LISTEN TO CURRENT ALL MY FRENZ RELEASES HERE
LISTEN TO ARTISTS I'VE WORKED WITH BEFORE HERE
FIND ME ON LINKEDIN HERE
CONTACT ME AT MATT@ALLMYFRENZ.COM
If you literally just want to see a list of acts I work with and / or have worked with, you will find that kind of thing on my LinkedIn page or below, if you keep reading beyond this point.
So may we start.
1 The KLF
2 Frankie Goes To Hollywood
3 Pet Shop Boys
That is a definitive list of the 5 greatest acts of all time. See also LCD Soundsystem, 10cc, Saint Etienne, Was (Not Was), Deee-lite, ABC, Prefab Sprout, PM Dawn, Chic, REM, Kraftwerk, and New Order, but that top 5 is definitive. Final answer. No correspondence will be entered into. Unless I change it, but I probably won’t. And I am happy to discuss if you want to.
I have been the luckiest person alive to meet The KLF, Holly Johnson, Neil Tennant, Chris Lowe, Saint Etienne, Martin Fry, Nile Rodgers, and Kraftwerk. I did not see any of that coming.
I have also, somehow, got to work with Holly Johnson, Pet Shop Boys, Saint Etienne and New Order. And I tried to help a film that was made about The KLF. I once shook Bill Drummond’s hand in a coffee house in Liverpool while he was trying to have breakfast. I knew I shouldn’t, but I couldn’t stop myself, and it seemed to make him, understandably, unhappy. Would you want me interrupting your breakfast?
Anyway, what I’m badly trying to say here is that, I am obsessed with music.
From the first moment I heard the opening chords of Tenpole Tudor’s “Swords Of A Thousand Men” on Radio 1 on a school mate’s portable AM transistor radio in the early 1980s, as an impressionable 10 or 11 year old, that was the beginning of the rest of my life.
Actually, rewind…I’m pretty sure “Autobahn” was used as background music on the kids TV channel they used to stick on at school in the mid 70s, so maybe that’s where this all started?
My Mum used to have the charts on the radio on a Sunday night during bath time in the mid 70s, from which I remember The Three Degrees, Paul Nicholas, ABBA and more.
I’m pretty sure I heard “Beat The Clock” and / or “Number One Song In Heaven” on the radio at my Great Aunt’s in South Shields when they must have been in the charts.
Basically, I heard a lot of music before “Swords Of A Thousand Men”, through various means, but that was the penny dropping moment.
Whatever, within 2 or 3 years of Tenpole Tudor and Radio 1, I’d been bought the Guinness Book Of British Hit Singles, which I tried to memorise and almost succeeded. I listened to the Top 40 every week. Watched Top Of The Pops. The Chart Show. The Tube. Max Headroom. Whistle Test. Oxford Road Show. If it had music in it, I watched it. Bought as many records as I could afford with as much pocket money as I could muster every week. Devoured the artwork. Kept an eye on the record label. Read the small print. Took it all in.
Left school, didn’t go to Uni, worked at Granada Studios Tour, worked at Our Price, had an office job. All the time, every penny I could afford went on records, CDs, tapes, gigs, merchandise. I tried to take every single thing in that I was exposed to within the world of music because I loved it.
I try to take every single thing in that I am exposed to within the world of music because I love it.
So before I bang on about work crap, I’m just saying to whoever reads this and might be thinking about working with me, I come to you as a fan of music. That list above is one of my favourite acts. If you ask me, I can tell you my favourite songs, my favourite albums, my favourite gigs. I don’t go for all the “Ooh, there are too many to think about. I can’t answer that.” I can and I will. Just ask me. The greatest album ever made is ABC’s “The Lexicon Of Love”. And if you want to know what the greatest TV show ever made is, it’s Twin Peaks.
I’m in this to work with talented creative people, to try and help them achieve their dreams. I like music when it works on levels of melodies, beats, hooks, riffs and catchiness, and also what Nile Rodgers refers to as “deep hidden meaning”. On which, may I politely refer to all of the acts I listed above, who specialise in such things.
Also, I am nice and I want to work with nice people. I hope that’s not asking too much.
Anyway, here’s that work stuff. Warning…if we DO end up working together, it’s 99.9% certain that I will, at some point, refer to The KLF and talk A LOT about them. Don’t say I didn’t tell you.
