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July 26, 2022

Interview with Mt. Joy

We had the pleasure of interviewing Mt. Joy over Zoom video.

Mt. Joy recently released their third full-length offering, Orange Blood, along with the latest single, “Evergreen.” The track boasts upbeat guitar curls around a punk-y groove before...


We had the pleasure of interviewing Mt. Joy over Zoom video.

Mt. Joy recently released their third full-length offering, Orange Blood, along with the latest single, “Evergreen.” The track boasts upbeat guitar curls around a punk-y groove before colliding with an intoxicating refrain. The track’s accompanying music video stars The Office star Creed Bratton, a personal friend of the band who last fall, joined the band on stage at The Greek Theater in Los Angeles. In the video, Creed sets off on a journey to prove it is never too late to chase what makes you happy.

Kicking off their forthcoming album, Mt. Joy released “Lemon Tree” which was hailed as “a next-level song” by NPR and is currently Top 20 at AAA radio, followed by the colorful album title track, “Orange Blood.” The band is currently on their US Headlining “Orange Blood” 2022 Tour (with special guests Grammy®-nominated West Coast singer-songwriter Madison Cunningham, L.A. based indie-folk trio Wilderado, and The Brook & The Bluff). The tour kicked off in South Carolina on June 16 and make stops in Seattle, Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, New Orleans, and Dallas before wrapping in Austin, Texas on November 5. Go to http://www.mtjoyband.com/tour for more info on tickets.

About Mt. Joy

The Philadelphia quintet—Matt Quinn [vocals, guitar], Sam Cooper [guitar], Sotiris Eliopoulos [drums], Jackie Miclau [keys, piano], and Michael Byrnes [bass]— take their name from the quiet rural town in southwest Pennsylvania, about four hours from their Philadelphia base. Forming in 2016, they made their mark two years later when their self-titled Mt. Joy debut album spun off "Silver Lining," an uplifting power ballad that went to #1 at AAA radio (Billboard Adult Alternative Airplay) and has eclipsed over 120 million Spotify streams to date. Their second album, Rearrange Us (2018) drew widespread critical raves. Over the past four years Mt. Joy has amassed over half a billion streams and have earned acclaim from NPR, Billboard, Rolling Stone, The Line of Best Fit, and more. The band has performed at a variety of festivals such as Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo and has toured with The Lumineers, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, The Revivalists, and The Head and The Heart. Additionally, the band has performed on Stephen Colbert, CBS Morning, Samantha Bee, Seth Meyers, Jimmy Kimmel, and Conan.

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Transcript

Hello! It is Adam. Welcome back to bringing it backwards. A podcast where both legendary and rising artists tell their own personal stories of how they achieve stardom. On this episode, we had a chance to hang out with Matt Quinn of the band, Mount joy. Over zoom video, Matt was born and raised in Philadelphia. Early years of his life were spent in the city in Philly. Then he moved to the suburbs just outside of Philadelphia. He grew up in a musical household in the sense that music was everywhere. His dad was way into music would put together playlists and always had a record on, but Matt was fascinated with songwriting from a very early age. She talked about even having just this cheap little classical nylon string kids guitar that he would play smoke on the water too. 4 (2m 10s): And change the lyrics around 14 years old through high school, he was really good friends with Sam Cooper's younger brother they're the same age. Sam was a bit older and Matt would go over to their house because they had a four-track and he would record songs. And since Sam is such a great guitar player on some of his songs that he was writing, Sam would come and play the lead guitar on there. And they had this friendship through songwriting and actually through his younger brother, Matt ends up going to college in Boston studies. Music has a little band there. Actually silver linings is from that project. When he was living in Boston, his girlfriend at the time after he graduated college, he was still in the Boston area trying to make the music thing happen. 4 (2m 51s): His girlfriend at the time had just graduated college. She wanted to move back to Los Angeles where she's from. So he decides to go with her while there, when he moves to LA, he starts to attend law school. So he's doing law school at night, working during the day and writing songs in between some months into living in LA, he finds out that Sam is moving to Los Angeles. So they reconnect start writing songs together. He talks about the success of their song, Astro van. How that started to really take off very early on, which allowed him to stop going to law school talks about putting out their first record. The massive success, obviously of silver lining. He tells us a little bit about falling up that record with rearrange us where the band was when the pandemic hit and how that affected this new record. 4 (3m 37s): He talks a lot about this new album. It's called orange blood, the writing process, the recording process of it, and about this massive headlining tour that they're on. You can watch the interview with Matt on our Facebook page and YouTube channel at bringing it backwards. It'd be awesome if you subscribe to our channel like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and TechTalk at bringing back pod. And if you're listening to this on Spotify, apple music, Google podcasts, it'd be awesome. If you follow us there as well and hook us up with a five-star review, we're bringing it backwards with Mount joy. Hey Matt, how are you? 5 (4m 12s): Hey, how's it going? 