Local band Life Like Water recently shot a series of music videos for a number of new songs written during COVID-19. Xpress caught up with singer and multi-instrumentalist David Matters to discuss one of the group’s latest, “Nothing Stays.” Below is the interview, along with the video premiere.
Xpress: What inspired the song “Nothing Stays”?
David Matters: This song was inspired by a period in time that I spent traveling around the country and some of the lessons I learned along the way. It’s sort of a snapshot of personal growth as I worked through adolescence and found my way into adulthood. It’s also about impermanence and understanding what that actually means when dealing with potent life experiences.
You’ve written several new songs during the pandemic. How has COVID-19 influenced or changed the band’s songwriting approach, if at all?
This song, along with several others, was written during the most severe part of the lockdown. At the time, I wasn’t working much, and the band was at a complete standstill. We even took three or four months off from practicing and just laid low as the virus raged.
Even though this was a very challenging time, full of confusion and uncertainty, it did create a lot of space for songwriting and soul-searching. My creative process didn’t really change much in this time, but it did deepen and receive a burst of energy.
This was heightened even more when, a few months later, we brought our new bandmate, Connell Sanderson, into the mix. Bringing in a new instrument [the Irish whistle] and a fresh approach to the songs I’m writing was like a breath of fresh air in the midst of all the toxic energy created by the pandemic. It really informed this new material that we are currently sharing.
What experience do you want to create for viewers who watch your music video?
We filmed this video, along with two others, up at Snaggy Mountain — a supercool artists retreat and sustainable homestead located in Burnsville. We’ve actually shot a couple other videos there in the past but at different locations on the property. All of them have been filmed by our good friend Donnie Rex.
We decided to film in the cabin this time both for sound quality as well as the vibe of the room. It’s got a very earthy and laid-back look to it, and we felt that fit our sound quite well. Some of the comments we most often get about our music is that it’s very grounding or peaceful or meditative, so we like our aesthetic to reflect those feelings. It was also raining like crazy on that particular day, so having a roof and walls seemed like a worthy ingredient!
What do you hope fans take away from the song and video?
My hope is that this song will take people on a journey, both through the lyrics as well as the melody, and provide them with a measure of calm to balance out the hectic world we are currently living in. That’s what I hope to provide with all of my songs. I’m not really looking to be profound or life-changing, I just want to create nourishing environments that uplift and inspire. I’m grateful to have such amazing bandmates, who all contribute to this mission in their own unique ways.
Click here to view the video.