A Musical Life: Matthew Clagg

May 27, 2016

Credit Kevin Wildt

Matthew Clagg is a visual artist, writer, concert organizer and musician. He is instrumental in organizing both ICT Fest and Wichita Psych Fest. He is currently a member of Tantric Shakes, Domestic Drone and Mystery Blood.

“To me, making music is just having a conversation. Every time I sit down to drum, whether it’s in the practice space or the recording space or the live performance space, it’s a deep trip. It’s like a deep meditation for me. I have to be 100 percent in the present moment, down to the millisecond. That’s where really good timing comes from—completely listening to the bass player and the guitar player and the vocalist and whatever other noise thing that’s going on. Hearing 100 percent of that, in that exact moment, as you’re taking an action—if you really click into that a.) you drum really well and b.) it’s the most relaxing, calming thing.

A loud guitar against a drum—and acoustic drum set—the drum can only be so loud before it’s overpowering the guitar. But you get a different tone from the drums if you hit ‘em harder. Or from the cymbals. It’s just a totally different sound that you can achieve. To me, any given sound—any sound in the universe has its own voice. And its own sense of being. And so a very heavily hit cymbal that’s just a massive wash of sound that lasts and reverberates just tells a different story.”