4 (4m 13s): I'm doing, I'm doing well. Thank you so much for doing this. 5 (4m 16s): Yeah, thanks so much for having me 4 (4m 18s): Chorus. My name is Adam and this podcast is about you and your journey and music. And I want to talk to you about the new record, which is amazing. I've been listening to it like the past few days, so thank you. 5 (4m 31s): Thank you, Adam. Thanks for having me. 4 (4m 33s): Of course. I will say my favorite song on the record is a donut feel good. I just love that song. I think I love how it's slow, but it's such a good, it's a beautiful song. 5 (4m 44s): It's a burner. Yeah, man. Thank you. That one, you know, like I think putting together a record, you don't want to have like too many slow songs or you're trying to find a balance. And I really had liked that song, but it almost seemed like too simple, you know, sometimes when you're like trying to make something and you forget that simple is often best. So I was like, it was down to the wire with that one. And then, you know, fortunately like enough people around me were like, no, it's it's yeah, it's simple, but it's also, it's really great. It should make it. And I'm pumped that it made it. 4 (5m 17s): Yeah. It's such a great song. I mean, it's, it's like you said, it's simple, but it's definitely something that you could just probably, if you were sitting down playing it, it would be like such a beautiful piece of art and piece of music. It's just such a great song. 5 (5m 30s): Oh, sorry. I'm trying to find a, trying to find a great way to I'm hearing, I guess, outside of Detroit, on our way to Canada, I'm on tour here and you know, the, the, the fun of setting up in a, in a hotel room trying to make the camera situation as good as possible here. 4 (5m 51s): It looks good, man. Look, I can see you are just the I'm in Nashville and you've played Monterey through it. Was it last weekend? We can before it wasn't that I think it was last weekend. 5 (6m 5s): Yeah. So yes, this past Saturday we played Bonnaroo. It was amazing. We had the, like, I guess our set was 6 45 or something around that. And you know, so like by the end of the set, the sun started setting through the tent we were in, it was pretty, it was pretty magical, obviously growing up, paying attention to Bonneroo and the lineups. And so my TheraBand, so it was cool. It was definitely, it was a bucket list one for us, for sure. 4 (6m 30s): That's awesome. Yeah. I'm originally from San Diego. So I moved here about a year, a little over a year ago. My family and I, and the sunsets here are so beautiful. It's like purple and orange. Like, yeah. It's just such a cool different experience than obviously the west coast. 5 (6m 46s): Yeah. I'm from the east coast originally, but I, I lived in Los Angeles for five and a half years and yeah, pretty special sunsets out there too. But when you get like total flat landscapes like that, you can get some pretty powerful sunsets, for sure. 4 (7m 2s): For sure. Well, yeah. I want to talk to you about where you grew up. You were born and raised where Philadelphia. 5 (7m 7s): Yeah, I grew up, I guess like my very young childhood in the Western part of the city. And then I moved to the Western suburbs for most of my childhood, which is sort of where the Mount joy name came from. It's a, there's a park called valley forge national park, which historically is, it's kind of a cool story, but right there is where Sam who's in the band, Sam Cooper grew up. And so when we were growing up, I would go to his house and we would write songs. So when the Mount joy thing came around, many years later, we were like, oh, how do we pay homage to that? 5 (7m 47s): And we, you know, there's two mountains in the park. One's Mount joy and one's mountain misery and Mount misery is that it just didn't quite fit the, the project to where I went with naturally. But yeah, I grew up, I grew up outside Philadelphia. 4 (8m 1s): That's cool. What's the difference between Mount joy and mountain misery is one of them just like a difficult climb or like, do you know the, now I'm just curious. 5 (8m 10s): This is like drunk history. Not because I'm drunk, but because I have a bad memory, but, but I think, I think there's something to do with, so the history it quickly is that during the revolutionary war, there was this sort of like intense winter where the George Washington and the troops stayed at valley forge national park, which is where this is. But I think a lot of what was happening was that, you know, 17, late 17 hundreds and these poor guys had been like out in the cold, both sides. And so disease was like ravaging, both sides. And I think there was a lot of like, people would hike over mountain misery and realize like they had this other mountain to hike over, to get to where they were the health, I 4 (9m 1s): Guess, 5 (9m 2s): Or whatever. And so the first mountain is like misery, cause you're like, oh, I still have to hike this other thing. And then once you get over the top of Mount joy, you can see your, your, your landing spot. Maybe I think that's the story. If not, it's a good story that I just write. 4 (9m 18s): That's a great story. I was going to say either way, I believe it it's a good one. So you knew Sam in high school, is that what you said? And you guys were writing songs together? Cause I know later in life, obviously you, you reconnect and that's how the band started, but how old were you when you first met each other? 5 (9m 36s): Yeah, so Sam and I met, I was probably like 13 or 14. He was a little older than me in high school, but his brother was in migraine, which like, you know, in high school politics, like being hanging out with older kids was like, I wasn't cool enough to probably do that. But his brother connected the dots and his brother had this like, you know, one of those like four track recorder. And so I would go over to his house to record really stupid songs, but was starting to write songs. And then Sam was around when I was doing that. And I think, you know, kind of like he was really good at guitar always has been really good at guitar. 5 (10m 18s): So it was like, oh, do you want to play some lead guitar on some of these songs that I was making? And that's kind of how it all started, like really through his brother band. And then, you know, obviously it was awesome to have like someone in the house was really good at guitar. So 7 (10m 34s): Coco beach on Florida's space coast, you can choose your own adventure, ride the waves or learn to fly, touch the stars or even another world lose yourself, but find each other. Just don't forget to look up. We're the only beach in the world that doubles as a launchpad because six, you can only do here. Start exploring online@visitspacedcoast.com Lourda space coast. Only here could wake up. 6 (11m 3s): This is your summer. That means six flags in the taste of an ice cold Coca-Cola we're talking thrilling coasters, delicious burgers, real moments together. And this Coke is summer refreshment when you need it most. So you can hop on another ride or race down a slide at the water park, six flags, and Coca-Cola come make it yours. Visit six flags.com/coke to save up to $20 on passes. Plus daily tickets starting at 34 99 8 (11m 32s): I'm rose and SRT Nova for the past 30 years, Inova has been the backbone to my success 9 (11m 38s): At a Nova. We are for nurses like rose. We provide support. Nurses deserve both in and out of the workplace 8 (11m 45s): From tuition assistance to support from colleagues and leaders and the experience I've gained throughout my career. Inova has been the place for 9 (11m 54s): Me at a Nova. Our nurses are valued, heard, and empowered. We are for you visit a nova.org/join. 4 (12m 2s): Yeah, that's cool. And what was the first instrument you learned? Did you grow up in a musical household at all? 