Published Jan 31st, 2014

Out of the Trenches

Photo supplied.
Photo supplied.

Most people know him as the lead guitarist for the pop-rock band Marianas Trench, but that’s not the only trick Matt Webb has up his sleeve. The Canadian musician also sings and writes his own songs, skills he shows off on his second EP, Right Direction. Recorded at Armoury Studios in Vancouver and released by 604 Records, the EP will feature four mid-tempo tracks. Webb will introduce his solo sound to fans during a cross-Canada tour in March, including an Edmonton show at Avenue Theatre March 21.

While Webb has done extensive touring with Marianas Trench, this will be his first solo tour across Canada. “I’m very nervous because I don’t know what I’m doing,” laughs Webb. “I play guitar in Marianas Trench, so I usually hide in the shadows. But now I have to be out front and entertain everyone. It’s going to be a circus.”

To prepare for the tour, Webb is trying to get used to performing without his fellow members of Marianas Trench. “I stand in front of a mirror and sing my songs and try not to look like a tool. I practice a lot. I’m trying to get myself in shape so I can jump around,” says Webb. “I think I’m going to have a really simply show, just having a good time and rocking out with the audience. I won’t be wearing the flashy clothes that I wear with Marianas Trench.”

The stripped-down experience will allow him to get closer to his audience. “I can literally walk off the stage and chill with people after the show. I don’t get to do that a lot with Marianas Trench because of the sheer size of the shows.”

He says his own music is quite different from anything you would hear at a Marianas Trench concert but that he does have some fans who appreciate both of his musical acts. “I’m getting some crossover. The awesome thing about my fans is that they are very smart. These days, you don’t find a lot of people that are obsessed with one particular genre of music. With iTunes, you can grab stuff from different genres. My fans have been really supportive of what I’m doing,” Webb says. “If people only love Marianas Trench, they’re going to hate my music. But if they like music, they’re going to like my music. I’m so blessed. I’m so lucky to be able to put this music in front of so many people.”

Webb, who is in his late-20s, has had a love of music from a very young age, he says. “When I was young, my folks stuck me into piano lessons against my will. I got into playing guitar because I thought it looked super cool. In high school, I sang in choir and played in the jazz band. Then I had a wonderful opportunity to choose music as a career path and it’s been the best decision I’ve ever made.”

The Vancouver resident has known Josh Ramsay, lead vocalist of Marianas Trench, since high school. “The friendship is always there. We’re all a family. We’ve been together for years and years. It’s certainly a business as well but it wouldn’t be what it is without the friendship,” explains Webb.

His solo career isn’t meant to replace Marianas Trench, but, rather, supplement it as another creative outlet. “Whenever Marianas Trench gets a little slow, I get my ass into the studio and work on my own stuff. That basically never happens, which is why it’s taken three years for me to do this. Marianas Trench is recording a record in the studio right now. It never stops. The other band members are really supportive of [my solo work]. I appreciate them being cool,” says Webb. “I had some songs that were certainly not Marianas Trench sounding. I wanted to do something stripped down that wasn’t as much pop music.”

Matt Webb will perform at Avenue Theatre in Edmonton on March 21 and you could be there. We're giving away a pair of tickets to the show, as well as a signed EP of Right Direction. To enter, click here.

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