Interview Zebrahead: Matty Lewis

Na een geweldige live show vanop Groezrock hadden we de kans om één van de leden van Zebrahead te interviewen.

Gitarist en tweede vocalist Matty Lewis nam wat tijd vrij om te praten met ons.

Two years ago Zebrahead played a show in Belgium with Less Than Jake, what can you remember of that?

I remember hardly anything from that tour. It started out with something like this (shows a beer). It ended up with something like that (talking about the tour) and me somehow finding my way to my bunk. But the whole tour was awesome, Belgium was awesome, the Less Than Jake guys are great guys. It really was a great tour.

So I guess we can say that 'Playmate Of The Year' was a big difference compared to 'Get Nice' for example. What happened along the way between those albums?

I think it would be me. I joined the band 7 years ago, I changed the idea of the band a little bit. We still have the poppy-ness of it but the other guys didn't like to play this fast or rock out, I don't know. But when the 5 of us get together we like to have fun and write music that we like. There's no one in the band that doesn't like it because we all want to go in the same direction, that's what it is I think.

But it did make Zebrahead go into this Hollywood scene for a little while, how was that?

Well actually there are so many bands that you've liked for a long time in that scene. And then you finally get the chance to play with them. But they just turn out to be regular guys you know. Just doing an amazing job. And there's definitely nothing special about me or any of the guys in the band, not one bit or what so ever. We're just douchebags. Period! We are douchebags. That's just great you know because you meet a lot of great people on tour and in that case bands that made it a long time ago. Almost every band that we've ever played with are great dudes.

The new album pretty much goes back to the roots of Zebrahead. Can you notice any differences in the fans or their reaction?

The only difference is that the fans remain the same but the new songs are already known by them so every time we play a new song the fans know all the words. That's a good sign that they like the record of course.

Do you recognize the diehard fans in Belgium that go to every show?

You know what, I'm so bad with faces and names but for some reason I see somebody in the crowd. I don't remember where I've seen that person before and so I'm thinking in my head something like 'asshole they come to your shows all the time'. So it kicks into my head 'Oh yeah they come to all the Belgian shows’ or 'That person comes to all the UK shows'. So yeah, sometimes I do. I know that we've met some great fans along the road, especially the ones that keep going around and around with us.

Who was the first one that brought up the idea to go back to writing those catchy snatchy punkrock songs?

It really wasn't an idea like I said before when I joined the band we just kinda wrote what we wrote and it turned out this way. This is the type of music that me and that the rest of the guys like and we just went on from there.

Any examples from that type of music you like, maybe something that inspired you for the songs?

I don't really have specific examples of that. When we wrote 'Broadcast To The World', the first records with me on it, we didn't really know how it was gonna work out because I was this new guy in the band. I was going to do this whole writing thing. So we just all got into a room and hammered it out and as soon as we played the first notes of some songs, the songs just came flowing out of us. It was really easy, we clicked very well and that made the record pretty easy. Ever since, everything has been really easy to make.

It's not your first time playing the Groezrock Mainstage, how would you describe this festival?

The festival itself is f*cking amazing! (enthusiastic), hust awesome. So many awesome bands and the fans in Belgium are so kickass. So kickass that, we played at 12.30, two years ago it was pretty early as well but today even earlier and it was just packed in there. And it's on a Sunday so the last day of the festival so that's even more awesome in that case. You can't say anything better about the fans here in Belgium and Groezrock, just really awesome!

So are there any differences between the fans here and fans in other countries?

I think there isn't any difference in fans, especially Zebrahead fans. Because Zebrahead fans for some reason are insane. I mean insane but in a great way. They're a family with us and come to a show to have a good time and just forget about all of their problems. They just go like 'f*ck it' about those problems in their lives. They just come to see Zebrahead and know that they're going to have a good time, throw some people around and that's the same in every country that we go to. That's great. The fans are amazing. If it wasn't for you guys and all the other fans we wouldn't be here and just have regular jobs.

Who changed the most, Zebrahead or the fans?

That's weird actually, I think the fans. Because they don't just get older, we also keep getting younger fans so we have the fans that are with us since day one, they get older as well but there are also new fans coming along all the time. So the family just keeps getting bigger in a way.

What's the most incredible moment you can remember from all those years on tour?

I don't know if there's one single moment. Because I feel very fortunate to do this for living and being able to do this on stage, that's very fortunate for me. But I think one of the biggest moments was definitely Groezrock and Summer Sonic Festival in Japan, especially last time at that festival because it was after the Tsunami happened.

Talking about that sort of things, you guys were going to play the Pukkelpop festival last year but then the storm happened. How did you hear about that?

Well, we drove there and that night it all happened and they canceled the whole thing. I was horrified because I woke up from my bunk and we just saw ambulance after ambulance after ambulance… It just didn't stop. And we were out there before, watching other bands and suddenly it started raining and we were supposed to go inside a tent but we were like 'F*ck it let's just go to our bus and hang out’. So we did and we went to bed and then it happened. We did play Pukkelpop in the past and we think it's amazing so we hope we get the chance to play there again, maybe this year.

What is the strangest gift you ever got from a fan?

We were playing a show in Japan and we released a panties-raid and fans were throwing panties on stage and at the end we got 4 or 5 trash bags full of panties.

Do you still have those?

(laughs) No, no we've thrown them away but it was so awesome just all these trash bags full of girls’ underwear. That's insane. And one I think had chocolate on it, at least I hope it was chocolate.

Ok to round everything up, any special last words you want to share with the fans in Belgium? Just think of the world exploding, what last words would you say?

In Zebrahead’s name or my name?

Both of course.

Ok, first I would say I love you guys and my wife. Which would suck right?! I don't like this question. (laughs) But the last words in the name of Zebrahead would be 'Party on dude!'.