5 (12m 8s): You know, I did in the sense that like my, my dad is like a total like, you know, spend still to this day, like spends time like putting together a playlist and stuff just for the fun of it. And, but he wasn't, you know, he wasn't like really playing instruments as much. I mean, he had a banjo, but I'm not sure if he was really ever like considered himself a player, but music was just always a part of, sort of the fabric for sure. Like waking up, there'd be a record on, and you know, we've talked about the record and blah, blah, blah. But my older brother played bass. It was pretty good at saxophone. So there was some, you know, there was some music happening in the house, but I played guitar mostly because when I was pretty young, like I had one of those toy sort of classical guitars and I remember just like 4 (12m 53s): String ones. 5 (12m 55s): Exactly. Yeah. But like, you know, short scale, it was like for a kid. And I just remember like, not knowing how to play guitar, but that like, I look back on it. Like I was trying to write songs even when I didn't know how to play the guitar. Like, you know, I was doing the one string smoke on the water, but then changing the lyrics, you know, whatever it was. I sort of taught myself guitar around like song writing, which I think, I think looking back is kind of an interesting approach. Like I wanted to write songs for whatever reason kind of right away. 4 (13m 25s): Was that something you're interested in? I mean, aside from writing songs, were you a creative into creative writing or like poetry or anything like that? Or it just happened kind of naturally, 5 (13m 36s): You know, I think I was really into like Damien rice. Like that was really happening at that time. Like some really powerful like acoustic singer songwriters. And I think it felt like really close to me. Like I felt like I could do that even though obviously I was nowhere near as talented on guitar or like I have this sort of grandiose illusion that I could do that I think like, sort of right out of the box and it was, it was unfounded, but it, it sort of like started my engine of, of wanting to write songs, I guess, right away. 4 (14m 10s): And how old were you when you started recording these songs over at Sam's house? Like on that fourth track? 5 (14m 16s): Yeah. Like, honestly I think there's recordings of me. Yeah. His youngest like 14, 15, definitely 15, but yeah, as long as like 14, maybe younger. 4 (14m 25s): Wow. What a, so you're around that age, is that when you're showing people your song for the first time, because I need to go over to a friend's house and to have like the, you know, courage to not only show the person in the song, but want to record the song and have like, you know, this, this actual recording of yourself. Like that was, what were you doing that for quite some time prior to that, 5 (14m 47s): You know, I had little tape recorders. So like the, the Genesis of it as bought, or my parents bought for me, like one of those, just little like, you know, there are actually, there was like a big box one first, you know, it was like, and you had to press the tape down and I would record little songs just, and, and I think eventually ban, I don't know exactly how it happened, but I started playing with a friend and we actually like wrote a song. I've talked about this. We wrote a song about like stink bugs had come to the area. Like there was this new thing and I wrote a song about it. And it was one of those things where you just like show someone and you get enough, even though you think it's the stupidest thing, like people are, are kind of like, oh, this is there's something here, you know? 5 (15m 29s): And yeah, I just had like positive reinforcement, which like may have just been people being nice to me. But for some reason my ego allowed me to believe it enough to like, go record these things. And yeah. Yeah. I, I guess I was showing people, but you know, it wasn't like there was no real scale to it. It was like my friends and my family, I guess. And, and then eventually, you know, you start playing open mics and stepping out a little bit more, but in the beginning it was, it was pretty tight knit, but you know, like Ben and the people who were recording it, like it was always a positive experience. It was never like you walked away feeling like it sucked or something like that. It was 4 (16m 7s): So, yeah, they, it wasn't yeah. They validated what you're doing essentially during these, these early recordings, 5 (16m 14s): For sure. Yeah. I think probably it could have gone one of two ways there and yeah, they probably, they probably are, are the ones who deserve the most, I guess, for pushing me in the right direction. 4 (16m 25s): Yeah. Wow. Well with that, like you, you talked about open mics where you doing that in high school as well. 5 (16m 31s): Yeah. So I remember, I mean, I still, like, I see I'll go into a place and I'll see an open mic and I'll get the like tremble in my stomach. Like I just remember how nerve wracking that was. And I have people that do that. It's so nerve-wracking, but yeah, I was doing it. I, I just remember, you know, you would just go up and like, write your name on the list and be like, I shouldn't have done that. It's an app it's on there, you know, that whole feeling, but 4 (16m 54s): Yeah, like counting down the people, you're like, ah, I think I'm like in the next two or three and then you're up there and, oh man. So you go to college, you're attending what law school before, when the bands kind of started moving or at least with the first song. 5 (17m 13s): Yeah. So, you know, I go to, I go to college, 4 (17m 18s): Did you go for music? 5 (17m 19s): Or I go for music. I do like a music business combination thing, really thinking that I'm going to, no matter what I want to work in music, you know, at that point I put so much time into music that I felt like worst case scenario would be cool to help artists in some meaningful way 4 (17m 37s): In Philly. Like, where'd you go to school? Sorry. 5 (17m 39s): I went to school in Boston, at school called Northeastern And you know, it was great. Like I had access to like some, I took some, I took like a class or two at Berkeley, which was right across the street. Like it kind of had access to that, but I felt like I had a, you know, a fun college experience to sort of around that. And there was a good music program at Northeastern, not some great professors, some whom I'm still in contact with today. And that's really cool because you know, those people were people that believed in me as a writer as well. And it's cool to like go back to Boston. We have those people there and stuff like that, but you know, then the thing just didn't really work like right out of college. 