Interview: The Rentals’ Matt Sharp; OPA pro panel redux…

Category: Blog,Interviews — @ 12:43 pm May 12, 2015

Matt Sharp of The Rentals navigates through a crowd. The band plays at The Waiting Room Friday night.

by Tim McMahan,

Matt Sharp of The Rentals (and formerly of Weezer) talks about his band’s latest project, working with the Haden Sisters (of remarkable ’90s band That Dog) and what it takes to get heard in these days when there are a million channels instead of just three. From the story, which is online right here:

…Sharp knows that times have changed, and getting heard has never been more difficult. “If you go back to the ’50s and Elvis, there were only a few channels for the entire country,” he said. “Everybody had such limited options; they experienced things together, like this universal experience of seeing The Beatles on Ed Sullivan.”

Today, with countless channels and outlets for media, is it possible for The Rentals to enjoy the kind of success that Weezer had?

“I severely doubt that,” Sharp said. “I don’t even think that’s in the realm of thinking because that was a different time. For those kinds of moments to happen everything has to fall into the right place.”

Read the whole story at The Reader here. I’ll be including portions of the interview in this week’s Lazy-i Podcast, which will (probably) go online tomorrow. In the meantime, READ.

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Fun times last night at The Waiting Room where I moderated a panel of music pros that included Orenda Fink, Mike Mogis, Matt Whipkey and CJ Olson. The room was packed and the time flew by as we discussed the art of songwriting, working in a recording studio and how to get noticed by a record label’s A&R guy. CJ talked about how Saddle Creek discovered and landed Hop Along, the newest addition to the Creek roster and the best non-Omaha addition in years.  Hop Along’s Saddle Creek debut is out now.

And Mike Mogis talked about how new artists should prepare for their first time in the studio, from having demos in hand to simply knowing what you’re going to play and how to play it, and then being open to what the producer or collaborator brings to the process. As he pointed out, the final product never sounds like the demos, nor should it.

And Orenda and Matt added technicolor to the writing process. Their bottom line: Be honest, write for yourself and don’t worry about trying to write a hit record. The best stuff always comes from the heart.

Someone was videotaping the entire panel. No idea if it’ll ever see the light of YouTube, but if it does, I’ll let you know.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2015 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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