Death Cab for Cutie, Matt Nathanson, Jack's Mannequin, Erin McCarley

Matt Nathanson and his bandmates opened for Jack’s Mannequin on Thursday night at the House of Blues in Orlando. (NICK MASUDA/ORLANDO SENTINEL / May 8, 2009)

Matt Nathanson wanted to be in Kiss at the age of six.
And the love affair with music never died away.
"I was seven, maybe six. I heard Kiss for the first time, up in New Hampshire. I was like, "I gotta be in Kiss, " said the ever-growing pop music star. "I'd play the tennis racket. I took piano lessons in fourth grade, and saw my first concert in third grade. In first, second and third grade, I'd put on lip synch concerts. I just always knew that I wanted to do it. Music is the one thing in life that I have always devoted myself to."
Nathanson was one of the headliners at XL106.7's Red, Hot & Boom in Altamonte on Friday night.
He took 20 minutes with the Sentinel inside of his hotel room overlooking the venue, where he talked about his love affair with Orlando, a woman tattooing his signature on her body and why live performances are sexual in nature.
You've made quite a few visits to Central Florida, some type of vibe?
Man, I don't know, I think so. This record cycle has been so long that we've been doing places that I may have only done once or twice a record, like 10 or 12 times. That feels like I progress. Weird thing about it is that you get intimate with airports. Like I would never have thought I would be so familiar with the Charlotte airport as I am. The same with Orlando, we have been doing tons of stuff in Florida. We've gone Gainesville, Tampa and bunch of others. Before, it would be Orlando, maybe Ft. Lauderdale and Jacksonville, and that's about it. It's been really fun. I got to see hotbeds like Ft. Myers. It's kind of crazy.
How exhausted are you? Ready for some rest?
Ready to take a break, but I think I can keep doing this as long as things keep progressing. For me, it gets a little much when we do two months of touring and then for three weeks we are in a different city every day, that's when it gets tiring. If I can find a balance, that's key for me.
About a week and a half ago, I was pretty tired, but I went home for a week and now I am rejuvenated and psyched to play today and play tomorrow, and then go home for a couple days. When it comes in manageable bursts, it is ok. But when it is 30 shows in 30 days in different cities, by the fifth time you are at the Minneapolis airport, you are ready to kill someone.
Where has the success come from? Is there a moment when you knew that your career was changing?
I wish I knew, I would bottle it up and sell it. I would also take it and make 12 songs that did what ("Come on Get Higher") did. I was sitting in my room and listening to that Katy Perry song, "Waking Up in Vegas," and I was so into it and I don't know why that song is so great and the rest of them didn't really move me. "Hot and Cold" was alright, "I Kissed a Girl" was cool, they are good pop songs. But, I have no idea why that one song I latched on to and why it is relating to me. It probably won't be as big as "I Kissed a Girl," so I don't know what makes stuff happen.
So, for me, this last round of songs was just like the last seven rounds of songs I wrote. I sat down with my buddy Mark and we set out to do "Pour Some Sugar on Me," but with better lyrics. But everytime we seemed to fall short of writing something like "Pour Some Sugar on Me" or "Kiss Me Deadly."
There are times when I'll put on Desolation Row by Bob Dylan and wonder why it is so perfect. I have no idea why my last record stuck. I guess it was a bit of luck, and the moon aligned with the stars.
Is it nice to have these seemingly new opportunities?
It's fun to have opportunities given to me. Before, you had to battle to get stuff. You'd ask, "Can I play on your tour?" Now, it's like some people say, "Hey, would like to come on tour." What a relief. So, I don't know how this all went down, but I am totally into it.
We started writing for the next record and we started doing the same thing again. Mark came up last week and we just hung out and just listened to why "Save A Prayer" from Duran Duran is so great. We get inspired. We get turned on by it. Then we'll watch "Purple Rain" and it is so good. We write a lot of things that end up being (bad), but then you get 10 or 12 songs that you dig and put on a record.
Where are you in the recording process?
We've done a couple rounds of recording. We are now dialing in and locking down. I've been doing a lot of writing, which I really didn't do before. What was so cool about "Come on Get Higher" is that I put out seven records, and they never did anything. I guess that isn't true, they garnered fans. But I really never got any external validation that I was any good, except for the fans showing up at the shows. But it is hard to listen to the fans because they are your friends, they have a good time, you interact and you have a moment. Then you'd go back to that city the next time, you'd all hang out again and have a good time.