This year has really been good to me. Here’s another interview from an artist who had a major impact on my youth and influenced how how I hear music and pushed me to discover a variety of artists that I wouldn’t have sought out if not for the work they did with him. Matthew Sweet ‘s Girlfriend came out when I was 16 and a Junior in High School, Altered Beast was released just as I graduated and was about to enroll at GSU. I’ve worn out CDs and cassette copies of both of these records over the past 20 years, they’ve been required listening on road trips all over the country and been the soundtracks for new love and heartbreaks alike. These records also led me to other cherished groups that included the featured gutarists Robert Quine, Richard Lloyd and Ivan Julian, such as Richard Hell & the Voidoids, Television and John Zorn, as well as cementing my great love of harmony and in the process opened up my musical tastes in ways I’m not sure I even fully grasp.
I’d tried valiantly to bring Matthew Sweet into our studios in 2011 when his breakthrough album Girlfriend was celebrating it’s 20th anniversary. With another anniversary for the equally fantastic album Altered Beast slated for 2013, I reached out to his people and this time the stars aligned and we were able to set things up. Matthew performed four songs acoustically, two each from these classic albums (“I’ve Been Waiting” and “Winona” from Girlfriend plus “Ugly Truth” and “Time Capsule” from Altered Beast), along with his friend Paul Chastain on harmony vocals. From almost two hours chatting together about his career we have these two hour-long interviews, filled with music and stories from both albums with part one primarily focused on Girlfriend and part two focused on Altered Beast (this is the uncensored version that includes a few words I had to clean up for broadcast because of those sensitive ears over at the FCC). I hope you enjoy hearing this as much as I enjoyed putting it together, this was truly one of the highlights of my entire radio career. Big thanks to Joe Stahl and Rebecca Cayce for setting things up, Stan Misraje for his sound engineering and most of all to Matthew Sweet for his candor and generosity in sharing his time and all of his music with us.