April 01, 2002

Matt Johnson - Roadside Monument
Interview composed by Stu Hood - April 2002

I do admit, I used to hate Roadside Monument. Prodding my precious pop-punk ridden Tooth and Nail samplers with their queer and annoying what-the-hell sounds I could've well lived without. Literally, as years past I began to fall in love with the unique display of musical emotion found listening to "Eight Hours Away from Being a Man"- and it only grew from there. Listening to their latest, "I Am the Day of Current Taste", even at first had me thinking it was of no comparison to their previous achievements. Now, after an addiction of countless listens, I find their progression outstanding. The fan of Roadside's music finds something new after each listen no matter how worn out it becomes. What keeps them remaining as a favourite with me amongst all the other monotonous dribble that's out there today are the down-to-earth and beautiful complexities of post-rock, post-pop and post-hardcore remedies.

After breaking up when bassist Jonathan Ford moved out to Chicago, a recent reformation has come together with Ford moving back to the band's origin of Seattle and the band planning to tour this summer. Some speculation may be in order with the fans: whether their legend will continue, or if it will die like so many other greats who have opted not to quit but only to burn-out quickly according to many. Here is SHZine's interaction with Roadside Monument's drummer Matt Johnson who was able to answer a few questions about the band.

When was the Roadside breakup?

Our last show was the summer of 1998 at the Cornerstone festival in Illinois. We've talked about doing shows since but it's never materialized till now. Since Johnathon lives in Seattle again, it made sense to finally make it happen.

How focused do you think you all will be with all of the member's other projects while reforming Roadside?

Well, we're all really busy people doing other bands and just living life. It gets complicated scheduling time to practice and everything but I'd say we're all really dedicated to playing together. Johnathon, Doug and I have always loved this band and have found a really unique chemistry musically between the two of us. Being focused on the music isn't an issue finding the time is another story.

Are there any label connections with Roadside?

Not as of yet.

Was there much debate over getting the band back together? Or are you guys mainly trying to keep it simple by just continuing to write the music you all enjoy playing?

There really wasn't any debate about it. Nobody's leg had to be pulled to make this happen if that's what you mean. Our main concern is that after a couple years of absence, we were a little afraid that maybe we wouldn't be able to live up to the folklore. Especially for those who never got a chance to see us. After some practice together though, we're confident that we can put on a good show are we're really looking forward to playing. So yeah, at this point we're just keeping it simple. Getting together once or twice a week and playing. Learning old songs and working on some new ideas.

I'm confidant in the future of Roadside, but what are your thoughts on those who are weary of a downfall through the reformation.

Well if you mean that people might think that we can't put out another strong release again, I guess I don't care. For one, we don't know the future of the band for sure. We don't have any label(s) beating down our doors and for now, we've just set out to do a short tour for this summer. We'll have to see how things pan out. It will be really cool to play for supportive fans again (because Roadside fans are REALLY INTENSE fans) but I'd have to say that I think we're doing it for ourselves. We love to play in this band together and make the music that we do. If it wasn't fun and we didn't get any satisfaction out of doing it, we just wouldn't do it at all. So if we put out something crummy, It's ultimately up to us to be the judge of that but it sure will be cool to hear clapping hands and smiling faces again.

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