5 (18m 20s): So it's just like, I think for most projects and bands and artists, like, I mean, you know, it's such a sliver of a chance to really make something go where you can pay rent with it. I just didn't have it. I even had the songs like looking back on it. I was playing silver lining, which you know, as are, you know? 4 (18m 37s): Oh yeah. That's when I first found out about you. I worked at for 17 years. I was on the treasury or radio at a radio station in California, but I was on one in San Diego. And that's the first time I heard your band. It was, we were playing silver linings. 5 (18m 51s): Yeah. I mean, I had that song, like looking back on it. It's just, honestly, if it's like anything for anyone out there who's like in a band, it's like, you can have all the pieces and you still need this and I'm super aware of this, but you still need this push where you, you can start getting some momentum and that push is, it's hard to quantify what that is or where it's going to come from or how it's going to get to you. You know, I guess if I knew I probably should start like a record label or management company or something like that, but I don't. Right. And so like I have the song and we would play that out and it would get good response. 5 (19m 32s): Like it wasn't like we were failing as a band, but it just sort of was, you know, people weren't really catching on. And 4 (19m 39s): Was this prior to Mount joy or was this a project that you had going in Boston? 5 (19m 44s): Yeah, so I don't, I had a project in Boston prior to Mount joy called brave elephant. And we had silver lining as a song and as some other good songs, I've, I've always thought about like, you know, repurposing those songs at some point, but obviously repurposed silver lining for the Mount short project, you know, it ends up being a gold record. So it's like, it's it, it was interesting. But I guess the, the chronology of it is that I was there and it wasn't working. And my girlfriend at the time I'd stayed in Boston for about a year playing some shows, but also like working at restaurants. And, and my girlfriend who was in college was, was from Los Angeles. 5 (20m 25s): And she kind of did the thing where she was like, I'm getting out of Boston. I can't, you know, do the winters anymore. And I got to get back to LA. And so I was like, you know, I got nothing going on here. And I decided that I would go to LA and, you know, after about a year in LA I needed a job. And I was like, you know, it would be cool. I was getting really into copyright law actually. And how much it, you know, how much the old copyright laws, but I'm still really interested in sort of negatively impact creativity going forward. And I think there's a lot of still interesting work to be done around fair use and around just in general, like the, what digital, what the digital world has done to laws from the nineties and eighties that protect a totally different set of, you know, I guess, property rights around your intellectual property. 5 (21m 21s): So I got really interested in, and I was like, I'm going to be an intellectual property lawyer. And I was going to law school night classes. And as I'm doing all of this, I'm always writing songs and Astro van, basically a song that just, you know, we released that. And I eventually was like, you know, I think got a million streams in the first month and I just dropped out of law school and here we are. 4 (21m 46s): Yeah, for sure. And, and at this, in this time, like how quickly do you run back into to Sam and was it through like a mutual friend? Like, I'm just curious how you guys re kind of reconnected. 5 (21m 56s): Yeah. So it's funny. So like throughout all of the Sam and I are friends and he's, he's in college in New York and then he actually also separately complete becoming a lawyer he's cause he's older than me. So he goes to law school in Philadelphia. 4 (22m 9s): So he is like legit, he's passed the bar and everything. 5 (22m 12s): He is an attorney. 4 (22m 14s): Wow. That's 5 (22m 15s): Awesome. And, and, you know, his thing is just like, you know, a few years ahead of mine, his arc or whatever. And, but no, he, he, you know, he hit the story really is like, we always stayed in touch. In fact, there's like a great email that we talk about all the time where like I sent him silver lining because, you know, when I would finish a song, we were friends and we would always bounce music back and forth. And I was like, you know, I really liked his tune. And I guess I just sent it to him probably to stick my chest out and be like, I wrote a cool song, but yeah, now, now that's sort of an infamous email. And so yeah, we were still communicating and stuff like that. And then he, he basically long story short was hating being a lawyer and just wasn't for him. 5 (22m 59s): And he was like, I was out in LA. I don't think it had anything to do with me honestly, but he, he tracked a job down in the music industry, I think, in on the agency side and moved out to LA to do that. And I was pumped because I didn't really have any friends from Philadelphia area. And obviously as soon as he got out there, which was within maybe five or six months of me moving out there, we started working on music after work, both kind of hating our jobs. And I think that it really put the pressure on us to, you know, we knew we were good at writing songs and putting songs together. 5 (23m 40s): And, you know, we, we, we kinda knew what we had, I think a little bit, not to the extent that it has come, but we knew we had recorded ride and we kind of put feelers out on Craigslist and stuff like that. And we found our producer who just produced the third record as well, according to in his bedroom with the basis that we found on Craigslist and, you know, but then we had the recording and like, that's the thing I would say to artists too, is like, especially now it's like focus your energy into making that recording that, you know, not just you like, but that when you show it to people, there's this irrepressible like, that's really good. You know, like I think that's so attainable for like very little amounts of money now because of the way recording has gotten. 5 (24m 26s): And I think you can run around and do the open mics and all of that stuff. And, and it is nerve wracking. I think you should. Cause I think, I think part of that is sharpening your skills as a performer, which is a pretty separate thing. But I think in terms of getting noticed or whatever it is, it's going to be about a song that people, you know, pretend, you know, cause I think I'm rambling, but I think 4 (24m 49s): I love this. 5 (24m 51s): I think a thing happens where people think, you know, if I cold send a manager's email, a link to a SoundCloud, they'll never listen to it. And the truth is they there's a good chance. They won't listen to it, but in today's boredom on the phone day and age, there's a decent chance that if that, if you send it to enough people that someone's going to play it. And even like now with our manager, like occasionally something will come across my world or whatever and I'll listen to it and be like, that's actually really good. You know? And I think songs have that thing where it's like, it's pretty, to me, it's pretty binary. Like there, isn't it factor to any song where it's like, if you listen to something and it, and it hits you as a music fan first, then I think you really have a chance to build something off of that. 5 (25m 34s): Whether it's management or whatever it is that you think is going to give you that momentum. I think it's possible if you can create the song and the recording that sort of irrepressible. 