Matt Pond took his lemons and made lemonade
Usually when people say “break a leg!” actual bodily harm isn’t what they have in mind. But unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to Matt Pond.
“Right before we really got into [producing] the album, I broke my leg on tour,” Pond says. “And it led to this shift in the way I thought about what I was doing. Sometimes, when you’re doing what you love, you feel locked into it. It can become a routine. So when I broke my leg, I realized I really did love [making music] and there isn’t anything else I want to be doing.”
In the end, the accident helped determine the direction and feel of his most recent record, The Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hand. “I just learned to appreciate what I was doing and that was kind of the lens that I looked at while making this last album,” he explains.
The songs on Lives focus largely on relationships and the importance of connecting with other people. The first single, “Love to Get Used,” explores what happens when we become desperate for love, while the catchy pop-rock number “Let Me Live” has a more playful, flirtatious feel to it.
“I would not say that I am a religious person, and as much as someone might punch me in the face for saying this, I do believe in love,” says Pond. “It does exist and it makes people crazy and it is a really powerful thing. It takes you out of your body and that’s amazing. That’s the goal. Unfortunately, it’s fleeting and it can’t be controlled, but that’s why it’s even more amazing.”
Equally amazing is how prolific Pond has been over the last 15 years. With nearly 20 albums and EPs to his credit, he certainly has not been lacking in subjects to write about. But in an age where bands implode after only one or two albums, how has he managed to keep on coming up with fresh material?
“I don’t want to sound like a puppy calendar, but every day is a new day,” Pond laughs. “Every day is like an adventure, or it should be anyway. And it doesn’t always have to be an awesome adventure, it should just be that you’re always finding out about something. I don’t believe that just plain happiness is the ultimate goal of all of us. I believe finding things is.”
As time goes by, Pond has found that making music—however challenging it can be at times—is what he is most passionate about.
“I love being connected to people, but it’s really hard for me to do unless I’m writing music,” Pond confesses. “Music is the closest thing to a physical representation of the beliefs or thoughts I have. It really puts you in this position of expressing everything about yourself. There are things I say in songs that I could never say to another person—and I like that. But it’s not totally comfortable all the time either. Music can be a very awkward experience for everyone, but I like to try. That’s what it will say on my tombstone: ‘He tried.’”
Matt Pond opens for Jimmy Eat World at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21 at The Catalyst Club, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $30/adv, $33/door. For more information, call 423-1338.
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