Talking with Matthew Sicard:
- Owner of The Guardhouse Studios
- Drummer in the Jesse Taylor Band
- Owner of Nasty North Productions
- Creator of VAMP (Vermont Adolescent Music Program)
Join us as we talk music, community and Matthew’s new music venue!
- The venue. The first show and the plans for future shows. Matt has rehearsal spaces for rent – both private and shared spaces.
- The band (Jesse Taylor Band), the contest they won, and their plans to record an album.
- The community and getting people involved in the venue and VAMP.
Contact Matthew on Facebook:
The Guardhouse Studios
Nasty North Productions
Or send him an email:
The Guardhouse Studios is located at 162 Hegeman Drive in Colchester VT in the Old Fort.
Becca Hammond: 00:00 This is Becca Hammond and you’re listening to the Burlington Talks podcast. What’s new 802?
Becca Hammond: 00:10 The Burlington Talks podcast may include graphic or explicit content listener discretion is advised.
Becca Hammond: 00:22 Hey, this is Becca Hammond and I’m here with Matthew Sicard, the owner of the guardhouse studios, a new venue that just opened near St Mike’s on the Winooski Colchester line and he’s also the drummer in the Jesse Taylor band, which is a really cool band. I just got to check them out last week and we’re going to be talking about that. He also owns a company called Nasty North productions that produces videos. Matthew thank you so much for being my first guest on the show. Welcome.
Matthew Sicard: 00:49 Thank you for having me.
Becca Hammond: 00:50 Can you tell me a little bit about the guardhouse studios, just to start, what you want everyone to know about the place?
Matthew Sicard: 00:56 Sure. Yeah. Uh, I’ve been here for about a year. Uh, I started off just renting a room here, uh, for my band to rehearse. Um, about three months ago I went to the owner and we started talking about how this was a, this huge space. He had that was empty and how, and I just thought that there was so much more that could be done. Um, we came up with a couple of different ideas. Uh, one of them was to have a bunch of rooms be renting out for bands, kind of like a um think tank or, um, like you see out in LA or in a Silicon Valley for, um, apps and startups, right?
Becca Hammond: 01:32 Like a collaboration of musicians in the area?
New Speaker: 01:33 Right, But instead of us making apps, so we have musicians making music and then we had this huge waiting room that this used to be a, like a pediatrics office.
Matthew Sicard: 01:43 So we have this huge waiting room that was just wasted. And we thought, why not turn it into, um, a place to have all ages, uh, music and shows. And so that’s kinda been our goal. Um, Burlington used to have a place called 242 years ago. It’s been shut for a while. Um, big heavy world does all ages shows as well. Um, but we were just trying to have something else, another place that, uh, we could do some DIY shows and having, you know, handicap accessible, parking, bathrooms, heat, good PA system and just trying to, all the checklists that people seem to ask for around here.
Becca Hammond: 02:19 Right. You really need in a venue. You, yeah, it definitely has a 242 feel to it. That first show I got to come to was a lot of fun. It has an exclusive vibe. It’s very cool. I’m excited for the next shows to come out. So all these rooms you’re planning on renting out to bands. And how many bands do you have renting for rehearsal space here? Right now?
Matthew Sicard: 02:40 So right now we have, uh, 10 bands in here. Um, I have about 20 rooms, so I’m probably gonna rent maybe seven more and I’m going to leave three empty so that I can turn them into storage rooms. And that way I can have a few rooms where, uh, maybe if a band financially can’t afford what I’m charging to have a room that all to themselves, then they can share a room and they’ll have a room to store their stuff and it’ll be a little bit cheaper.
Becca Hammond: 03:06 Yeah, that’s an awesome idea. Cause I know the expense to get into renting rehearsal space is something that definitely holds people off. And in Burlington, a lot of people are renting. I know I’m renting and it’s really, really a hard. I can’t play a drum in my apartment. There was no way, even when I’m beating on my guitar loudly and singing, I start getting wall slams from the neighbors.
Matthew Sicard: 03:30 I used to be able to hear my neighbor’s phone on vibrate when I used to live in Burlington.
Becca Hammond: 03:34 Oh that’s, that’s really bad.
Matthew Sicard: 03:36 It used to drive me nuts because I thought someone was calling me and I couldn’t find my phone.
Becca Hammond: 03:38 I’m not surprised though, considering how thin the walls are in some places. So that’s great. That’s really awesome and exciting. So seven more rooms to rent out. So if there are bands looking right now get in touch with Matthew as soon as possible,
Matthew Sicard: 03:54 They can go to uh, the firstname.lastname@example.org on Facebook, reach out to me, Instagram, whatever.
Becca Hammond: 04:00 Awesome.
Matthew Sicard: 04:01 Yeah, it’s real easy.
Becca Hammond: 04:02 So do you guys have any other shows planned upcoming yet?
