Interview: Matt Carr of Everybody Taste

Miles/November 11, 2012

When we’re in the mood for some new music and we’ve gotten no recommendations from friends, the go-to solution is Everybody Taste – an independent music blog and now label run by Matt Carr. In the years visiting Everybody Taste, we’ve discovered more artists and singles that we’re truly in love with than we can count. It seems as if every week sheds light on an artist that we simply can’t take of repeat.

We frequent Everybody Taste so often that we figured it wouldn’t hurt to reach out to Matt and get to know this guy. Turns out that he’s only just over 100 miles away from us, but not before being a Portland native, chef, and music addict. We got the chance to ask Matt a handful of questions regarding his hobby, music, and what it’s like to start an independent label.

Give us a brief rundown on the theory and idea of Everybody Taste.

MC: Back in 2009 when I started the blog I was working at a magazine, mostly writing about pet care. That wasn’t particularly thrilling, and as I’ve always been a music addict, Everybody Taste became an outlet to share the fruits of that addiction with friends and strangers.

 

Where are you based out of? 

MC: I was in Portland, OR for a handful of years, but now I’m in Washington, DC. Portland has better food and coffee (and it’s much cheaper), but DC actually has more high quality music venues. We have countless small clubs that are fantastic like DC9 and The Black Cat, and the sound at the larger 930 Club is hard to beat. I just caught The Walkmen there and it was one of the better shows I’ve ever seen. Hamilton Leithauser walked straight off the stage into the crowd after the encore and was just swallowed by a sea of fans. I thought one drunk guy was going to rip his shirt off.

The music scene in DC may have peaked with Fugazi, but it’s starting to take off again right now. There are a ton of great young bands that I think will break nationally in the next few years like Shark Week, Laughing Man, and Teen Mom.

 

Washington D.C.’s Teen Mom

What was the first artist you blogged about and where are they now?

MC: I think I wrote about Atlanta’s Gentleman Jesse and how he was carrying the torch for the great power-pop bands of the past, particularly The Exploding Hearts. Gentleman Jesse actually released his second album this year. “We Got To Get Out Of Here” is a hell of a jam.

 

What was the process like taking a music blog and turning it into an independent label?

MC: Pressing vinyl has its tricks: there’s a handful of things that can go wrong (and often do) with every release, like warping, sibilance, and even pressing the record in the wrong color. But the most difficult aspect is simply getting the word out. You can release what you think is a classic single, but then you have to inform the rest of the world that not only does it exist, but that it’s worth exchanging for their hard-earned cash. No easy feat in the age of piracy. 

  

Why the name, “Everybody Taste?”

MC: Because I’m not just sharing my own taste, but songs recommended by friends, other bands, other blogs, and the occasional anonymous stranger. It’s meant to emphasize the communal aspect of cultivating taste. We’re all shaped by the bands we listen to, the books we read, and the friends we hang out with.

 

Over the years we have turned to Everybody Taste for new music and have never been disappointed. How would you describe the mix of music that you promote compared to the artist that one could find on Analog Edition?

MC: It’s analogous to dating versus marriage. I write about bands I like, but to press a record for a group, it takes commitment, money, and a whole lot of love. I haven’t gotten down on a bended knee for a band just yet, but vinyl definitely means forever. It’s as permanent as recorded music gets. I know that 30 years from now, “Hey Lover” by Blake Mills is still going to be an amazing track.

 

Venice’s Blake Mills

We’re currently in love with Teen Mom, Blake Mills, Francisco the Man, and TV Torso. Got any recommendations that we might fall in love with next?

MC: Lately, I’ve had “Send Me Your Love” by Fletcher C. Johnson on repeat. It’s Motown by a long-haired punk weirdo working out his falsetto. Fletcher also released a fantastic 7″ this year. On the B-side, “Lost My Head,” he goes into a little monologue breakdown about Jeopardy, which might just be my favorite musical moment of the year.

 

When you think of “sharing music” 5 years from now, what comes to mind?

MC: I always think about longevity when I write about bands, and even more so when I press records, so I think I’ll still be listening to Blake Mills, Teen Mom, and Lands & Peoples. In five years, I hope more people will be paying for records—whether it’s digitally or on vinyl—so all of my favorite bands can afford to continue making music. 


What did you have for breakfast this morning?

MC: I baked a couple loaves of brioche last night, so I had a toasted slice with a fried egg, sautéed arugula, and asiago cheese (my other job is as a cook).

 

How do you like your coffee?

MC: Black via pour over.

 

Everybody Taste is available 24-hours a day on the internet for those times when you’re just looking for something good.

Matt’s record label, Analog Edition, has some great presses that make the perfect gift for any occasion. You should buy one for yourself even!

Analog Edition also just released a great video for Teen Mom that you can watch here.

 

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