February 9, 2015

We Take Care Of Our Own: An LSO Interview with our Lead Writer

Matthew Ricketts has been our lead writer since the inception of this website.  Not only does he have a great feel for how to approach artists and get the solid answers he seeks, but his knowledge and love of music comes through in his glowing reviews of the bands’ albums and stage shows.  We recently put him on the other side of the microphone to get the scoop on his upcoming book release filled with poetry, song lyrics, and short stories.

LoneStar Outlaw Review: How have you gone from not many people knowing of this hidden passion that you have to publishing a book?
Matthew Ricketts: It’s been an open secret for many years now.  Whoever I was dating would stumble across things I wrote.  It surely came in handy around Valentine’s Day and birthdays as well.  But there is really only a core group of people that I have continuously shared pieces with over the years.  It’s a hard thing to open yourself up and show your vulnerabilities in that fashion.

LSO:  So why now?
MR: To go back to the previously mentioned girlfriends, they all have pushed me in this direction for years and I finally got the extreme push I needed.  My girlfriend at the time didn’t give me an option but to put this out and I’m grateful every day for that.  It also goes back to the old philosophy of “looking back on life and regretting the things you haven’t done”.  There’s a thing or two that’s embarrassing for me in the book but they are still part of who I am.  I never hold back on my thoughts and it’s the best therapy I have ever found for being able to release things.

LSO: What can the readers expect from this book?
MR: Everything goes back to poetry.  I was never a shy child but I often kept a lot of things to myself and somehow stumbled upon poetry to be able to get my thoughts out.  While I was in college I was introduced to a new form of music referred to as “Texas Country”.  These guys were the same age as me and I loved every single one of them because they had such passion and they were living life on their terms.  I slowly started to see that my poetry could lend itself to possibly being recreated in song lyrics and that’s kinda where my thought process has stayed ever since then.  So you’ll read poetry, potential song lyrics, stories to explain where I was in my life at that time, and even a quasi-obituary I wrote about a great man.

LSO:  Who/what are your main inspirations?
MR:  Life in general really.  About 99% of what I write is from my point of view.  It’s my life so it’s the easiest to write about and I sometimes have trouble writing from others’ points of view.  The only time that comes naturally is when there is a national tragedy like 9/11 or the shootings in Connecticut, which were both included in this book.  But mostly it’s about love, being on the winning and losing side of it.  One particular piece is called “Cuts Like a Knife”.  Now when most people read that they automatically think of the Bryan Adams song but my inspiration for that actually came from watching Shawshank Redemption where the line gets used during one of Morgan Freeman’s monologues.  It carried a much heavier weight when he used it in that context and I turned off the TV right then and wrote that piece.  I love it when that happens.

LSO: What is a typical writing process like for you?
MR:  I can literally go months without writing anything and then something happens and I’m able to write 10-20 pieces in a week.  I never push too hard to make it happen because I’m not trying to make a career out of this.  At the end of the day, it all goes back to me just funneling my outlet.  Typically when I get an idea I go over it a few times in my head and if I feel that it is going in a good direction then I stop whatever I’m doing and focus on that.  After that it’s usually only a matter of minutes until completion.  Often I’ll hear a song on the radio and get the melody or the beat stuck in my head and I’ll write alternative words for the chorus and verse. 

LSO:  So what’s next on the horizon?
MR:  Keep working 9-5 obviously, but going through this process has really geared me towards other ideas I’ve had sitting around forever.  I already have enough poetry to fill another book but also have started putting together my thoughts on corporate America which if you know me then you know how I feel on that topic.  I also think a relationship book would be fun to write.  I’ve certainly screwed up enough that I know how to tell you what not to do.  Getting this one done and used as my “beta sample” was a great experience and will make the rest a lot easier.

Matthew Ricketts is having a book release/happy hour @ Mezzanine Lounge (2200 Southwest Freeway Suite 150, HoustonTX) from 7:00-8:30 this coming Friday night (2/13/15).  
Come out and show your support!                 
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