Matthew Sicard: 04:05 So I’ve been hesitant to book shows. I had a lot of people reach out, but I wanted to have our first show so I could kind of get my feet wet, see what any issues we ran into. Um, how much, how much I was going to have to put into it. Uh, because I’m not really making anything. This is more of like me just donating my time. So I need to be able to, you know, be realistic about what I can do. So I’m thinking right now I’m gonna, I can personally do probably one show a month. I have a couple of college kids that used to run a place in Burlington called the lip that, um, they’re actually coming back to Vermont next week. So they’re supposed to be helping me and hopefully be running it. So our goal is every other Friday.
Becca Hammond: 04:49 That’s awesome.
Matthew Sicard: 04:50 From there, if things seem to take off and it can support more, we’ll do more. But it’s really just about what the local scene, if you know, if they need it and then it’s, you know, not just for people here and then we’ll keep doing that.
Becca Hammond: 05:05 Right. It’s not all about you putting in all the work. You need help you need some kind of, it sounds like you really need some uh, volunteers. So is that an idea you’re open to if these guys are a band looking to find a rehearsal space and they want to come help you out and support the cause?
Matthew Sicard: 05:24 Yeah I think so, I’ve reached out to St. Michael’s college to their music director. Um, he’s supposed to be me having a meeting with me in a few weeks. We talked about, um, or I, I pitched to him in an email about having a couple of, if students were interested in volunteering, they’d get some real world, uh, resume building stuff and kind of in the industry. And I would feel a little more comfortable cause there’s a lot of expensive stuff here and it’s hard just to like give people keys to this place and like say yeah, come on in. You know, I do have a ton of cameras and I’ve tried to put a lot of, uh, to be really mindful of everything with step as I’ve gone. And, um, but that was our big thinking was maybe st Mike’s. I also was thinking UVM, but st Mike’s was just so close that the kids could literally walk here and yeah.
Becca Hammond: 06:07 Yeah. We’re right on the campus. What’s this part of the campus? At one point in time?
Matthew Sicard: 06:12 I don’t believe this building was, but there’s a bunch of buildings across the street from me that are all part of it. Yeah. I mean the Vermont, the Vermont, Vermont youth orchestra is probably three buildings down the street and I believe st Mike’s shares the building with them. So they call it the L E the L building or E L E building. I’m not sure. But yeah, there’s a few. And then a bunch of St Mike’s, um, maintenance buildings are here where they keep their trucks and, right.
Becca Hammond: 06:42 Right. So, Matthew, can you tell me a little bit about vamp?
Matthew Sicard: 06:45 Yes. So vamp is the Vermont adolescent music program. Uh, it’s an idea that I came up with maybe two years ago. Um, I was gearing it towards kids that are at risk.
Matthew Sicard: 06:59 If in foster homes, group homes, um, in DCF custody, maybe they’re in corrections, whatever the case may be, have addicted parents. A lot of times youths will be forced to go to a one on one counseling and a lot of times they will kind of fight it because it’s very sterile. You’re meeting with somebody in a weird area, you know, and you don’t want to talk to this person – open up.
Becca Hammond: 07:23 Yeah, I’m sure that’s hard if they’re in a hard situation that’s really difficult.
Matthew Sicard: 07:27 So, you know, how can I relate to you? So my thinking was to have a kind of an alternative therapeutic program where we would have maybe five to 10 kids coming from these at-risk situation. In the beginning, they would come, you know, they would learn an instrument or maybe they’re into photography. So they would do take photos for the bands for their website or maybe they’re interested in social media or podcasts, whatever we could do to kind of tie it in with like they’re all working together for one goal, but they’re around positive people.
Matthew Sicard: 07:56 There would be a counselor there that’s a licensed therapist that wouldn’t be a one on one thing, but they’d be able to interact with them and it would give them social building skills. It would give them, um, a safe place to go, you know, a healthy way to express themselves artistically without,
Becca Hammond: 08:14 yeah, that’s a great idea. Like you’re saying, there’s so many different aspects that even if they don’t want to play an instrument, you can still be involved in the music industry and involved in the community in general because we have such a great music community in this area. Yeah, that’s a really cool idea.
Matthew Sicard: 08:29 Yeah. So we’ve been slowly, you know, it’s been an idea and the beginning, you know, I need a place to do it. So it’s kind of like, I call it my phase two, phase one was getting the guardhouse up and running, uh, which to fund that was renting the rooms so that I was able to pay rent in the building so I could put shows on.
Matthew Sicard: 08:47 And now that I have this space, it’s beginning to work with the Howard center and um, Vermont, I’m working with Vermont, uh, mental health and a few other companies, um, are a few other state, um, entities, um, that are helping me kind of build a structure the way they think will work and with the right components and go from there.
Becca Hammond: 09:10 Yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s a great idea.
Matthew Sicard: 09:13 So basically with the venue is, we’re trying to do an all ages thing, just so that we have a place for kids that are, you know, 10 to 45 to 80 years old that want to come here and hang out and see some live music. They don’t want to have to, you know, a lot of places you can’t see live music anymore if you’re not 21 or 18.
Becca Hammond: 09:29 Yeah, very true.
