Matthew Curran
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Matthew Curran

Red Bank, New Jersey, United States | INDIE

Red Bank, New Jersey, United States | INDIE
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"Matthew Curran – Simplify (CD)"

“Simplify” is the titular track on Matthew Curran’s latest release, and it will immediately hit listeners with a strong guitar and driving beat that gradually opens up and provides listeners with a wide swath of different styles, sounds and approaches. At all points during this track, however, Curran’s vocals impress. This is because he takes on equal parts Kurt Cobain, Ben Folds, and Chris Cornell, crafting a unique style that will stick with listeners for a long time after the album finishes up. “Hypnotruth” has a trippy blend of alternative and psychedelic rock, tied together through the aforementioned allure of Curran’s vocals.

The instrumentation present on this track bears further coverage, though: whether it is the guitars, the on-point drums, or even a ropy bass line, the resulting interplay is something that bolsters and highlights all the best parts of Curran’s delivery. “The Vibe” is one of the strongest tracks on “Simplify”, adding a Santana-like guitar riff to a laid-back bit of alt-rock that recalls Cake or Fastball. Whether it is the hook-laden arrangements present during “The Vibe” or the snappy vocals present, listeners will be drawn in droves to the song. “Who You Are” contains a little bit more of grit than the other tracks on “Simplify”, whether it be the distorted guitars or more labyrinthine arrangements.

Despite the fact that it may not be as outwardly catchy as a “Simplify” or a “The Vibe”, I feel that this track is a must-listen for the fact that is breaks so cleanly with the rest of the tracks on the album. By including a “Who You Are”, Curran is showing all listeners that there is no musical style or tack that can be taken that trips him up. More than that, taking “Who You Are” alongside the other album tracks ensures that listeners will be surprised whenever it may be that Curran releases another album. The one thing that listeners will know about this later release, regardless of how in the dark they may be about the overall composition, is that Curran puts his heart and soul into every second that graces this silver disc. Check it out.

Top Tracks: The Vibe, Who You Are - NeuFutur Magazine


"Skope Mage Review , by Jimmy Rae"

Matthew Curran, Simplify
December 23, 2009 | by Skope Staff
Matthew Curran and his trio (Matt Jurasek on bass & Kevin Conray on drums) introduce a powerful yet simplified rock ‘n’ roll sound. Curran & company are blending together elements of rock, blues and alternative to offer you a creatively fresh recording. With catchy guitar rhythms & vibrant hooks, Simplify sums it all up with track two, “The Vibe”. This group has definitely got an all-around-cool vibe that oozes with rock-it-time grooves. Infectious style to go along with a stellar songwriting ability & excellent musicianship makes for one stand-out album!

I can’t go any further without mentioning the incredible talents of Matthew Curran. At the age of only 11, this singer/songwriter/guitarist was the youngest person ever sponsored by Gibson. Matthew went on to also endorse with Roman Guitars, Transperformance and Marshall Amps. At the ripe young age of 12, Curran impressively opened up for such big acts as Deep Purple & The Scorpions. This musical virtuoso even had the privilege of playing with blues & rock legends, Dave Mason, Jeff Healey (R.I.P.) and Les Paul (R.I.P.). Curran has gone on to headline shows in NYC, L.A., Vegas & abroad, has performed on radio (Manhattan’s Q104.3 Classic Rock), Metro TV & the WB and not to mention has his own documentary film thanks to Telling Image Films. To think, it all started at 10 years old when this kid played “Stairway To Heaven” note for note on his dad’s guitar. In the end, Matthew Curran and Simplify are nothing short of simply amazing.

Crisp artistry & phenomenal guitar playing are highly evident on this new project, but Curran’s singing/songwriting skills are equally as impressive. The voice has a rocky alternative edge to it while the words are brilliantly displayed. One such line comes from the opening title track where Matthew simply states “Wasting my time looking for things, but they’re not my type”. The overlaying message here is not to worry so much about material possessions, but rather to worry about one another. Humanized Tendencies vs. Materialistic Temptations is a theme that runs heavy throughout this record. Matthew’s principles and values come shining through here as Mr. Matthew Curran dares us to be civil with one another. The beauty of it all is that it’s not difficult to focus on what’s truly important in this life. On the contrary, Curran stresses to just keep it all simple. Hopeful words & Insightful lyrics for a Jaded World & Cynical Consumer = Simplified Measures. The purpose of this album is heard loud & clear as Curran adds a bit of positive reinforcement to ALL of mankind.

