Formerly of the rock act Murder FM, writer/producer/vocalist Norman Matthew is back with a new act called As Strange As Angels. The first single from the project is out now. It’s called “Mirror Mirror.” The debut release is the Mirror Mirror EP, and it comes out on 4/11/2019.
Alternative Addiction chatted with Matthew recently about his time away from music, his new project, and the creative spark that started As Strange As Angels. The roots of the project didn’t officially take shape until much later on, but it starts when Matthew took his original break from music in 2016 from Murder FM. After going through a tough divorce, Norman left music realizing he needed to take more time to raise his son and be a dad.
“I tell everybody because I reference my divorce a lot,” explained Matthew in the interview. “It’s not because that was overly heavy, it was because of the challenges that were presented to me that I had to face. My head was spinning. My self-awareness was at an all-time high and my self-esteem was at an all-time low. With Murder FM, we released a really solid record, we got to work with Tommy Lee, we were going on tour with Drowning Pool, we were opening up for Korn and Rob Zombie. It was years of hard work. So, with the band being busy, combined with what I had happening at the time, it was tough. We had to write a new record, then I had all of these things going on in my personal life; all of those things combined to be like a hammer to my face.”
Overwhelmed with life and those challenges, Matthew focused on what was most important to him and tried to work on bettering himself as a person.
“I stepped away completely because the number one thing in my life was my son. I didn’t want anything to get in the way of that. I focused on him. I wasn’t worried about writing my own music. I would write for other artists and I’d produce bands and I’d do stuff at my music school, but I couldn’t think about my own music,” added the vocalist.
“I rebuilt myself after that. I wanted to be in a completely different place if I was going to do anything with music again. I didn’t want to do the same thing and expect different results. Through all kinds of therapy and counseling I kind of unclogged my creative pathway. I tried to make anything that was negative and, in my way, and turn it into a positive. It worked. I wanted to reinvent myself and then I wanted to put in the work like I was 16 years-old again. I wanted to feel hope again. Once I started making music again, it all just came out – it didn’t stop.”
Matthew really means that, a big example of his passion with As Strange As Angels is the number of songs that he wrote for the project.
"I’ve wrote about twenty to thirty songs for this. I was falling back in love with the process, and I wanted to kick back and just write music like crazy and figure out which songs serve me best and what parallels my life the best. I wanted to connect it and make it more real. When you start a band, you just start going and going and you never step back. This time, I wanted to really step back and really create the project before it started. It’s become a thing where we will probably do two or three EPs, and they’ll be a little different from the others because I was in a different place for each one. But the cool part is that together they’ll make sense. You’ll be able to hear where I was at in my life when I wrote each one. For the Mirror Mirror EP, it made sense to start there.” -aa