Matthew Sicard: 09:31 But we’re also, you know, I’ve been reaching out to a couple local breweries around here about doing some, uh, 21 plus shows where it would almost be, they would kind of take over the space.
Matthew Sicard: 09:42 Um, then they would be running it and basically we would just supply the music and it would kind of be a, a co-event. But that’s, you know, probably not until 20 20 sometime we’ll start with those.
Becca Hammond: 09:54 That’s a great idea. Because I know all of these breweries are, they have awesome events and that would definitely bring a lot of people in that would never have heard about it probably because they’re just beer heads. Right? They’re not in the music as much as they are the beer.
Matthew Sicard: 10:07 And it’s literally like for most of these breweries, these, even these smaller guys for $30, they could have a 24 hour, uh, I think it’s called a pop up license. And they can literally just set up somewhere and I believe there’s stipulations on how you serve it. I believe it’s only keg. Um, but then it’s basically $30 you can set up and you’re good to go.
Matthew Sicard: 10:29 Just a way to help help them advertise, help us advertise, working together.
Becca Hammond: 10:33 Right, get your audience to see them get their audience to see you. Yeah, it’s a great idea.
Matthew Sicard: 10:40 You still always got to think out the box outside the box. It’s just the only way you’re going to get ahead I feel like is always thinking of ways to get around the norm because.
Becca Hammond: 10:49 Exactly like how are you going to reach the people, especially when you’re talking a local business where it’s, it’s not as easy as, Oh, I’m just going to pay for ads on Google and that’s going to magically result in people finding me, which has now become what the norm is for so many businesses, they just buy ad words and that’s all they do. So doing local grassroots kind of guerrilla marketing is a great idea I think for this area.
Matthew Sicard: 11:13 Then we know we also shot, I met with a couple of businesses in the area and we also kicked around the idea of possibly doing a, um, kind of like, are you familiar with the waking windows that they do in Winooski?
Becca Hammond: 11:24 Nope, I haven’t heard of that.
Matthew Sicard: 11:25 So waking windows this year, we, their 10th year, they kind of like all of the businesses and Winooski, um, kind of like set up little tents and host musicians and there’s music playing all over the area. And um, so we kicked around the idea of doing something similar but in a, in the fort. So all the businesses would basically get involved and we’d maybe do like a weekend long, um, festival in the fort. So all of the, like there’s a few coffee shops and some breweries in here and a bunch of other businesses that I’m not aware of that. You know, we could all get together.
Becca Hammond: 11:59 yeah, this is, that’s a great idea. I didn’t realize how much was back here because I just haven’t been in this area very much. And this is such a cool area. So you call it the Fort? Yeah. Yeah. That’s cool. Yeah, I had no idea. So how long have you been in the Burlington area?
Matthew Sicard: 12:19 Uh, so I was born in Burlington. Um, I went to high school here and grew up here. When I turned 18, I moved to out to Atlanta. I lived in Atlanta for about three years and then I moved to Florida for a year in Tampa. And then I lived in Boston up until, uh, 2010 and then I moved back to Vermont in 2010. And I’ve been here since.
Becca Hammond: 12:44 So. What inspired you to come back?
Matthew Sicard: 12:47 Uh, just my family I think, and just, um, I think I wanted to get away and then I was, I got as far as I could on the East coast and slowly made my way back and then, um, some employment opportunities came up, uh, showed up and um, part of it was me going to Vermont and it worked out and I got offered a really good job at Stowe, so I was like a dream job I had. They were giving me lodging, freeze passes, and living on a mountain. It was like, you know, at the time I was 20, I think 26, so it was just ideal for me. I was excited to be there.
Becca Hammond: 13:22 Are you a snowboarder?
Matthew Sicard: 13:24 Yeah.
Becca Hammond: 13:24 Yup. That makes sense. Well I’m glad you came back and you started all of this. This is awesome and very exciting for the area. So can you tell me a little bit about the Jesse Taylor band?
Matthew Sicard: 13:34 Yeah. Um, Jesse had an ad on Craigslist or if, I don’t know if Jesse did or I did either I had an ad drummer looking for a band or she hadn’t had and ad, uh, looking for a drummer. Somehow we connected and um, she had an EP, it was like an acoustic rock style. Um, EP, um, we jammed a few times and things started clicking and over the last year we’ve kind of evolved into this indie rock style sound that we have.
Matthew Sicard: 14:03 Um, she calls it honest rock. I tried to give it like a funky, almost hip hop drum beat sometimes. Um, something danceable. Cause I know that a lot of people just want to go out and dance and have fun.
Becca Hammond: 14:15 Definitely. I love going out and finding bands that are upbeat enough can actually jump around a bit to them.
Matthew Sicard: 14:22 Right. So, you know, my background was more of like alternative rock music, but with Jessie, her style of songwriting, I just, I was trying to give it more of like almost a sublime kind of an upbeat, just yeah. This dancey vibe – kind of bounce to it. Yeah. And it’s been great. I mean, since we’ve been, since we’ve been together, uh, Nick joined us who I used to play another band with and things have just been going great. We’ve just been getting tons of gigs…
Becca Hammond: 14:50 what does Nick play?
