I had the honor to sit with Matt Beck from Spitfire and conduct an interview on Underoath’s tour bus on May 05, 2006.
- State your name and position in the band.
My name is Matt Beck and I play guitar in the band Spitfire.
- Give a brief history of the band and the origin of the name.
Origin on the name; we were in high school starting out when we were 15 years old. Somehow we were getting ready to play our first show, actually it was a party with this band and we needed a name for the flyer for this party. So Chris said names we had mentioned, what do you think of that. He had called me and was like “We have to do it now. That’s it, we’re called Spitfire.” What else did you say?
- Give a brief history of the band.
Yeah, we had been doing this through high school and college, then we played in different bands. I played in Mae, Jon and Dan were in Scarlet, and we kind of just lived all over the place at the time. So we weren’t really able to be functional at the time at all. We’re back together now and it’s me and Chris who originally played, our original bass player, Jimmy Reeves, he moved to New York for a job up there. So we got Dan from Scarlet to play. And Ian, he was in some awesome bands from Virginia Beach, he was in the band, End of the Universe. That’s pretty much it.
- After four years of the band not being active, what made you decide to bring it back?
We were all back in town and we weren’t in bands, we had to have a band so we were like “Dude, let’s do Spitfire again.” So we just started writing songs. We just working on our record and we’re like “Let’s just put it out”. We didn’t have a label, our last EP was with Goodfellow. And we just decided, if anything, let’s do a good recording and put it out on whatever label. So we’re with Goodfellow and it’s amazing. We’re doing really well. We’re on this tour with Underoath, Poisen The Well, and As Cities Burn and we feel so privileged.
(Underoath’s tour manager, Russ, opens the door to the tour bus.)
Matt: What’s up G?
Russ: What’s up, what’s up. Doing an interview or something?
Russ: Oh my bad.
That guy has the most amazing tattoo of world knows what on his leg.
-What are some things you are looking forward to the most about this tour?
Just playing every single night and meeting new kids, that’s how you and I met. It’s a 100% fun the whole time.
- How did you feel when playing your first show and how have the shows improved over the years?
Well we have three guitars now, our other guitar player, Scottie Henry, he’s recording for the new Norma Jean record so obviously he can’t play these shows. When we have three guitars going, it sounds really good. It’s just fun for us to all be together and hanging out. But we’ve grown together a bit and switching to three guitar players.
- What has been the most memorable show throughout the years and why?
One that I’ll never forget, this is so scary. We played a show with As Cities Burn.
- Yeah, is this the one with the broken glass?
Yeah, it was our first show back. It was the Dead Poetic show. Cody from As Cities Burn was heckling Jon through the glass in front of the stage facing Atlantic Avenue in Virginia Beach. And Jon just went up to the window and kind of just hit it like that. It was untempered glass and so it came out in this big shard and it totally hit Cody right in the face. It cut his face and he had to go out in an ambulance. He was in shock, he was in and out of consciousness. Last night was one of the best shows we’ve had. The way everything was so good. The crowed was so good and good response. So just a fun night. Every night is a fun night just hanging out.
- What are your feelings with the final result of the record?
We love it. We did it with our friend Andreas Magnusson and it came out great. He’s so easy to work with and just gets really good sound. He obviously is one of the top guys to record right now unless you want to pay $100,000. But he’s just very very gifted so it flowed really well.
- In your opinion what does the title “Self-Help” mean?
We’ve all gone through different problems by learning life with hard knots and all that kind of stuff and getting it down, in a life kind of way and unhealthy behaviors at times and what not. Jon, our singer, it’s almost like he did the Scarlet record, he did the lyrics for that and the lyrics are completely opposite, the flipside to that. I didn’t write the lyrics, that was Jon. That’s my understand, I don’t know if that’s exactly what it’s saying. We just love Jon’s lyrics.
(Spencer from Underoath enters the tour bus, Matt places the recorder in his face.)
Matt: Say something.
Spencer: Hey buddy! What’s that from? Freaking South Park, hey buddy!
Matt: Haha, hey buddy.
- If you were to choose one song that clearly defines the band, which one would it be and why?
Um, I would say “Dear John” and “Meat Market”. Those are my two favorites.
- What are some common themes seen throughout the lyrics on the record?
I did not write these lyrics, but I feel them and gather them for my own interruption of them. Just like, obsession and wanting to…
(Door opens once again and Grant from Underoath steps on the bus.)
Grant: Whoa whoa, sorry.
Matt: You’re cool dude.
Just learning to, you have to get passed things and grow. I turn 27 on this tour, so it’s like, I want to do this band, I want to have a nice life but I have to just work hard, you know what I mean? I don’t know, kind of personal. You can scratch that part out.
- What are some rumors you have heard regarding the band (or band members)?
Um, what are some you’ve heard, let me ask you that.
- I talked to Dan about this when we met up at my job.
Print this one question. I’d love to see that.
- Apparently, I heard Jon does coke.
No he does not, haha. Nobody does coke in the band.
- I heard he’s gay, I’ve heard that.
He’s not gay, he has a very beautiful girlfriend, haha.
- I don’t really know, I’ve just heard that Jon is apparently a psycho.
No, he’s not a psycho, but we are all man. Don’t you feel like that sometimes?
I definitely do.
- If a movie was going to be made about the band, which events would you make sure would appear in the film?
The high school days were the best, now these are becoming the best. So it’s like, I don’t know, the sequel of like In the Summer.
- In your opinion, what is the biggest problem regarding society and how can we improve it?
I believe the way that we coexist with our fellow man. I mean that with like, the same with laws and just freedom, you know what I mean?
- How everyone is kind of like, looking out for themselves. And how everyone is kind of like, if it has nothing to do with themselves, then they don’t really care about them.
There’s some other countries that seem like they would be great to live in and you wonder why.
Yeah, I went to Europe last summer and I could tell that the atmosphere and the people were completely different.
Yeah, but just that, you have it from within you, you know what I mean, to get along. You know, it’s just people and having leadership over people for what kind of reasons. I don’t know, it’s just about that. You can’t change the world but you can change the way the world is to you.
- If you could choose one quote to be written on your tombstone, what would it be?
Um, “Faithful servant”.
- What makes you feel that being in this band is what you are meant to do in this period of your life?
It’s the one thing that, just like everybody, you look forward to doing it, you know what I mean? And hanging out with you. And being able to go out and kind of live what you love to do. Instead of just seeing bands, you can go out and play and just meet cool people. And being able to hang out with different fans, stuff like that.
- If you could choose a writer, dead or alive to write the lyrics for the next record, who would you choose?
Jim Morrison, or actually Jim Morrison/Kurt Cobain. But someone with a good vibe. Actually, our singer, we don’t need anybody else.
- Anything else you want the readers to know?
We’re playing a lot of shows, we’re going to be playing a lot so try to find us.
Alright, sounds good.
Thanks a lot man.