Matthew Curran and his bandmates are bringing a vivacious flow of guitar-driven rock/blues/alt-rock. Curran has come up with a formula that works and a technique that flourishes on this disc. Matthew Curran will definitely blow you away as you experience Simplify for yourself. For more on Matthew Curran and his latest release, Simplify, SKOPE out www.matthewcurran.com.
- SKOPEMAG 12-24-2009


"ROCKWIRED Interviews Matthew Curran"


THE KiD iS DYNAMiTE!
MATTHEW CURRAN TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS DEBUT ALBUM SiMPLiFY
GROWiNG UP WiTH ROCK N ROLL
AND EARNiNG HiS CHOPS THE HARD WAY

iNTERViEWED BY BRiAN LUSH

It’s all too easy to say that the nineteen-year-old guitar slinger MATTHEW CURRAN was born in the wrong decade due to his embrace of JIMMY PAGE-styled riffs, but when the tedium of today’s pop set is considered, we need a MATTHEW CURRAN now more than ever. Well versed in the ways of the six-string by the time he was seven, CURRAN cut his teeth in such New York City clubs as CBGB’s and B.B. KING’s when most kids his age are at home writing book reports. Hell! He’s even shared stages with the likes of THE SCORPIONS and DEEP PURPLE when he was twelve. Believe it or not, CURRAN has got life experience and he’s got chops and they all find their way onto his blistering self-produced debut SIMPLIFY. “The album ‘SIMPLIFY’ was based on stuff that I believe in.” says CURRAN “I’m really into the Zen Movement and the Transcendentalism. The idea behind ‘SIMPLIFY’ was that I don’t need a lot of material things to make me happy. Who you are is who you are on the inside. It’s sort of Transcendentalism compressed into rock music.”

ROCKWIRED spoke with MATTHEW CURRAN over the phone. Here is how it went.

You’ve got a great CD kid! Now that it’s out there for people to hear and the work that has gone into it is behind you, how do you feel about the finished product? Real quick did you just call me TED?

No, I called you “kid”. You’re a kid to me. I’m thirty-something and you’re in your twenties.
Actually, I’m nineteen.

That’s more of a kid then twenty.
That’s cool! I like being called “kid”.

Enjoy it while you can.
The new album is cool. It’s all self-produced. I did it all at my home studio in my basement. I learned production from KIRKYANO who has engineered for people like MARIAH CAREY and this band called SOULLIVE. During my first two years of high school, every weekend I would go to the studio and learn how to engineer and produce and then I made my own record. I didn’t have to pay for studio time that was the beautiful thing. For a first attempt, I’m really proud of it. The vision got out. When the album is done there are always things that you would like to add on or do differently, but I think that it serves its purpose as a first shot.

I think so. It doesn’t even sound like a first album.
Well thanks I appreciate that! I’m working on album number two right now and I’m gonna add more acoustic sounds. It’s going to be more GEORGE HARRISON-esque and a little more psychedelic. That’s going to be my approach.

So in terms of musical influence, where does it come from? Does it come from the parents? You’re too young to even know who GEORGE HARRISON is.
It’s pretty simple. When you grow up in a household where both of your parents play guitar and you have a grandfather that used to play at CARNEGIE HALL, you kind of suck it all up. When I was two years old I was dancing to things like MICHAEL JACKSON and DIRE STRAITS just because it was so prevalent. I started playing guitar when I was seven-and-a-half and when I was ten, my dad noticed my ability to play. I could play almost every frickin’ LED ZEPPELIN lead that was out there. My dad would take me to open jams in New York City with all of these studio cats that would play with SANTANA, THE DOOBIE BROTHERS and STEELY DAN. People saw me play and we formed a cover band with all of these musicians and then I started writing when I was twelve. It really grew from music that my dad liked. As a kid, I would go home from school and listen to LED ZEPPELIN’s ‘HOUSES OF THE HOLY’ and would always play this one song ‘DANCING DAYS’ because I couldn’t figure out how JIMMY PAGE did all of those over dubs with the slide guitar. It dumbfounded me. My influences are JIMI HENDRIX, JIMMY PAGE and ERIC CLAPTON. I also like a lot of newer stuff like THE CHILI PEPPERS and THE MARS VOLTA. Personally I like a lot of new age music- not just to relax to – I like the whole symphonic sound also. Eventually I want to get to that pointing my music. I like symphonies. Those are some of my influences.