Matthew Sicard: 14:53 Nick plays lead lead, lead guitar.
Becca Hammond: 14:57 Yeah. You guys were awesome. I was very impressed. Like each of you was very impressive on your own and as a group you guys are, yeah. You sounded very clean. Everything was very tight.
Matthew Sicard: 15:06 Yeah. We’ve uh, we practice a lot. And um, me, Nick and Jesse have been together for about a year and Ian, the bass player has been with us probably about three months and he just jumped right in and running and it’s been great.
Becca Hammond: 15:20 He’s a wicked bass player. I play bass. So watching him was a lot of fun and watching your drum was a lot, but everything was just really happening and happening well together, which is a great thing to see with local bands sometimes. Sometimes you just don’t know what you’re getting into. Where did you go to some of the local shows. But everyone who was here on Friday night was absolutely amazing. I had so much fun at that show.
Matthew Sicard: 15:44 I tried to get a lot of good bands for the first show that, um, had good followings, a couple college bands, Lake waves we played with before and we loved them. And um, boys crews we played with a few times and they’re great.
Becca Hammond: 15:56 They’re uh, yeah, their stage presence was something else.
Matthew Sicard: 15:59 Yeah, it’s very unique. Their style of how they, um, they choreograph everything and it’s pretty, very wild.
Becca Hammond: 16:07 Very entertaining to watch. I was, I didn’t realize that there was going to be another band and then it turned out that it was these guys, I’d been standing next to you all night and they were phenomenal. That’s the fun thing about the local bands. It’s someone you kind of know or you’re just hanging out around and then all of a sudden there are rock stars in front of you and it’s so cool.
Matthew Sicard: 16:27 Yeah, it’s great. You become family with everybody. I’ve played with all of these bands for years, throughout different bands and them in different bands, so it’s great helping each other out. And even Boston bands, like we have a bunch of, uh, bands we played with a lot from Boston. So whenever they’re in town we help them out. And when we go to Boston, they help us.
Becca Hammond: 16:47 What are some of the band? Just a few names.
Matthew Sicard: 16:48 Northwoods is one. We’re going to be playing with them, um, in February at the monkey house, February 1st. So it’d be Northwoods, us, uh, Every Way. That’s another band. They’ll be coming up. Um, The Knock Ups, which is, uh, uh, three pieces, three girls, they’re from Boston and they’re really cool. Cool. They’re like a, uh, the kind of like a, uh, maybe a little bit more indie, like a whole kind of band. For Halloween they actually were up. They did a whole set. So.
Becca Hammond: 17:18 that’s awesome. Yeah, I love things that have a little gimmick to them. I know that the gimmick can be a little gimmicky sometimes, but it’s the greatest and it really pulls you in.
Matthew Sicard: 17:28 And the knock ups are awesome. They, uh, the lead singer is a Berkeley professor at the school of music and cool. Yeah, she’s awesome.
Becca Hammond: 17:35 So do you want to tell me a little bit about the contest that you guys had entered?
Matthew Sicard: 17:39 Yeah, we, uh, we entered a contest with, um, this, uh, record label called plaid dog records and plaid dog studios out of Boston. And basically they do like a talent search twice a year. It’s nationwide, it’s all over Facebook, YouTube, um, Craigslist. And you send them in a demo and if you’re lucky enough to get picked, they will record a single with you.
Matthew Sicard: 18:07 They’ll record a video with you. Um, basically run your social media for 30 days with all this marketing to help you do a crowdfunding. So we sent the demo, um, six months ago and we got picked and it was a lot of work. We had every Thursday for two months, we would meet here, have a phone interview with one of the workers there. We’d have homework every night. It was like a lot of like spreadsheet stuff like emails, phone numbers, things that you’re preparing for when the thing, uh, selfie photos, uh, artwork, you name it, a list of things. And we did all that. And then, um, once we were ready, we launched our campaign and like they, they have some algorithm that decides what they think you’ll raise. Our number was $10,000. So then the campaign launches every, you give them your passwords to your office, social media, and they have all these programs that run it.
Matthew Sicard: 19:06 One’s called a milkshake, one’s called monkey monkey bot or something. And they just automate the marketing for you on the social basically. Yeah. So like every day you’ll, you’ll get an email where you up, it has like things you, you fill in the blank. Like, um, what percentage you’re at a photo, whatever photo it tells you to put in and you put all these things in and then the next day, throughout the day it’s loading them up for you and spitting them out. And it, um, I mean we raised $7,000 in the first, I think week and then, um, and the last it was a 40 day thing. So then the last like three weeks we raised the other 3000. And that’s awesome. Yeah, it was great.
Becca Hammond: 19:47 So do you have any idea where the donations were coming from?
