Interview with Matthew Tyler Di Leo
Paul Collins’ Artist Interview with Matthew Tyler Di Leo
Matthew Tyler Di Leo is a singer/songwriter, YouTuber, freelance journalist and voice actor. With over 10 years in both the music and media industry, Matthew is the creator of independent web series; Always Right Reviews. When not working on creative projects, Matthew likes to give presentations at various conventions about media theory, growing your brand in a digital world as well as making appearances on podcasts.
Tell us about your background. Who you are? Where are the members of the band from?
I was born in Burlington, Ontario, my father is a computer programmer and my mother jumped around jobs. They divorced when I was two and my mom took me out to Vancouver, British Columbia. I have spent my life flying back and forth between both parents living two separate lifestyles in the process.
I started music when I was in college in 2009 and haven’t looked back since. Shortly after that, I created the brand/alter ego SonicMTD as a means of separating my personal and private life. (Picture like Elton John, Sting, or a stage name used by a professional wrestler.) My current band is called Worst Case Scenario GTA. My bandmates are from within the GTA (I’m the oddball in Mississauga).
What themes does your music explore and what do you hope the listener will take away from the experience? Is there a particular feeling or experience that you hope to evoke in the listener?
A lot of my subject matter is a sign of what is currently going on with myself at this time. At the time of this writing, I’ve gone through harsh breakups both romantically and professionally which has affected how I view the world.
The current songs I have written with Worst-Case Scenario GTA deal with the destruction of my previous band (City in Wires), struggling to find my place in this world, the issues involving my mental health; how it has prevented me from moving on and even trusting others, to reminiscing about lost love and even coming to accept myself as a flawed human being.
My goal as a songwriter is to tell a story or argue a point. Currently, these songs are part of my life story.
What prompted any of you to be a musician. Did you have any specific inspirations in mind? Were any of you influenced by a certain person, artist, or genre?
I never intended to become a musician. As a result of my childhood, I spent the vast majority of my life following my parent’s schedules. If they moved, I moved with them. It wasn’t until college that I was able to craft my own identity. If I had to list what made me go down this path it would probably be the following 3 things:
Oasis: I was in a Future Shop near Pacific Centre Mall in Vancouver British Columbia when Champagne Supernova blared on the speakers. I looked up much like a chicken staring at the rain. Quickly enamoured with their sound, I fell into Britpop hard. My early look and sound were essentially ripping off Liam Gallaghers image and signature vocal style. It got bad cause for a few months I spoke and sung in a Mancunian accent.
Guitar Hero 2: I am not a guitarist, but the fascination that came from playing a rhythm-based game focused on rock music led to me buying a guitar and writing my own music. That early music sounded quite awful but was needed in order to hone my songwriting skill.
Beck (Mongolian chop squad): Whereas Oasis founded my interest in music and GH2 made me want to write my own music, Beck drove me to perform live shows and push myself out of my comfort zone. Dare I say, it also helped me create a signature style that included the utilization of Japanese Rock. When Much Music decided to air an anime in the mid-2000’s it wound up influencing a fair amount of future musicians. As a high schooler, I saw similar qualities in the lead character Yukio “Koyuki” that resonated with me. Being disheartened and having no aim or direction in life but through music being able to come out of your shell and escape from a mundane existence; it had me hooked.
If I were to include an extra one I would also throw in Edgar Wrights “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World” as well. Great film.
If you could compare your music to any other existing works, which ones would it be and why?
I get compared to a lot of musicians. In my previous bands (Searching For Kim, City In Wires) I was compared to Oasis, Green Day, Weezer, and Placebo. It makes sense since I was listening to those bands a lot at the time.
Tell us about your latest music and what inspired you.
I answered that in the above. Usually, it’s what is going on in my life. Sometimes it can be a film or video game or anime. A lot of the times you can get inspiration from nothing. Yep… moving on.
Where can listeners obtain a copy of your music for them to enjoy? How can they contact you with any thoughts or questions? And do you have a means by which they can “sign up” to be notified when you make more music?
So my current band (Worst-Case Scenario GTA) might have to change their name so social media for them is quite sticky. I recorded our debut show and uploaded it to my YouTube channel.
If you’re curious, I strongly recommend you find me under SonicMTD. I use it for everything (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, EVERYTHING). I cross-post to everything so yeah, you’ll know when something is coming around.
I’m always down to answer questions, so drop me a line.