Matt Richey grew up in an environment conducive to a career in music.
The drummer for local bands Dead Voices, Grisly Hand, Blessed Broke and Tiny Horse remembers a steady stream of classic rock radio, conversations with his parents about concerts they’d once attended and ample time spent poring over the albums they kept around the house.
“They were always really supportive of my interest in music,” says Richey. “They got me a drum set for Christmas and lessons, so that made a big difference. I also didn’t get made to feel like it was a silly hobby or phase, but something that I would have to work at just like anything else.”
Ink caught up with Richey, who will play with Blessed Broke on Saturday at The Brick, to talk influences, musical tastes and finding one’s voice as a musician.
1. What’s the album that influences you the most?
Bob Dylan and “Basement Tapes.” I like music with a strong sense of mood and place, and that can be felt all through this album. The songs are all great, ranging from the absurdity of “Open the Door, Homer” to the heartbreaking desperation of “Going to Acapulco.” The performances are unself-conscious and capture the sound of a group of friends enjoying one another’s company and making great music. Which is exactly what a band should be.
2. What’s the first album you bought with your own money?
Probably Aerosmith. Maybe “Toys in the Attic.” Definitely on cassette. I still have all my old Aerosmith tapes. They were the first band that I really got into as a kid. I lost interest, though, after “Get a Grip,” which may not have been entirely unrelated to the unfortunate departure of Alicia Silverstone.
3. What’s an album you’ve never gotten tired of listening to?
Again, the “Basement Tapes,” but I would also mention the Rolling Stones’ “Exile on Main Street,” “Pussy Cats” or “Nilsson Schmilsson” by Harry Nilsson, “Sign o’ the Times” by Prince, or Sly and the Family Stone’s “There’s a Riot Goin’ On.” They all have a feeling that just works for me and after so many years, I still return to them.
4. What’s an album you thought you’d never get tired of listening to but did?
I think I’ve gotten burnt out on Tom Waits. I still think he’s great, but I just can’t go there right now.
5. What’s the most recent album you’ve fallen in love with?
The Ants’ “Tomorrow Is the Day.” I finally got a chance to catch them last month after many recommendations from friends, and I bought this record after the show. The tunes hit the sweet spot for me — just the right balance of world weariness and hilarity, with great hooks throughout.
6. What song helped you find your voice as a musician?
I honestly don’t believe I have found “my sound.” I just try to play something complementary and invest the right feeling. Of course, what I play will be somewhat unique to me, but I would hardly venture to call my assortment of bad habits a “style.”
That being said, a song like Stevie Wonder’s “Too High” comes to mind because he is one of my very favorite drummers, and his performance here really illustrates what I always hope to achieve: supportive and grooving, but with enough little hooks and wiggles to keep things moving along. It’s simple but not easy, and most importantly, the feel is amazing.