Talk Thursday To Me – Matt Armstrong

photo by Crystal Scanlon

2011 seems to be our year to keep thinking up awesome new segments, or at least hacky titles for fairly obvious segments we should have had all along.  This one falls in the latter, but you’ll still enjoy it.

Our new weekly segment is Talk Thursday To Me and it’s where we sit down and chat with one of our rock and roll friends.  Launching the series is the always entertaining Matt Armstrong from Murder by Death, as we discuss playing grabass with your bandmates, exploding vans and their upcoming tour.

PE: How were your holidays?


Matt:  They were fun. Went to Texas to see my family, then came back, loaded up the trailer and went to Kansas to play a NYE show.


PE:  Did you guys and gal pull out anything special for the NYE show?


Matt:  Well, we tried to make ourselves pretty. outcomes varied there. Haha.
Other than that it was a pretty typical lawrence, kansas drunken throwdown.
Did a botched version of “auld lang syne” too.


PE:  As in if it had been done by Botch?


Matt: I wish!


PE:  So since the last time PE talked to you there’s been some changes to the MBD family.  Who’s the new guy on the trumpet?


Matt:  The new kid goes by the name of Scott Brackett.  We met him through a mutual friend/asshole by the name of Will Pepple.
Will was TM’ing Okkervil River, and Scotty was playing in Okkervil at the time.
Scotty has been doing “extra guy” duty for us when he can. keys, trumpet, accordion, percussion, back-up vocals, the occassional theremin- basically whatever else he can think of to add to the song.


PE:  Do you think your stealing Scott away will cause the next Okkervil album to be more tortured than normal?


Matt:  I can only speculate, but I would think so, yes.
His loss, our gain, right?


PE:  One would think.  So where does Scott fit into the band off stage?  Is he playing video games with Adam at the front of the van or getting drunk and playing grabass with you and Dagan in the back?


Matt:  He does his fair share of drinking and grabassing in the back, but he is also the guy you’ll find climbing a tree in the park or making up weird keyboard patches in his laptop in the van.
He runs the gamut. He’ll geek out on pedals with me but he’s also got a nature boy side to him too.


PE:  Adorable.  So I understand you guys are in the market for a new tour van.  If you could send your current van off in action movie style, how would it go?

Matt:  You know that Bill Hicks bit where he asks if you’d rather see your grandma die in a hospital or do you want her to meet Chuck Norris?

PE:  Yes, that may in fact be where I got the idea for this question.


Matt:  I’d like to send this van off in a blaze of glory. Maybe pack it full of mulleted action stars and buxom ladies and have a huge chase sequence that ends with the van colliding with Killroy’s Sports and exploding.
(Editor’s Note – Killroy’s Sports is frat bar in Matt’s hometown of Bloomington, IN)


PE:  Fair enough.  What song is playing during this action sequence?


Matt:  hmmm…
Either “eye of the tiger” or “welcome to the jungle”. Something everyone can sing along to.

or “raining blood” by Slayer


PE:  I’ll get the animation department started on a mock up of that for you asap.


Matt:  Perfect.


PE:  So you recently updated your effects rack/pedal board known as “The Death Star.”  In ten words or less tell us what we can expect from it and you now.


Matt:  better sounds, more loops, “that was cool”, panties destroyed


PE:  Excellent.  You guys are getting ready to go back out on another headlining run.  Other than the potential of getting their panties destroyed why should our readers come out and see you?

Matt:  We are putting together more of a light show this time around, so even if you aren’t a huge fan of the songs we’ll probably at least look cool. We had a nice long break from tour, so we’ll be rested and ready to give it our all onstage. We also have some really great support bands coming out with us. There should be something for everyone. also, we know almost everyone coming out on tour with us and we all get along really well. You can tell when bands are having a great time together on the road. It always makes the shows more fun to watch.

PE:  Cool – who are the acts that you’re taking along with you?  And if you could say one random complimentary thing about them as a band or as people.

Matt:  For the first leg we have the Builders and the Butchers as direct support and Damion Suomi and the Minor Prophets opening the show. I’d say the Builders will always have a place in my heart for not only being awesome but also for introducing me to Secret Aardvark hot sauce. We haven’t met Damion yet, but we’ve heard nothing but nice things, so let’s call them “mysterious.”
On the second leg we have Fake Problems and Buried Beds. I would describe both bands and very talented and super friendly (by which I mean there are in the league of the superfriends).