Matthew Sicard: 19:50 Are they a lot of um, a lot of uh, family, a lot of like extended family, people who went to high school with, we haven’t seen in years. I would say 50% of it came from people that were compiled from our, like all of our months of putting emails and phone numbers and the other 50% was just Facebook. So once they were posting everyday on Facebook, people that we were friends with on Facebook. But you know, I don’t have their email, their phone number or anything else they were seeing it. And like the random people, Jesse got a donation for $1,000 with some girl that she goes to yoga with, you know, so you never know. Yeah. So it was great. And uh, so we reached our goal. Today’s the last day. Um, we’re finally done.
Becca Hammond: 20:35 Congrats.
Matthew Sicard: 20:35 Yeah. So we raised 10,000, $100. So we have $100 for gas money and 10,000 for the album and it should be released this spring sometime.
Becca Hammond: 20:46 And are they going to be original songs on the album?
Matthew Sicard: 20:49 Yeah.
Becca Hammond: 20:49 Awesome. Are they already written? Do you have to fill it out at all?
Matthew Sicard: 20:52 Yeah, so the album is, all the songs are written. It’s just a matter of us going down to Boston and, uh, producing them. So they’ll probably change the song from our, the single re released adore you was written a lot different than how we recorded it, which is just, it’s good when you go to a studio, you have a bunch of producers there and you know, they’re kicking around ideas of what they think would make it sound better or more catchy or, and um, so that was, that’s on, it didn’t change much but it changed a little bit.
Becca Hammond: 21:22 That’s what I was just going to ask. Did you notice, okay, this is how we wrote the song. Now we’ve done this recording now coming back and playing it live again. Do you, is there any difference to you guys?
Matthew Sicard: 21:33 So the biggest change with it was just the structure. Like there was an intro part to the song that was probably about a minute long where there was no singing and they cut it down to about 30 seconds. And then the ending, we were ending on the, uh, the chorus, the chorus part of the song we were editing the song on and they wanted to change it to the, the verse melodies. So it just getting used to like ending the song in a different place. Took us a little bit, but.
Becca Hammond: 22:03 Yeah, I’m sure you guys just kind of like, Oh, I started playing.
Matthew Sicard: 22:05 How do we stop now because we’re so used to stopping at this other part.
Becca Hammond: 22:08 Right you’ve got to relearn the same song you already know kind of.
Matthew Sicard: 22:11 Right, But what we did was, um, before we picked our single, we came in and I set up our, my re studio here and I recorded us playing all the songs and then we sent them all to Dave.
Matthew Sicard: 22:24 Um, or excuse me, Dave, Mike, Mike Davidson. And uh, we sent them all to Mike and he kind of picked like, I think we sent 12 songs and he picked like the top five that he thought would be the good single. We pick the one that we liked out of that and.
Becca Hammond: 22:37 Oh, cool. Yeah. That’s awesome. So that’s one of the questions I had for you about the studio in general. Are you doing any recording here? Really?
Matthew Sicard: 22:46 Not too much. I do a lot with, um, friends of mine, people that I’ve played with in music with ’em. I don’t do it as a business, I don’t make any money from it. So there’s a band I used to play guitar or this band I play guitar and called Far From Silence. Um, we record, uh, Jesse, I record sometimes there’s a few other bands that I’m actually, some guys that are renting from me that asked me just to help them record a demo.
Matthew Sicard: 23:11 So like, you know, I’ll come in and I’ll set it up and I’ll record them and I have everything you need. It just, I don’t have the time to, to focus as a business. Yeah. It’s a lot of work, a lot of editing here being so, you know, I like to do, you know, to, to songs of if a band needs help, I’ll help them out and do it.
Becca Hammond: 23:28 Right, Just so they have that little EP to sort of show off.
Matthew Sicard: 23:31 yeah. Like I have one band in here right now called burning Bush and, um, I think I’ve heard of them on Facebook and yeah, they’re, they’re younger. And um, they asked me if I could help them. They said that, you know, they’ve never done in their lives. And I was like, yeah, you know, you practice for a couple months and then pick the two songs you guys want and then we’ll, we’ll lay it down.
Becca Hammond: 23:50 And, and when you guys do that, it doesn’t sound like you’re doing it for everybody, but when you do record, do you guys just play normally like you would? And you have enough microphones set up that you can record everyone naturally?
Matthew Sicard: 24:01 It depends. It depends on the circumstances. Uh, if I was recording Jesse’s, if I was caught in that band, I would probably just do us live. When I was doing far from silence, the band that I was playing guitar in, and we would do it all from a click track. So I would lay down a click track, I would lay down all of the guitar from start to finish. I would lay down all the bass from start to finish, and then the drummer would come in and he’d lay down everything. And then we would mix it all. And then we would give it that finished product to the singer. And then he’d lay down.
Becca Hammond: 24:32 Right.
Matthew Sicard: 24:33 So it just depends. Um, you know what they’re comfortable with. Um, what their vision is. If like one band I helped, there’s only two of them, but they wanted like five instruments. So you have to kind of.