4 (25m 44s): No, I, I completely completely agree with you. And especially when it comes to like I know nowadays, especially during the pandemic people making songs and just them blowing up on whether it be Tik TOK or Spotify or whatever it may be. And it's just something they created in their bedroom. 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And there's something that I think, you know, makes people think or, or makes people laugh or smile or whatever. And in this like instant grant world that we live in, like, that's kind of it, you just have to have this thing that pulls people in and then you have to back it up. 5 (28m 49s): But I re I really think we're one of the first bands that existed in this, you know, like you said, with Tik TOK and all these things, there's a lot of negatives to that and that's pretty well-documented. And I, and I agree with most of that sentiment, but it's, it would be unfair to not point out that it also has sort of completely paved the playing field, not completely, but it has definitely leveled it in the sense that I think what you're seeing is whether they're annoying or not like w we as a sort of musical industrial complex, if you will, has like created the light, trying to tell listeners what is a cool song through marketing promotion or whatever, but then you get things like my money don't jiggle jiggle. 5 (29m 35s): And the fact of the matter is that's a catchy song and it resonates with people and there's no rhyme or reason as to why. And I think you're seeing things where it's it, maybe that song wouldn't have had a chance if it went through the traditional churning of the wheel that the music industry has where singles have to get decided. And there's much talk about what money, what money is going to be put behind what song for what reason, but, you know, if you can just throw a song up on Tik TOK and, you know, sink or swim kind of thing, I think that's an, there, there is some positive to that. 4 (30m 10s): Yeah. And I think it's essentially, like you said, the, the playing field is definitely getting more leveled in that sense. And it's like, you're putting a song up and if it can land on that for you page, and you're just getting all these eyes on it, you'll, it's almost like you have your own little, like, almost focus group there of people that are either going to say that song is good and they'll like it, or follow you or whatever, or it just does nothing. And there's songs and people that'll just blow up off of one or two little things. They go their way on Tik TOK, because they're doing something that people resonate with and coming from radio and watching bands, just try and try and try to get on. And then like, you know, getting stiff with like an overnight spin and this, and the other thing it's like, yeah, there is definitely, there were, you know, five years ago, so many more gatekeepers when it came to getting a song to do something 5 (31m 2s): A hundred percent. And I think for us, it was, it was specifically Spotify. I remember a call from my manager. I was at work. I stepped out. It wasn't even really my manager at the time was my roommate to give you the context of how it was actually going down. But he was, he was helping us out and called me. I was at work. I did the thing where I said I was going to the bathroom and I walked into the parking lot. And he was explaining to me that we had gotten on a playlist and I had no idea what a playlist was. This is 2016. And he's explaining, I forget what class it was. I want to say it was like something that afternoon or something black thing. 5 (31m 45s): I don't know who knows. But, but yeah, just, I have that memory of like being explained that, you know, Spotify was supporting the song in some meaningful way because it, I don't know it was doing well or whatever. And yeah, the rest was sort of history. I, I remember like going to, you know, the songs started going viral within Spotify, which at the time I didn't even know what that means. I remember like Googling, like how does the song go viral on Spotify? You know, like all this stuff was sort of happening in real time for us. But I think that that was it for us. We have this Spotify was sort of Arctic talk and at the time, and at least how I understand it, it worked then. 5 (32m 26s): And hopefully how it works now was that they would put songs on playlist and then they would just, they're, they're mostly a data company. Especially at this point, I would just get tons of data on who was skipping the song and whatever. And the song was moving within this Spotify algorithm at the time. And it was clear that like something we were resonating and then, you know, put out our second song was I guess, sheep. And that song started doing pretty well, you know? And it just reached a point where I was like, if I'm ever going to go for, and this has always been something I really wanted to do March down to the old registrar or whatever it was at the law school and dropped down. 5 (33m 11s): We've we've been doing it ever since. 4 (33m 13s): That's amazing. That's so cool. I mean, yeah, I think even 2016 Spotify was a thing, but not to the level it is now, but it really was to that level. I mean, it was breaking artists. If you get on a playlist, it's crazy to see with the bigger playlist, how many people follow that playlist is more than, you know, LA county or San Francisco or wherever. If you're, if you could get your song played on a radio station, if you were netted out to every person in the whole market, it wouldn't even be a percentage of that one playlist in the people that you, that are going to hear it or see it. 5 (33m 45s): Yeah, totally. And I, I, I, I guess radios version of escalating a song that's performing well is sort of like, you know, maybe changing formats or also, you know, other radio stations throughout the country putting the song on the playlist and it's sort of spreading like that. 4 (34m 2s): Yeah. We're getting more, yeah. Even getting more rep reps or if you went up to like a more spins in the, in the playlist, like if you get every other hour or so, you know, whatever. 