MATT MILLER: Creating Emotive Responses

Matt Miller

Salem, Oregon based guitarist and songwriter Matt Miller returned in June with the release of the new EP entitled ‘Monument of Velocity.’ We featured Matt on the recent Progotronics compilation, and asked him a few questions about his work.

Define the mission of your project.

The mission of my project is to create music that creates an emotive response for the listener. I think of my music as a soundtrack to life.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your recent release “Monument of Velocity”.

Monument of Velocity was recorder over 2 months in late 2021. I began by writing melodies around rhythmical context. In the past I would write everything around a central theme. This time around I was more ambitious with my compositions rhythmically. Which allowed me to create songs that were more dynamic.

Although an instrumental release, is there a message you try to convey with “Monument of Velocity”?

There is a message coming through in the music. The message is take charge of life and create the world you want around you.

Monument of Velocity

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

That’s a great question. I used my phone to record the initial ideas that i was playing on my guitar. I would select a tempo on my metronome in 1/4 and start building riffs and melodies around that. I would then use my notation software to compose the bare bones of the songs. Once I had the basic ideas I would begin to assemble instrument specific pieces. Like putting a puzzle together. I had no preconceived notions of how the finished songs would turn out. I wanted to be leave things open ended to allow myself to be as creative as possible. I also incorporated a lot of synth and symphonic elements into Monument of Velocity.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

Once I have the songs notated I let my imagination run wild. I often make several revisions to the songs until I feel each song is unique and tells its own story. Like scenes from a movie.

Describe the approach to recording the album.

I keep things extremely simple. Once the initial spark of a song is notated I purposely don’t use my guitar to finish writing. I write the rest of the instruments from their own perspective. I feel that the accompaniments I wrote more dynamic and interesting. I often have to learn the parts I wrote on guitar after I created them in notation. I think this helped me create more interesting music.

How long “Monument of Velocity” was in the making?

It took me about 4-5 months. From writing, recording,mixing, and mastering. I’m always writing music.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the album?

So many bands and artists. Racer X, Cacophony, Necrophagist, Obscura, Christian Muenzner, Greg Howe. The list goes on and on.

What is your view on technology in music?

I think there is a fine line between using it as a tool or a crutch. If you can play it don’t record it is my view.

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

I hope it empowers people to follow their dreams and gives them hope and motivation.

What are your plans for the future?

To continue touring and releasing more music. I have 3 more releases which will be available in 2022. A tech death album, power metal album, and another instrumental album. Keep your eyes peeled for more music!

Monument of Velocity is out now. Check it on Bandcamp.

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