Were you intimidated at first by meeting with someone as respected as Mark Kozelek of the Red House Painters?
Absolutely. In part, Mark has been someone I have respected so much as an artist. I’ve found meeting a person whose work you respect can be pretty disappointing ... the art can be more impressive than the artist, so to speak. Not in Mark’s case. He’s as warm and genuine as one might hope he’d be. Then, of course, here’s this amazing opportunity in your lap. I think I was more intimidated by not getting the gig than anything.
Matt Boyer is a guitarist/songwriter for Citizens Band and Sun Kil Moon.
How did the opportunity to tour with Kozelek’s other project, Sun Kil Moon, come about?
The first domino fell about a year ago. Mark and I, unknown to me at the time, have a mutual friend in Todd Robinson, proprietor of Luna Music. Mark had been considering some local, being San Francisco, options for guitarists. Todd, graciously and again unknown to me, managed to get my name thrown in the hat. Two demo disks, driving to Toronto for a meeting and a couple phone calls later, I was in the band. So the short version is … Todd Robinson is how it came about. Thanks, Todd!
At first as a guitarist for hire for SKM, did it feel cheap to be involved in a project where you didn’t have any real creative input?
Not at all. First of all, I’d be a jerk not to be thrilled to be involved on any level. Then, the touring lineup/instrumentation is totally different than the record … so, almost everything I’m playing at the shows, I came up with myself. There was a lot of group brainstorming going on during rehearsals.
With this being a project that widely differs from your own Citizens Band, has this experience shaped your direction and growth as a musician?
It’s been very validating. It’s only made me want to work harder.
Your first solo record has long been in the works. How is the project taking form?
Well, the project you’re talking about is nestled cozily on a hard drive at a friend’s studio. I recorded those tracks at Cromagnon Studios in Dayton, Ohio, right before it closed. Actually, it closed before I finished. I, currently, file that album under Tibetan sand paintings. I am getting ready to release an EP of some acoustic stuff … Some new songs and some antiquities. It’s just me, my guitar and three microphones. I wanted it to be as close to a live solo show as possible — without the forgetting my own lyrics part.
What is it like being on tour with a national act?
There are so many different levels of touring nationally that I know nothing about. I know what it’s like to be crammed in a van with my brothers from Citizens Band and all our gear — stuck in an ice storm for three hours between Louisville and Indy, trying to get home while you’re sick on “Long John’s” and broke. Then I know what this has been like. It’s like being on vacation, and all I have to do is play guitar for a couple hours a day.