5 (34m 13s): Sure, sure, sure. Yeah. And I think it, yeah, it's interesting to compare. And we talked about that a lot, like the comparisons of radio to streaming and how they work together and how they work separately. But I think, you know, I think just the advantage that streaming had in that moment and probably still does, is it just move so much quicker. It's able to, it's able to replicate, which is a word I shouldn't use post pandemic, but like, it's able to just churn, churn that wheel, that, that radio is trying to turn so much faster instead of like making a phone call in the morning, Hey, you gotta take this to power. This thing is really taking off, you know, rotation wise. 5 (34m 54s): It's not 4 (34m 54s): Yeah. Power. That's what I was looking for. The word. Cause I was, I programmed the station or I was the assistant to the music director. I couldn't think of the word. 5 (35m 2s): I can only think of it. Cause I'm, I'm actively promoting a record here, but 4 (35m 9s): Yeah, 5 (35m 10s): No, it's, I'm, I'm doing this, but yeah, basically I guess power is what like the most radiation. 4 (35m 16s): Yeah. Usually, I mean the station I've worked at in San Diego, we, if you're a power, there's a five songs in power and they would play every other hour. But if you were on like a top 40 station in your empower, you could be played every twice an hour. 5 (35m 32s): Right. But I mean, I think if you would look at like Spotify statistics for a song really moving within their algorithm, it's like, it's not based on an hour. It could be, it can be getting plays on separate playlists all over the world, every 30 seconds, you know? 4 (35m 48s): Exactly. 5 (35m 49s): Every 10 seconds every yeah. So the, their ability to quickly microwave a hit and we haven't had the sort of, you know, there's levels of success above Mount joy with that, where, you know, you can go fully, you know, global and really reach sort of superstar level of, of attention on your songs pretty quickly. So I guess one I'm long windedly saying is Spotify got me out of law school. And I, I think it, it continues to be able to change people's fortunes very quickly, not just Spotify, but all of the, all of the sort of things that are popping up. 4 (36m 26s): Yeah. 100%, a hundred percent on. I completely agree. Well talking about your, okay, so where were you guys when obviously you, you put out that record it's silver lines, you had hits off too, and then you've even followed up with rearrange us. And that does well, like your, you just released your third record. Where were you guys like when the pandemic hit? Was this album written during that time period? Or was this done after the fact, like, tell me where you were come, you know, March 20, 20 to now. 5 (36m 55s): Yeah. We were pretty much working on this record. I mean, we, we had just gotten off a support tour with the Lumineers, which was, you know, it was good, good exposure for us and it was great to, to play rooms like that. And so you're kind of riding this relative high thinking. You're about to go do your own shows and of course the pandemic hits and I'm sure it's, you know, again, a lot of people have talked about this, but the one real hard to say it's an advantage. But the one thing that was, I guess, nice about the pandemic was just not touring, which was a negative in most ways, but the positive was just being home and being able to write and really work on music. 5 (37m 38s): And the way that I don't think we really were for the second record, you know, we were touring that first record we had the success we talked about and really what it meant for us is that we toured for most days of the next couple of years. And it was intense and like pretty life-changing in every possible way. Good, bad in between. And it made it, so the second record, we only had a really like six weeks to like go and record it. I'd been writing stuff on the road, but it was this sort of like go into the studio and make a record vibe. And I think we did an amazing job. Like I really like looked back at that record and I love it, but this, this third one was more of just back to what we did on the first one where it was like, you know, you could really write and you could think about what you're trying to do sonically, and you could rewrite it and you could record something and then like not end up using it, you know, like there just, there was this freedom to work and Sam and I, you know, the, the bummer was the band was pretty hard, but the nice thing was Sam and I were able to get a, a barn. 5 (38m 53s): We rented a barn outside of Philadelphia is on this woman's property. And she like put it up on either Craigslist or Zillow or whatever it was. And we found it and we were like, Hey, you know, this could be a place. So we could put our amps and drum set and just go work every day in this pandemic. And we did that and it, it, it was really cool. You know, we were able to go there like every morning, really for like a year and just, and just work on, work on tunes, you know, talk about the decay of the world. Like it was just this sort of zone where we got together and mostly worked on tunes, like all day long and talked about ideas. 5 (39m 33s): We would sort of demo things out. Eventually we flew our producer, Caleb out and sort of started demoing things and ultimately recorded some, some of the songs like bang. It was just a recording of me playing that song in the barn with some mic set up 4 (39m 50s): The one that's on the record. That's that's from the barn. 5 (39m 53s): Yeah, 4 (39m 54s): Really. Wow. 5 (39m 55s): Yeah. And evergreen, the drums were recorded in the barn just to get like a bigger kind of stadium, drum vibe. I'm trying to think what else. I think that's pretty much it, but yeah, it was a lot of evergreen actually was recorded in the barn and bang, some of the guitars recorded in the barn for evergreen. I think all of the guitars actually, I think about it, but yeah, so the barn ends up being this really cool space for us and yeah, it was great. Like, I think that's why I'm really proud of this record because it, you know, when you do something sort of quickly, you can be proud of like your progress of like, wow, we did that and we survived that, but this feels like we actually survived like our own insecurities about the songs. 