Becca Hammond: 24:45 Right if there’s only two people and then you definitely can’t record it all at once, right when there are five instruments.
Matthew Sicard: 24:48 So it just depends. Like when we did our S, our song, we did a couple of tracks, a couple of takes of it without a click. And then we did a couple of takes with the click. And I prep, I like the click better just because I can kind of lean on it more than anybody else.
Becca Hammond: 25:05 I, I’m sure as a drummer it’s, yeah, it’s probably really helpful. So you don’t slow down and speed up slightly.
Matthew Sicard: 25:11 Right yeah.
Becca Hammond: 25:11 Every drummer I’ve ever worked with, no matter how great they are, they seem to want to go faster at the end of the song. They just cause they’re excited. It makes sense,
Matthew Sicard: 25:21 right? Well cause you’re getting into the groove and you’re, you, the faster you play the uh, the smoother things will sound. Sometimes because you’re, you’re, I call it cruising, you’re cruising around the kit yet it’s just like slower. I mean you can sound great slow too, but just that progression of going quicker and you’re getting the rebounds faster and it just sounds so much smoother. And so you just want to keep going and drive the song faster and faster. It’s bad. I do it a lot. Jesse will yell at me sometimes. She’ll say ‘So that was a quick one,’ haha sorry.
Becca Hammond: 25:55 Oh yeah. I’ve definitely had some of those moments myself because playing bass. If your bass is loud enough, you can basically control the whole band,
Matthew Sicard: 26:05 Oh yeah the drummer, they’re like in charge.
Becca Hammond: 26:07 Yeah, they are. They really are. And it’s that rhythm section. If you just push everything up a hair, suddenly that whole song can just change completely. So quickly. Are you planning on serving any water or anything at the venue?
Matthew Sicard: 26:21 So yeah, so Well, I was thinking about, I, I was going to buy, a couple of cases of water and red bull, but I wanted, I wanted to be really careful, um, about selling things because um, I’m not 100% sure on the legalities of it and if I start selling water or if I start offering, you know exactly what I have to do.
Becca Hammond: 26:43 Yeah. You might be better off just doing kind of like what they do at higher ground where they just have these bins of water and you just get a cup and that’s what you’ve got.
Matthew Sicard: 26:52 Right? Yeah. So we talked about it. I mean I have this huge fridge here and um, in the beginning I was talking about I’m just going to go to Costco, I’m going to get a big thing, a red bull, a couple of things of water and it’ll just, you know, sound for a dollar each. And, and then somebody had mentioned to me, you might not want to do that, um, until you do a couple of shows and you kind of get a feel for everything and see how everything goes.
Becca Hammond: 27:13 Right yeah, cause I know the tax codes, you have to be registered in Vermont and they want to take a certain percentage of it. Yeah. It’s definitely something to be careful with and you have to put money into it to even get the tax registration. I went through that process with a company I had years ago that I completely dissolved before I did anything useful with. But yeah, I spent a couple of hundred dollars just getting the legalities. And if you don’t do that, that it can be even worse because suddenly they’ll come at you the whole state of Vermont’s all up in arms because you didn’t give them their 15 cents.
Matthew Sicard: 27:50 Right. Right. So my thinking too was I wanted to see before I invested too much money, I wanted to see like what, what was going to happen. Like I was gonna throw this show, kind of see you. What kind of, what I got for the first show, which I was expecting the bands and maybe like a plus one, you know, everybody would bring a person, which we got about, I’d say maybe what 40 people maybe.
Becca Hammond: 28:12 Uh, yeah, there was a good crowd here for being the first show I was pretty impressed.
Matthew Sicard: 28:16 Yes. So, um, you know, I spent maybe like $300 just getting like, um, soundproofing blankets and a backdrop for the stage and some, some lights and as cheap as I could to make it look good. It looks great out there. It looks really cool. Yeah. I mean I just, I kinda just gorilla’d it whatever I could find that was on Amazon or eBay.
Matthew Sicard: 28:37 That was, I think my backdrop was a bunch of um. I went to, uh, target after Halloween and they had a bunch of like these door banners that you hang where you walk through a door. So I spent like 40 of them and lined them up on the wall to make it a backdrop.
Becca Hammond: 28:53 It looks cool. I really like the backdrop behind the bands,
Matthew Sicard: 28:56 but yeah, so we talked about that. I’ll probably wait. My next big show will be, uh, at the end of December I have a hip hop, a hip hop show coming on, and then in the beginning of January I’m going to have a hardcore show here.
Becca Hammond: 29:09 Cool.
Matthew Sicard: 29:09 So with the hardcore show, it’s another band that runs here, old North end. And um, they’ll have just released their new album. So we’re hoping, by then I might get my feet wet with it, but I need to baby steps, you know,
Becca Hammond: 29:25 Yeah, get that support from their community, get some help and then you can move on with making it,
Matthew Sicard: 29:29 I’m supposed to be meeting with a commerce woman of Colchester next week and the landlord here just to like, so she can help support me with some things. So I make, she helps me make sure I’m dotting all my I’s, you know, as, as we go. But
Becca Hammond: 29:45 yeah. Well it’s already coming together. That show was great. I had so much fun at, at that show.
