The Blank Tapes
Matt Adams (main singer/songwriter), occasional other members
Lo-fi folk-pop-rock. Discography to date includes Daydreams (2009), Landfair (2009), Home Away From Home (2010) and Geodisic Dome Piece (2015).
You may see Matt Adams’ act The Blank Tapes being accompanied by a number of hand-picked (and, needless to say, highly talented) musicians, but the centrepiece of the act remains the man himself. “The band is essentially me and my music,” he says, “but for shows and some recording, I have a rotating cast of band members that I've met at various times and places in my life over the past 10 years.I think I met most of them at cafes.”
Don’t get the idea that The Blank Tapes functions as a creative dictatorship, though. “I bring the songs & usually some kind of band arrangement,” Matt explains. “Everyone else brings their personality and ideas into the mix. It's interesting how everyone has their own style and their own way of translating my musical ideas into their own.”
His biggest influences share a similarly melodic and quirky streak. “I'm still completely obsessed with the Beatles,” he recollects, “ and as a kid I was obsessed with Dr. Seuss.” These filter through into his sound, which he describes as "Summer California bonfire rock n soul." Any other influences or comparisons? “If Creedance Clearwater Revival and the Velvet Underground started a White Album cover band with Ray Davies as their singer.” Ah, that old chestnut …
So that’s the aesthetic of the Blank Tapes defined (at least to some extent). How has that aesthetic been evolving over Matt’s career? “I've always had the acoustic twangy side and the psychedelic pop/rock thing happening at the same time,” he outlines. “Although, lately I've been playing longer guitar solos and using more pedals.Ever heard of an Omnichord or Marxophone? We use those now.” Unusual instruments come with appropriately unusual names, it would seem.
Despite this charming sense of uniqueness, Matt can all too readily reel off a list of those he feels are his contemporaries. “Magic Leaves, Little Wings, Range Of Light Wilderness, Indiana Hale and quite a few others.” He’s compiled many of them onto a Universal Western Attractions Compilation CD, which would be a great listen if you’re a fan of his work to date.