We had the good fortune of connecting with Theo Matz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Theo, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I would consider myself a fairly risk averse person. I typically avoid situations that would be unsafe or life threatening. I haven’t taken many risks when it comes to my music, I haven’t quit my day job to pursue it full time and I haven’t done any risky financial moves. That being said, I definitely like risk, I really enjoy outdoor sports that many consider dangerous and risky, rock climbing, scuba diving, backpacking, etc. So I definitely have the capacity for risk, but I think of it as a calculation before I take one. At the start of the pandemic I was very worried and it felt like every little thing one did was considered risky, if not for you than risk for someone else. That made me re-evaluate a lot of the risks I’ve never taken, and it made me look forward to taking risks in the future, because a lot of things we consider risky are not so, they are in fact very safe but can feel risky due to embarrassment, prospect of failure or otherwise. I think up until now I’ve had a fairly risk averse path, and I’m looking forward to taking more, especially with music, because I think some of the most beautiful art is made when risks were taken. I’m also looking forward to touring with the band when the pandemic is over, which I’ve always thought of as a risk, but I think it’s time.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I write songs and lead a band called American Sigh. I started it after college as a vehicle for the songs that I write, which can range from indie rock to folk. I’m really proud of the first record I made called “Songs for the New Sincerity”, it feels great to have a song written and recorded that you can show people. It feels like a time capsule to me, because I’m often writing about people and things happening in my life at the time. The inspiration for the band is a general desire to be honest and earnest in all ways, on a personal level and on a greater level, the disappointment that comes with modern life and living in America. I often find myself sighing about a lot of things. Right now I’m finishing up an album with a bunch of great people and I’m really excited to share the album when it’s ready. I’m hoping that this album will reach a wider audience because I think it is a great showcase of the songs and the talents of everyone involved in its making. One thing I’ve learned about the process of music is that it has to be self-driven, to chase it without regard for the craft itself doesn’t work. I find that my internal drive is what keeps me going and wanting to write another great song or play another great guitar riff. The success hopefully becomes a byproduct of doing what you truly love.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’d probably get sushi at Kabuki, go canoeing at Riverbend park, go to the Norton Museum to see some amazing art, and go to Clematis for a great show at Voltaire. And if the night went late enough I’d get some late food at Keese’s.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I owe a ton to my parents, they got me music lessons when I was a kid and have encouraged me to get to where I’m at now. They always encouraged me to persevere when learning a new instrument, because it was often frustrating and very difficult. I think a lot of my songs I owe to the friends I’ve had a long the way, they seem to find their way into the songs one way or another. The music community in West Palm Beach has been a great support system as well, all the local venues like Respectable Street and Voltaire, and the great music magazine PureHoney. I love the scene that has been built here and I’m glad to be a part of it in some way.
Joshua Kane, Nothing Negative Company