This kid’s first album, When Everything Breaks Open, drops today and we predict that people are gonna like it . As a tyke, Matt Morris started out on The All New Mickey Mouse Club with J. Timberlake (and Britney and Christina and Ryan Gosling), who happens to be one of the people instrumental in making Morris’s album happen (it’s on Justin’s label, Tennman Records). Morris has also written with Mouseketeer Christina Aguilera in the past and his dad is country musician Gary Morris; Bob Dylan’s guitarist, Charlie Sexton produced the album with Timberlake. Morris rolls deep. We caught up with the Denver-based crooner last night after his taping of Dave Letterman. Catch Matt showing his dance moves for Ellen Degeneres on the 19th and on a slew of morning shows for the next two weeks.
You’re about to be a BFD. How’s that feel? I’m hungry. My nerves are still a little hot fire. I’m excited. I’m pleased that the response was so good from the audience—they really liked it. Letterman’s band loved it too. We’re all Denver-based and for a couple of my guys, this is their first time in New York. To come to New York and do the show is really special, but it all happened so fast. The arrangement we did is only 3:30, so, boom it’s done!
In the album insert you thank our people in Austin, LA and Denver. What’s up with that? We cut the majority of the record in Austin. Charlie Sexton co-produced the album with Justin Timberlake and Charlie’s based in Austin. He pulled together a section of musicians there to record. For a good chunk of time I lived down there and recorded in Jimmy Eno’s studio from Spoon and I put some roots down in Austin. We did some recording in LA, where Justin is. He came to Austin to do some of the recording with us there and we did some of the sessions in LA. It was a real back and forth.
How did Justin contribute to the album? We worked on a couple songs, just the two of us and he produced “Live Forever” in LA and we co-produced “Just Before the Morning” which is something that I started in Denver and we finished in LA. He brought his gear and his rig to Austin and set up shop in a studio and he sang vocals on a few songs, so he’s part of the record.
Tell us about your tattoos. I have a few. I have a full sleeve on my right arm and on my chest. And I have a small one on my left shoulder. I didn’t think I was going to be the type of guy who liked color tattoos, but I found a good artist.
When did you start writing the tracks? Some of these songs have been with me for about six or seven years, I Just had them in my pocket. I was compiling the songs on the record for a long time.
Do you keep a notebook with you at all times? I do. I have a shelf of notebooks or scraps of paper. Sometimes I write on my phone, sometimes I just scribble on whatever I can.
Which track is the closest to you? I’m proud of all the songs on this record, but I’m particularly proud of “Eternity” and I think “Live Forever” is a really solid song. I love to perform “The Un-American”.
Where’s the ideal place to listen to your album? I’m not sure yet. Car listening people, headphone people, speaker people…for whom music narrates parts of their life, this record has a lot to offer.
Who was the first person you allowed to listen to the album? My mom. She didn’t say many words, she just made a lot of sounds.
What’s your rock star fantasy? I don’t think men with beards do enough to accessorize their beards or really camp it out. Beards are butch, but they can be really fabulous. A lot of glitter in the beard. It’s a part of a larger costume. I’d like Lady Gaga to help me coordinate my costumes in the future.