What did you have to write about when you were twelve?
At first it was instrumental stuff. Songwriting has a formula to it but sometimes you’ve got to go outside of it’s boundaries a little bit. I would study how other artists would formulate their songs and I would write my own guitar parts and put it all together. It’s all sequencing really. In the beginning, a lot of the songs came from things that would come to me in my dreams. When we’re kids, we have huge imaginations and a lot of it is not as filtered by the world. I wrote about simple feelings. The first song that I ever wrote was called ‘ONLY IN MY DREAMS’ and the song went ‘Only in my dreams I feel free!’ The album ‘SIMPLIFY’ was based on stuff that I believe in. I’m really into the Zen Movement and the Transcendentalism. The idea behind SIMPLIFY was that I don’t need a lot of material things to make me happy. Who you are is who you are on the inside. It’s sort of Transcendentalism compressed into rock music.

So that’s the kind of place that you are coming from as a songwriter?
Oh yeah. We all go through stuff and I think my best songs happen when I feel like I’m about to pop. The song kind of forms itself in ten minutes and then you go ‘What the hell! Did I actually write that?’ It kind of flows and I’m still trying to find my writing flow. When it flows, you aren’t aware that you are writing it. It’s just there for you. A lot of my songwriting is based around a guitar lick. I read an interview with JIMMY PAGE and he said that LED ZEPPELIN is a riff-based band and that that was how he had intended it to be and that is what I do. I write a riff and put together a couple of chords. I write my melodies on the guitar and then I will actually sing it. The guitar is really helpful tool for me. It really helps me with my singing. I base everything off of a riff. That’s how I roll.

Having been trained in a studio, do you rely on technology much or is it just an acoustic guitar and a notepad?
I use all of the techniques that you just said. If it sounds good with an acoustic guitar and your voice then it works. With some songs, I will create a riff, record it on my computer and forget about it for a few months and go back to it and go ‘Ah! Now this makes sense!’ I write a lot of licks and they are ingrained in my subconscious and then months later they pop out. Sometimes the things that we program into our brains aren’t important in the present but it’s important in the future so I never throw anything out. If I feel like a song is not going to go anywhere, I just put it to the side. I cut and paste a lot of stuff and you take all of the pieces and you make it into its own monster.

From ‘SIMPLIFY’, what songs stand out for you the most and why?
Probably ‘THE VIBE’. I fooled a lot of people with that one. My friend DOUG LEVIN – who is my age - played tenor sax filtered through an auto-wah effect and distortion and people think it’s like JOHN POPPER from BLUES TRAVELER playing the blues harp. I like how it refrains and I like the general feel of the song and the vibe of it. It’s just about having fun. It’s a song for everyone and I think most people enjoy it. When I started recording ‘SIMPLIFY’ – the album – it actually wasn’t supposed to be an album. I recorded ‘SIMPLIFY’ to test if I could actually finish and record a song. After that, I recorded seven other songs and over three months I made the album. I never intended to make an album. It was kind of a goof.

Being nineteen years old can’t be easy for doing gigs.
No. A lot of places are twenty-one and up but that really doesn’t matter. When I was twelve, I was playing in bars that were twenty-one and over because I was a performer. They actually made a cute little rise for me so they could all see my face because I was so short. I wish I had pictures. It gets easier. I learned from a young age – when I was eleven – that you pack up and break things down. When you are playing clubs, it is very business like. You have to maintain your time wisely. In high school there were a lot of bands that I thought were just slacking. I used to play local venues but I was always used to playing with older musicians. I feel very fortunate that I learned all of that at a very young age. I don’t brag about it. It was just an added benefit.

