Northstar Session's EP Little Lies was released last October and was recorded and produced by John Beard (who has worked with American Idol's Bo Bice and San Diego's blink-182 and Lucy's Fur Coat).
Northstar Session plays Friday, February 10, at the Whistle Stop Bar in South Park. I caught up with singer/songwriter/guitarist Matt Szlachetka.
TRICKIEST PROBLEM WITH LIVE GIGS?
"In most cases, when you have four or five bands on a bill, you don't get to really do a sound check. So in the ten minutes that you usually have to get equipment onstage and set up, the quick 'fly by the seat of your pants' sound check can be tricky. Essentially, the first song of your set becomes the sound check."
FAVORITE GUITAR AND ITS HISTORY?
"This is the type of question that I can seriously geek out on. My favorite guitar is my Stratocaster. It is an early-'90s Fender American '62 reissue. I had big frets put on it and recently had a set of Van Zandt blues pickups installed. I've had the guitar for six or seven years. Got it in college. I don't think I could ever get rid of it."
"We've had lots of good shows, but I think our best show is probably the last show we did at the Ken Club...we played with two other bands that we're good friends with: Vinyl Radio and Numchuck (from L.A.), and between the three bands we packed the place. The worst gig is definitely when we opened for Dave Brubeck with the San Diego Pops at the Embarcadero this past August. We were playing outside next to the merchandise booths and food concessions and literally were almost attacked and killed by every elderly person in attendance. I don't think I've ever seen such pissed-off senior citizens before. I'm sure that our amps were really messing with their hearing aids."
TOP FIVE CDs?
1. Jimi Hendrix, Axis: Bold as Love. "First Hendrix album I heard when I was eight or so; still to this day is my favorite Hendrix album. 'If Six Was Nine' -- need I say more?"
2. The Black Crowes, Amorica. "My favorite Crowes album, and you can't beat the cover!"
3. Steely Dan, Citizen Steely Dan. "Probably cheating on this one: the Steely Dan box set."
4. The Rolling Stones, Exile on Main Street. "One of my favorites...a rock bible."
5. Stevie Wonder, Songs in the Key of Life. "A masterpiece."
WHERE DO YOU SEE MUSIC GOING IN THE 21st CENTURY?
"Hopefully back to a more rootsy vibe, where people start playing their own instruments again. I think the computer age is cool, but the main downfall is that it has taken the place of a 'band' in a lot of cases, where people are now backed by their computer. I think a lot of recordings have lost a richness and warmth that is present in all the old stuff."
"Not about gigs, but I have a weird reoccurring dream that one of my front teeth is falling out. I've been having it since I was a kid."