Video Interview :: Jonah Matranga

“It’s really nice to meet you, and I’m not just saying that”

Early last month we sat down for another chat with Jonah Matranga. We’ve established on the podcast that he’s the nicest man in the world and that’s been proven with his latest UK tour. Unofficially titled the ‘Manglefoot’ tour, due to his foot being mangled by a van in New York city, Jonah played a series of small dates in the UK and the one in Manchester was a whole lot of fun.

We talked to Jonah about writing a record with his fans, how best to deal with being heckled and a whole bunch of other stuff. Check out the video – yet another Dicking Around Production – below.

Podcast :: Under The Bridge – Episode 3: Limited To 1,000 Hand Numbered Copies!

“I’ve had three cans of cider in a very short time, and I am angry” – Ian Critchley

So we’re back with a third episode. This week we talk even more shit, but it’s less drunken. Our main topic this week is on music awards and more Jonah Matranga stuff (there’s some awesome quotes for you). We’ve also got a lot of news to get through, a more current what we’ve been listening to and we actually have emails!

Also: Ian and I speak French, Ian expresses his love for Derek Perry and we have some Blink-182 skits in here too!

Go on, have a listen:

Under The Bridge – Episode 3: Limited To 1,000 Hand Numbered Copies!

Show Notes

Under The Bridge Podcast  – Episode 3: Limited To 1,000 Hand Numbered Copies!
With: Anthony Barlow & Ian Critchley
Guests: N/A

Hello and welcome to Episode 3 of Under The Bridge, the official podcast of Moon & Back Music. My name’s Anthony Barlow, assistant editor at Moon & Back. Moon & Back’s official drunkard, Ian Critchley is with me too. How’s it going?
So last week was more of a success than the last and we hope to continue that trend with the third episode. We also received a little bit of criticism and some kind words for, one, John Berna. More from him later on. First we’d better do the news, because there’s loads of it.

  • News
    • Frank Turner’s finished some demos!
      • New EP supposedly coming in November
      • New single ‘Try This At Home’ out now!
        • Get the 7” from Banquet Records
    • AC/DC to release new live album
    • Alice Cooper auditioning for freaks
    • The Starting Line confirm new tour
    • No word on any UK dates
    • The Misfits to play Reading/Leeds?
    • Nope. It was a misquote.
    • Chuck Ragan to support Gaslight?
    • It’s not like we know anything about this *nudge, nudge, wink, wink*
    • Yellowcard are coming back
      • New album out early next year
    • Deadmau5 collapses on stage in Washington, DC
    • Lady Gaga avoids sex because she fears her creativity will suffer
    • No, it’s because she’s actually a bloke!
    • Justin Bieber is working on his memoirs
    • Argentina/Barcelona footballer, Lionel Messi to form Oasis cover band
      • This is the best news ever.
    • Fake Problems have won Moon & Back’s ‘Best Album Of 2010’ award, even before the album has been released.
  • Main Topic
    • Awards. Who gives a shit?
    • Sub topic: 10 Reasons: Why Jonah Matranga could get you laid
  • What Anthony’s Been Listening To (in chronological order, haha)
    • Fake Problems – ‘Soulless’
    • Jonah Matranga/Onelinedrawing
    • The Lawrence Arms – Apathy & Exhaustion
    • Blink-182
    • Myles Pereira
    • Alan Pownall
    • Marilyn Manson
  • What Ian’s Been Listening To
    • Above Them
    • Chillerton
    • Myles Pereira
    • Joy Division
    • Billy Talent
  • Emails
    • I think you guys should try and focus on more current releases in your ‘listening to sections’ – Chris Clark
    • Much love for John Berna – Anon.
  • John Berna’s Words Of Wisdom
    • “Better to cum on her than in her” – John Berna (2010)

Be A Part Of Jonah Matranga’s New Album

Audience participation has reached a new level.

Have you ever wanted to share your talents with the world and be on a record that you can buy in shops and stuff? Well thanks to Jonah Matranga, you can! The singer/songwriter (and Far frontman) wants you to help him make his new album, regardless of your musical talent (although some would probably be nice).

