Speakeasy with Matt Chandler 

A multifaceted fixt

A multifaceted fixture in the music community, Matt Chandler is a retired concert promoter, DJs on WICR's The Free Zone (88.7 FM Friday and Saturday nights at midnight) and plays bass for dance rock combo Thin Fevers. Next show: Punk Rock Night at the Melody Inn on June 18 with America Owns The Moon and Creepin' Charley. More information available at ThinFevers.com.
Q: Tell me about Thin Fevers. A: Our priority is to get loose, have fun and get people to dance to short, dark, sexy, catchy rock songs. We just recorded seven songs for an EP with Mike Dixon [Rapider Than Horsepower] at Russian Recording in Bloomington, and we're dealing with some labels right now. We'd like to get that out this fall, when we plan to start going out on tour. Q: Does it make you self-conscious to be subjected to the same open arena of criticism by which you have gauged other artists? A: No. Everybody's got their trip, and if you're going to get up there on stage you've got to be prepared to deal. I never let what people say - positive or negative - affect my fun with music. If we can play a show and walk away feeling like we handed everybody their asses on a platter, and we had a good time making music together, everything else is irrelevant. Q: What would it take for you to resurrect your promotion company, Temporary Structures? A: A sudden onset of clinical insanity or a seven-figure yearly grant. I learned a lot and I had amazing experiences that many people would give an eye to have. But it's just too much stress constantly putting your own money on the line. Besides, there's only room for so much. Q: Favorite show from that era? A: Fugazi, April 20, 2001, Knights of Columbus. At that time Sarah Stierch [DJ Sarah Vain] and I were doing shows together. The idea that two young people could throw a show, fill a 600-person hall, have good professional sound and security, and on top of that the headlining band is one who I'd admired and respected for 10 years, that was life-changing. Q: You're fortunate as a radio DJ to have direct access to so much music. So, what's good right now? A: Let me just say that increased access to recording technology has been both a blessing and a curse in terms of what gets put out into the world. But as far as current things, right now I like the new records by Oneida, Minmae, Boom Bip, Jaga Jazzist, The Benevento-Russo Duo, Lyrics Born, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Need New Body, Aimee Mann and 400 Blows among others. Q: People enjoy music subjectively, but is there a point when one should be held accountable for having shitty taste in music? A: Never. Ridiculing other people is a way for insecure, petty people to elevate themselves in their own minds. There are times on the show when I exaggerate my opinions to make for more entertaining radio, but I'd never sincerely think about telling someone, "You're stupid and you like bad music." That's immature and ridiculous.

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