My short bio:

i'm the guy who jokingly played "you shook me all night long" formally known as matt nathanson

i have 8 albums, some hits you might know, have toured the world and have had an amazing time doing this for almost 20 years. i spent my last video budget flying to peru to support the starkey hearing foundation and made a video for a song called "headphones" while we were there. proceeds go to help people, well, hear. check the video, support starkey and ask away.

PS - that's my friend andrew mcmahon in the back anxiously awaiting everyone to stop singing AC/DC so he can get a turn

My Proof:

EDIT: WHOA, this ruled you guys! i had no idea it was going to be this awesome, let's do this again soon. i'll let you know when, but for now i have to run to sound check!

Comments: 600 • Responses: 55  • Date: 

groggydog278 karma

Matt, after the St. Louis incident did you ever go back to wearing corduroy pants?

Also, thanks for all the amazing concerts. Been a huge fan.

matt_nathanson429 karma

in my life of playing shows i have ripped my pants twice. both times, they were corduroy. those things do not agree with friction and my nuts.

sweetlikesandi202 karma

Can I design a tee shirt for your next tour?

(I did Cinderella for headphones) :)

matt_nathanson170 karma


wishyfishy192170 karma

I've been to eight of your concerts since 2008. You're my favorite performer because you bring such incredible energy to the stage and your concerts are so much fun.

Does it ever get exhausting touring so frequently? I love that I can see your concerts every year, if not more often, but I can't imagine being on the road so frequently.

matt_nathanson159 karma

i love touring. LOVE it. hate being gone from my family and my home. so that part is tough. but every other part of it RULES. thanks for coming to the shows!!

rkirkley3677 karma

You ask all of us at your im curious..What type of Whitney Houston are you? ;)

matt_nathanson100 karma

the troubled one. for sure.

AngelM7759 karma

Will you be doing a headlining tour this year? Already have tix to see you with Train and The Fray

matt_nathanson78 karma

shooting for a headline tour first thing next year. psyched for the train tour. see you there!

SomedaySeattle52 karma

Matt, Huge fan. Seriously, your music has touched me like a creepy uncle. I used "Room @ The End of the World" as an alarm clock for 8 months while dealing with depression, and it helped me just put my feet on the floor most days. I'm hoping to see you at Tinley Park on July 3rd. Thank you so much for your music! And you're hilarious, I can't wait to see you live.

Question: What's the story behind your song "Wedding Dress"?

Thanks again for being awesome and making great music!

matt_nathanson148 karma

'wedding dress' is about my marriage. and my almost divorce. and my struggle to actually treat someone i loved with the respect and love they deserved.

OverThePylon47 karma

Matt, have seen you maybe a bazillion times from awesome venues like 9:30 Club to smaller two-man gigs at Jammin Java in Northern VA. Without throwing any other artist specifically under the bus, how come more artists aren't bitchin' cool people to their fans like you instead of the self-important douchebag asswaffles that a lot of your musical brethren tend to be?

matt_nathanson86 karma

"asswaffles" is my new favorite word. i don't know why people are douche bags. but it's not just in music, so.. i guess that's comforting in some dark, end of the world-kinda way.

Madde88934 karma

Hi Matt! I'm a fellow singer-songwriter trying to afford the cost of living here in your home state! What places around the Boston area did you love to play at before you started doing bigger things? Hope you're staying warm!

matt_nathanson85 karma

i busked. a ton. in harvard square. that was the way i did it. then i played open mic nights EVERYWHERE. just to build a fan base and get my songs out there. then once i became friends with other artists, we would split the night somewhere and pool our fans. it was a fucking slog. but it was great too.. good luck!

aks10622 karma

Hey Matt,

Last of the Great Pretenders felt like a nice sonic progression coming out of Some Mad Hope and Modern Love (not to mention all of the previous, also amazing records).

"Headphones" seems to continue a bit in the sound of stuff like "Mission Bells".

So my question is...How is the new record taking shape? What's new/internesting/inspiring the songs and sounds this go-round?

