Matt Kramer Interview

Lascivious Records© 2002, 1814 NE Miami Gardens Drive, #606, N. Miami Beach FL. 33179
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Matt Kramer (ex- Saigon Kick)
By Brian Coles


VSS Saigon Kick’s "The Lizard" was one of the most beloved of the quirky hard rock albums that squeezed past the formulaic pop hair band euphoria. The early 90’s saw Matt Kramer helm the band for a brief time, gaining cult status and a loyal following, only to have the follow-up destroyed by label meddling and band member differences. After a decade away from the scene, front man Kramer returns with the critically acclaimed "War & Peas", fusing hard rock, playful intellectualism and a fresh bent that was found in Saigon Kick but perhaps even more developed here. Matt pulls no punches telling about his journey away from Saigon Kick and into the next phase of his career. He also has a wicked sense of humor.

BC- Matt, thanks for doing this. Let's play catch up real quick. What happened with Saigon Kick?

MK- Let’s say I was getting ripped off… Yeah they found me on the highway jacked up on blocks, stripped and burning. And broke…… The single "Love is on the way" hit pretty big.. and the new material that was being pushed down my throat by Atlantic, and CERTAIN band members for the new cd (because it was so popy and beautiful, jerk off jerk off) was not up to par or was it Saigon Kick it was the green eyed money monster, Period, and to tell you that I actually quit in Stockholm, Sweden, at the mic singing that dreadful lovely dovey, pop set your wings to take flight love ballad, that ended up as "Waters" first single with an anchor, Appropriately titled "I Love You". And to tell you that I was actually laying down tracks for "The Lizard’s" follow up. And quit call me crazy but I’m not singing that shit. No way plus I was getting fleeced along with 2 other members so it was just a burning ship and I just left before it consumed all of me that would be left.


Basically all in all, the band was lost after we got our deal, and realized money and power were better drugs than the real band that was a hard working group of cats struggling and bonded like brothers, sweating in a warehouse in crack town 6 months earlier.

Fucking Amazing

BC- What have you been busy doing since?

MK- Learning

BC- How long did it take to put together "War and Peas"?
- Was it brewing for years or a spontaneous thing?

MK- 1) My first Producing job actually went pretty smooth, I engineered it as well in my studio Hellcat Studio in Miami, FL. Except the drums and the mix which was done at Skyline Studios in New York, Owned by Drummer extraordinaire Jonathon Mover and The guy who mixed "War & Peas" Ron Allaire. We started drums February 6, 2002 and did the final mixes in September. For a September 11 release.

2) It was a collection of a lot of work, that I had done with a lot of my favorite musicians, and writing buds, That somehow came together when I came up with the title "War & Peas". It all kind of hit at once and made sense with where the world is now, and the song selection kind of took shape after the title was in place.

BC- I hear a similar thread through your stuff and Saigon Kick's...maybe best
described as slightly left field hard rock. Do you think that approach
helped or hindered the band commercially?

MK- Well I think it fogged a lot of peoples lenses and they just couldn’t see where the hell to place the band. But in the long run I know that will help us, become a little boutique kind of favorite little heavy band, that will always have a different angGLE, and make the cds more worth diving deep into.

BC- Your lyrics are more insightful and or abstract than many of your hard
rock peers. Do you try and avoid clichés consciously?

MK- No I try to avoid train wrecks, and getting in any kind of writing routine, then, I try to reflect my experiences, and insight into a real moment, and that brings me to any thing in the fucking world, I could write about as long as it was floating around in the old noggin, and then my short verse like poetry, kind of twists prods, weeps, kills, begs and says LISTEN MOTHER FUCKER !!!! and that describes about 10%.


BC- I noticed a bit of poetry on your site. Is that something you do on the
side? Do you incorporate it into your lyrics?

MK- Actually "War & Peas" is my shortest poem I ever wrote, just a title, and it says everything, yet it keeps you wondering endlessly.

I remember Hearing that John Lennon was always trying to write a twenty second song, and I always thought that was cool, so I guess that’s why I stopped after 3 words.

BC- The album has been out for a few months. How has fan reaction been so far?

MK- The fan reaction has been amazingly strong (being that its my first release since "The Lizard" … But truthfully, it’s an undiscovered cd right now and Im really busting to get this out live on the road, with the musicians that played on "War & Peas", the only draw back that I put this out on my website mattkramer.net ONLY and I’m not owned by AOL, so its going to be a long steady climb to get this even heard by the masses, but I knew that from the start.

BC- I understand you were so excited during your album kick off gig you broke
your ankle onstage! Tell me a bit about that ?

MK- Too much Crown Royal and I’m lucky that’s all I broke. But man it was swollen for weeks. I’m now installing hand rails with little bronze crowns lit up for the stage, as well as a super stage size shower non slip mat, so that wont be happening again, but hey I can drink twice as much and no accidents.

BC- Looking back, is doing a solo album more difficult or easier than a group effort? I imagine having total control is nice but also a big responsibility?

MK- Let’s see what happened in Sweden the last time I tried to do a band record? Uhh Yeah total control is a really cool thing if you’re not a freak about it , and that’s IF you’re really after what’s best for the part.

Wearing all the hats does sometimes suck, But the responsibility of it does make you grow in ways that probably wouldn’t have happened unless that step was taken.
Not to mention now I can be my own producer on the cd and beat myself up verbally saying things like a producer or engineer would say, like get the fuck in there and sing and shut the fuck up otherwise, or like one of my favorites, I put your vocals together with the crap that I first threw on the cutting floor, my engineering made you. Lackey.


BC- Where do you gig primarily?

MK- Chip and Dales haven’t you heard about the knotty pine, just kidding, I don’t have the perfect abs, or smile, no really I have only done one show for "War & Peas" and that was the release party in Ft Lauderdale, FL. But I’m going to do some soft releases In NY and LA, in Late March or April.

BC- What does the immediate future hold for you?

MK- A lot of fucking work, and hopefully a lot of summer touring if I can get on one of these tours going around. Also I have a Stoner Jazz Band that I sing in, and would like to produce that sometime in the near future.

BC- Please let fans know where they can find more info on you and your CD "War and Peas"!
ONLY FOR SALE ON MATTKRAMER.NET

BC- Thanks again and good luck!

MK- Thanks.

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Lascivious Records© 2002, 1814 NE Miami Gardens Drive, #606, N. Miami Beach FL. 33179
Contact Us at Lascivious Records