The first thing you notice when Matt Giraud comes up to you is the hat, so I had to compliment it since it has become such a part of his style.
But underneath the hat is a super sweet guy who is just so grateful for everything he’s been given. I could’ve talked to him all day…
Angela: I like the hat. Not that my opinion matters.
Matt: It does.
A: Okay, then I like the hat. So, since we only have a few minutes, I like to get right to the heart of it. Tell me about—we’ll talk about the tour in a minute—tell me about the future first. Have you already got ideas?
M: I’m definitely thinking of the future right now. I’m the new host of a show called “Make the Cut” on a website called YOBI.tv. I’m booking gigs, a couple of headlining shows, stuff like that in Michigan and around the country, which is fun, because it’s like new opportunities that you’ve never had before. But before all of that, I really want to get a deal worked out, find a good record company that I can work with and I want to get music out there for the fans I’ve got. I can’t wait. I mean, it’s weird to even say I’ve got fans across the country, you know what I mean? I was a dueling piano player and a human jukebox. It’s cool to be looked upon as an artist now and I want to run with it.
A: So, what’s the feeling for you when you take the stage and people are yelling your name?
It’s wild. I’ve always been a performer and I’ve always enjoyed that. I go out there every night and try to connect. The best thing you can do is try to connect with the audience. Try to pull them in. You know what I mean? As a dueling piano player, there were many nights that I thought no one was paying attention and I was like, I don’t want to do this anymore. It’s like now I can really connect with people and really touch people with music and that means a lot to me.
A: So what’s the kind of music you want to get out there?
I’d like to get into some rock/soul stuff. I love Gavin DeGraw. I love Black Crowes. I’m a soulful guy, but I have a rock side to me. So if I can mix that and come up with a new sound, then I’ll be happy.
A: So everybody keeps telling me you get along. You’re going to give me the real dirt, right?
M: [obviously joking] I can’t stand these guys. I can’t stand any of them.
A: [jokingly] You’ll be so happy when the tour is over.
M: Scott, Kris, all these stupid roommates. Scott, we do dueling pianos every night and I’m so much better than he is. [laughs] These cats are crazy. We’re like brothers and sisters. We make fun of each other a lot. We’re all really close still. It’s at the point now where we can just say whatever to each other. It doesn’t matter. It’s the part of the tour where practical jokes are starting to happen. They velcroed my fedora to the piano the other night. Usually in ‘Georgia [On My Mind],’ I’m like, ‘[sings] Georgia. Here’s a little somethin’ for the fans,’ and I’m like [motions like he’s struggling to remove the hat], I mean stuff is just happening and it’s getting out of control.
A: Who’s the worst prankster?
M: I thought I was the bad prankster, but I guess the band is. Our band is unbelievable. They have sprayed Megan with glitter and all kinds of crazy stuff. They soaked her with water and I was like, ‘oh my god.” Toilet paper on Allison the other night while she was on stage.
A: So we could really be in for some surprises tonight?
M: I hope not. I will straight silly string the drummer on stage.
A: Now that would be fun. I would enjoy seeing that.
M: I’m gonna get mine, get him. I’m gonna get him back.
A: So what has been your favorite moment from the tour so far?
M: I honestly think one of my favorite moments was watching Kris received in his hometown, in his home state. It was such a cool moment because Kris was my roommate in Hollywood Week. So all the way from the top 150 to the Top 13 we were roommates, going through that together. So to watch him go out there and just stand there and the crowd scream at the top of their lungs like three, four minutes straight, and all of us were just standing there like, [makes crying noise], this is so emotional. That was a cool moment. I’ll never forget that. I don’t know if I ever told him that, but I’ll never forget that.
A: So you’re the one who’s really using all the avenues to hit fans. Like, I follow you on Twitter and you’re always on there almost like a behind-the-scenes thing and that’s something that fans have never gotten before. I know that must give you new venues as an artist to get yourself out there.
M: It’s a new medium. It’s so cool that now you can see us goofing off backstage, you don’t have to go to the ‘American Idol’ website to find that stuff. You can just straight off watch us in the backroom goofing off and singing and definitely people really like that. They beg us for those bubble tweets, like, [makes begging expression] please. And a video. It’s a cool way to stay connected to fans. I actually like it. I think we’re all addicted to Twitter.
A: I love it when you tweet each other when you’re sitting right next to each other. That’s my favorite.
M: We do that a lot too. I’m like, ‘Hey dude, could you move your book off my couch?’
A: Then I have to go look up everybody else to see the rest of the conversation.
M: See, that’s the point.
A: There must be a part of you who is sad to see the tour come to a close, but I’m guessing there’s a part of you that’s ready to go home.
M: I’m a sentimentalist. I’m definitely emotional. I think towards the end, it’s weird, I mean we’ve been together for so long and we’ll finally go our separate ways. Some will fly higher than others and some won’t, but we all want to see each other do great. We’re all really proud of each other, but yeah. Part of me wants to go home and grab some fast food and drive a fast car again. But I can’t wait to see what happens in the future. I can’t wait to play music again and just keep doing what I do.
A: Is this more than you ever hoped for?
M: Sure. I’m always looking for more. I’m always looking at ways to try and hold on to it. You know what I mean? I never cared about the fame as much. I mean, the fact that I do have fans out there it means the world to me, no matter how many there are. I want to make music that’s good. I want to make quality stuff. Fame takes second place to that.
A: So is there something that you have gotten out there or not that you want everyone to know about Matt? What would that be?
M: Follow on me on Twitter. And thank you so much to every fan who believed in me before. Thank you to every fan who believes in me now after seeing me live and all that stuff. I appreciate you guys, but thank you even more to fans who have followed me since the show, who always saw something in me. That means the world to me and I won’t forget anybody. So thanks.
A: Perfect way to end it. Thanks so much. It was great to meet you and I look forward to hearing you tonight.
M: Okay, I’ll be looking for you.
At this point, I explained to Matt that I was sitting way in the back, but that didn’t stop him. He insisted that he would look for me. But with as many fans as he had Tuesday night, he didn’t need to worry about me. And I feel quite certain he gained a few new fans as well.
He certainly won me over…