Can't wait to hear it!

matt_nathanson81 karma

i think the new record is gonna be more acoustic. not sure what that even means, but the songs are really coming from a place of me playing them. alone... and the band supporting underneath. hopefully, it's gonna feel more intimate. i've always wanted to make a record like that. i tried with 'ernst'. so that's the plan as it is shaping up now...

griswall15 karma

  1. What is your favorite venue to play in SF? What happened to the recording of the show at the Sweedish American Hall? I was there!

  2. What is your favorite song to play and what song means the most to you? (Curve of the Earth is my JAM)

  3. Where did your love for the 12 string begin?

matt_nathanson26 karma

1) most of the venues in san francisco are killing. the great american music hall, the swedish american hall, the fillmore, the fox, the greek. we have so many rad places to play.

2) this changes for me. lately i have really loved playing "kinks shirt" from the last record. and 'suspended' is always fun.

3) i was super into hair metal when i was a kid. so my love of the 12 string probably started with poison.

devonajohnson13 karma

First off, I'm a huge fan. I discovered you back when Car Crash was the iTunes Free Single Of The Week and have been listening since!

Despite being signed to a small/independent label, you've had so much success with your music! Recently, I discovered you were once signed to a major label (Universal) in the early 2000's.

Can you describe your experience once being signed to a major label? Why did you decide to go independent and leave a major label?

matt_nathanson33 karma

my major label experience was like dating the wrong person. they're not assholes, necessarily. but you're better off alone.

FiREorKNiFE-12 karma

Are you going to start incorporating any more AC/DC covers into your set?

matt_nathanson28 karma

next tour we are doing 'fly on the wall' in it's entirety.


don't really have a question, just want to say that your song "bulletproof weeks" is one of the most beautiful things i've ever heard

matt_nathanson22 karma

now you got me all blushy and shit. thank you.

colorebel9 karma

Any interesting stories or songs that didn't end up on the Live From Daryl's House episode that you can share? T-Bone was the best!

matt_nathanson24 karma

that was one of the highlights of my career. man, t-bone was the sweetest. and i love daryl and everyone there.. i was super nervous, that's why i said 'fuck' so much. plus, every story i told on camera was about sex. i have a trashy mind. they edited a lot of that out, thank god.

Santosjjv7 karma

I am curious as to why you don't offer any meet and greet or vip packages for yourself on the upcoming tour? We love to see you every time you come to town, salt lake being ours . Does this mean you will be doing meet and greets anyway? :) I hope so!!

matt_nathanson27 karma

i don't believe in those. we usually do a thing where if you buy a shirt or something, you get a meet and greet wrist band. but the whole 'pay $150/meet the band' thing rubs me wrong.

ericf_7 karma

What's your favorite record store in the US?

matt_nathanson19 karma

oh man, that's tough.. amoeba in san francisco. waterloo in austin. those two off the top of my head... oh, fingerprints in long beach. so many great stores!

swinginbagpipes7 karma

Hello Matt! I've been a huge fan for almost 12 years. Your shows are the most fun shows of any band I have ever seen live.

A question I have wanted to know for a long time is when are you going to release another live album? Any future plans? I LOVE At The Point but it has been almost 8 years. Thanks!

matt_nathanson18 karma

was thinking about another live record after this next studio one. just stripped down.

jukiep7 karma

What was it like being on the Howard Stern show? Was he intimidating in person? Did you hug Robin? ;)

matt_nathanson16 karma

best. day. of. my. fucking. life. he is not the least bit intimidating. that's why he gets you to open up like he does. he is the best. truly. and no, sadly i didn't hug robin

cav10077 karma

Why Did you stop singing songs like "Laid"..?

matt_nathanson17 karma

i didn't stop. i just played it tonight.

bunneeboo7 karma

Hey Matt!

I came to see you and Aaron perform at The Borderline, London, in March last year. The gig was immenseley intimate and an incredible experience. You said you would be returning to the UK for a proper tour at some point.