“WHAT DO I DO?”
It has been termed historically, and generally, as quarterbacking campaigns within the music industry. I have been called “The General”, “The Fireman”, “The Captain”, “A Machine”, and much, MUCH worse. However, as I enter what could be the final phase of my working life, I’ll go with fetching and holding the araldite, while attempting to be the Super Weird Substance that glues everything together AND tries to help make things happen as creatively as possible.
Araldite? Taking inspiration from my favourite creative mind, Bill Drummond, and his inspiration, Ken Campbell. Have a read of this - https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2014/nov/18/bill-drummond-five-lessons-i-learned-from-ken-campbell?fbclid=IwAR19EkzOAQDcC6oaWhvI2NdB7oqYtDKYYBtlSyD2FmW18fjo1E8rTGFkdb8 - then wonder how you can’t do anything other than “Be Heroic!”; Also “Wilder”.
Super Weird Substance? Initially, courtesy of Alan Moore, and then Greg Wilson, who I think I was always destined to work with, him having been the first person / DJ I ever heard segue one record into another in the early 80s, on the odd evening on Piccadilly Radio. Their worlds joined here - https://www.superweirdsubstance.com/alan-moore-youth-conversation/.
All My Frenz? LCD Soundsystem would be nothing without me, and I was going to start there, before remembering I live in Prestwich, a home to Mark E Smith / The Fall, who made “The Frenz Experiment” album, and were, obviously, a huge influence on…LCD Soundsystem. When I started at EMI in the mid 90s, I lived in Prestwich. Many years later, and I’m here now, with my wife, children, and a much better sense of the history and importance of the place. And so, All My Frenz was born.
This also gives me the chance to create a couple of Spotify playlists - AMFM (All My Frenz Music from my current roster) and AMFM Gold (All My Frenz Music from those I’ve worked with before). They are linked to above.
All My Frenz’s intention is to bring the araldite, be heroic, and, as often as possible, take inspiration, delight, humour and passion from the likes of Ken Campbell, Jimmy Cauty, Bill Drummond, Malcolm McLaren, Andy Ross and more besides. This might be the last career change I have, and it’s all mine, so I’m going to give it my all.
“WHAT HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE THIS?”
My first proper job in the music industry was as an EMI field sales rep for the north west of England, starting in 1996 and doing that for 2 years. At the end of 1998, I moved down to London to become a product manager in what was then EMI:Chrysalis, before shortening to EMI. The main part of what I did at that point was the marketing for dance label Positiva, which I did for around 5 years, then getting to work with big pop acts like Louise, Diana Ross, and more. From the early / mid 00s, I was involved in the beginning of Prolifica, who managed Spiller, with whom Positiva obviously had a huge hit with in the form of “Groovejet”, then DFA (including LCD Soundsystem, Hercules & Love Affair, The Juan MacLean and more), Corinne Bailey Rae, Hot Chip, Roisin Murphy, Badly Drawn Boy and more besides.
I left EMI in 2008, becoming label manager for a new label formed by Xenomania, staying there for a year, and helping set up the one and only top 10 hit from Mini Viva “I Left My Heart In Tokyo”, before moving onto pastures new.
In 2009, Dan Symons started www.band2market.com and we began to work together, initially as Marketing Managers, then as more all encompassing Campaign Managers, thus the aforementioned “quarterbacking”. Over the course of the following 12 years or so, having started via a renewal of my relationship with Big Life and Badly Drawn Boy for his first post EMI album, and an album or two with the wonderful Chilly Gonzales, that began a rollercoaster ride with the likes of Pet Shop Boys, M83, New Order, De La Soul, Neneh Cherry, Boy George, Saint Etienne, GUN, and Holly Johnson, overseeing them all have their biggest album campaigns for many years, if not decades, plus catalogue campaigns for Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (the top 10 compilation, “Lovely Creatures”) and The Kinks (the super deluxe release of “The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society”), as well as getting stuck in with the likes of Nadine Shah, Moby, Goldfrapp, Erasure, Tiga, DJ Harvey’s “Wildest Dreams”, Museum Of Love, Meatraffle, Miss Kittin, The Heartbreaks, Susanne Sundfor, Polly Scattergood, Oi Va Voi, Mixhell, Jakwob, Friend Within, Barry Blue, Dita Von Teese, Idris Elba, Groove Armada’s Andy Cato, Boxed In, as well as the early days of the likes of Oscar Scheller and ABSOLUTE. I’ve enjoyed a long and successful relationship with Bright Light Bright Light, and many years with Liverpool’s Modern Sky label, where we’ve come from nowhere to deliver chart albums for Jamie Webster, The Slow Readers Club, The Lottery Winners, The Blinders, and Red Rum Club. I also work with their sister label, Run On, home to up and coming acts like Rianne Downey, The Royston Club, Crystal Tides, The Dream Machine, and The Coral.
