By: Kate Myers
We sat down with Matt & Eva of Pacifico at Cobra before their show in Nashville. Check out our conversation below!
Over the life of the project, Pacifico has toured pretty extensively. Having so much experience with writing and touring, what is the most memorable collaboration or tour that comes to mind?
M: My memory is the worst, so a lot of it is a blur. So there were some really great tours back in the day with friends, but I mean the most memorable stuff comes from the crazy stories and dumb stuff we did like shooting fireworks from one van to the other van, things catching on fire, you know, crazy kinds of stuff. But collaborations- when Pacifico started it was like a band band and then at one point, those guys had to quit to do responsibilities and have wives and jobs and bills, so when that happened, they gave me the name and the songs since I wrote the songs and I ended up trying to make it more of a collective, and collaboration has been very important from that point forward. Honestly, each record has been really great, being able to collaborate with different people and also live, its great to get to play with different people. But I think my favorite collaboration was the first album I did after that called Thin Skin And Open Heart and I went to California and worked with one of my heroes, Jason Martin, which was pretty cool and I'm happy with the result.
When you use the word collective, that is so interesting to me and it made me wonder, are you still creating with those original band members you first started Pacifico with, or has it moved more towards new collaborations and writing partners?
M: Mostly the latter, but on this new album, Everest, the bass player is the bass player that was in the first incarnation of Pacifico. The collective thing is basically I write, produce, and arrange, and then everything else is a collective after that.
So Eva, you two are married and now you’re on the road, playing with the band, what is your favorite part about touring and being in Pacifico?
E: So for me, this is a new development. This is the first time I'm actually in the band. I know I have inspired some songs before I was in the band, good and bad I think, but this was an idea of ours that was perfectly timed. His album was coming out and I just graduated from grad school in May and when I graduated,we wanted to go see America and we’ve been married for a while, but never had a honeymoon, so this was kind of a perfect opportunity. So it's new for me, and this is my first time touring, but my favorite part is being part of his team and seeing everything from the inside. It was very awesome to see everything come together from the beginning. Also the tour is really great for us to spend time together, and I haven’t played since high school, so its been great for me as well to gain some more confidence and have this experience.
So largely, Pacifico is a one man operation. What would you say was the most important part of pulling this album and tour together? The album, Everest, came out in October. Did you know that you were going to tour to support the album or did the idea for a tour come after the album?
M: A lot of planning. From the very beginning, I told Eva, if we can make this work, it will be like the biggest heist in history. Trying to finish the album, trying to finish the Indiegogo campaign, trying to book the tour, trying to get all the PR set up right, and then trying to manufacture and release the album and having all of our merch set up correctly was very very stressful. Especially when we were in the middle of the Indiegogo, working jobs and handling all of that was very stressful. There were a couple things that fell by the wayside, like we were supposed to have vinyl before the tour started but we ended up having to pick it up a week into the tour in San Francisco. But it looks great and it wasn't that big of a deal, but there were definitely some hurdles.
E: I think one of the major Reasons Matt is still going as Pacifico and is able to deal with all of this stuff is that he has an incredible amount of positivity and hope. Without that, I don't know if we would be here. I’m generally a more negative person, and His positivity is really what kept us going when things came up.
When the band started out, you tried the traditional industry / label route, showcasing, demoing for labels, etc. What was the turning point that made you decide to do everything independently and to not rely on other people to make things happen?
M: Honestly, it was when most of the guys left the band and I was trying to figure out what to do. I had a label approach me about releasing the songs we never released, which ended up being the album Anthology, which had about 19 songs on it since that was how many songs we had written that were demoed and never ended up getting released because we were doing so much back and forth. And when that label folded, I knew that when you're demoing and showcasing, your life is kind of always on hold and I was just ready to move. I thought “I have the songs, I know what I’m doing, I’m going to write & produce my own album, and have my friends play on it” and it worked out.
I think one of the most impressive thing things listening to both your earlier music through your most recent releases, “Beautiful” and “Go Alone” is that there is a clear, consistent musical influence, yet your last album was written over the span of 3 years or so. Over that time, so much can change in 3 years, how do you stay consistent but creative while still making music your fans want to listen to?
M: We were actually discussing in the car what I wanted to do next creatively. I think that's how my mind works I'm always thinking about what I want to do next. Obviously what you're listening to at the time influences the sound of whatever you're writing and with this particular album, I was writing stuff and it sounded more “Top 40” and “Dancy” so I had to think “What do I do to match this? What do I do to make this sound good, look good and put a pretty bow on top?” So It's a lot of trying to find the right people and pieces to fit together.
So what are the constant influences that no matter what happens, until the day you die, you will always be influenced by that music?
M: There seems to always be Beach Boys and the Beatles influences. A lot of sixties stuff, a lot of britpop from the 90s, Blur, Oasis those guys will always probably be there.
Along those lines, What is a song you wish you wrote that you didn't?
M: “God Only Knows” by Brian Wilson… that song is perfect.
How has it been touring with tracks instead of a full band? Any must have gear for when you’re writing or on the road?
M: So, the tracks or kind of out of necessity. The original idea was to do an acoustic tour, but we realized that acoustic, these songs just wouldn't translate. So we contacted a company called Presonus, and they sponsored our tour, and helped us set up everything. It's been super beneficial because it's just the two of us and we don't have to carry a ton of equipment, which is great. And the go-to gear? I’ve always played hollow-bodies, I love hollow-bodies. I've got a Gretsch and I love it, I'll probably be playing it forever. For this particular album, I wanted a fuzz tone, so I got a fuzz tone pedal from Death By Audio that’s great. I’m not a big gear head, so everything else doesn’t matter all that much to me. I did have a guitar that was custom made for me which is awesome. I love it.
So though the tour is almost over, what is the best way for people to find you and get in touch with what you’re doing?
M: Probably our website, pacificorock.com . From there you can check out our other socials.
Any final thoughts you want to share?
M: We just hope people like the album. We are really proud of it. We’ve had a great time on the store and we just thank everybody for their love and support.