Denver based Matt Rouch and his band The Noise Upstairs are gearing up for a big month for August. Their new EP will be released on August 25 at Lost Lake and they have a whole slew of shows happening between now and then. One show is this Saturday at Odyssey Beerworks, where they are celebrating the release of their new single “Already Yours” as well as a beer by the same name.
We sat down with Matt Rouch himself before their big releases to hear about his experience in the local scene and what their fans can expect in the coming future. While you read our conversation, take an exclusive listen to the new single below (or go here).
303 Magazine: You have made a name for yourself in the local scene, having won several awards and features. Do you feel like you are supported in Denver?
Matt Rouch: I figured out a good way to phrase this… It’s challenging. It really is about who you know. Your resume doesn’t matter. What matters more is that you’ve been here for 10 years, know everybody and you can always play a show when you want. I think every time we get a feature or an award we think, “okay now this is going to help us bust down some doors,” and it doesn’t do much.
I have worked it from the bottom up here without any representation. A lot of people ask me, “how do you get these gigs or how do you get this feature,” and I just say, “be really annoying” so they don’t forget you. It’s a crowded scene of a lot of great bands. People will forget you, so you have to be annoying. I don’t have any other hobbies. I go to work and then I come home and do music stuff all night. If I have time, I’ll write songs.
303: How does that hard work to gain support influence your music?
MR: It is also a challenge to remain inspired. When you’re doing it for fun in your basement, and you’re flirting with the idea of a band, you don’t have anything to worry about. You’re just writing songs for the pure joy of it. Once you get wrapped up in trying to keep the momentum going and you have to get press and promote the band, you have less time for it.
It’s just less of your focus, is the best way I could put it. It kills all my joy and I don’t want to play music anymore, which [happens] every day. I tell bands starting out bright eyed and bushy tailed that it’s 99% heartbreak and 1% joy. We’ll get down about “oh we didn’t get this gig or that gig,” and then you get a show at the Gothic or a brewery that’s brewing a beer after you.
It’s the joy of walking on that big stage with the roaring crowd. There’s just no feeling like it. I think we’re all kind of addicted to the show aspect of walking on stage. The live, in concert connection with people feeling. We want to get these songs out that we’re really proud of. Getting to work with great producers of Denver and putting out a good EP with your band — that’s exciting.
303: Your new single is set to come out on Saturday. What is different about this new music?
MR: The first album I did last year was a singer-songwriter style album. It’s pretty sit-down, almost sounds like a live album. So, for this one, with the band, it’s upbeat and a louder style.
303: What do you hope this new music brings to the future of your career?
MR: Our dream is to do this full time. We all have nine-to-five jobs for a living and our goal is to attract attention, management or a label. The goal initially is just to get on Spotify. If you’re not getting on playlists and getting your music spreading around on Spotify, no new people are going to hear you.
I’ve been focusing on the single release. It’s going to be a whirlwind of shows leading up to August 25, for our album release at Lost Lake. We’re ready to really hit it hard this month and really say, “if you haven’t heard of us yet, I’m going to make sure you do now.”
Like I said, without a label or representation behind us I think we’ve done a good job of trying to plant our flag here in the sea. It helps to have great band members and they’re all phenomenal musicians. I think we have found one of the best drummers in town, we have the best upright bassist, three backing singing harmonies and our violinist also plays guitar and sings. I have the support of my wonderful girlfriend too, who listens to me complain every day.
303: Your EP release party is on August 25. Do you have any tricks up your sleeve?
MR: I don’t know what we could do trick-wise, except maybe not play. No one would see that coming [laughs].
We have some great bands. Ian Mahan will be joining, he’s a long-time Denver singer-songwriter and we have a local bluegrass band called The Dollhouse Thieves, and then you have us. I just want good bands and good music. If you like good songs, then you’ll like this.
303: What can you tell me about the beer?
MR: We started playing shows at the Brewery in Arvada called Odyssey Beerworks. We played their fifth-anniversary party there a few months ago. I have seen a lot of breweries that have bands as beers. We took a shot in the dark and we asked if they would brew a beer and they said, why don’t we call it the “Already Yours” IPA?
It starts on Saturday, they open at 11, we’ll release the beer at one o’clock, and then start the music around three. We’re excited.