Introducing pop/rock band from Nashville, Tennessee, The Cancellations!
When I picked the artist for this week, but in this case, band, I must’ve been in an emo phase when I did it. Just like THE F1RST ANNUAL, The Cancellations brings the pop-rock edge side to the music industry which I very much enjoy.
It gives me early 2000s vibes that I hope most of you all enjoy as well.
The Cancellations are a new project started by Elijah Jones, former of The Constellations, where he started this project with longtime friend, Erik Matthijs.
Elijah and Erik were part of a previous group called Elijah Jones & The Tenderness and after they departed from this group, they got together with some close musician friends and The Cancellations were born.
Their music tells stories of heartbreak, substance-abuse, and self-discovery. Isn’t that just some of the best music?
Being able to relate to a song in any particular way can be life changing and makes one love music more and more.
I was able to interview guitarist, Erik Matthijs, on behalf of the band, The Cancellations. Check it out below!
What got you started in music?
What got me started was basically the love of music. There was always music playing in my house and my parents had quite the vinyl collection growing up, so I took advantage of that. In high school, I had the privilege of seeing one of my favorite bands at the time, (The Marvelous 3) and when I did, it was pretty obvious what I wanted to do. At 17, I purchased my first guitar with the intention of learning how to be a songwriter versus learning other artists’ songs. Years, many projects and bands later, here I am with The Cancellations.
What’s one of your favorite things about Music City?
One of my favorite things about Music City is the diversity of many of the bands and artists that reside here. So much talent, and it’s not all about country music, but other genres. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many talented folks here in Nashville.
Who or what inspires you?
Well, I can say that the members in my band definitely inspire me and also challenge me to be better at my craft for sure. I’m always fascinated not by lead guitarists, but by guitar players that have a signature sound or tone. My favorite guitarist has always been Johnny Marr from The Smiths. Something unique about his playing style and how he’s continued to push boundaries has always intrigued me. The guitar hooks, the melodies, it really influenced me with my own style.
What’s your creative process like?
What can I say, it’s an incredible pleasure working with Elijah (lead singer and songwriter for The Cancellations) on music. He’s one of the most prolific songwriters I have worked with, probably in the music industry. Basically, Elijah will bring a song, or maybe 5 to the table (haha) and will show us what he’s written including his vision for the arrangement. From there I approach the song(s) and try to put my style or complimentary melody on it and see where it takes us. It’s an uplifting experience, and usually quite a success. Again, I can’t say anything more than how incredible it is to work with Elijah and the rest of the band. Superior talent.
If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
With the industry changing to the internet (music streaming platforms), it’s created more opportunities for DIY artists to get their music heard. But at the same time, it’s really affected artists trying to make a living in a negative way. Don’t get me wrong, our music is on streaming platforms, but people aren’t buying physical copies of music and attending shows like they used to. Some of my fondest memories were discovering a new band, seeing them live, and purchasing their album at a show or even a record store the next day. That’s changed quite a bit. These days it’s more of a popularity contest (social media and streaming) and not the music. The internet has really affected the industry and I feel like it would be what I’d want to change.
Who are you currently listening to? Have they inspired you? If so, how?
Currently, I’ve been listening to a mix of the old stuff (The Smiths, The Cure, etc.) with the new (Inhaler, The Strokes). What continues to inspire me is all about the musicianship and the melodies. I’ve always strived to write the “perfect” song like them. Haven’t gotten there yet (haha).
What’s next for you all?
In February, The Cancellations released their debut album. While we were working on that album, we continued to stay busy in the studio working on the 2nd album. Our plans for the rest of the year is to release a 2nd album (maybe a 3rd) and play to as many audiences as we can in the United States. This pandemic was a blessing and a burden for us in both ways. It obviously kept us from playing live shows, but encouraged our writing process. Now that things are getting better, we are staying busier trying to accomplish both objectives.
Check out their socials and their latest album, Fist Fight! I’ll link them below.