The album is set to be released on August 11th and all contributors will be credited in the album’s liner notes. Jonah is very big on interacting with fans and this is his latest, and largest, way of doing so. Of course, he doesn’t just want you to do anything. He’s provided everyone with the stuff to get them started and is keeping everyone informed with the record’s progress.

So if you want to work with an amazing, truly lovely person and be part of musical history get involved! It’s on a voluntary basis, but he’s promised if it makes millions of dollars all contributors will be taken care of. This is a really cool, fun experiment and I hope it goes really well. Ian and I are getting involved, that’s unlikely to sway anyone though.

Head over to here for more details.

Dicking Around Presents :: Jonah Matranga

L-R: Martin, Ian, Jonah Matranga, Anthony

I bet some of you are reading this and wondering what the hell ‘Dicking Around Presents’ is and that’s what we are here to tell you. If you’re a reader of our work you’ll remember (hopefully) that, back when we interviewed Chris Farren, we mentioned “Dicking Around with Fake Problems” (we also brought this up to Tom Gabel too). Well that film is the works, but before that happens we decided to set up a little ‘production company’ and do a bit of video work for Moon & Back.

With Dicking Around Productions, we aim to bring you cool, music-based video content. Our first project was with, the lovely, Jonah Matranga. He allowed us to film some of his gig in Manchester last month and this is what we bring to you now. Sorry about the audio quality, we’ll be sure to fix that for our next video. Enjoy!

Jonah Matranga – ‘At Night We Live’

Jonah Matranga – ‘Smile’

All videos recorded and edited by Dicking Around Productions ©2010

We also interviewed Jonah Matranga and you can listen to that interview here on Moon & Back Music’s new podcast,  hosted by us two. The Under The Bridge podcast will be recorded every fortnight and will include some cool stuff. Check it out here.

Album Review :: Far – At Night We Live

It’s been twelve years since Far have released an album. TWELVE YEARS! That’s like friggin’ ages! Has the time paid off? Or are the band Far over the hill? At Night We Live is their latest record, and it goes a little like this…

The album opens with the track Deafening a track very reminiscent of a long gone Nu-Metal age. It’s still Far, but there seems to be something missing, not the best choice for an opener as the album gets much better along the way. It has to be said though, Jonah’s vocals on this track are not only up to scratch, but pushing the boundaries of his vocal range, which seems to be the theme for every new record he features on. Not a terrible track in any sense, just not the best to listen to after waiting over a decade.

If You Cared Enough is more like the Far that is known and loved, so much so the song starts with a riff that sounds a lot like a sped up version of Man Overboard taken from their 1998 release Water & Solutions. As the chorus kicks in, the song seems to take a form similar to that of the band Gratitude a short lived act that was fronted by Matranga.

When I Could See is a much darker track, using a weird ambience to create an atmosphere that makes the listener almost feel hypnotised, light drums, mellow vocals, soothing bass and even an acoustic guitar section makes up this hauntingly relaxed track, it has a little heavy section too, ya know, for funsies.

Back to the Gratitude style on the next track. Give Me A Reason is the fourth track and a real summer song. A homage to the Robert Plant track, In the Mood, It’s perky, upbeat, and features the cheeky Matranga attitude we have seen more in his solo work and various other projects. At only four tracks in, it’s pretty obvious that the Far boys had a whole lot of fun writing and recording this record.

Dear Enemy is a very peculiar track, it kind of reminds me of U.K alternative rock band Reuben but at the same time, holding entirely it’s own style. It has an awesome riff throughout the verses and a big ass open chorus, what more could you asks for, a hard hitting break down? It’s got one of them too. Perfect.

When the word fight is used in a song title, I generally expect a certain type of song, and frankly, Fight Song # 16, 233, 241 is exactly that. It’s hard hitting, fast paced and draws heavily on any punk rock roots the band Far have whilst keeping the upbeat mood seen throughout this release.

