Mathew’s Hidden Museum | Album Premiere | Debut Album by Josiah Frontman
Exclusive album premiere of Mathew’s Hidden Museum, a solo project by Josiah’s frontman. Digital album releases January 31st, while Vinyl, CD, Tape releases February 3rd, 2023, out via Interstellar Smoke Records.
Interstellar Smoke Records brings forth a musical offering from the open mind of Mathew Bethancourt. The Josiah (and once Kings of Frog Island) frontman looks to the spaces between spaces for creative inspiration, evoking a sense of all things fornicating, all the time. Make of this what you will as you experience Mathew’s Hidden Museum. Limited Edition LP/CD/MC available to pre-order from Interstellar Smoke Records now. Album to be released February 3rd 2023.
What led to your solo project?
Mathew Bethancourt: The usual pandemic lockdown story that so many creatives tell. [Laughs] All of a sudden I had all this time to play with and no place to go. So I retreated to my home studio on a daily basis. I started to play my son’s drum kit a lot more and began to write and write. Composing and recording on the fly. The music just flooded out of me. It was a very spontaneous process. Mics set up at all times. Writing, playing, recording in a loop. I had time to play keys, refine the lyrics and produce something of interest to me. Nothing was planned. It all just happened.
Is there a certain concept or creed you are trying to express via your solo release?
All things all the time! That’s my creed. No rules or creative parameters. No thought given to genre or style. No consideration to what’s happening now or then. Art for art’s sake. Responding to the moment. Spontaneous chaos.
Can you share some further words about the writing, recording and production of the album?
Apart from the piano for ‘All of the Saints Will Sin Again’ – everything you hear is played by me. My limits as a musician were a big part of the recording process. Not relying on the talents of others to express an idea (as with Josiah). My limitations became a parameter. Same goes for my engineering. This was a two mic recording throughout. You have to get inventive when two mics is all you have to play with. That also made the recording process special as I had to make decisions I couldn’t alter later in the mix.
Every song’s recording started from a different point too. One may be written on the piano, another the drums, another an acoustic guitar and so on. All of them started on ‘Head Radio’. You know that radio station that plays in your head, throws up random tunes all the time. Sometimes they give you new ones. A lot of this album was written up there. Tested on the airwaves before coming to life in my little studio. The entire process was a pleasure. Very natural.
What’s the next step now that the album is coming out?
The album was finished quite some time back in late 2021. Its release has taken a while due to all the usual production hang ups of our times and the fact it’s hard to categorise. Jack at Interstellar Smoke Records was the first to really get the record and put his faith into giving it a physical release. I’m very grateful for that.
I’d like to assemble like minded musicians to perform the music live. To move it on, push the ideas forward and have them grow. There will be more Mathew’s Hidden Museum music released and it will most definitely have nothing in common with the music on this album – and why would it? [Laughs]