Brooklyn to Greensboro: An Interview with Matt Frye

Mar 2nd, 2012 | By | Category: Entertainment, Sounds

Photo by Charles G. Heilig

A few weeks ago, Matt Frye played at The Flatiron with Matty Sheets (accompanied by Marshall Owen and Emily Stewart) and Janus 4-14. It was a great show. A few nights later I caught Matt again at Open Mic and he agreed to do an email interview with me for Avant Greensboro. So, without further ado, here’s the interview!

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it?

I would say my music is a cross between Woody Guthrie, John Prine, and a little Ol Dirty Bastard. The songs are story driven, littered with dark and lighthearted tales of everyday life. I try to be straightforward with my lyrics as to connect with as many people as possible. The last thing I want to do is leave my audience scratching their heads (unless the song is about head lice). I play on an acoustic Yamaha guitar, sometimes backed by my harmonica playing; my singing is the way I rap.

What’s your opinion of Greensboro and its music scene?

Greensboro’s music scene, as I know it through Matty Sheets and The Flatiron, feels like a home away from home. It is a relaxed and friendly environment where people from all musical backgrounds show up to share their passions and enjoy each other’s company.

How is Greensboro different from Brooklyn?

Strangers hug in Greensboro.

Photo by Anastasia Merriken

How long have you been playing music?

It was the summer of ’92; I must have been ten at that time. I had begged my parents to buy me a guitar. At this point in my life, I was hooked on Nirvana and I envisioned myself playing a pearl Fender Stratocaster. The sales person at the music store was happy to show and let me play the Stratocasters. At the same time, he told my father that before I learned electric, I needed to learn how to play acoustic. He went to the back of the store and pulled out a dusty old Yamaha acoustic guitar. He said, “this one should be just right for your boy.” 19 years later, and I’m still playing that old dusty Yamaha.

What’s your favorite song you play? (you can totally include a link if you want.)

Most of my favorite songs at this point in my career are on my newest album “Biscuits and Dog Days.” If I had to choose, one song I would choose “Lou Dog” the titled track on the album.

Please also feel free to cheek out my favorite video “Livin’ At Joann’s.”

What’s your biggest challenge as a musician?

Keeping the dream alive.

What bands have influenced or inspired you?

I am highly influenced and inspired by many artist that I have met and seen perform over the past 10 years coming out of the Anti-Folk scene on the Lower East Side. Here are just a few… Jeffrey Lewis, Jason Trachtenburg, The WoWz, Huggabroomstik, Toby Goodshank, Langhorne Slim, Barry Bliss, Thomas Patrick Maguire, Hamell On Trial, Paleface…

Where can people find your music online or otherwise?

You can find my music, videos, upcoming show, news and connections to Twitter and Facebook at

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2 Comments to “Brooklyn to Greensboro: An Interview with Matt Frye”

  1. matty sheets says:

    I think I did hug him.

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