that people give and take within the mix.
Come out and see Matt at the hi-dive on January 12. And then stay tuned with Matt’s upcoming shows and forthcoming project, The Artic Sound, at: www.mattboyer.com .