Talk about the business end of it. Given your age, I’m assuming that family is there for you.
My dad has been helping me for the longest time. He’s been financially supportive but a lot of it I’m doing on my own now. He started me off in the right direction and I’m learning to maintain my own business skills. I’m an adult technically and my dad is like ‘You’ve got to learn some day.’ I’m learning a lot everyday and my dad has a really good business sense. I personally don’t like business but in music, it is something that you have to learn.

What are you studying in school?
Right now it’s Liberal Arts but leaning more towards Communications. I’m more undecided than anything. I know that I’m a very artistic person and I’m really good with people and love helping them. It goes hand in hand I guess. I’m in my sophomore year so I am going to have to decide soon. What that may be it will definitely be integrated into what I’m doing now. I don’t want to study music in college because I can always study that on my own.

What is your musical mission?
We’re a three piece band that is trying to bring musicality back into music. All of this pop stuff on the radio just frustrates me.

Has it always frustrated you?
Music has multi-purposes. It can have a spiritual connection, it can make you dance and it’s something that can work with your emotions. Pop music has its place because it wants to make you dance but I think when there is to much of that, you start to lose the artistry. That’s what I’ve got to say.

What would you like someone to come away with after they’ve heard SIMPLIFY?
How do you mean?

What would you like them to feel? What would you like them to think?
I’d like for the thing to give them a sense of happiness obviously and a sense of hope as well. Some people gravitate to darker songs and some people gravitate to lighter songs and whatever people are attracted to, I just want people to enjoy themselves. That’s why we listen to music, isn’t it?


- ROCKWIRED ,by Brian Lush 12-15-2009


Discography

Only In My Dreams - 2002 full CD (12 yrs old playing guitar/ vox)

Matthew Curran EP - 2006/2007 ,
produced & engineered by Kirk Yano - (Soulive, Robert Randolph, Mick Taylor, Mariah Carey)

Simplify- 2009 , self-produced by Matthew Curran

New Release 4-1-2010 !

Photos

Bio

Matthew Curran was the youngest guitarist sponsored by Gibson at the age of eleven. He wowed crowds from the Hard Rock Cafe to Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village with his ability to mimic and perform the solos from every great guitarist, transversing from Clapton to Hendrix to Page.
Throughout his teens, he’s had the opportunity to open for and perform with such luminaries as Dave Mason, Jeff Healy, and Les Paul, to name a few.
Now at 19, the college student is emerging on the scene with a self-produced original solo album Simplify. It stays true to its name in the face of guitar virtuosity. Humility and consciousness are the musical and spiritual questions evoked in Curran’s debut effort, pulled off with a tasteful blend of classic and modern rock that is sure to mesmerize listeners of all ages.
Songs like The Vibe offer a harmonica-like wah solo on the guitar, later kicking into a full-blown psychedelic refrain. Simplify, Hypnotruth, and Bad News are glimpses at our modern world from the perspective of the artist as a young man, ingrained in sensibility. The music travels in and out of reminiscient strains, sometimes sounding like a flash of Alice in Chains, or the harmonies of an Allman Brothers style guitar riff. The influences of Page and Clapton are very apparent. Still, he’s molding his own sound and carving his way into some uncharted territories as well.
In general, his music offers hope . . . hope for the spiritually consciousness of the young, and hope that a new generation of rockers that may be inspired to experiment, explore, and reflect like those bands of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Matthew Curran is a young artist to watch.

2002 Matt was on tour with Deep Purple /Scorpions

2003 Opened for
Dave Mason 5x
Jeff Healy 2x,
John Mayall

Radio
Q104.3 NYC Live (4 Shows)
95.3 FM
Alan Handelman Show
Albany Radio
Les Paul - Perfromed Live with Les

Currently on over 200 College Stations

TV
The "WB" - TV
FOX-2008 One hour Show
Metro TV - one hr show(Live Band)

Sponsored By

RKS Guitars
Marshal Amps
Roman Guitars
Transperformance Tuning

Shows

Bitter End
Hard Rock Cafe
CBGB's
Cafe Wha
Sullivan Hall
Red LIon
BB KINGS