Interview: The Shouting Matches

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The Shouting Matches are cool, man. I only heard about them a few weeks ago when a friend told me Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) had a new project. I really had no idea what to expect but I can tell you the Shouting Matches delivered regardless. The band is more or less a side project formed by three gentlemen: Vernon, Phil Cook, and Brian Moen. They’re all friends from Wisconsin who shared the stage for one show around seven years ago and decided to regroup this year and put out the album, Grownass Man. The Shouting Matches hit us with some great bluesy jams on this record. Once I heard it I immediately knew it would be cool to find out some more about the project. Phil Cook was kind enough to answer some questions for me.

Photo Credit: Graham Tolbert
Photo Credit: Graham Tolbert

Pop-Break: So around seven years ago you played one show together. What made you all come back together to make this new album Grownass Man?

Phil Cook: I guess we just wanted an excuse to play together as the three of us again. Group dynamics have their initial potential no matter how long it’s been.

PB: How do you guys know each other?

PC: We’ve known each other a long time. Just and I and known each other since 1996 and Brian met us around 2001. We all met because of the music scene in Eau Claire, WI which has always produced great musicians.

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PB: Was there a specific vision for the sound of this band?

PC: 1. Canned Beer 2. Keep spontaneity high and second-guessing low.

PB: What was the writing process like for this album?

PC: We booked a week to write the record which consisted of us jamming until we cut a tune, then repeating the process until the record was done. We did everything together, music, lyrics, production, etc.

PB: Do you plan on embarking a full tour anytime soon?

PC: We’ll see how our schedules permit. We’ve been talking about a tour across the south, sort of a smiley face through the country. Hopefully that happens next year

PB: Is there a plan to continue this for a while or is it more of just a side project?

PC: This is a welcome outlet from our normal crazy, planned out schedules. This is about us having a good time and keeping things loose. We’re not too concerned about it.

PB: What’s your favorite breakfast food?

PC: Minneapolis has a killer breakfast scene. Always has. Anything greasy from Al’s Breakfast in Dinkytown, really.

PB: Is there a spot for Kanye on your next album?

PC:

PB: What would your ideal lifestyle be?

PC: Play music and pay the bills on time!