In late 2021, Dan and I agreed it was the right time to, very amicably, start afresh as individuals, which bring me to where I am now in 2022, and All My Frenz.
“YOU’RE THE INSPIRATION”
Ken Campbell was one of the most original and unclassifiable talents in the British theatre of the past century. He was a writer, director and monologist, a genius at producing shows on a shoestring and honing the improvisational capabilities of the actors who were brave enough to work with him.
GEORGE CLINTON on the importance of saying “fuck it”:
“The best advice I give to people is: Do the best you can… then fuck it. Leave shit alone after that. You can't beat yourself up wishing you had done it differently. If you’ve done the best you can, forget it!”
“There’s a fundamental truth that is far more important than getting a number 1 record or not. That truth is: If you want to do something… REALLY want to do something… Don’t wait to be asked! Don’t seek permission! Don’t put off until you’ve passed the right exams, or paid or saved up enough money!
But be prepared to risk complete failure. Don’t give a shit about whatever your mates, or girlfriend or your boyfriend says.
Whatever it is, start NOW, TODAY.
Tomorrow is always too late.”
Bill Drummond – The KLF
DYLAN THOMAS VIA FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
MARK LANEGAN’s 10 Commandments (Credit: White Rabbit)
1. Be yourself, it’s good to be different, a rebel, an outcast
Don’t ever let anyone give you shit because you don’t fit society’s idea of “normal” The false sense of security some get by joining the pack of lemmings who would all don ridiculous red baseball hats originally designed to keep a criminal politician’s terrible combover in place while he struts around in public, are somehow oblivious of the fact that they will be the first to get fucked over by these shitheads they support. Ignorance is at a place where next week a trip to the doctor ‘s office will get you a chest covered with leeches to fix what ails you. Kids, be brave, be smart and don’t buy into the shit you’re being shoveled. Know who you are and fearlessly follow your heart. If you are out of step with those around you, embrace it. Look how you want to look, love how and who you want to love, don’t take any shit, and watch your back. Protect yourself from those who would ridicule, bully or physically harm you for being different. Fuck them, they will have peaked by age 18 and then will sit in a well of misery for life unless by grace they get enlightened.
2. Give the gift of healing
If you can help one person not feel so alone, you’ve done a great thing. Music did that for me as a lonely kid.
3. Own or take care of an animal
There is nothing like the relationship between an animal and a human. The unconditional love received from a dog or cat, horse or more exotic animal, is like no other. I lived without animals in my life for several years due to my traveling but once it was a possibility, my house became quickly filled with a menagerie that became the centre of my world. The joy of a puppy tearing circles around the yard, so full of life and fire and the heartache as he grows to an old man and comes to the end of the line. The pain of saying goodbye, the gift of the time you had together and the infinite ways your life is enriched by these experiences.