5 (40m 45s): And like, you kind of have to push through yeah. Like a true editing process too, I guess. And it, it feels good. 4 (40m 54s): Yeah. You have a lot more time to sit with the songs. Right. And are you guys, or do you go back and listen to it a million times and be like, oh, I wish I could change or tweak this little guitar piece here. Or I don't like this here. 5 (41m 6s): Yeah. Like I would say this record. So, I mean, you know, we just really said a week ago, give us maybe a little more time, but, But for the most part, so far, this record less so than any other record, which feels good. Like there are a few things already where I'm like, you know how we should have like jammed that out longer and whatever else, but you know, like part of making a record is just, there's so many decisions like that, right? Like you could always jam for twice as long, or you could add a wacky sound or, you know, especially now like the sky is truly the limit in terms of what you can do. 5 (41m 47s): And oftentimes I think the best stuff we make and the stuff we remind ourselves of is like, just that gut instinct of like, you know, whatever you, whatever your first instinct was. And that's not, it's not just music obviously, but so it is easy to look back and be like, shoot a jam longer, but who knows maybe what a jam longer. And it would have sounded shitty. So, 4 (42m 4s): Right. No, I didn't, I didn't mean like the final version, but I meant like, just having that a year period, maybe like you, you finish, you know, Johnson song. You're like, oh, like go, you're just sitting at your house, listening to it. And then it's like, okay, we've got to go back and we should fix this little piece. Like if, if you ran into that spiral at all, 6 (42m 22s): This is your summer. That means six flags in the taste of an ice cold Coca-Cola, we're talking thrilling coasters, delicious burgers, real moments together. And this Coke is summer refreshment when you need it most. So you can hop on another ride or race down a slide at the water park, six flags, and Coca-Cola come make it yours. Visit six flags.com/coke to save up to $20 on passes. Plus daily tickets starting at 34 99, 2 (42m 51s): Hey, there's something different about my mango pineapple smoothie. Really? My grandma rap tastes fine. Nah, something's definitely different. No difference. 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Actually lemon tree is a song that we attempted to record several times and we actually got like a pretty good version down with a different producer. And it was like, it was exactly what you're talking about, where sitting with it and sitting with actually phone demos from the barn, I was sort of, we'd spend some money to use this producer and, you know, there were, and he did an amazing job, but the reality was when we really were honest with ourselves and send it to other people and like, listen to the two demos, it was like, the phone thing was cooler. 5 (44m 34s): And we were like, we have that. That just means we haven't solved. The it's hard. It's hard to record a song it's like pretty easy to like, not easy, but it's easier for me to conceive of the song and it's on your phone. And it sort of has this limitless potential of like, well, you can see what it would sound like if you added drums or whatever. Right. But then actually physically recording and getting all the performances. Right. And you know, it's hard. And so I think that that one was one where then we went back again, went back to our producer, produced the rest of the record. Caleb Nelson did an amazing job. And we put that together in the final hour of recording the records. So that, that one had like actually an original Caleb version, a different producer version, and then back to Caleb for a third version all throughout that year. 5 (45m 18s): So exactly what you're talking about, where you just kind of listen to it and you cock your head and you're like, it's not quite it, you know, until you get it. 4 (45m 25s): Yeah, for sure. That's fascinating. Especially with a song that, you know, you, you, you, you take it into one level and it's like, ah, let's go back and then, oh, and then we'll go back to the original guy. And then that's the one that ends up making it on. I just saw the video that you put up. Like, I think it's about a week ago for Johnson sign. I think that's an incredible song. And it's like a tour video. It's like footage from the tour, I believe. And then your guys are all in a room singing the chorus. Was that from the original recording of the song or is that just something that you guys had re recorded or 5 (45m 57s): Yeah, that's how we recorded the song originally. And yeah, we recorded that in the same session that we did that lemon tree out in LA. That was one of the last things we did is put together sort of like the gang, like that was part of the challenge of the pandemic and some things were recorded, but we were like, well, we need the, the band and the gang vocal. So we would meet in LA sort of towards the end when the pandemic was obviously like less of a thing, I guess, fair to say, or I guess less people were dying of it. And yeah, so we, we put that, put that together there. And I think the footage of the road makes a lot of sense. Cause I mean, Johnson song really was this thing. 5 (46m 40s): If you talk about like Astro van, like we talked about just wanting to have a song really that was for me and for the band and for our crew, a very goofy and inside joke thing. Like we have this thing from the beginning of Mount joy where Johnson is sort of like a thing that humbles you as a band. Like, you know, we've for example, like, I don't know, like a thing that would happen to us would be we would get Conan, you know, and like, we'd have this great high five moment. Like then the next day, like the van would break down just like the Johnson's this constant reminder of like, yeah. Just like things that are going to humble you. Or, you know, we had a show where we were really excited and then like the gas member that gas gas is crazy, but there was like a gas shortage, I think like last 4 (47m 26s): Summer I do remember that. Yeah. 5 (47m 28s): That like impacted the show we were about to do. And it was like, this is a Johnson. So we just have this thing and the Johnson can also just be like the salt shaker, like past the chance. And like, it's just this sort of language. Yeah. And so it had this idea of like making a song about the Johnson and the funniest thing, the sort of like Metta Johnson of that song is that we've used that for so long for so many years that obviously I think originally it was probably, you know, we were in our like mid, early twenties, like making these jokes. Like it was probably a Dick joke at the 4 (48m 4s): Time. 5 (48m 8s): Like, but it's gotten so far from that. It means this like, sort of, not a thing to us, but of course, to like society at large, it's an obvious euphemism for Dick. And so we make this song and our producer is sort of on the outside of the inside joke and I'll never forget laid down the chorus and like, it has this great bottom, like the song like kind of had it for me, like right away. So I was like really excited about it. And he's like, yeah, it's really great. But like, it's a Dick joke, right? Like the song dance away. Cause the Johnson's coming. And I was like, oh no, like I didn't even realize the coming part. Like there's just so many levels to it that like I swear on my life, I had no idea that I had done that. 5 (48m 52s): And that ended up itself is a Johnson and it's sort of this beautiful thing. And like after like a day I was like, I was actually pretty upset cause I was like, oh, we should probably rewrite that. Like that's so kitschy and just stupid. And then I was like, but you know what? The whole thing is stupid. And in this greater arc of being in a band, like we talked about all the time, like not in a demeaning way, but like the whole experience is pretty stupid. And so he like, you know, I get up there and sing about ex-girlfriends and like a bunch of people sing along. 