Though he’s shared the bill with Jack Johnson, Matt Costa is not your run-of-the-mill, easy-going, cute boy singer-songwriter. First of all, he’s an ex-pro skateboarder, and his sound is reminiscent of 1960’s folk—Donovan definitely comes to mind—with an indie rock edge and pop eclecticism that’s harder to pin down than Oahu’s notorious surfer/guitar slinger /Curious George soundtracker.
But Costa’s developing a Johnson-esque following of his own. Last year he released his album Songs We Sing and promptly toured his ass off. In fact, he’s on tour right now in Australia. I spoke to him by phone, between gigs.
MAUI TIME WEEKLY: Did you make any New Year’s resolutions this year?
MATT COSTA: Um… I did not. I made a New Year’s resolution to not make any resolutions this year.
Wise. I’ve heard that a lot this year. What was 2006 like for you, professionally and personally?
It was a whirlwind for both. It was one long road trip. We went to Europe three times and more countries than I’d ever been able to name before. We went all over the world so also creatively I was around a lot more musicians, artists—songwriters—than I’d ever been in my entire life. Seeing how collectively they create their sound gave me new perspective on how to elevate what we do with my band.
What was the best thing that happened last year?
That’s too hard to pin down. Just thinking about the whole year… I guess the single best thing that happened was releasing my record through Brushfire Records, since it was the catalyst for all the touring, you know, the reason for why we got to go everywhere.
What was the worst thing?
The last day of the year ‘cause now we have to start all over again! I don’t know if I can compete with last year. We’re gonna do Australia, then we tour with G. Love in the U.S. until February. I’ve written a lot for the new record, at least half of it. So I guess now there’s more pressure, not that there’s really any pressure. But there is the follow-up, like “how can you top that?”
What do you want to see happen in 2007?
World peace, life on Mars… 2007 is so futuristic sounding, isn’t it? Uh… I’ll be releasing the new record. Basically I’ve always looked at it as a natural evolution, never really jumping too far ahead so I would say, the one thing I wanna get from this year is to stay consistent with being an artist always in a constant state of evolving. I’d like to take all of experience in 2006 and, you know, evolve in 2007. Like I said before, just being around all those people was such a huge inspiration at all sorts of different levels. I don’t know, I feel like it’s hard taking a whole year… all my goals are always thinking of… when I’m old I just wanna be able to sit on my porch and be able to tell a bunch of good stories and play some songs. As long as I reach there, then that’s my ultimate goal.
For more info, visit www.mattcosta.com or www.myspace.com/mattcostamusic.com. MTW