Do you have any dates (or ideas for dates) in the pipeline for a UK tour?

matt_nathanson3 karma

that was probably one of the best shows of my life. truly. i can count on my one hand the number of times i have felt carried by a crowd like that. fuck. so thanks for being there and helping make that happen for me. i think the plan is to come back to the uk once this new record is done. hopefully will be back before the end of the year.

canuckinnyc7 karma

I love your cover of the Dire Straits' "Romeo & Juliet" on your live album (At the Point). It's my favorite song of all time and fits your voice/style so well.

What made you choose to cover it? And have you considered releasing a studio recording of it as well? (Because I would absolutely buy that)

matt_nathanson9 karma

that song is fucking flawless. and the night before i recorded those shows at the point, i was in new york. and was staying up late with my friends roommate talking about how fucking brutally good that song is. so i was inspired to play it from that conversation. i love dire strait's version, but for me, amy from indigo girls does the version that really slays me.

imaginate927 karma

Hi Matt! I'm a huge fan, I've seen you twice in Madison, WI and I loved both shows. You liked my #mnselfielove on Instagram after the second show last year and it was the highlight of my social media life.

My question is have you ever considered a career in stand up comedy? You're so hilarious, your shows are like a 2 for 1 concert/comedy show, and I think you would be great if not in stand up, then as a guest on SNL or something like that.

matt_nathanson16 karma

oh man. stand up comedians are like navy seals. it takes a certain type of human to do that job. and NO ONE fucks with navy seals. or great comedians. what i do is just tell jokes between songs. that's cheating. real stand up is a fucking art. like poetry. or dance. what i do can't touch that.

is_not_chicago7 karma

Holy shit, it's Matt! be cool, be cool Huge fan and so glad you decided to do an AMA! I have 2 questions.

  1. Over the years you've gone back and re-recorded some songs from your earlier records. If you were to do it again, what song would you choose and why? Let's say pre-Beanth These Fireworks. My choices would be We'll Recover and Church Clothes. Yours?

  2. You co-wrote O.A.R.'s song "On My Way" with Marc. Somehow you've shared the stage with them numerous times and never performed it together if I'm not mistaken. Any particular reason why? Any chance it'll happen?


matt_nathanson10 karma

i would love to take a crack at my whole first record again 'please'. i would probably pull some songs off, but as a whole that record doesn't work for me. i think its the way i sang. super eddie vedder. would love to crack some of those songs open now.

i THINK we played it at a better than everfine festival one year. i love that song. and i love the fuck out of those guys.

acoustic116 karma

Hey Matt, much love from Philly - the sunshine state. Whatever happened to Can't Get To What You Need? Will that song ever make it back? It was wonderful...

matt_nathanson10 karma

i don't know if that one will return or not. might get used for parts.

Nevuary6 karma

Grilled cheese sandwich. With or without meat?

matt_nathanson20 karma

i like a little ham in my grilled cheese. adds some body. literally!.. oh, gross.

fergusaj6 karma

Matt, what happened to all of the anger from your first few albums? I miss it sometimes, don't get me wrong I love the love songs too.

matt_nathanson20 karma

i'm still plenty pissed, haha.. maybe not as vitriolic. or maybe just couched in more metaphor. i'll work on being more overt.

KellyO56 karma

What age did you meet Andrew McMahon?

matt_nathanson11 karma

i toured with him when jack's was touring behind the second album.. not sure how old we were. he is the best.

Code166 karma

Hey Matt, what's the difference between jelly and jam?

matt_nathanson43 karma

i have another good one.. what's the difference between a legume and a chickpea? no one's ever paid to have a legume on their face! (this one might be better told than written)

kksliderr5 karma

First of all, love your music and stage presence! I've seen you a few times when you've toured with Andrew McMahon/Jack's Mannequin and it has always been so entertaining. So my question would be, what has been the most important event in your life?

matt_nathanson17 karma

(thankfully) not fucking up my marriage to the point where it ended.. that's the most important event i have ever been a part of.

cantthinkkangaroo5 karma

The only time I've been able to catch you live was when you were opening for Kelly Clarkson. I was lucky enough to score and extra ticket from a coworker. There were so many people in my section there to see YOU. It was amazing! But 12 year old girls aren't your typical scene. There were quite a few dads covering their kids ears between songs and eyes during hip thrusts.