I don’t know if this is announced yet, so we may not be able to run this yet, but **************** are doing the last 5 shows with us. easily some of my favorite people and one of my favorite bands in the world. Their handsomeness, technical proficiency, and knowledge of fine wines are second to none.

PE:  Well as this is a blog we are all about running info before it was supposed to have been announced, but if the MBD legal department is going to be called in we’ll just asterisk out the band name in question.

Ok – one final question.  You are known far and wide in the rock and roll world for being one of it’s leading collectors and sharers of jokes.  What’s the best joke you’ve heard lately?

Matt:  that i can tell in polite company? hmmm…


PE:  Doesn’t have to be polite.  I mean, your mom may see this if she googles your name, but we’ve met your mom.  She’s colorful and salty and would probably laugh at it.


Matt:  Lemme think. Most of the good ones I’ve heard lately are ones that you have to hear for them to be funny.

What do you call masturbating cows?

Beef Stroganoff.



PE:  Wow.  Way to take me back to fifth grade sir.  Thanks for taking time to chat with us.


Matt:  My pleasure.


Murder by Death is a rock and roll band from Bloomington, IN.  Matt Armstrong is their bassist.  Catch Matt and his crew on tour starting next month, coming to a town near you, and check out their latest release “Good Morning, Magpie” on Vagrant Records.


Murder by Death Tour Dates:

Feb-01 Lexington, KY @ Cosmic Charlie’s Tickets
Feb-02 Memphis, TN @ Hi-Tone Café Tickets
Feb-03 New Orleans, LA @ The Parish Tickets
Feb-04 Denton, TX @ Rubber Gloves
Feb-05 Austin, TX @ Red 7 Tickets
Feb-07 Albuquerque, NM @ Low Spirits Tickets
Feb-08 Tucson, AZ @ Plush Tickets
Feb-09 San Diego, CA @ The Casbah
Feb-10 Costa Mesa, CA @ Detroit Bar Tickets
Feb-11 Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex Tickets
Feb-12 San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill Tickets
Feb-13 Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s Tickets
Feb-15 Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom Tickets
Feb-16 Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern Tickets
Feb-17 Boise, ID @ Visual Arts Collective Tickets
Feb-18 Salt Lake City, UT @ Bar Deluxe Tickets
Feb-19 Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theatre Tickets
Feb-20 Omaha, NE @ Waiting Room Tickets
Feb-24 Chicago, IL @ Subterranean Tickets
Feb-25 DeKalb, IL @ The House Café Tickets
Feb-26 Lansing, MI Mac’s Bar Tickets
Feb-28 Morgantown, WV @ 123 Pleasant St. Tickets
Mar-01 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom Tickets
Mar-02 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s Tickets
Mar-03 West Chester, PA @ The Note Tickets
Mar-04 Baltimore, MD @ The Ottobar Tickets
Mar-05 Boston, MA @ Middle East Downstairs Tickets
Mar-07 Norfolk, VA @ Jewish Mother Backstage Tickets
Mar-08 Atlanta, GA @ The Earl Tickets
Mar-09 Orlando, FL @ The Social Tickets
Mar-10 Tampa, FL @ The Orpheum Tickets
Mar-11 Gainesville, FL @ Common Grounds Tickets
Mar-12 Savannah, GA @ The Jinx
Mar-13 Charleston, SC @ The Oasis Tickets
Mar-14 Asheville, NC @ Stella Blue Tickets
Mar-16 St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway Tickets
Mar-17 Madison, WI @ The Annex Tickets
Mar-18 Indianapolis, IN @ Radio Radio
Mar-19 Bloomington, IL @ The Castle Theatre Tickets
Apr-01 Bay City, MI @ The Vault

2 Comments to “Talk Thursday To Me – Matt Armstrong”

  1. Hi there 🙂 Wow this is Laggy, the website is pretty nice but I have been trying to contact your website admin i’m interested in some things, but seems that I cant find the contact page or email. Also cant find the rss feed, can you please help me

  2. Laggy – thanks, our contact info is up top under the About tab. Our email is postcardeditor (at)

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