XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
First off, thank you SOOOO much for taking the time on As Strange As Angels. I appreciate you! We are coming off “The Curse” peaking @ #14 on BILLBOARD in March 2021. That was HUGE for us! I feat I never thought I would see. We are currently in the studio working on new music. Would love love love to hit the road, and hopefully, in time we will be able to do so!
XS ROCK: So how long has the band been together?
ASAA has been a band since 2017, dropping our first single “Waves”. But we really did not kick things up into high gear until March 2019 when we released “Mirror Mirror” and caught our first BILLBOARD chart position as the “#1 Most Added Mainstream Rock” track.
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for originally starting or being in a band?
I have always had a love for music since I was born apparently! I used to kick in the womb when my parents would jam their vinyls. When I saw KISS at 4 years old, I was HOOKED! I heard “Appetite For Destruction” in the 5th grade and I knew THEN, I wanted to do this for the rest of my life!
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
I started playing piano when I was 6 years old. Then Guitar at 9 years old. After that, It just all came naturally. Drums, bass, vocals. I came across Nine Inch Nails and the concept that I could do everything myself and fell in love with that! From like 8th grade until I graduated high school, I would hunker down in my parents basement with all my gear and my countless TASCAM Portastudio 424 recorders (because I used them so much, I tore through them like water). Only coming up for Pizza and the bathroom. I was enamored at the fact that all I needed to complete my musical sentence was me. Plus it was rewarding and incredibly helpful to work on music from all angles, because I learned how each of the instruments worked together in telling the story. So Trent, thank you for that!
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Positivity! I love me the color back, bats, etc. But to me, I want to use the gifts I have been given to use for good. I have literally been through the wringer in more ways than one can ever imagine in my personal life. I wanted to create something that could impact and inspire others in their lives. To me, if you are looking down on someone, it should be because you are lending a hand to pull them up.
XS ROCK: What are your current music career goals?
Just keep going! I have had the honor and gift of touring the world. Sharing stages with ROB ZOMBIE, DEFTONES, KORN, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, THE USED, SEVENDUST, WARPED TOUR 4 years in a row, Landing on BILLBOARD 3 times. Lots of love from SiriusXM Octane. I can’t imagine what else we could do other than just keep going. I am grateful, appreciative and thankful for everyone and everything. I live in every moment of it.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
At this moment, it would be writing and recording new songs. Nothing beats performing and connecting with an audience! But, right now I have so much in me that needs to come creatively, I need to get it out!
XS ROCK: What are your songs’ lyrics about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Overcoming the odds. Putting the demons behind you. Never letting life break you down. Knowing the comeback is always better than the setback.
XS ROCK: What is the single most important thing to you as a musician?
Being able to speak to someone’s soul. People can’t feel what doesn’t have feeling. So I feel every bit of what I write, in hopes that someone on the other end will apply it to their lives and help bring something positive into it. It’s all about bringing some positivity to the forefront!
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in.
HAHA! I wish, man! I am sure there has always being cray cray stuff happening around us.The world of characters in the music is a colorful one, but I have always been pretty reserved. Much more concerned with a WiFi connection and where is the hotel, so I can Netflix and Pajama haha! Performing and working with some of my idols, such as Tommy Lee, Will Hunt, Producers Beau Hill, Chris Dawson and Jimmy Beattie has been pretty huge for me. I live for that kind of stuff!
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
I wouldn’t say strange, but more interesting. Many times people have had my lyrics or autograph tattooed and that is MASSIVE to me! To all of you who have done that. Thank you a million times over!!
XS ROCK: Are your friends and family supportive of your choice to play in a rock band?
ABSOLUTELY! My mother gave me tips on how to use eyeliner in the 6th grade haha! My brother is in music as well. It’s the family biz!
XS ROCK: What advice do you have for new bands trying to get started?
Put your eye on building your brand. The brass ring of a record deal is always great to have. But approach this as what it is. Music “Business”! It’s a business and these days with the internet making it the wild west. It is imperative that a band learn how to be fiercely independent and build themselves before anyone will take a look. So get the business acumen down, but it’s just as imperative, as the music.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
“Mirror Mirror”, “Never Broken” and “The Curse”. I just love the way they kick!!
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
KISS without a doubt. I fell in love with KISS at 4 years old. I looked to them and Motley Crue on how to put on a show. I also loved The Cure. So I joke that ASAA is MOTLEY CURE haha!
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Current bands? ASAA / I PREVAIL / ARCHITECTS/ CAPTIVES. Love those bands! ANY Band? ASAA / GUNS N’ ROSES / KISS / NINE INCH NAILS!
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Being a father to my 7 year old little boy! Hands down. All the music stuff is amazing. BILLBOARD chart positions still blow my mind! Seeing the world from South Korea to Europe and everything in between has been amazing! But being a father to my son is still the coolest thing ever! Dexter, Daddy loves you!!!
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Hmmmm…..I would be doing what I do now. Mixing & Producing artists. But if you mean no music at all…I would say a Barber! Love me some hair cutting! Been doing color and cutting in tour buses and hotels since I started touring at 16 years old haha! All I need is the certification.
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Love it! Love so many new bands! Love seeing fans and artists flying the flag for rock and heavy rock. It is the most die hard and loyal fan base in the universe. Nothing compares to it! So all of you out there, keep the fires burning for our family! Because that’s really what we all are! Families come in all shapes and sizes. The Hard Rock community is an undeniable fam <3
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
I love the show Mike and Molly haha! I am a frontman and pretty in your face on stage. But, in reality, I don’t really like the attention. I just love to play music. If I could sing behind our drummer Michelle, I would. I am pretty timid haha!
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Just a huge THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOO SOOOOOOOO MUCH! Every moment is a dream come true and no one can ever take that away because of YOU! Thank you, thank you, thank you <3
XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS ROCK!
Thank YOU! It was an honor and a pleasure!
As Strange As Angels is:
Norman Matthew – Vocals, Guitar
Michelle Graves – Drums
Facebook: as strange as angels