Check out the new video and the story of how As Strange As Angels came about!
It’s a cloudy summer morning in Dallas, TX. Crawling into the studio. Seemingly picking up where he left off a year ago. July 2016, On Interstate 10. His previous band Murder FM, were in an accident in their tour vehicle, 20 miles outside of a tour stop in El Paso, TX. At this moment, Vocalist/ Guitarist Norman Matthew, entangled in turmoil in his personal life, knew his life was about to take a turn.
“I loved Murder FM. It was my identity. It’s who I was. I loved those guys more than one can imagine. We had a thousand ups and downs together. We traveled the world with our music. Saw more miles than many will see in their lives, and we did it together. We went through marriages, divorces, saw a man lose his in front of us on tour. Obstacles were no stranger to us. Mistakes, I made plenty. Music is my life. The road was the only place I ever felt like home. It was the only time I truly recognized myself. But when worlds collided on the road in July 2016, already embroiled in chaos in my personal life, I knew there was nothing more important than making sure every breath I took, was for my son. I had to make a change. My son is everything to me, and I needed to put that at the forefront of my life, now more than ever”
That change took over a year to bring itself to life. Norman took a break from music. Something he never thought could be a reality. Especially since he had begun playing music at 6yrs old, and professionally at 13. Going through a divorce. Fighting for his place in his son’s life. Running a music school, The Sound Foundation, and all the challenges that came along with life. His self confidence was shattered. Spirit crushed. Passion for music had a become a stranger to him. Hope seemed unrealistic, and faith, even more of a dream. Other than teaching at his music school, or producing other artists to put food on the table for he and his son, Norman had not set foot on a stage, placed a hand on a guitar, or sung a single note of his own.
“I had to get out of myself, to be reintroduced to myself. It took me a year to get reacquainted with myself. I’m still not comfortable in my skin, but I’m able to see the forest through the trees now. My son was my energy, my light, my heartbeat. If it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened to me. Now, only three years old, he is my lifeline. I tied a knot at the end of my rope, and just hung on, until life began to make sense.”
Late December 2016, songs started to come to life. The most vulnerable Norman had ever been. Musically, lyrically. Transparent to a fault, His story began to tell itself through song. “Waves”, the first single (Available 9.15/ Video 8.29) was one of the first songs penned. The tale of a proverbial rebirth after being trapped in the tidal waves of life. Feeling lost. Alone. A Stranger to yourself. Watching life happen, as if someone else was living the life you were meant to. A ghost with a heartbeat. Familiar faces, now so unknown. “Waves” signaled a stylistic change. Norman knew then, the time was right to just let it all out.
“I had not written a song for myself in almost two years. I didn’t know what to write. Or if I even knew how to write. I was lost, confused. Scared. As a person I felt empty and blank. I didn’t know if I would ever have the confidence to set foot on a stage ever again. I made a conscious effort to do the exact opposite of what I would normally do. I changed my workflow. Guitars I played, tunings I used. For the first time, rather than speaking to the song, I let the song speak to me. I had never written lyrics that were a parallel of my life. Then I realized, I have a voice, and I need to be a voice for the voiceless. There HAS to be people that feel the same way I do, and maybe I could make a difference, even in some small way. Things were dark. Life was real. I couldn’t breathe. So I just opened my heart, and let it all out. No shackles, no boundaries, no holds barred. I had nothing left to prove, and everything to fight for. It was time to reinvent myself if I was going to survive on every level.”
Through the turmoil, a new persona emerged. As Strange As Angels was born. Norman Matthew wrote every note, penned every lyric, and performed every instrument on the record. If I was going to be a solo endeavor, Norman wanted it to be that way from top to bottom. The forthcoming release features a musical aesthetic more versatile than any of Norman’s previous catalogue. Bouncing electronic songs off the ears of Tommy Lee. Writing a track with former bandmate Keith Barney of 18 visions. Hitting the drawing board with close friend, CJ Pierce of Drowning Pool. Mentored by platinum producer Beau Hill, Norman enlisted Chris Dawson of Seasons after for mixing duties, and Mike Kalajian (Circa Survive, Saosin) for mastering.
“As Strange As Angels is a story with many chapters. Each chapter needed to be given it’s own soundtrack. Whatever felt right, I ran with. I didn’t care about genre and labels. I’m so thankful for all the amazing people who have helped me bring this record to life. Who picked me up along the way, never gave up on me, and never stopped believing.Plenty of people let go, and stopped believing, once I had to take a step back, and learn how to live life again. As Strange As Angels, is a testament to that. A gift in many ways. I owe much of myself, to all those that kept my blood flowing,and my heart going.”
AS STRANGE AS ANGELS “Waves Single Release Party”
FRIDAY 9/15 @ Curtain Club
*Exclusive Acoustic Performance*
7-830pm, All Ages