Matthew Nelson - Nelson
Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, the twin sons of American Teen Idol Ricky Nelson, have recently released 'Lightning Strikes Twice'. The aptly named album marks the 20th anniversary after the enormous success brought about by 'After The Rain'.
Over the past two decades, these third generation musicians have put out several other albums, many of which were released on their own label. They have shown their level of diversity by covering other genres of music, and diligently working with many other renowned musicians.
As I am a dedicated fan, 'After The Rain' holds special significance for me. Therefore, I was ever grateful to converse with Matthew Nelson. My mettle curiosity had me determined to discover why the two blond ambitious brothers have chosen to return to their musical roots, and what has been happening, since?
I invite you to join me and discover just how our unexpected dialogue played out that heartfelt day when Matthew called.
MettleMaiden: Hello there, I am a bit nervous, because I am a fan of the band Nelson. The band has really had an impact on me over the years.
MettleMaiden: I apologize because this interview was thrust upon me rather abruptly.
MettleMaiden: I have not had a lot of opportunity to listen to 'Lightning Strikes Twice', but from what I have heard, I do agree it sounds a lot like 'After The Rain'.
MettleMaiden: It may even be better because of modern production values. You are a lot more experienced with writing and producing now, after all these years of doing it on your own.
MettleMaiden: Why did you decide to recapture the sound, feel, and style of the first album?
MettleMaiden: This is why I am such a strong supporter of Frontiers Records!
MettleMaiden: I see what you mean.
MettleMaiden: Oh, so he spearheaded the mission, so to speak?
MettleMaiden: That was noble of him...
MettleMaiden: Really? My husband and I love Steel Panther. They are hilarious! They have really helped reignite that '80s "Hair Metal" flashback.
MettleMaiden: Man, I would kill to see them live. That is so cool that you are associated with them. I cannot wait until their next album.
MettleMaiden: I can see that because Nelson is a bit lighter, and certainly not as racey or provocative.
MettleMaiden: Who knows, you may now have fans who were not even born back then.
MettleMaiden: I saw that you were on the Firefest Festival in the UK.
MettleMaiden: It sure sounds like it! Back in 1990 you were signed to Geffen Records for 'After The Rain'. I read that they did not want to give you full artistic freedom when it came to the follow up record, which was actually pretty common back then.
MettleMaiden: Oh yes the dreaded "Grunge Movement" had begun, which is ironic because Nirvana were really more Punk based!
MettleMaiden: A number of other excellent acts felt the shaft!
MettleMaiden: Is this then why it took so long for the follow-up?
MettleMaiden: Such was the story of the Music Business back then!
MettleMaiden: I assume you mean how Bon Jovi and Def Leppard have successfully crossedd over into that genre?
MettleMaiden: This frustration may have been a blessing in disguise, because it led to the birth of Stone Canyon Records and the release of 'Imaginator'.
MettleMaiden: You should be saluted, since you have successfully released several records on Stone Canyon.
MettleMaiden: Sounds like a great deal. I am so glad a label like this cares more about the music than the money!
MettleMaiden: This may explain the positive reviews and praise.
MettleMaiden: This is one reason why Matt left Iced Earth to focus on his family concerns.
MettleMaiden: I have never heard it put that way before, but that does make sense.
MettleMaiden: All that hard work has paid off.
MettleMaiden: I know what you mean, it is really sad to see that happen.
MettleMaiden: I would if you came near! I have never seen you live.
MettleMaiden: Your family background has always been instrumental in your success, right?
MettleMaiden: Speaking of shows, will you be touring America to support this album?
MettleMaiden: They are expanding their roster, having just signed Yes and John Waite. They have bands ranging from Asia and Toto to Benedictum or Primal Fear!
MettleMaiden: I am definitely looking forward to it. I want to hear "Two Heads Are Better Than One" from the "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" soundtrack, which you recorded under the name Power Tool. You played it on the 'After The Rain' tour, right?
MettleMaiden: A jet engine, huh? Well, you were very popular among the female population at that time.
