Matt Mitchell from Furyon Talks “Gravitas” and “Rocky IV” – Interview

There’s nothing more refreshing that hearing a new band that actually turns you on. Furyon is one of those bands. They have the comfortable soundings of a band like Shinedown or Alterbridge, but they have a progressive element and a front man that gives it even more originality. “Gravitas” is a great album that I highly recommend to anyone who’s a fan of hard rock music. Recently I got the chance to chat with Furyon frontman Matt Mitchell. You can listen to the interview on our new Zoiks Interview Podcast located here.

Zoiks!: Hello this is Bob.

Matt Mitchell: Hello Bob how you doing?

Z!: Pretty good how are you?

MM: I’m not too bad thank you very much my friend.

Z!: How did your band come together?

MM: Uh it came together, well me and the guitarist Chris Greene we’ve been writing partners for a long time, and we did have a band before called Pride which we had a couple of releases out about 10 years ago. That band folded and we decided we wanted to do something a little more harder edged so 7 years ago we formed Furyon.

Z!: Cool. Where did you get the name Furyon from?

MM: Well it’s like a warrior name you know? And we wanted something that was gonna kind of represent that kind of thing you know strength and sort of loyalty etc. etc. So the whole “Chronicles of Riddick” thing kind of helped a bit I suppose. You know?

Z!: Cool. How would you describe your band’s sound or musical direction?

MM: That’s quite a simple one really. If you like your music kind of heavy and groovy, but with sort of melodic vocals, you know, that’s what we wanted to do. You know, we wanted something that was gonna be heavy and slightly progressive sounding but with a kind of melodic edge to it you know?

Z!: What is your band’s writing process? Is there a designated song writer or is it more of a group effort?

MM: Well for the first album myself and Chris Green wrote 90% of it you know, but don’t get me wrong I always believed that in a band the nuts and bolts are extremely important you know what I mean? We couldn’t have done it without the other guys you know? It wouldn’t have sounded the same.

Z!: The producer in your newest album is Rick Beato. How did that collaboration come about?

MM: Through Kip Winger actually.

Z!: Really?

MM: Chris Green lives in the states actually now, Chris. He was playing some, it was like this session guitar thing he was doing for an old star American band called Scrap Metal. And it’s kind of made up of guys from Nelson and it’s mainly made up of guys from Nelson, a little bit of Slaughter you remember those guys? And then they have sort of guest people, you know like they might have a guest singer like Eric Martin or CJ Snare from Firehouse or just that kind of thing you know? From that sort of time, and they needed a lead guitar player that could play them songs, you know, and play that sort of vibe, and Chris got it and he sort of managed to meet Kip Winger who was opening acoustic and told him about our album and what we were trying to do etc etc. and it worked out that Kip was a friend of Rick’s. So one thing leads to another you know? Cuz Rick’s a very hard guy to get a hold. You could send Rick a million demos and he’d never get back to you just because he hasn’t ever opened the e-mail you know what I mean? He’s a very busy man like a lot of producers are. And he heard our stuff and he liked what he heard so he went for it and I think it was either us or Puddle of Mudd that he was gonna do at the time so I was pleased that he was interested in doing what we were doing.

Z!: That’s a cool story. When did you get interested in singing?

MM: I got interested in singing, I always interested in playing and singing really as a kid. I know it’s a bit of a cliché story, but I used to literally sit in my, lie in my bed and listen to my dad would be playing Led Zeppelin and stuff downstairs and I’d be just pretending to you know play guitar and sing the songs, but it wasn’t until I was in my early teens I really wanted to play and sing and stuff and I didn’t play an instrument and I was at school and we were all asked to sing a song one day and I chose to sing, I can remember what it was, it was a Survivor song, “In the Burning Heart” I think it was, and after that all the school bands would sort of make a band and then they’d just say right you’re singing. You’ll sing and you’ll sing. And I sort of realized I had a thing for it. That was it really and from then onwards I was singing in bands from about fifteen, fourteen, fifteen, and yeah that was it. I’ve just been doing it ever since and I love it.

Z!: Do you have a routine for when you’re on the road and singing every night to protect your voice? What would you recommend to young singers trying to you know cuz people don’t realize it but that can take a real toll on your vocal chords?

MM: It’s a big, I mean like literally I’ve just finished a six day, I mean it’s only six days back to back, but here and there and but even doing six days back to back you know is you know about it you know? And you have to kind of look after, one of the key things I do is I keep myself well hydrated, you know I drink a lot of water and I warm up through the day. For young singers I would suggest they kind of xxx and get some kind of good technique you know. A lot of people tend to shout sing so to speak and there’s only one answer to that and it kind of wrecks your voice so you have to sort of learn a certain amount of good technique. And you know these days there’s a lot of good things out there and a lot of good coaches out there you know? Especially in America.

