Riley: I’m here with Matt Anderson, Bass player for the Rock N Roll band Backyard Tire Fire. First of all, let
me say that I think “Good to Be” is an awesome album. Thanks for taking the time to do this. How was
working with Steve Berlin on the new album? And how did or did he influence you guys in the making of
Matt: Working with Steve on "Good To Be" was a pleasure. He had us change words in a song, he
rearranged a few parts on a handful of songs, he had me play very subtle different bass lines on a couple
tunes, he came up with the drum loop on "Estelle", and all in all he knew how to get good performances out
Riley: Where did the name “Backyard Tire Fire” originate?
Matt: It originated in Asheville, NC. I wasn't in the band when they came up with it. It is a "Simpson's"
reference, which is nice.
Riley: Oh yea...The old Springfield Tire Fire. Nice. Ok, this is more of a statement than a question. I
personally own six of BTF’s albums. Plus one I put together of a set at Chord on Blues earlier last year. The
earliest album I have is “Live at the Georgia Theatre” with Warren Hawk on bass. Though Warren was pretty
good on bass, I feel that you, Matt, is more solid and you bring a lot more to the table, musicially, and really
solidify the awesome sound you guys have.
Matt: That is very nice of you to say, but I have to give it up to Warren who is a great guy and an awesome
bass player and singer/songwriter as well.
Riley: I know everyone in whatever business wants to succeed. But, what is your personal goal? Would you
be happier where you’re at, or would you be happier on the top ten with Ryan Seacrest? Or somewhere in
Matt: Somewhere in between.
Riley: I gotcha. How does it feel to have the fan base you have?
Matt: It feels nice when we are over 1000 miles from where we live and sometimes hundreds of people are
there for us. It feels nice and at home.
Riley: As we’ve discussed before, my favorite song by you guys is “Jimmy, Bob, & Jack”. To which is now my
12 year old sons favorite song as well. We were both a little bummed that it didn’t make the cut for “Good
To Be”. Do you see it possibly making it on a future album? Or will it be one of those treats you get by
seeing you guys live?
Matt: From what I understand it will be recorded in the studio at some time. We have hundreds of songs
that have never been put on an album yet, so there is much to work with.
Riley: Awesome. Who are your inspirations (musically and personal)?
Matt: Zappa and my parents.
Riley: I really dig that you guys record on analog first before converting to digital. What prompted you to do
this and is this something that you will continue to do for future recordings?
Matt: The quality of sound that you get from tape is a lot warmer than what you get on digital equipment. We
plan on recording on 2 inch tape as much as possible. However, I don't think it is out of the realm of
possibility that we might do something digitally in the future.
Riley: Outside of Illinois, what are your top three venues to play?
Matt: New Hope, PA (John and Peter's and For the Music Only [I will count that as one place, even though
one is a bar and one is a house]), Joe's Pub (NYC), Top Hat (Missoula, MT)
Riley: I know that Dave plays with you when he can. Is there going to be a permanent spot for him? Or is it
more or less just letting a bud jam with you?
Matt: His name is Scott Tipping and he does play with us about 99% of the time. He is a big part of the
touring act and he might be helping out with the next album as well. Thanks for the ongoing support Riley!
Riley: I don’t know why the hell I said Dave. Sorry about that. Thanks again Matt. I really appreciate it. And
like the great Tom Waits said “No, I don’t have a drinking problem except when I can’t get a drink”. So
here's to you my friends. Hopefully we’ll see you in Dallas soon. Keep Rocking.