There are only a few things I remember about the summer that sat between my last day of high school and the start of college, and they’re all music-based. My first Warped Tour, turning down $100 for the barricade at The Used, and seeing Matt Costa open for Jack Johnson. Lyrics from ‘Songs We Sing’ adorned my dorm room until I graduated four years later, so it was a pleasure to exchange words in this manner and dig into Matt Costa’s present, which included talking about his film project, ‘Katabatic Flight,’ his latest single, “The Golden Ghost,’ and touching base about his co-headlining tour with Cayucas.
Kendra: Your name is one that I’ve kept an eye on for years now, having seen you open for Jack Johnson when I was just a wee college freshman. “Astair” is one of my all-time favorite songs by the way, but since then you’ve dropped plenty of albums with your last being 2022’s ‘Donde Los Terremotos: Songs from and Inspired by Film.’ Given you then went on to drop a short film after that, would you say cinema has always driven your music, or is this a recent development?
Matt Costa: Thanks. I’d say music is always visual to me. I search for a picture when I’m making songs sometimes unconsciously, like the visions on the edge of sleeping.
Kendra: You directed and scored the short film, ‘Katabatic Flight.’ Did you approach scoring that differently than any of your previous releases?
Matt Costa: I was using primarily my Moog synth for the 16mm vignettes. I like landscapes when I make music for film, it can be one note sometimes and it carries a lot. Coming from writing as a singer/songwriter for so many years it’s exciting to feel the endless possibilities.
Kendra: In ‘Katabatic Flight’ you compare the wind to a song in that you can hear and feel both, but you cannot see or touch either. With that, if there was one song you love that you could manifest into a physical object and keep, what song would that be?
Matt Costa: I’d say I’m always searching for that, that’s what happens when I try to grasp every song I write. Possibly “Some Velvet Morning” by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood. I have no idea what it’s about, but it sounds like an odyssey; a daydream.
Kendra: Perhaps your latest, “The Golden Ghost?” Because that song spawned from quite an interesting moment. What prompted the meeting between you and this long-lost relative?
Matt Costa: It’s still quite a mystery to me. I’m still trying to grasp it. It’s a personal journey.
Kendra: And you two say your goodbyes and go your separate ways, how long after that did the wheels start turning for this song? Also, what came first, the lyrics or the melody?
Matt Costa: I wrote a few songs with lyrics that I was building towards what has become “Golden Ghost.” So for this one, the lyrics came first. But that’s not always the case.
Kendra: Fans will be able to hear “The Golden Ghost” and more on your co-headlining tour with Cayucas. You’ll be out in October as well as December, even hitting Pioneertown in California. Are there any new cities or venues you’re hitting on this tour that you’ve yet to play that you’re looking forward to checking off your list?
Matt Costa: My drummer Corey Gash loves Cleveland. So anytime we are in Ohio the spirits are high. We go to the museum and have a coffee. I’m looking forward to playing the El Rey in Los Angeles. It’s a hometown show and those are always nice because there are so many friends around. I like the places in between shows stopping in small towns, streets I would never have had an occasion to visit if it wasn’t for music; Grateful for those moments.
Kendra: Lastly, with “The Golden Ghost” out now and a tour already booked, what can we expect as we finish out 2023 and head into 2024?
Matt Costa: I’m working on a few new 16mm projects, continuing to write for a record, a number of collaborations, and a lot more live shows.