Was it hard to reign in your profanity (a bit, not much) for the preteens?

matt_nathanson8 karma

on that tour, i think i swore my normal amount. that was kind of a rough tour because a lot of that audience was there for kelly and i felt like i had to do some serious convincing every night. ended up being good. but it was more exhausting than usual shows.

EstherLP915 karma

Hi Matt! A couple of years ago I (finally!) saw you in Amsterdam, supporting for Train. Do you have any plans to come back here? We'd really love that!!

matt_nathanson11 karma

i hope soon. man, that show in amsterdam was the shit. what a beautiful room. hopefully we'll come back sometime this year.

lalalied5 karma

Hi Matt! Is it hard leaving your daughter to go tour? How does she feel when her daddy has to go rock out?

matt_nathanson7 karma

it's the only part of touring that sucks. leaving my home. and my ladies.

mentalart5 karma

Hi! I have a question about writing - how do you balance out any self-doubt while writing?

matt_nathanson24 karma

i don't really have self doubt. i have severe self hatred. so i just try real hard to duck tape the mouth of my inner assassin. he always gets that shit off, but for the few minutes he's focused on something other than taking out my ideas, i try to get shit done.

missmenns5 karma

I saw both you and Joshua Radin at The Wiltern in 2012. I have to ask...whatever happened to The Waitress wearing the Van Halen tee shirt?

matt_nathanson11 karma

she still works at the same coffee shop in san francisco.

a_m_y5 karma

Hey Matt! What is your favorite kind of cookie??

matt_nathanson5 karma

if you are ever in san francisco, go to a place called precita park cafe. in the display case at the front there are these GF peanut butter sandwhich cookies. homemade. they are fucking BRUTALLY perfect. for non-GF... levain bakery on the upper west side. those cookies will total you.

jayyyymapes5 karma

If you had to be an animal, what would you be?

matt_nathanson9 karma

a cheetah or an eagle.

colorebel5 karma

I have a theory that Come on Get Higher was your "With or Without You" and "Some Mad Hope" was your "Joshua Tree". Will your next album will be your "Achtung Baby"?

matt_nathanson8 karma

i. fucking. wish.

DancesWithWargs5 karma

Hi Matt, thanks for coming over and answering some of our questions! What would you say is the most frustrating part of the songwriting process? Conversely, what is the most rewarding?

matt_nathanson5 karma

lyrics. lyrics. lyrics.

haytorade5 karma

How was touring with Jennifer Nettles?

matt_nathanson13 karma

she is my queen. love, love, love her.

msheaven4 karma

Matt I got the pleasure of seeing you open for Maroon 5 in Reno, NV. I had never heard of you before. I fell in love with you on my husband's birthday! I think the best part was you staying afterwards as long as people were in line to meet you and take photos. I have an autogprahed copy of Modern Love and a photo of you and I.

I later saw you at the KNITTING FACTORY in Reno.

Do you still stay after the show to meet all your fans? Or has that become too much?

matt_nathanson3 karma

whenever i can, i stay after. totally.

burnintheham4 karma

Who's your drummer?

matt_nathanson5 karma

chris lovejoy. aka dr. shoes.

McHakr4 karma

What's your favorite drink?

matt_nathanson4 karma

blackberry italian soda.

KristineKimmel4 karma

What was the worst haircut you've ever had? And who cut it? 😂

matt_nathanson15 karma

mullet. not sure who cut it. probably my dad's barber. it was rough ass shit, but i fit right in in boston.

mikeydude914 karma

Did your collings ever get fixed and if so how does it sound? Also just wanna say how much I loved the acoustic riff in kinks shirt. It's so damn poppy and good.

matt_nathanson6 karma

thanks! yeah, collings actually fixed it the next day when i got to austin. sounds good as new.

bekaboomn4 karma

Would you do WITS again?