Matthew Sicard: 29:52 Yeah I wish that I, you know, I think not having to, uh, to play and work, it will be a lot easier either way, just by myself running around. It’s a lot of work. Just,
Becca Hammond: 30:01 yeah, yeah. Or you can maybe get someone you trust to kind of do more of the management if you’re planning on playing that night.
Matthew Sicard: 30:09 It’s a lot to like greet everybody, make sure everybody’s good. Show them where the bathroom is and you know, make sure that everybody feels safe and there’s no issues and helping the bands set up and break down. It’s just all these little things you don’t anticipate until the night of the show when they’re happening in the air. Like one of the big things was music between acts. Like I never thought of it. It never crossed my mind.
Becca Hammond: 30:33 Right. And then all of a sudden, Hey, it’s really quiet.
Matthew Sicard: 30:37 Brian. Um, he played second, the acoustic. He was awesome. Yeah, he’s really great. Um, he used to play in a band called better things and they were amazing. Um, he was like, well, what are you gonna do about music? And I was like, I don’t know. What do you mean? So we tried to take my laptop up, but I didn’t have the right stuff here. It was at my house, so we, we rigged up my cell phone. But then it was like every time a band would stop, I had to be there to like unlock my phone.
Becca Hammond: 31:01 Literally be there haha. well, it all came together really well. I was very impressed with it. It could have gone much, much worse.
Matthew Sicard: 31:09 I actually had a couple,well friends come just because I was like in case anything happens because I was going to Mike’s like handing out flyers and I was like, in case it gets crazy. I was like, I want a couple of friends here just to help me. Like
Becca Hammond: 31:20 right. Because you’re never sure that first night how many people show up on a hundred people here. That would have been really tight.
Matthew Sicard: 31:27 Yeah, it would have been insane.
Becca Hammond: 31:30 What do you think is the most exciting thing happening in the music scene in Vermont is right now?
Matthew Sicard: 31:34 Whew. I think that the most exciting thing right now is just the sense of community that uh, the Burlington scene seems to have, they have the DIY, uh, Facebook thing. Um, the Facebook group that, you know, 10 years ago wasn’t there. So you’re able to communicate with each other. Um, you know, help throw shows, help reach other bands to book shows, help to plan podcasts, help to plan anything. And um,
Becca Hammond: 32:05 that Facebook group, DIY Burlington is actually where I found Matthew. Just so you guys know, it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re a musician.
Matthew Sicard: 32:13 Yeah, it’s great. You know, it definitely, it can be the wild West. Sometimes there are some um, opinions that will go cruising on there. But uh,
Becca Hammond: 32:23 yes. Well that’s the world didn’t general these stays. Everyone has an opinion and they’re very vocal about it.
Matthew Sicard: 32:31 You know, as long as you can. I use it just as a tool. Whenever I have a show going on, I’ll post it on there. Or if I see something interesting pop on my Facebook feed, like when I saw your posts and I was like, I’ll reach out and.
Becca Hammond: 32:44 thank you very much for doing that by the way. That was very exciting. Yeah. To Reach out to the community and almost immediately have someone come back with a really cool story to talk about. Much appreciated.
Matthew Sicard: 32:55 Yeah. And then, you know, just like that. And then people that I know that I think you would enjoy meeting or talking to or other musicians that I think they should meet that are into the same thing. It’s just why not help them, you know, connect those bridges. And then, you know, hopefully by networking and together down the road, maybe, you know, it’ll come back to you 10 times fold.
Matthew Sicard: 33:15 You never know.
Becca Hammond: 33:16 Right. Yeah. Pay it forward. Yeah, that’s it.
Becca Hammond: 33:19 So we talked a little bit about big heavy world. So do you want to talk about big, heavy world?
Matthew Sicard: 33:24 Yeah, I mean I can a little bit what I know about, um, James Lockridge runs it. He, I think, I believe he started it. Uh, God, I don’t know the year, but James is great. Um, as I was kicking around the idea of starting this place, I had him over here a few times. Um, Jim’s basement is a DIY spot and Burlington, there’s shows that’s actually his house. He put shows on his basement.
Becca Hammond: 33:45 Awesome. Good to hear about.
Matthew Sicard: 33:47 Um, my PA system that I have here, he do-, he gave to me, it was donated to him and it was just too big for the space he’s at right now. So he let me use it until he needs it back, which, who knows what that’ll be.
Matthew Sicard: 34:00 And, um, but it’s basically a community place for, um, anything, anything in the community. If you want to go there and hang out, learn an instrument. Uh, they have a radio station, w O M M L P, um,
Becca Hammond: 34:13 105.9
Matthew Sicard: 34:15 Um, but he’s great. They have classes there. There’s uh, a seminar going on. I believe it starts in December. It’s like a three, three, three step, uh, seminar for like people in the music industry in Burlington.
