Cathedral Bells is the dream pop project of Matthew Messore, formerly of Dear Tracks. Having received pre-release coverage from the likes of Poule d’Or, We All Want Someone to Shout For, and Frontrunner Magazine, Cathedral Bells look to drop their debut album ‘Velvet Spirit’ this March. We asked Matt about his influences, what differentiates Cathedral Bells from Dear Tracks, his creative process, and more. He was kind enough to answer, as well as share a brand new track from the album, “Disconnected”.
COUNTERZINE: How are you today?
Matthew Messore: I’m doing pretty good!
CZ: Tell us a little about yourself.
MM: I currently live in central Florida with my wife and cats.
CZ: Who would you consider some of your foremost influences, musical or otherwise?
MM: Musically, some of my influences are Jesus and the Mary Chain, The Cure, The Cleaners From Venus.
CZ: People may know you from your old band Dear Tracks. While both projects clearly share similarities, there are also clear differences. How might you explain the differences in mindset and approach?
MM: I feel like the sound of the project is something I’ve always wanted to capture. I have been recording everything in my bedroom and it feels more organic doing everything at home with a pretty minimal setup. It gives kind of lo-fi – DIY ring to the process, and it’s a really proud moment when finishing a track at home. I feel more at ease with the writing / recording process.
CZ: It’s been about a month since you’ve released your most recent single “Ephemeral”. Could you tell us a little bit about this song?
MM: The song actually became something unexpectedly. On tour with Foliage, we stopped at their house and started messing around with recording and arranging a sequence. I liked what I came up with so much that it became the bones of “Ephemeral” and I ended up inspired for the song.
CZ: “Ephemeral” is one of several pre-release singles for your upcoming album Velvet Spirit, which appears to compile 4 of the 6 tracks from your self-titled EP with 7 new ones. What was the process of putting it together like for you? Are the Velvet Spirit versions of the 4 EP tracks the same as they were on the EP, or are they new?
MM: I just kinda completed songs for Velvet Spirit in sessions as the inspiration came. I would work on recording each song in my bedroom when I had the chance and then eventually it became a full length. Yes, the EP tracks are the same.
CZ: Why is the album titled Velvet Spirit?
MM: It’s a name of a poem my wife wrote.
CZ: If you had to pick a favorite song off of Velvet Spirit, what would it be and why?
MM: I don’t really have a favorite. My most recently recorded one was “Disconnected” and I feel really proud of that one.
CZ: Any upcoming shows?
MM: NYC at Baby’s All Right and New Brunswick February 13-14, and some shows around Orlando in January.
CZ: You toured with Foliage last April and Body Heat last August. Any big tours planned in support of the album?
MM: I am currently in the process of getting some dates together, but no big tours planned yet!
CZ: Out of the cities you’ve played, which has been the most fun? Aside from Foliage and Body Heat, who’s been your favorite band or artist that you’ve played with?
MM: In Shreveport, there was a cool DIY spot I enjoyed playing at called Minicine. Bathrobe from Portland, Oregon were an awesome band to play with. I love their sound and they are great people!
CZ: If there was just one thing you wanted everyone to know about Cathedral Bells that hasn’t been covered, what would it be?
MM: Pre-order Velvet Spirit ️
‘Velvet Spirit’ is set to release March 6 vinyl and digital on Good Eye Records. You can follow Cathedral Bells on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SoundCloud, and Bandcamp to keep up-to-date with the project.