4 (49m 25s): It's incredible. 5 (49m 26s): It's, it's, it's pretty goofy and silly. And I think the more you lean into that and interact with the sort of like irreverence of, you know, I think everyone listens to music, at least in some part as this escapism of like a world that you can't be a Reverend in, you know, and there's so much seriousness obviously in this world right now that I think the more we lean into what makes us happy and makes us goofy and sort of brings us, I can't use the word joy, but brings us joy. I think that's, that's the stuff that connects them out. So it's, it's funny in that way 4 (50m 2s): For sure. No, that's a great video and I love the video as well for evergreen and I'm sure you've talked at length about that and, and, and you know, and having creed in the video and everything, which is a hilarious video, but I appreciate your time today. Thank you so much, Matt, for doing this. Yeah. And from what I gathered about that video is you've got he, you knew him as a friend and he came out on stage with you guys in. 5 (50m 29s): Yeah. Yeah. So actually our tour manager manages his, his music career. He he's, he's had a, like honestly long and successful music career prior even to the office, he was in a band called the grassroots in the sixties, which like had a hit, they had a number one. 4 (50m 51s): Wow. I didn't even have any idea about that. That's amazing. 5 (50m 54s): Yeah. They had a song called live for the day, I believe. And he was the guitar player. Yeah. So he's, he's just had this amazing career when you look at his arc and he stayed playing guitar obviously and stayed with it and has his own band. And so he has a music career and our tour manager connected us through that and he was so cool to come up. We play the Greek theater and like creep, we brought Cree Brad and I, we felt like, you know, we were fulfilling our LA rock star, whatever it is, but he came out and just like, honestly ripped like a solo on our song, let loose. And it was so amazing and so many ways just to be looking over and obviously I'm a huge office fan and he's one of my favorite characters from the office. 5 (51m 39s): And I'm not just saying that I've always just thought he was just a particularly funny character. And so to look over and see that guy like shredding a guitar at the Greek theater, it was just sort of this like moment that obviously I'll never forget. So it's cool. And then he's just become a friend he's such a good, awesome, cool, exactly what you would hope for guy. And he's become a friend of the band and yeah. He, he, he agreed to do that, which was amazing and yeah. Super cool. 4 (52m 7s): Yeah. The video is hilarious. Anyone hasn't seen it, like, yeah, just the whole concept behind it. It's so funny. Are you just constantly getting hurt or bad things are happening to them and then he, yeah, he finds this keyboard and, yeah, it's just a great, great, great video. And again, Matt, thank you so much. I'm not going to take up any more of your time, actually. One more question, but I want to comment on the fact that you guys are coming back through to Nashville. I'm super excited. You're doing two nights, the Ryman, which is so that's so awesome. So I can't wait to see you at the end of October. 5 (52m 36s): Yeah. We're pumped, pumped to get to the Ryman. That'll yeah, that'll be a dream. Two nights is amazing. 4 (52m 41s): So cool. Well, my last question you've kind of answered, it had a couple of times throughout this interview, but I'm going to ask it again. I want to know if you have any advice for aspiring artists. 5 (52m 51s): Yeah. I mean, like I said, you know, it's changing all the time, but I think the one thing, like I said, that there's a constant, it's like, you just need a song. I think you do need to behind that song. Since I already talked about that, I think behind the song, you really need to at least be able to perform it at a level where it gets that across. Like, I don't think you need to be a virtuoso performer, but you know, cause sometimes I always feel like people are like, well, it's an entry-level job, but you need experience and like the way to get like you do the job. So I don't think you need to put so much pressure on yourself to be virtual, so right out of the box, but you just have to, it has to be something you can perform without like an extraordinary amount of tracks because you're going to get thrown into a gauntlet. 5 (53m 40s): And a lot of times early on, you're going to just have to be able to play that song on acoustic guitar or piano or something stripped down because the radio station is not going to let you bring in your sampler pad and play a bunch of tracks. And even if they do, it's just, I think it's a bad look. I'm not sure. I'm not sure pop star, but yeah, I think that would be the advice that I would give is just be able to perform it and yeah. Be prepared to, I guess, shop the song run. And so you have the one

Matt Quinn Profile Photo

Matt Quinn

Lead singer

The Philadelphia quintet — Matt Quinn [vocals, guitar], Sam Cooper [guitar], Sotiris Eliopoulos [drums], Jackie Miclau [keys, piano], and Michael Byrnes [bass] — take their name from the quiet rural town in southwest Pennsylvania, about four hours from their Philadelphia base.
Forming in 2016, they made their mark two years later when their self-titled Mt. Joy debut album spun off "Silver Lining"; an uplifting power ballad that went to #1 at AAA radio (Billboard Adult Alternative Airplay) and has eclipsed over 120 million Spotify streams to date. Their second album, Rearrange Us (2018) drew widespread critical raves. Over the past four years Mt. Joy has amassed over half a billion streams and have earned acclaim from NPR, Billboard, Rolling Stone, The Line of Best Fit, and more. The band has performed at a variety of festivals such as Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo and has toured with The Lumineers,
Rainbow Kitten Surprise, The Revivalists, and The Head and The Heart. Additionally, the band has performed on Stephen Colbert, CBS Morning, Samantha Bee, Seth Meyers, Jimmy Kimmel, and Conan.