When I first looked at Matt Cohen's website I felt concerned his engineering might make my material sound too slick. I sent him some demos. He emailed back saying how much he loved Vampire Daddy, the garage rock homage to The Cramps. Very reassuring.
Our first meeting was in a café in December 2012. Generally a stay-at-home dad, he was very apologetic that he had to bring his young son along. But the meeting went well and the kid was cool— which usually means the parent is, too.
After a few sessions I decided Matt should be a co-producer, with more creative input. He arranged many instrumental sections on the album and was decisive about my vocals when I could not be. He egged me on like a little brother (he’s actually about the same age as my step-brother) on the punk/J-pop vocal of A Certain Guy.
Then there are those jobs only engineers love. I brought in a music sample for the end of Family Album. It was too fast but I really liked it. So did Matt. He enthusiastically chopped it up into a zillion digital pieces, copied and pasted them, and put it back together in the same tempo as the song.
His many skills include drumming, playing bass and guitar, and profanity. One day I read him a whiny email from one of the musicians and he erupted, “What a fucking dick! You can tell that bastard to suck my cock. Tell him to suck your cock, too! Asshole... Fuck him and fuck his shit.”
When my father became seriously ill I got depressed and didn’t want to think about the album. Production stopped for a few months. Then I saw this email from Matt. “How’s your Dad? Isn’t it about time we got the fuck back to work?”
And I should also say that he plays excellent bass throughout The Perambulator.
Matt and I grew up in the same area near San Francisco. So even though we're a decade apart, we still use the same California slang. For sure, Matt Cohen is one righteous dude, an awesome engineer, and totally rad producer.