Stereo Embers The Podcast: Justin San Souci (The Matches) and Director Chelsea Christer

Written by on 06/08/2022

“Bleeding Audio And The Life Of A Match”

I’m a Bay Area guy, so I remember in the late ’90s when this group of kids from Bishop O’Dowd high school in Oakland got things going and started generating a buzz in this community as The Matches. And community is the key word here. The Matches found a way to connect with their audience in the most grass roots of ways—they were super accessible to their fans and were even known for playing acoustically before or after shows in the streets outside the clubs. Their music was hard to define—if one was feeling lazy, they would say they were pop punk, but they were way more than that. They were operatic, idiosyncratic, artistic and sonically adventurous in ways that were way ahead of their time. And they were nice people. And that means something. And the Matches meant everything to their fans. They still do. But the Matches’ story is the perfect example of what happens when a rising career—and they were rising fast, signing with Epitaph, playing the Warped tour, touring with BIffy Clyro—gets derailed by an industry that got destroyed by the sudden accessibility of digital music. It started with Napster and it ended with record stores closing—and the in between? Well, it wasn’t pretty. And that’s where Chelsea Christer’s winning documentary Bleeding Audio comes in. A loving and intimate look at The Matches’ march towards the mainstream and how that march ended up being a near miss at widespread success, Bleeding Audio redefines what it means to be a success in the music industry and it examines how a legacy—what bands leave for their fans—is something that has nothing to do with a price tag. Bleeding Audio is a very singular music documentary—there’s no fistfights, or tension or scandal—it’s just four really nice dudes playing music until playing music plays itself out. Why it played itself out is something the movie handles beautifully and you’ll have to see it to see what I mean, but spoiler alert: it has to do with money. Or, more specifically, not making it. And that’s the weird thing—they should have been making it. But there’s a series of reasons why they weren’t and the movie is a fascinating study of how a band that should have been financially solvent, weren’t, and at the dawn of their 30s, they were physically tired of living the way they were at the dawn of their 20s. This chat with Chelsea along with the Matches’ bassist Justin San Souci is a revealing and personal conversation about friendship, music, success and the unbreakable bond between anyone who knows what it means to bleed audio.

Stereo Embers The Podcast

Twitter: @emberseditor
Instagram: @emberspodcast
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