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Striking Matches

Catching up with the Striking Matches

Photos by Hels Bels

Just before the guys went on stage at The Union Chapel, I had a chance to chat to Justin and Sarah.

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So Striking Matches, so nice to see you guys again. (I’ve very lucky and have seen them in the UK and Nashville several times recently) Have you become English citizens yet? Is there something you haven’t told us?

J              We’re thinking about it!! .We’re looking into it, just doing the ground work so we can see real estate works…

You travel so much, how are you going to use your air miles?

J              Probably to come back here!

S              Yes come back here!

But joking aside you do come over to the UK a lot which we’re so appreciative of. The tickets only went out on sale this morning for your November shows and I’ve already had people tweeting, saying “Look I’ve got Striking Matches tickets”. What makes the UK such a draw for you?

J              Well I think it all just comes down to the fans.

S              Yeah definitely.

J              Really that’s the short answer because the fans have made us feel so welcome and have supported us immensely, to where we’re here at the Union Chapel and it’s sold out, it’s been sold out for weeks.

What a venue!

J              Yes it’s unbelievable.

J              It’s a funny thing because we thought about it not too long ago, before we came back over that besides Nashville this is actually where we spent the most time here in the past year and a half or so, even every other place we’ve been to we’ve not been anywhere as many times as the UK.

S              That’s true.

Sometimes you get people come over and they come over again and you’re like “Oh well I’ve seen them before” but with you people want to see you over and over again which is kind of magical. Why do you think that is?

S              That’s a good question.

J              To be honest we’re trying to outdo ourselves. I think just naturally we sort of have a bit of a friendly rivalry in between each other…

J              And I think that constantly – we’re just always trying to get better, we’re trying to push our own boundaries so that the next time that they see us we’ll try and be better.

S              Yes and do something they haven’t seen before.   You know this time tonight we’ve got our band with us and just for tonight, the rest of the shows we’re just doing acoustics because we’ve never been to those cities.

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We asked some fans if they had a questions for you “they’ve heard that you have this friendly rivalry between yourselves that you’re trying to outdo each other”

J              Yeah usually it’s as it happens often, if I see Sarah do something really great or she plays something really fantastic…

You kick her!!

J              Well yeah naturally! I just try and hinder her in some way!

S              And then I break his finger!!

J              I just want to do something equally or try and surpass it or whatever, it’s just as musicians, we just try to compete with each other. Never in a bad way

S              Yeah and that makes it so – the audience always sees something different. Everything – the solo’s we play are never going to be exactly the same, the stuff going back and forth is never going to be the same.

S              We do that on purpose. It’s more – its fun for us too, you know, just getting to go back and forth and try a different thing. Sometimes you basically fail and it doesn’t work out but then at least you know.

I’ve seen you on stage, well I’ve seen you all over, in Nashville, and here, you get lost in yourselves and you look like you’re just so engrossed. Have you ever forgotten kind of, just for a moment, and think “Oh my god where am I?” or just really forgotten where you are and what you’re doing

J              Yeah there are – I think in really special places, that’s when you notice it. It probably happens all the time…

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Maybe that will happen tonight?

J              Yeah tonight it could happen in this awesome venue. There have been just a few select venues. I think the first time we played the Ryman in Nashville which is not too different from this acoustically. Also when we played a show with the band Train at Red Rocks which is very very famous venue in Denver Colorado and it’s just this outdoor beautiful place, that everyone’s played and you dream about playing there and definitely one of those instances. “Oh man…” for a second I forgot we were even playing here and so it’s funny, you do get kind of absorbed.

You obviously both absolutely adore what you do, it just shows through.

Are you both living in Nashville now?

S              Yes.

J              Well our address is there…..

S              But we are always travelling

J              It’s nice to go and play shows locally, so many great venues, we just had our record release show for the States in 3rd & Lindsley and that was really cool because we played that many many times coming up and it was cool. It kind of became our neighbourhood venue and it was full, the support was really really incredible.

And how’s radio taken to your new single?

S              Yeah it’s been really good, yeah.

J              It’s cool, it’s sort of in a strategic kind of pin point, we’re not trying to get everyone one right now we’re trying to get the right stations and it’s been really really cool.

Obviously the TV Show Nashville is the way many of us got introduced to your music, have you heard that it got renewed yesterday?

S              Yes we read that this morning.

Does that mean you may have some more music…?

S              Yeah you never know!

J              Can’t confirm or deny it. I did text Sam (Palladio) though and said good job.

S              Yeah that’s really cool.

One of my favourite things I have seen you do is the One Take. How did you come up with that idea and is it really one take?

S              It’s something that Capitol does and they have done with a number or artists, I know Sam Smith did it, a lot of people do it so they had us come in and do it and it really was just one take.

J              Yeah they do an incredible job with their production, just the way they capture it video wise and but other than that it’s just the mic and have it plugged in for the guitar. But it really is just whenever you say go it’s on – you don’t edit, you know.

It’s fantastic.

So what’s new then, your album has been out for a while, you’ve obviously had it for a long time so what’s next, are you writing again or…?

S              Yeah we’ve kind of written all along.

J              Yeah we were already writing while we were in the studio, making the first records so…

S              We’re going to play a lot of shows, we’re coming back to do a couple of festivals in July and then we’ll be back for another tour in November with the band. I think we’re going to bring the band for all of it so – which will be fun. Then yeah we’re just going to keep going until it’s time to make the next record and then we’ll make that one and keep going.

Well fantastic. Thank you so much for your time. It’s always a pleasure to talk to you.






Annette Gibbons
Hi, I’m Annette, I have been a huge country music fan since the early 90s those were the days we were lucky enough to have CMT in the UK. I enjoy nothing more than listening to country music whilst having a cold beer (or a moonshine) with friends. I try to as many gigs as I can here in the UK and in the USA; I think of Nashville as my second home and I am lucky to have made some amazing friends in Tennessee. Think Country is something I am very proud of, I just want to share my love and passion of all things country music related with you all.
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