SPB: Do you run your own website, facebook, twitter, etc? Do you enjoy that aspect of the industry?
Matt: Yeah, I do all of it (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr posts & question box, website), though occasionally some of the other guys answer questions on our Tumblr or Twitter.
I have a love/hate relationship with social media. On the one hand, being able to connect directly with the most engaged fans is awesome. I love answering people's questions with no intermediary and no delay. I think having ongoing significant conversation, even if it's “just on the internet,” really enriches the musician/listener relationship--it makes it dynamic instead of one-way. Besides, let's face it, most people live on the internet now anyway, so you need to go where people are if you want to talk to them.
On the other hand, I hate how easy it is to be misunderstood. You can't please everyone, and you can't answer every question. There are language and cultural disconnects to navigate. Sooner or later someone gets bent out of shape. A couple years ago I realized that I was automatically developing this set of rules in the back of my mind about how to talk to people over social media. It's turned into such a refined “technique” that sometimes I feel like it's not really me that's talking to people anymore, it's my internal social media algorithm or something. I hate the idea of being circumscribed by a “brand,” but I know that I behave like a machine on social media. You have no choice but to cultivate a persona---even when that persona consists of "we're just regular people like you"---no matter how real it is, it still has to be carefully constructed.