Becca Hammond: 34:30 Oh, cool.
Matthew Sicard: 34:31 Uh, so I’m joining that, but uh,
Becca Hammond: 34:33 so it sounds like this, this whole guardhouse studio is really kind of made in that same community vibe.
Matthew Sicard: 34:40 Yeah Totally. Yeah, it was, um, I was trying to do something similar to what he was doing. My end goal was a little bit different as far as, uh, mine’s more musically focused. His is more community, anything. Um, so it’s, you know, media, radio stations, uh, art, you know, everything.
Matthew Sicard: 35:00 It’s really, um, it’s a place to go hang out and you’re around good people and it’s amazing. And where’s biggy big heavy world located? It’s right on Howard street. So right next to dealer.com off pine street. Yeah. So the radiator, the radio station is like one of their, one of their entities there and um, but it’s great. Um, they used to be right on right next to speeder and Earl’s on pine street and they moved right around the corner. Um, and a little bit of a smaller space. But um, yeah, they’re there. He’s there every night and that’s great. Yeah, I will definitely reach out to him about anything that if you’re looking to work in the community or you want to start a radio station or anything like that, he’s the man to talk to.
Becca Hammond: 35:45 Yeah. The, they’re actually looking for radio DJs right now if anyone’s interested in being a radio DJ in a community collaborative way.
Matthew Sicard: 35:53 Yeah. I mean, especially if you’re, even if you’re free during the day, you know, Monday through Friday, the big time they need people and you could have a talk show about being a single mom or whatever.
Becca Hammond: 36:04 Yeah. About anything really. The way podcasts have blown up, you can have a podcast about basically anything in the world and you can find a community for it.
Matthew Sicard: 36:13 Your love of ragdoll cats.
Becca Hammond: 36:17 That’s probably already something that exists somewhere. So can you tell me a little bit about nasty North production?
Matthew Sicard: 36:24 Yeah. So that was my first kind of, um, jump into the media world trying to start something. And it was really just when I was first getting into music and I started making videos, I started having people reach out to me wanting to have music videos made for them, um, or they wanted help editing. Um, I had a few guys that were, um, they raced cars and they wanted to have videos done and then they wanted me to edit them. So it was kinda an entity into that. And I, uh, this slowly started, I needed something to put at the end of my videos. And so I ended up with, um, when I lived in the South, everybody said the dirty South. So when I moved up here, it was this nasty North.
Becca Hammond: 37:08 Haha That’s great.
Matthew Sicard: 37:08 Yeah. So we just used and it’s not really, um, it’s not really anything other than it’s what I use to any of my videos. I make all this nasty North productions, just a way to kind of tie them together. So when you see that, you know, that’s a video we made and uh, but yeah. Um, we’re going to be doing some of Jesse’s videos for the band. We’re going to be doing some other videos for a couple other bands that rent here and.
Becca Hammond: 37:33 awesome. Yeah. And you can be found on YouTube for that?
New Speaker: 37:36 Yeah YouTube nasty North productions, uh, Instagram, nasty North productions, uh, Facebook, uh, twitter, everywhere.
Becca Hammond: 37:46 All those social medias. So Matthew, can you tell everyone a good way to get in touch with you again?
Matthew Sicard: 37:52 Yeah, sure. Um, so on Facebook it’s Matt Sicard, um, S I C a R D. um, on Instagram it’s gonna either going to be the guard house studio or nasty North productions. Either one. Same with Facebook. I have both of those Nasty North productions and the Guardhouse Studio. My best email. Um, if you’re interested in getting in touch, booking a show, I’m renting a space. We know even if you want to rent a space for, to practice your drums once a month, you know, reach out. We have kits here that we rent by the hour. That’s just the email@example.com and yeah,
Becca Hammond: 38:32 so Matthew, where’s the studio located again?
Matthew Sicard: 38:34 It’s located at 162 hegeman drive, H E G E M a N drive in Colchester in the old Fort. We’re ah, if you’re familiar with the a dollar right across from an old for auto and uh, yeah.
Becca Hammond: 38:49 Awesome. Well thank you so much for being on the show.
Matthew Sicard: 38:52 Thank you. I’m really excited just to be able to help him be a part of this.
Becca Hammond: 38:56 Yeah. Uh, please reach out to Matthew if you guys have any questions. If you’re interested in renting a rehearsal space, if you want to know more about vamp the Vermont.
Matthew Sicard: 39:06 adolescent music program.
Becca Hammond: 39:07 Thank you. Please reach out to Matthew. Please reach out to me.
Matthew Sicard: 39:12 Awesome. Thank you.
Becca Hammond: 39:18 Woo Hoo Thank you!
Becca Hammond: 39:18 Another big thank you to Matt for being the first guest on the show. I’m eternally grateful. I learned a lot doing the interview and I think it turned out awesome. Let me know what you think by going to the Facebook page. @Burlington Talks. You should find me immediately. You can also send me an email to Becca, B E C C firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks so much for listening. Have a great day.