Name: Matt Sauter (Adventures with Vultures)
Hometown: Plymouth, MI
The Midwest has a long history of musical acts that have made it from the small town bars to some of the biggest stages in the world. Acts that build a loyal following, bringing authentic, original music to the masses – some you know, some you don’t. While many look for the overnight success, that success is often over as fast as it started. Midwestern artists across the board earn their spot. They are not naive to what it takes to earn something, in life or on stage. We had the chance to sit down with Matt Sauter, better known as Adventures with Vultures, an up and coming singer-songwriter whose latest EP Junction has people talking. A guy, who beyond just working for what he wants, educated himself on the craft, plotted a course and stuck to the plan. While some of you know him and some of you don’t, for the latter – that is about to change.
MWG: What about the Midwest has had the biggest impact on you musically?
MS: Motown/ Detroit hands down, especially being from the metro Detroit area. I remember the first time I heard Michael Jackson when I was a kid and was blown away, and to know he spent his early years recording with Motown Records in my hometown was insane. Also artist like Eminem & Kid Rock who I have been watching and listening to since a young lad, and how much the state of Michigan gets behind them and supports them, it’s amazing.
Where did the EP- Junction come from and what does it mean to you?
Junction is a street that runs through the north part of Plymouth, Michigan that growing up, all of my best friends/brothers grew up on or off of. The street made a brotherhood for my buddies and me who didn’t have the complete family households. It was a no-brainer to name my first EP after the street that helped raise me.
What would you say sets the Midwest music scene apart from the rest?
I would say the different genres and the individuality! When you head to New York, all the music has a hip-hop rooted vibe, Nashville – country, LA – pop, Detroit is the mutt of the music breed. We have every genre selling out local venues and no certain trends are the main look, everyone is unique and authentic.
Tell us what D.I.M.E is and what it means to you and the band?
DIME is the Detroit Institute of Music Education, where I have been the past three years of my life and will be graduating from June 17, 2018, with my Honors Bachelors in Songwriting. DIME is hands-down the main reason we are having this interview. It turned a punk kid from Plymouth, into a top songwriter in Detroit and built Adventures With Vultures into what it is today, landing me my first record deal. As far as for the session musicians who play with me live (my band) they’re all former or current DIME students! Any time I need a session musician I ask students or alumni from DIME because I know they are professional and the top players in the area. My brother Dan (bassist) is the only non-DIME member but he has the same love for DIME I do, because like I said it made Adventures With Vultures who I am today.
Tell us how studying music has benefitted you, compared to only playing music?
It has helped my songwriting for around income streams 100%! Writing music for yourself, no one can tell you what to do and how to do it, but writing for t.v, commercials, movies, and other artists is a different ball game and DIME has prepared me for that side of my career.
What’s been the highlight of your music career so far?
This whole journey has been the highlight. I have wanted to be a “rockstar” since I was in elementary school and my mind hasn’t changed since. I’d say after all these years of grinding and pushing toward my dream and now finally getting recognition and the respect has been an amazing feeling. Not trying to get all emotional but, my grandmother passed last year. Hands down my mentor and biggest role model. A few days before she passed at the hospital, she got to see me perform live on the Channel 7 news, and she was pumped up! Calling in all the nurses and doctors to watch, things like that make it worth it.
How do you recharge? What outside of music gives you balance?
Painting! In February of 2017, I picked up my first paintbrush and haven’t stopped since. I noticed a lot of my favorite songwriters, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Carole King, etc. were all expressing themselves, creatively through painting and once I started, it helped with my songwriting so much. Putting the guitar down and painting for a few days, makes you fall in love with the guitar again once you pick it back up. That balance is huge for not running into writer’s block.
Do you have a favorite place to perform around the Great lakes?
Anywhere that people are there to listen is my favorite place to perform. I don’t care if its 5 people or 1000 people. When they’re there to listen to the music instead of there to party, those nights are special.
What can fans expect from you this year?
This is actually the first time announcing it, so you guys get the exclusive announcement but I will be taking off on my first tour this November and couldn’t be more stoked about it! Tour dates will be released later this year but we have some great cities and venues we will be playing and just so honored to have the team I have to make this all come to life. Also, new music as well as new videos!
Big-ups to Matt for letting us into his world. We have much more in store with Adventures With Vultures and are excited for the road ahead. To learn more about the man and the music, check out the links below and be sure to get your hands on Junction – available now.