Interview – Deserta

Deserta is the new project from LA based Matthew Doty, a former mainstay of post-rock band Saxon Shore. Following the recent release of his debut shoegaze-tinged album Black Aura My Sun, we spoke to Matthew about going solo and his process for writing and recording…

Having been part of bands and collaborations, is it daunting to release a solo album?

The only unfamiliar territory that came with this album is having to sing. That’s something I’m still getting used to. In past bands I’ve always kind of fallen into the role of coordinating the behind the scenes work of being in a band such as booking tours, hiring publicists, arranging studio time, etc. All of that was a pretty natural transition.

You’ve said that you were inspired to write new material when you discovered you were going to be a father – what’s been the impact on your approach to making music?

My approach to making music has pretty much been the same. I think the fatherhood piece was more of an inspiration in the sense that there was a surge in confidence and decisiveness that came along with being a father. I trust my gut a lot more.

Black Aura My Sun feels like a very personal and powerful project, how long did it take to put together and, apart from fatherhood, what’s been the inspiration?

From the time I started putting Hide together until it was mastered that album was probably 2 years in the works. Musical inspiration isn’t something I’m able to pinpoint. The songs just kind of happen with a lot of patience, time, writing, rewriting, adding layers, simplifying… I mix my rough ideas down and listen to them inside the studio. I’ll then listen outside the studio while walking around my neighbourhood or something. It’s in that setting that I’ll often hear parts that aren’t in the song yet and make voice memos of whatever it is that I’m hearing.

What are your thoughts on streaming versus physical purchase of music?

Streaming has brought our music to a wider audience than would have been reached if we were just selling limited edition cassettes or something. I think/hope the people who buy records are always going to buy records.

You’re making an acceptance speech at an awards ceremony – who do you thank (for the album and your career so far)?

My wife – she keeps our house/life afloat and makes sure our kiddo is in the best hands so I can spend time in the studio making records, rehearsing or touring. Without that kind of support I wouldn’t be able to do any of it.

And what’s in store for you in 2020?

A good amount of touring and trying to finish LP2 for 2021.

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Black Aura My Sun is out now on Felte Records; you can listen to Save Me below and buy the album here


Interview by Siobhan

Photos and artwork via One Beat PR, promo shot © Jacob Boll

3rd February 2020