5 episodes

Community Matters is about the power of music community. We chat with artists who share their stories on how community impacts their music. A supportive community is one of the things that inspires artists to start making music and then keep making it — this is an ode to those relationships.

Community Matters is a production of Grey Matter, the music community. Grey Matter is a music-first social app that connects fans, artists, and streaming services. Our mission is to build meaningful community engagement through human-based music discovery.

Community Matters Grey Matter

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Community Matters is about the power of music community. We chat with artists who share their stories on how community impacts their music. A supportive community is one of the things that inspires artists to start making music and then keep making it — this is an ode to those relationships.

Community Matters is a production of Grey Matter, the music community. Grey Matter is a music-first social app that connects fans, artists, and streaming services. Our mission is to build meaningful community engagement through human-based music discovery.

    Andrew Fox (Visuals)

    Andrew Fox (Visuals)

    "There's been a washing away of that cultural element in music discovery online…there's no sense of authorship as a fan, and there's no interaction with the artist."

    Andrew Fox is a musician and songwriter out of New York. Outside of NYC, he's also spent stints in Berlin and Paris, and in his music, the energy of the Berliner techno scene and that romantic Parisian charm are nearly as present as the Brooklyn indie aesthetic that surrounded him when he was coming into his own in the mid-2000s.

    Before his most recent record, Shock by Shock, Andrew released music under the moniker, Visuals. The first Visuals EP was produced by Dave Harrington and Nicolas Jaar (together, Dave and Nico make up the band Darkside). The three of them went to school together and remain friends. Andrew's also released music on Nicolas Jaar's Other People label and he opened for Darkside in Berlin on their first tour, deejaying the main room of Berghain, the infamous techno mecca.

    We chatted about the artist communities that became his foundation in New York, as well as how the depreciation of music journalism and lack of social tools are negatively affecting online communities. Lots of great tunes throughout, and some insight into Andrew's next release, too.

    Support Andrew: www.whoisandrewfox.com

    Music in this episode, used with permission from Andrew:
    "Shock by Shock" - Andrew Fox
    "John Candy" - Andrew Fox
    "Matchless" - Andrew Fox
    "Big Winner" - Andrew Fox

    Special thanks to Alexander Frieden for the editing support!

    Want a sense of authorship? Check out our beta: bit.ly/3dfqnvN


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    • 23 min
    Scott Lucas & Local H

    Scott Lucas & Local H

    “You get a sense of who’s important, what’s important, and hopefully people will realize what you had by just being able to go out and see other people, be in a room, and actually be present.”

    Scott Lucas is the lead singer and guitarist of Local H, an alt rock band out of Zion, Illinois — a small town about an hour north of Chicago. He and three high school friends founded the group together in 1990, but by 1993, two of them had left and Local H carried on as a duo, with Joe Daniels on drums and Scott playing a modified guitar with an added bass pickup to round out the sound. Brian St. Clair and Ryan Harding would spend stints as Local H’s drummer but Scott, through thick and thin, has persisted through the whole three decades, which has seen nine studio LPs, countless shows — a few of them opening for Metallica — and the commercial breakthrough record, As Good As Dead, which is headlined by single, “Bound for the Floor,” a track that reached number five on the Billboard Modern Rock charts.

    We chatted about the influence of a small town identity, the power of persistence, the secret to the exact ratio of toilet paper needed per neighborhood, and Local H’s new record, Lifers, which features an all-star cast, from Juliana Hatfield to John McCauley (Deer Tick) to legendary engineer, Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies, Joanna Newsom, Iggy Pop). It’s the band’s first LP since 2015 and it’s excellent.

    Support Local H: www.localh.com/

    Music in this episode, used with permission from Scott:
    "Bound for the Floor" - Local H
    "Hold That Thought" - Local H
    "Beyond the Valley of Snakes" - Local H
    "High, Wide and Stupid" - Local H
    "Winter Western" - Local H
    "Defy and Surrender" - Local H

    Special thanks to Alexander Frieden for the editing support!


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    • 21 min
    Elliott Sharp

    Elliott Sharp

    “The people that I connect with online come from all over the musical world, from contemporary composition, from blues, from free jazz, from rock music, from noise… To me it’s just all music. I’ve never felt those barriers were hard and fast — they were imposed by someone else.”

    Elliott Sharp has been one of the key figures in the avant-garde and experimental scenes in New York City since the late 1970s. With close to 100 releases spanning jazz, noise, orchestral, no wave, contemporary classical, and electronic music, his career can really only be described as prolific. He studied with icons like Morton Feldman, Roswell Rudd, and Robert Moog. His compositions have been performed by renowned ensembles like the Kronos and FLUX quartets. He’s released music for the alt rock SST label alongside bands like Sonic Youth and Hüsker Dü. He’s collaborated with everyone from jazz legend Jack DeJohnette to Blondie’s Debbie Harry to Wilco’s Nels Cline to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the Pakistani Qawwali singer regarded as having one of the most impressive voices ever recorded.

    We chatted about the halcyon ’60s when people thought of all kinds of music as simply music, when genrification didn’t really stratify how we think about what we hear. We also spoke of the evolution of community alongside the emergence of online platforms, and the importance of resonance when it comes to making music and finding others to make it with. And for budding experimental artists, Elliott offered some wisdom into how they can find their people and work toward making a living.

    Support Elliott Sharp: www.elliottsharp.com/

    Music in this episode, used with permission from Elliott Sharp:
    The Boreal  (excerpt) -  performed by JACK Quartet
    Flexagons (excerpt) - performed by Elliott Sharp and Orchestra Carbon
    Port Bou: Words  (excerpt from opera) - performed by Nicholas Isherwood with Jenny Lin, William Schimmel, and Elliott Sharp
    Koinoinia - performed by Elliott Sharp on Koll 8-string guitarbass


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    • 26 min
    Madison

    Madison

    “Eventually I got on the microphone, I sang and it was sort of this epiphany, hearing my voice. And that night literally changed my life.”

    Madison is an independent artist living in New York by way of Miami. She releases music under her own label, G Records, and she’s been featured in numerous tv shows, promos, and commercials. She recently released a trifecta of singles dedicated to female empowerment and her most recent release, the wonder (we are the dreamers), is about the unjust political situation for immigrants in the United States. We talked about her dedication to the underserved, how she uses her voice as a vehicle for empowerment, and the musical night that changed her life forever.

    Support Madison: http://noiseofmadison.com/#/

    Music in this episode, used with permission by Madison:
    "the wonder (we are the dreamers)" - Madison


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    • 20 min
    Julian Tepper & The Natural History

    Julian Tepper & The Natural History

    Julian Tepper was the bass player in an overlooked band called The Natural History. The band toured around the country in the early oughts and almost made it big. But the band broke up right before the release of their second LP, The People that I Meet, the record that was supposed to (and eventually did) include the original, widely acclaimed song, "Don't You Ever" (made famous by Spoon).

    Julian ended up trading music for writing and recently published his third novel, Between the Records, which, among other things, fictionalizes the making of The People That I Meet. In our conversation, we chat about how a songwriting community led to Julian rediscovering his love for music. We also discuss the The Natural History's ongoing relationship with Spoon and what music community looks like in the time of COVID-19.

    Support Julian: https://www.juliantepper.com/

    Music in this episode, used with permission from Julian Tepper and The Natural History:
    "Don't You Ever" - The Natural History
    "Ohio Room" - The Natural History
    "The People That I Meet" - The Natural History
    "The Disassociation" - Julian Tepper


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    • 19 min

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