Z!: What are your current touring plans?

MM: Current touring plans at the moment we are booking for, we’ve just done our own show here in London and we go up and down the country here. Our next gig is actually in Ireland and we are being booked for festivals and stuff for the last spring early summer, and our booking agent is just sporadically kind of throwing us tours and stuff like that at the moment you know so we’re kind of in and out. At the moment we’ve got kind of shows dotted around. I think when the album comes out in Europe on the 23rd things will probably kick into place a bit quicker and hopefully we’ll be able to get out there and do some more kind of two – three week stints. You know?

Z!: Do you have any plans to come to the states anytime soon?

MM: Absolutely man. It would be awesome to come over to the states. We’ve already got our tour manager sort of ready to roll for over in Chicago so as soon as the want is there and the budget you know what I mean, for it to work. Of course we’re not gonna pay out of our own pockets to come and play because it’s just not feasible, but as soon as it’s there in place for us to do. And that means even if we can just come over, play to the fans, and make a small living out of it. You know what I mean? It would be fantastic to do because of course we did the album there you know?

Z!: Yeah I think once people hear it there will be a demand for it.

MM: Well that’s the thing. I’m hoping there’s gonna be some good promotion. I’m hoping the promotion’s gonna be good for America because although they’re gonna love it in Germany and places around Europe I do think the sound is for America.

Z!: Correct me if I’m wrong, but some of the bigger bands here you know Shinedown, Alterbridge, then you guys kind of mix in that progressive side too and those bands are huge here. I mean I’ve only heard a couple songs, I didn’t realize I had the album until today but I really think you’re gonna be huge here if you get the proper support.

MM: Yep.

Z!: What can fans expect from your live show?

MM: A lot of energy. There’s always a lot of energy and again a lot of real stuff. We don’t ever come out on stage, I don’t ever come out on stage and stand and talk bollocks for 15 minutes you know what I mean? We get out on stage and we get sweaty and bloody straight into it you know? As much energy as possible and as much connection with the crowd. It’s nice to kind of connect with people. I mean it’s great if we’ve got a busy show, it’s great you know? If you’re playing in front of people that want to be there then it’s gonna be even better you know? It’s always hard to play in front of people that you’re trying to impress, but if you’re playing to a fan base then it’s all on you know?

Z!: Do you remember the first show you saw live and how did it affect you?

MM: I saw Europe. I saw Europe and I met them. I remember they signed my jeans. I was a young teenager, they signed my jeans, and I was thrilled to bits. I remember thinking I was standing outside the backdoors of the venue when these very tall guys got off the bus with their very big bombastic hair and I remember watching the concert and thinking to myself wow that sounds like it’s on tape or something. They used to be very very very good live, I’m sure they probably still are now, and what’s funny is I went and saw Bon Jovi about two weeks later and thought the opposite, thought this doesn’t sound right you know? Like I said I was just a teenager at the time so all I knew at the time was this doesn’t sound right you know? But then again that was on Bon Jovi’s “New Jersey” tour and they were very very tired. I was a big Bon Jovi fan when I was a kid.

Z!: It’s funny you say that. The first album I got was Europe’s “The Final Countdown,” the 2nd album was “Rocky IV” with Survivor’s “Burning Heart” on it.

MM: Yeah yeah yeah. Me and Chris Green the guitartist today, he only posted something up on his facebook or something today or something saying watching “Rocky IV“ and we were having a laugh about it today all the comments and stuff like that you know what started out as a joke has turned into a disaster. We were so completely kind of like messing around. I love that movie too.

Z!: What would you say is your band’s greatest achievement so far?

MM: You know “Metal Hammer” here in the UK, you know this magazine? They cover mounted a version of our album at the end of last year like a fun cover mount just for the UK. And I think that was quite a big achievement you know? For us. They offered to do that for us and they don’t do that for many bands. And then we opened, there’s a festival called the High Voltage Festival, which is a classic rock festival last year, and we opened the Metal Hammer stage, and you know Slash played, Judas Priest played, Dream Theater played, Queensryche played, lots of great bands that I love and I think that was probably the highlight so far alongside what will hopefully be the next highlight is this release you know?

Z!: That’s all I had, thanks for taking the time and take care.

MM: Cheers Bob! Keep in touch yeah?


Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at

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