When band members can sing, play instruments (and play them well, at that) and have a riotous sense of humor, it doesn’t go unnoticed. Matt Dowling (bass, keys) of DC-based band Deleted Scenes is one of those triple threats. Not to mention he also started his own company aimed at helping others. Helping people. Plenty of decent people don’t volunteer ever, and this guy is dressing the wounds of the bleeding whilst struggling to make a name for himself music-wise.
Deleted Scenes’ Sophomore LP Young People’s Church of the Air, released last fall includes intricate, circuitous songs such as the melancholy “Nassau” and eerily haunting “A Bunch of People Who Love You Like Crazy.” We caught up with Dowling to find out what the DC songster thinks of Texas, and about the hypothetical outcome of a Deleted Scenes vs Deleted Scenes flag football game.
On your Sophomore album, Young People’s Church of the Air, which song was the most rewarding to record?
I think the start-to-finish process within the studio for the recording of “English as a Second Language” was pretty amazing to be a part of. That song was the least developed going into the studio and the initial takes of it were pretty abysmal. We had to try a number of different experiments, such as recording the vocals to tape and messing around with tape speeds, in order to get it right. To see how bad the initial takes were and then see how good (at least we think) the final product was, it made that song particularly rewarding to record.
What terrifies you most about Texas?
If one state could secede from the Union right now and self-sustain is would have to be Texas. In some sense, that is the most terrifying about Texas. Texas could secede and start a war against the rest of the US and probably fare pretty well. Also, the whole Waco – David Koresh thing was pretty freaky…..but also kinda awesome.
Matt, you head a medical research company working on patenting devices that seal rapidly bleeding wounds. 1. As a hard-working musician, that is extremely impressive/admirable and 2. Please explain how you found yourself involved with this.
Well, thank you. Deleted Scenes started almost in conjunction with me starting grad school in bioengineering. During grad school, I was doing research where I stumbled upon a discovery that I thought would have a lot of applications in wound care and hemostasis (stopping bleeding). I submitted a number of patents on the technology and then formed a start-up company around that with a couple of my labmates, and we just kept developing the technology into a number of cool products. Doing a start-up company has a ton of parallels with being in a band, and because I’ve played in bands all my life, doing a start-up came very naturally to me. It’s sort of like “You made this thing,” that thing being either a song or a new technology/product. Now you have to find a way to make people give a shit, which is really not easy, but at its core, it’s the same process for a band or a start-up company.
As the year 2012 concludes, and consequently, the world comes to an end, you notice that your iTunes library starts to dissipate song by song, until you’re left with only one album. Which album is left and why?
I think probably David Bowie “Low.” That album sort of teaches you everything you need to know about songwriting. It shows you how to write pop songs and awesome hooks, and it also shows you how to go really deep with sounds and experimentation. I can’t think of another album that does those things to such a high degree and still “works.” Basically, if only one album is left in existence, that’s a great nugget from which to rebuild music.
Within the band, you pick teams for flag football. Who is on whose team? What is the outcome of the game?
Probably Dominic and I, who are football fanatics, would join a team with the intention of overwhelmingly dominating Dan and Brian, who both couldn’t give less of a sh!t about football. You would think it would make more sense to split the teams more evenly, but I think it would be more interesting and hilarious to have the teams be lopsided. And we’d probably avoid any inter-band tensions doing it that way. The structure would prevent any yelling at one’s own teammates. In a 4 quarter game, I’d estimate Dominic and I would win 152 – 0.
Deleted Scenes will play tonight at Dan’s Silverleaf in Denton. Doors at 8pm Show at 9pm. Tickets are $10 at the door.
Laura Stillo is the Arts & Entertainment Writer and Creative Social Media Producer for YouPlusDallas. Follow her on Twitter at @laurastillo.