Once again it seems Far have taken a very Gratitude style writing style on this record. After the high energy of the previous track, it’s time to wind down with the title track At Night We Live, a slow temp love song with the distorted guitar sound traded for clean guitar sounds and ambient keys. An almighty sound never the less.

After a quick breather it’s back with some hard, fast, punk tinged rock. Burns is a track the takes your it’s dick out and slaps you in the face, I have not been this uplifted by Jonah’s vocals since the Onelinedrawing song We Had A Deal.

Better Surrender blasts into head banging drum beat, and keeps in touch with the albums bouncy sound, though this track does is a little tougher then some of the previous, no doubt it’ll be a live favourite, with Matranga’s vocals showing he still has the gravelly tone from their earlier work such as Tin Cans With Strings To You.

They’re must have been a lot of idea’s left in Jonah’s brain after the Gratitude split, Are You Sure? is right up the alley of any fans who feel that single L.P just wasn’t enough. Actually it’s that good, I’m going to listen to it again and probably a third time! Far really have saved the best until (almost) last. Definitely my favourite on the record. “But are you suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure! This is what you wanted!”

The album officially ends with The Ghost That Kept On Haunting a bizarrely macabre track, with a very cold and electronic feel, it keeps the ambient feel seen on some of the previous tracks, but turns the mood from a warm cosiness to a sound that feels like an iced over thermometer in the butt.

The songs on this album, though reminiscent of previous works by members of the band have no problem confirming their uniqueness with intricate vocal patterns, gritty riffs, pounding bass line and hard hitting drum beats, this, combined with a super slick production value make At Night We Live worth that 8 million year wait.

There is also Pony, Far’s rendition of the classic Ginuwine track as a bonus, which is big fun.

Album Review :: Memoria: A Tribute To The Alternative 90’s

Frank Turner, Jonah Matranga, 90’s covers. What could be better? Well, if Walter Schreifels had a track on this compilation, that would be something. What! He’s on here too.

memoriaMemoria: A Tribute To The Alternative 90’s is, as you might just have guessed, a compilation of 90’s alternative rock covers. Bands like Rage Against The Machine, Weezer, Pearl Jam and, of course, Nirvana are all covered here by some really great, albeit lesser known, artists. I was really surprised by how great a compilation this is actually. I’m not a fan of covers, they tend not to be as good as the original, and when you’re dealing with bands like the aforementioned you’re walking the fine line between brilliance and disaster. Thankfully, most of the tracks here fall on the better side. Some of them, not so much.

Compilations like this always make an interesting listen. In fact, being brutally honest, had it not been for the artists mentioned in my header I don’t think I would’ve given this a second look. As I said, covers really don’t appeal to me in the slightest. They have to really be good to impress me. Now, that’s not me being a super musical snob or anything, I just seem prefer the originals. In fact it’s artists like Morrissey and, the oft mentioned, Mr. Turner that showed me what a good cover can be. The artists here, for the most part, have taken beloved songs from the 1990’s and made them their own.

A lot of the artists covered in Memoria are known the world over. However, there are a few artists here that just don’t ring a bell. Take Frank Turner’s cover of Sally for example, I had never heard of Kerbdog before hearing that song and I really like it. I think that’s where the strength of this collection lies. I have too much of a connection to the better known artists and I tended to just want to listen to the original version instead of the cover. That’s not to say that the songs here are bad, on the whole each artist does a great job. I just think that the majority of listeners will still want the original.

For me the standout tracks were Sally, Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away) and When You Sleep. You see, I was drawn to the tracks covered by Schreifels, Jonah and Turner because they’re artists that I enjoy listening to, whatever they’re singing. I think that’ll be the story for the majority of people who buy this. They’ll buy it for the artists they want to hear and would do regardless of the collection.

On the whole I think Yr Letter have done a great job putting this collection together but, whilst they’re all great songs in their own right, I think a lot of people would’ve opted to pick and choose rather than get the whole thing. Still, a good tribute to great music.