An interview with…Matt Boroff

Tell us a little bit about where you’re from?

I grew up in N.J. in the U.S. and after having spent most of the 90s playing music in and around North N.J. and NYC, I met my wife-to-be who happened to be Austrian. In early 2000 we moved to Austria and I’ve been based here ever since.


How has your location affected your music?

When it comes to writing songs, there’s artists that feed off of what’s happening down the street in their neighbourhood. I think that’s great but I’m definitely not one of those artists. In the USA I was more or less living in my own world creatively and by the time I moved to Austria, I already had a pretty solid idea of what I was after sonically. I kind of live out in the middle of nowhere and it gives me the solitude I need to hear what’s happening in my own head more clearly. I guess I’m sort of like an author or a Unabomber type who’s barricaded himself in a cabin in the woods so he can get it all down before it evaporates.   


What genre would you describe your music as?

It’s cinematic-post-alternative-rock that’s full of singer-songwriter style intimacy.


What are you listening to? What are your influences?

I love the music in Chinese restaurants that always seems to be coming out of hidden speakers while there’s goldfish swimming around in a tank in the wall. So lately I’ve been listening to a playlist of Southeast Asian pop music from the 60s and 70s because I thought I might have some luck finding something similar on Youtube. My influences are all over the map, I’ve been greatly influenced by particular songs and particular moments in songs that are too numerous to mention. In addition to bands and song writers I’m also heavily into film scores. A very short list in no particular order of artists I admire would be Brian Eno, Leonard Cohen, EnnioMorricone, Tom Waits, PJ Harvey, John Barry, Jerry Goldsmith and Mark Lanegan.


Where can we see you play?

I’m pretty sure that I’ll be in Brighton at the Great Escape festival in May.


Are there any evocative personal experiences that come through in your music?

I use music as a way of dealing with things that I find difficult to process any other way and when I look at the world around me these days, there’s no shortage of things that I find difficult to process. Watching the situation with Trump unfold in my own country while living abroad has been like watching a slow motion train wreck for me. Most of the songs on my upcoming album were written from the perspective of someone who’s longing for a human connection in a strange and accelerated world where it feels like the lunatics have taken over the asylum. 


Tell us about your live setup?

The core of my live band Matt Boroff & the Mirrors has been playing together for over decade and that line-up includes drummer Little Konzett, bassist Rolf Kersting and myself. My latest album was actually recorded in LA with producer Alain Johannes (QOTSA, PJ Harvey) and I playing most of the instruments. When it came time to put a touring band together in support of this album it ended being an expanded version of The Mirrors which also includes Medina Rekic on guitar and my wife Marion on percussion. The studio albums are one thing but live it goes a lot further. We’re definitely a band that’s into creating a lot of space and dynamics within the songs when we’re on stage. It’s not a note for note reproduction of the albums, it’s about bringing the songs to life in that moment for the band and the audience. So it’s as much about reacting to songs as a unit and seeing where they want to go as it is about playing them the way they were written and recorded.


What’s next?

Right now my plans for the near future are touring throughout Europe in support of Grand Delusion.


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