MettleMaiden: The early 90's were fun in general for me. I was in college at the time. Lately, we have seen a remarkable comeback of the Hard & Heavy Metal based music.
MettleMaiden: Guilty! We always try to bring our son to shows! He is seven, and we have been taking him to shows ever since he was three. He saw Maiden when he was four.
MettleMaiden: It is fun to see him just stand there and completely focus on people playing their instruments. We actually just returned from a Heavy Metal Cruise, called "70,000 Tons Of Metal", with 42 bands performing in four days. Stephen was one of only two kids on the cruise, and the youngest. It was so much fun!
MettleMaiden: Our son has such a collection of guitar picks and drumsticks right now!
MettleMaiden: Wow, that is dedication!
MettleMaiden: Like a later version of the Beatles!
MettleMaiden: He would love that!
MettleMaiden: That is what everyone kept saying on the cruise. We actually got a standing ovation when fans were acknowledging that we were raising our kid right!
MettleMaiden: Which is why you are all in the Guinness Book Of World Records.
MettleMaiden: My ignorant husband, who is not too familiar with your music, until now, always dubbed you the Nelson sisters.
MettleMaiden: Which you are still doing.
MettleMaiden: Agreed! Speaking of family, your sister and uncle are actors, your other grandfather was a football player, and you mother is an artist. With all of the success in your family do feel any personal pressure to do better?
MettleMaiden: That is good to hear...
MettleMaiden: You just have to work harder than most people because of your family!
MettleMaiden: To say the least!
MettleMaiden: That has got to be a great burden weighing on your shoulders.
MettleMaiden: That is a great analogy, and the same goes for the Carnies during the Great Depression.
MettleMaiden: I always liked him in "Summer School", and his wife Pam Dawber AKA Mindy from "Mork And Mindy" fame.
MettleMaiden: I did not know that!
MettleMaiden: And the rest is history...
MettleMaiden: To a certain extent, athletes and musicians do have a lot in common.
MettleMaiden: All that determination and hard work has paid off.
MettleMaiden: Go for it! Rockers are writing biographies all the time. Sammy Hagar just released his.
MettleMaiden: Wow, so you were only recognized when the two of you were together?
MettleMaiden: That is the tale of fame for the young and reckless!
MettleMaiden: You mean the cougar crowd of older fans still do not go ga-ga for you?
MettleMaiden: I hear you!
MettleMaiden: You have to follow your bliss.
MettleMaiden: When I first saw the video for "Love And Affection" I had no idea who your family was, It was not until I spoke with my grandmother that I understood your lineage.
MettleMaiden: Those were just well-constructed songs, despite your family legacy. Given your different vocal style, how do you decide who sings on what song?
MettleMaiden: That is a good analogy.
MettleMaiden: These hits provide you an ample supply of songs to play live.
MettleMaiden: Many bands struggle with this very dilemma. On a more intimate level, I want to sincerely express to you how much your music has touched my life, and inspired me.
MettleMaiden: Late in 1999 I was involved in a dead marriage, but I did not want to leave for fear of being alone. One day while I was driving, I put in my 'After The Rain' cassette, when the title track came on...
MettleMaiden: You got it! Once I delved into the meaning of that song, it gave me the courage to end my marriage. Less than a year later I met my current husband, and we have been together ever since.
MettleMaiden: What?! I am so sorry to hear that!
MettleMaiden: Tragic and ironic, what lyrics can do.
MettleMaiden: The same line!
MettleMaiden: That is great, I am so happy for you! We are cosmically linked in that way.
MettleMaiden: Even when it first came out, that song had special meaning for me, and it still does. I was always shy in school, which is why I got into Metal.
MettleMaiden: We have really dug deep, and we need to reach a conclusion. My final question for you concerns your performance on cruises, is that the Ricky Nelson Tribute Band?
MettleMaiden: Then we both have cruises in common too!
MettleMaiden: That sounds like a rewarding experience.
MettleMaiden: What a great way to honour his memory! It was such a pleasure getting to know you better.
MettleMaiden: When you come to town, you can count on it! All the best!