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Q&A with Electric Guest

photo courtesy of Electric Guest

I have been a fan of Matthew Compton for probably fourteen years now. (When I first knew him, and until recently, I knew him as “Cornbread”, but he now goes by Matthew.) I saw his band Engine Down play house shows when I was first at James Madison University, and from the first time seeing them, his hypnotic and powerful drumming captivated me and really stood out. In subsequent years I got to know and became friends (and housemates for a couple years) with Matthew, and my admiration has only ever grown. He’s a creative force to be reckoned with, and has always had this amazing drive and ambition, with whatever he’s doing , but especially music. On top of that, he has a super, ever-present sense of humor.  It’s hard to interact with him and not laugh.

So…I reconnected with Matthew about a year ago, after losing touch for some time. He was living in LA, and told me he was working on a new project, a band called Electric Guest, with a musician friend named Asa Taccone. Singer Asa Taccone is a driven creative force as well- his musical accomplishments include writing for TV (see: Family Guy episode “Hot Tub of Love”) and contributing/collaborating with comedy group The Lonely Island (of which his brother Jorma is a member.) Asa wrote the hilarious holiday classic “Dick In a Box“, performed by Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg on SNL. Last summer the band only had a couple songs up on a bandcamp website for public ears, but upon first listen I loved it. It is a far cry from the brooding, post-hardcore Engine Down music. Electric Guest’s songs are soul-tinged, sunny, groovy, lighter, but inspired.

Since then the duo has been on fire- they played some super shows at last fall’s CMJ, have been touring the US and Europe, have a full-length album that came out last week, produced by Danger Mouse (a long-time friend of Taccone’s), stormed SXSW, and are charging full-steam ahead into the summer touring and gearing up for festival season. They’ll be making a stop in DC on Saturday, May 5th at the Rock and Roll Hotel. Amidst their super-busy tour schedule they were kind enough to answer a few questions for the We Love DC readers. Continue reading