That dirty Little Red Corvette singalong was the best.

matt_nathanson4 karma

WITS rules! i would do it in a second.

PuzzleIAm3 karma

Hopefully you come to Dallas on your next headlining tour... seems we (mostly) only get you as an opener. I love seeing you then - but adore the full shows even more!

Other than "Farewell, December", have you done any other writing with Shane McAnally?

matt_nathanson5 karma

love shane! we wrote a few songs together, but FD is the only one that has been released. he is a monster lyricist (and melody writer). hopefully we'll write again soon.

IWantToLiveInMemphis3 karma

I saw the show where you said you don't like to play Bulletproof Weeks too often, a lot of your songs seem really personal so why is that one in particular one you don't like playing? (Sorry if it's too personal)

matt_nathanson4 karma

i played it almost every night on the last headline tour. it's just a tough one. not sure why that one hits me different than the others. it just does.

jcush3133 karma

I love the song American Pie used of yours. Did you by chance get to meet any of those guys?

matt_nathanson4 karma

i never met any of them. but i did play a few premiere's of the 'american wedding' movie. it was some strange promo shit in cities like santa barbara and modesto. but unfortunately, none of the cast was there.

timcorgan3 karma

Your love of 12 strings comes from you love of Poison. So do you think every rose does indeed have its thorn?

matt_nathanson3 karma

yeah it does.

Gingeypoo3 karma

You can only read one book (series or otherwise) for the rest of your life, what book do you choose?

matt_nathanson5 karma

'what we talk about when we talk about love' - raymond carver.

lizzie_r033 karma

Hey Matt!!! I currently go to Pomona College (part of the 5Cs, like Pitzer, CHIRP CHIRP!). I saw you three years ago at the House of Blues in San Diego and it was ammaazzinnnggg! Just one quick question... The stories you tell through your music, the love affairs and the heartaches... Are they all real? Do you mind sharing the story behind, for example... Curve of the Earth??? Thank you!!!

matt_nathanson4 karma

they are all real. yeah. they might be a mish-mash (is that how you write that?) of people sometimes, but they are all about actual shit. i am not super good at fiction.

curve of the earth is about this girl who just totaled me. i am a pretty naive person when it comes to love. and i was ESPECIALLY prone to falling for anyone that gave me the slightest bit of affection back when i wrote that song. that song was about someone who was kinda spoiled and liked to wield power over people who dug her. so that's what that's about..

nurselizzie3 karma

I'm planning on starting a record collection. What are the three must haves?

matt_nathanson3 karma

this is a tough one. i'll give you 3 off the top of my head: grace jones- nightclubbing. x- los angeles (if you can find it). and joni mitchell- blue.

GinjaSnap893 karma

Omfg I could not be more excited right now! Long time fan!!! Matt, what is the song that you are most proud of writing and why? Also I love you too the moon and back, are you interested in being a sperm donor? Kidding, kinda.

matt_nathanson4 karma

i've got good sperm! healthy...

i have a new song called 'bill murray' that i am currently the most proud of. of the old songs.. 'little victories' is first to pop into my head.

riverwestmke2 karma

Greetings Matt from Milwaukee!

One of my best memories is being in the front row at a venue in dirty mil town singing impromptu harmony to Suspended with my dorky choir friends during yr solo show.

My question is this: I think yr at yr best with you and and a 12 string guitar and your sense of honor. You mentioned that yr latest album is more acoustic. Can we anticipate seeing more of that and are you thinking about bringing back that beautiful cello backup?

Long time fan and hope the best for ya!

matt_nathanson10 karma

not sure. i think if i do it the way i want, there will still be band. but it will feel as intimate as those old shows with just me and the 12 string. so, we'll see..