Matt Dyson / Dysonsound Interview

Note – Matt Dyson is the author of Dysonsound, in his words – a blog by “one man who writes (pretty poorly) about music because he  love it”.

You/your blog are based in Jamaica Plain – what do you like/dislike about living there?

JP has one of the most diverse communities of artists and people who are generally interested in what you do. It’s like nowhere else I have ever lived and I never want to leave. Problem with it? Getting across the river to Cambridge for shows!

Is it the kind of place that could inspire a potential music blogger?

Absolutely. I live steps away from the largest open area land in Boston (the Arboretum) You get the best of living in a city while being inspired by nature daily. Too much concrete can cloud your mind. A quick walk with my dog around some trees and I’m ready to sit behind a computer and get to writing.

What was the original impulse/idea behind Dysonsound (if anything?)

I originally wanted to open a recording studio after I left Berklee College of Music. After working in a few and talking to some studio owners, I realized this was a bad idea. I work a 9-6 job developing websites, had the domain, and needed to keep my feet in the music culture. One weekend I put it all together and just started writing. It’s grown immensely since then.

Who are some of your favorite music artists at the moment? Least favorite?

Tough question. But some of my current favorites are: Punch Brothers, Jukebox the Ghost, of Montreal, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Girls, Belle & Sebastian, Hayden.

Least favorites? Not many except M.I.A. Not sure why I can’t stand her, but I really can’t.

What about the Boston music scene? Do you like any local artists – past or present?

I LOVE the Boston music scene. So many artists have come and gone from here and there are always new ones to discover. There’s an immense amount of talent in this city, sometimes it’s hard to filter through it all.

Some of my favorites who have happened to be friends of mine are: Crash Kings, Elizabeth & The Catapult, Via Audio, The Longwalls, Kid:Nap:Kin.

Your blog is one of the more traditional ones – i.e. – you have lots of interviews/stories to offer and its not just about MP3.

There are, however, plenty of blogs that offer full downloads of newest albums and in my opinion it hurts the artists (especially the ones that are recording for smaller labels).

What do you think about this situation?

I always want to say something about who I’m writing about. I get hit with so much music to review that I don’t have the time (being a one man blogger and full time job) to write a bad review. It’s not worth it to trash someone on the blog when there is so much good music I’d rather listen to and write about.

There are many unwritten rules to music blogging. You don’t post an MP3 unless you are cleared to do so. And posting a full album for download? That’s pretty much never ok unless the band is giving it away for free and most of the time in that case they’d like to get at least an email address in return.

A lot of blogs want to be the first to post a new MP3 and get the traffic to their site. So when an email comes through it’s all hands on deck to get that posted first. That’s not why I do this. I want to post an MP3 and have some unknown band get hundreds of plays on Hype Machine or direct through the site. I get more excited seeing a spike in traffic over an unknown band than the next leaked MP3 from some “hot” band.

What, in your opinion, is one quality that a good music blog should have?

All music blogs are different and should be their own unique thing. Everyone and their mother loves music. But being a music blogger means you are the one who people will look up to for musical advice when they don’t have the time or patience to. Adding a little substance and background to what your posting means people can get the full story. No music can be summed up in 50 words or less.

Do you follow/read any other blogs and if, so, do you have any particular favorites among them?

I’m lucky to have some amazing music blogs here in the Boston area. Bradley’s Almanac and Ryan’s Smashing Life are two I follow regularly. (link to both blogs) They have nothing but quality content with amazing photos and audio from shows. Also TwentyFourBit from the west coast is one I admire a ton. Somehow that blog manages to get the best new content out there.

Also Knox Road is one I always read. Especially Abbey’s Road. It’s an every other Friday bit that is brilliantly written and always musically inspiring.

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