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I Am Giant - Interview with Paul Matthews from I Am Giant

08 Mar 2017 // An interview by Chris Morgan

Chris Morgan spoke to Paul Matthews of I Am Giant about their upcoming third album, the line-up change and what to expect from I Am Giant in 2017.

What has been happening the last 12 months for I Am Giant

We had a new singer Ryan Redman after Ed left, Ryan didn’t really work out. We were in a position on what should we do now as we already had the Homegrown 2016 show booked so we thought let’s get Aja to sing it because he is a great singer so he could pull it off, and he did more than pull it off, he was fantastic. We thought let’s do a record, write one and see how it goes. In recording it so far he sounds fantastic.

On the recording process for this album

They haven’t really changed to much, quite often the fundamental ideas with the songs start with me, I’ll write something and show the guys. Shelton and I will bounce ideas of each other in terms of the songs. Aja lives in Sydney so he hasn’t really been able to come and sing melodies in the writing process.

What to expect from the new album

We decided to strip it back and be a bit more straight up rock and roll. We thought let's just make the best songs we can, not over think things. Make them good fun and good energy.

Aja was the lead singer for a NZ heavy rock band The Gaze, what influence has his heavy background had on the album?

Aja comes from a really heavy background he was in a very heavy band called State Of It, he was also in a two-piece band The Dark Shaft with Michael Triponel who has filled in on guitar for us previously. He brings a harder edge to the vocals which has been well received.

Aja has a really good voice, he hadn't been singing a lot, so he came over to the U.K. And we spent some intense periods of time working on his vocals, we are still recording his vocals now, but he is naturally a really good musician.

On the new single Dead Flower

One thing a lot of people are saying is it sounds like I Am Giant, there's been some great feedback, people are saying we like the slightly harder edge and the additional rawness in places whilst still hitting the high notes.

New music on this tour?

Well we'll be playing our new single Dead Flower, we will also be shooting a video for our next track, Playing with Fire so we are going to play that for the first time at Homegrown and we've been going over it at rehearsal to make sure it's as tight as everything else we've done for the last 9 years.

On the demise of the Kings Arms Tavern as a music venue.

Auckland house price I suppose, the lands really valuable what can you do? It's really sad, the first gig I played here was in '99 I think. I've played here in all the bands I've played in; With Stylus we had our second album release here, I really love the Kings Arms, it's got a good in house system and it just works, it's a shame but change is inevitable.

There's been some cool memories here, my favourite one? Maybe when Aja got locked upstairs, he didn't realise everyone was leaving, he went to leave and he was locked inside, he had to wait until the morning.

Whisky or Beer?

Beer, well actually I’ve been drinking a lot of gin and tonic, I’m getting old mate.

What are you listening to at the moment?

Tina Turner, Pet Shop Boys, I'm an old guy.

So, you're sitting there drinking your gin and tonic, listening to Tina Turner, whilst writing rock music?

She can really sing, as a producer I listen to her vocals I don't believe they were tuned too much she kills it, she's an amazing singer. In terms of newer bands there is a band called If These Trees Could Talk, it's kind of instrumental rock it's really nice.

What do you do outside of music to rejuvenate your creativity?

Besides from eating? I don't really need to do too much, I don't really have gaps in creativity I just get started. I always start with something and if it’s not sounding great initially I just keep going.

I’ve always got stuff to do.

What is Paul Matthews Music Production currently working on?

This ones exciting, I’m working on Jason Kerrison’s new EP.

The I Am Giant album needs to be finished, I’ve got a UK band The Alchemy’s album coming up. As well as a band of kiwi expats called Agent, they are based in London as well and I am finishing up their album.

I’m working on a track with a young Auckland based band called Stature, they’re a fledgling band so looking at working with them to see what they can do.

I Am Giant play Auckland’s Kings Arms Tavern Thursday 9thMarch 2017. Tickets available from http://www.iamgiant.com/



About I Am Giant

With an impressive 70,000+ loyal fans on Facebook and over 1,000 international members of their ‘IAG Army’, I Am Giant have amassed a huge worldwide following with four #1 rock singles and a certified gold album in New Zealand, music videos featuring skate and surfing icons Tony Hawk and Kelly Slater, opening for Slash in Australia, a UK tour with Taking Back Sunday, performances at Big Day Out in Auckland and Sydney, opening for Stone Temple Pilots in Singapore, touring throughout Asia several times, and playing the prestigious Viper Room and Mercury Lounge in the US.

Their debut album The Horrifying Truth, was recorded with acclaimed producer Forrester Savell (Karnivool, Dead Letter Circus, The Butterfly Effect). I Am Giant bound together what they describe as “a collection of stories, thoughts, observations and exploration” into a cohesive and hard-hitting explosion of sound and melody. From the first song Purple Heart to closer After The War, the sharp lyrical themes draw the listener into the band’s growing awareness of mortality and loss of innocence. The Horrifying Truth is pure, unadulterated rock, with its heart on its sleeve and an unquenchable fire in its soul.

October 2012 saw I Am Giant release The Horrifying Truth in the UK and Europe, where their single Purple Heart won support on BBC Radio One as Zane Lowe's ‘Next Hype’ , XFM, Kerrang! Radio and Q Radio as well as hitting the No 1 spot on Polish Radio Eska Rock.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for I Am Giant


Life In Captivity
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Science & Survival
Year: 2014
Type: Album
The Horrifying Truth
Year: 2011
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
City Limits/Neon Sunrise
Year: 2010
Type: EP

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29 Mar 2017 // by Chris Morgan
Ahead of Like A Storm opening for Alterbridge at Auckland's Powerstation on Friday 31st March, Muzic.net.
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