4. Remain curious, keep learning, travel if possible and experience other countries and cultures
I grew up in a small farming/cattle ranching community and from my earliest memories, I wanted to leave. Through circumstance, drive, and a shit-ton of luck, I have been able to spend the last 35 years traveling for a living. I rarely return to my hometown and when I do, it is to see my sister and my youngest nephew, who still live there. My mother and her husband live there also, are in their 80’s, he pushing 90, and they are your typical old, white, xenophobic/racist people who met while working at the Hanford Nuclear plant. Before that my mother worked for the U.S. government in the bureau of migrant and Native American affairs. They then worked for Rockwell international, a huge conglomerate who built, among other things, intercontinental ballistic missiles. To my knowledge my mother has never been outside the United States, lives in a rural town, population 12,000 and yet is among the many people who thought it was a wise decision to vote for a man obviously illequipped to run a dishwasher much less a government, and the criminals who support him. I’m of the opinion that when people spend their life in a bubble it breeds fear. Much like Trump’s imaginary “crisis” on the southern border or the United States, the worldwide hysteria over immigration is driven by fear. The fear of old white people who have mainly never experienced anything outside their tiny insulated circle. I loved Tony Bourdain. He was an enthusiastic and loyal friend but was so important because he spent a huge part of his life casually traveling to many places the U.S. government and others vilified, embraced local culture and put a human face on those who the fear mongers would have us believe are evil. He was a prime example of what love, courage, empathy and compassion look like. Keep learning, keep loving
5. Everyday is a new beginning
Everyday is an opportunity to create a new future. Don’t forget to create your own reality. Know the difference between what you own and what someone else’s idea of you is. It’s none of my business what anyone else thinks of me if I know who I am.
6. Try to have a job you enjoy
Or at least one you can find some satisfaction in. Too many people spend the majority of their lives working a job they hate just to pay the bills. I have been blessed to do something I love for a living but it gets harder by the year for musicians as the cultural shift in how people get their music has driven many out of the business.
7. Have a moment for the less fortunate
Homelessness and poverty are at epic levels in the United States and elsewhere across the globe. Addiction, untreated mental illness, personal tragedy, downsizing businesses, estrangement from or loss of family and friends to turn to for help are some of the countless reasons people can find themselves in this predicament. So many families live paycheck to paycheck, so close to total disaster that an accident or illness without health insurance can have devastating consequences. Whenever I see a homeless person, I remember how close I am from such a situation and how my own experience with homelessness and addiction felt like endlessly climbing Everest-starting over everyday, and never reaching the summit. When someone hits you up for change at a red light don’t automatically assume it is for drugs, I’ve known many people who were simply trying to get enough change for a McDonald’s hamburger. The brutality of living out of doors, whether it be in the cold and rainy north, or the burning heat of Southern California, takes an unbelievable strength of physical and psychic willpower, god forbid by circumstance you ever find yourself there.
8. Look for music off the beaten path
I will never forget the music that changed my life. Where I grew up most people had no awareness of who Jimi Hendrix was, born just 100 miles away. My saving grace was a small, hole in the wall comic book/record store run by a hippy who had a curious for the new and weird. When he put on the 12-inch single of the Sex Pistol’s Anarchy In The UK, it changed my life forever. Later, The Gun Club, Joy Division, The Velvet Underground, Stooges, David Bowie and a hundred other artists continued my quest of discovery. It’s an obsession that has stayed with me to this day, and even though some of the artists I connected to became huge stars, most were not recognized until the bands had broken up, only to be hailed as genius later. Being a singer myself, into my 35th year of writing, recording and touring, I have never lost my youthful curiously for the new, exotic and interesting.
9. Get your hands in the dirt
In a time when the earth is being pillaged and raped to the point where 18.7 millions acres a year are being destroyed by deforestation and that breaks down to 27 football fields a minute, an area the size of Switzerland yearly .15% of all greenhouse gas emissions coming from deforestation, it is likely too late to turn back the clock on this planet ‘s destruction by the greed of men, but as an individual I try to plant as many trees, flowers, shrubs on my property as possible and there is something therapeutic and meditative about doing some small gesture that gives to the earth and takes my mind off the futility of my actions.
10. Have a sense of humour
In this age of technology and social media people like me who make music are privy to immediate criticism or praise, and are able to comment in return just as quickly. I admit being guilty of spending too much of my rare down-time taking shots at the low hanging fruit of the cliched descriptors, less-than-informed reviewers, and the speculators who seem to know the motivation and meaning behind every song lyric. I sometimes find it irresistible to play the curmudgeonly old vampire and show up with a surprise ball-buster at a super-fan’s feed on occasion as well. I’m probably the only guy out there who will find faux-fault when someone writes “It’s his greatest record ever!” Usually the ensuing brief internet conversation ends with me laughing and hopefully my target doing the same. On my birthday one year a music blog tweeted out one of my old band ‘Screaming Trees’ song as a tribute. I replied “Thanks. And btw for my next birthday you could choose something from one of my dozen solo releases, many tunes from which can be found on one of two box sets, two remix albums, countless full-length collaborations, or any other number of one-off non-Trees releases that number close to the hundreds.” They tweeted back “ Wow! Thanks for being such an informative one-man-human-google. We will keep that in mind.” A priceless come-back.
