IED Exclusive Interview: Matt Jaffe’s New Album Offers Different Listening Experience

Temperature’s rising but San Francisco alt-rocker Matt Jaffe plays it cool and still packs a punch in his new music video, “Fever”, the carrier single of his upcoming album, “The Spirit Catches You”.  

Matt Jaffe is a 23 year old rock & roll singer/songwriter from San Francisco. Cutting his teeth on countless open mics around the Bay Area, Matt started taking music (a little bit) more seriously when Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads offered to produce his first record. Since then, Matt has continued to churn out more songs than he can remember the words to, oversaturate the market with gigs (opening and/or touring with the likes of Mavis Staples, Tommy Castro, Wilco, Jackie Greene, Melissa Etheridge, and Blues Traveler), and collaborate with Chuck Prophet and Tom Higgenson of the Plain White T’s. With his band, Matt has played stages across the USA, including The Fillmore, The Troubadour, and Irving Plaza. Fresh off the release of his second LP, California’s Burning, Matt Jaffe is street-teaming with the best of them to bring the guitar gospel to the masses.

However, instead of resting on his laurels, Matt said that he is going to up the ante for their third album, “The Spirit Catches You”, exploring some slow-burner and mid-tempo gait and offering fans a different listening experience. TSCY contains 12 all-original constructs which are labor of love and great collaborations with friends from the music industry.

With the album release just around the corner, it was fortunate that Infected Eardrum was able to catch up with Matt Jaffe on Twitter. Here’s the full transcript of our short interview:

IED: How does your full-length ‘The Spirit Catches You’ differ from your previous releases?

Matt Jaffe: The main difference is the space and pace of the production process. For my first two albums, I used as few studio days as possible and relied on material with which the band was familiar from live shows. For the new record, we really tried to look at which songs would cohere most naturally as a listening experience, not just which were the most convenient to hammer out. Plus, plenty of dedicated overdubbing days allowed for the more textural ambience throughout the record.

IED: ‘Fever’ seems to eschew from your usual palette and features a more subdued version of you we’ve never heard of you before. Will that be the tone in new album?

Matt Jaffe: There are more ballads, and even the rockers rely less on buzzsaw rhythm guitars for motor oil. Elvis Costello once said he was really a ballad-singer who just happened to make his name with up-tempo numbers. When I first heard that, I thought it was ridiculous. Now I get it. This album marks a greater divergence from my live performances than previous outings. I would need more than my typical power trio (or less, as the case may be) to communicate these songs in concert. I’m (okay) with different experiences listening to an album vs. seeing a show; as a matter of fact, I’d be dissatisfied if they were the same. But I do hope that my records will gradually yield further to the softer material that has driven me so much recently. All the while, there’s a reason that dancing songs rule the disco.

IED: Matt, you’ve inspired a countless young people since Blast Off, what are your plans to put forth your music across a wider international audience?

Matt Jaffe: With my ongoing Indiegogo campaign, I’ve been able to offer merch to folks all over the world (props to Japan, UAE, Australia, UK, among others for taking advantage!). and I hope it’ll be just the first step in connecting with a global community. It’s a significant leap from connecting via social media to actually touring to audiences abroad, but I’m optimistic that I may have that opportunity someday.

Let us support Matt Jaffe so he can continue to play music for us. “The Spirit Catches You” November 9, 2018. Pre-save the new album on Spotify here:

Want to know more about Matt Jaffe? Please visit these links:




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