MALCOLM MCLAREN (IN QUOTES):
I've always embraced failure as a noble pursuit. It allows you to be anti whatever anyone wants you to be, and to break all the rules.
I was taught that to create anything you had to believe in failure, simply because you had to be prepared to go through an idea without any fear. Failure, you learned, as I did in art school, to be a wonderful thing. It allowed you to get up in the morning and take the pillow off your head.
There are two rules I've always tried to live by: turn left, if you're supposed to turn right; go through any door that you're not supposed to enter. It's the only way to fight your way through to any kind of authentic feeling in a world beset by fakery.
What matters is this: Being fearless of failure arms you to break the rules. In doing so, you may change the culture and just possibly, for a moment, change life itself.
Everyone should be commended for allowing people to make disasters, to make failures - you've just got to be sure that it's a magnificent failure and that, by creating a magnificent failure, you plant the seed.
Stealing things is a glorious occupation, particularly in the art world.
Rock and roll doesn't necessarily mean a band. It doesn't mean a singer, and it doesn't mean a lyric, really. It's that question of trying to be immortal.
Be childish. Be irresponsible. Be disrespectful. Be everything this society hates.
To be a flamboyant failure, that's better than being any kind of benign success.
I was searching for a way to break the rules, change life – and I was looking to turn art into action.
I think all great artists are separated from ordinary artists by one thing: they are magicians.
I just wanted to bury myself into the bowels of pop culture and grab-bag it, reinvent it, cut it up, and destroy its product.
ANDY ROSS (VIA MY FRIEND AND HIS FORMER COLLEAGUE, MATTHEW RUMBOLD)
November 1995, it was my first day as A&R scout at Food Records. I’d spent the morning and afternoon sifting through shoeboxes full of demo tapes of pedestrian guitar bands, all hoping to be plucked from obscurity and sent on a rocket ship to fame and fortune by my new boss Andy Ross, "the man who discovered Blur". In truth I didn't really know what I was doing, or what I was listening out for, and blimey, it was horrific stuff.…but as it turned out, it didn’t matter. At about 4pm Andy appeared at my desk, briefly studying the hot mess of cassettes and post-it notes and coffee mugs - uh-oh, I thought, what have I done?
Have I cocked it up already? I’ve only been here 5 minutes and I definitely haven’t found the new Blur. “Anything you’d like me to play Andy?” I squeaked. He looked at me in utter disbelief…”We need to go for a meeting” he said firmly. I grabbed my coat and we walked outside onto Arlington Street, and Andy strode purposefully to the pub across the road, the Good Mixer. Within 2 minutes we had pints in hand, money on the pool table, and the best corner seat in the house...and so began my education into the wild arts of A&R as explained by this erudite, eloquent and forever entertaining man. Over the next 5 years in that very same spot, there were endless conversations about music, meetings with artists, managers, DJ’s, journalists, every opinion under the sun dissected, and a few more pints consumed. The one constant throughout was that there was always laughter, either at the stupidity of the industry, of others or of course ourselves. Andy saw it all for what it was - a crazy way to make a living but what a fabulous and enjoyable ride, and if you happened to be good enough to spot the right thing at the right time and take the rollercoaster to the highest peak then that’s just part of the unfathomable journey.
Andy's legacy will rightfully be about the fabulous artists that he discovered and worked with, and the success he was able to share with them - but for those lucky enough to have known him, it will also be about what a great human being he was - so for one last time, Cheers Andy, love you so much.
TONY WILSON (IN QUOTES)
You either make money, or you make history.
You don't know reality until someone makes a fiction of it. Reality needs the completion of fiction.
I had the virtue of wanting to hang out with people who were more talented than me. I can't write songs, I can't perform, I can't design clubs, but I was an enthusiast.
When forced to pick between truth and legend, print the legend.
I’ll just say one word: Icarus. If you get it, great. If you don’t, that’s fine too. But you should probably read more.
This is Manchester. We do things differently here.