Question: Matthew, I saw you and your brother perform as Nelson in the early 1990's. In those concerts, you played bass. Since then, you've been playing guitar in concert. Since it has been said that Gunnar may be returning to the front lines, does that mean you are going to be playing bass for your live shows? You play both instruments really well, but I miss seeing you play bass.
MN Answer: Kim- Bass is my
favorite and first instrument and I have really missed playing it live.
Gunnar and I have been talking about instrumentation and I haven't made
up my mind as of yet. For now I'll keep playing bass with a new side project
I've got going recently to pass my creative time effectively and give my
bass playing a much needed outlet. I'll keep you posted as it develops.
Don't worry- I'm not leaving the NELSON camp or jumpin' ship. Just playin'
more music and having a blast!
Question: Matthew, I've seen pictures of you standing next to 3 race cars (#11, #25, #14). Did you race any other cars and are you still racing?
MN Answer: Patty- I'm still racing...mostly Shifter Karts which I LOVE and sometimes Legends Cars. My real race number is usually 58 (my dad's birthday- May 8th) but I'm not that superstitious about race numbers. I will race anything, anytime, anywhere! Got a racecar for me to jump into?
Question: Gunnar, How many years have the two of you been in the music industry? What would you say are the positive changes the music industry has made, versus the negative?
GN Answer: Well, Marsha, we've been playing since we were 6 or 7... but truly 'in the industry' officially from the time we actually played our first professional gig at 12 years of age. I'm trying to block that gig out of my mind though. By my recollection, our Mom was trying to be helpful by booking a gig. It was freaking weird. We were supposed to be booked at a high school homecoming dance. When we got there in the afternoon, it turned out to be a freaking preschool! John 'Bowzer' Bowman of 'Sha Na Na' introduced us... as the rockin' version of the Bobsey Twins. It was humiliating... but a good lesson, as well as a sign of things to come:
1.) The booker, no matter how well-intentioned, is completely full of stool.
2.) Imagine in your mind every bit how great the buyer's told you their venue is. Now, take away the screaming chicks, large stage, competent soundman, soundcheck time, running water, food, private dressing rooms, and toilet facilities they SWEAR are going to be there for you when you arrive. Welcome to the music business.
3.) Never share the stage (follow) 3 things: an animal act (no dancing bears), a child act (no Moppets), and Bowzer.
In the time since we played that fateful first pro gig, the venues have gone up and down and up and down and up (you get my drift) ever since... but my 3 rules as mentioned above still hold true... no matter if we were playing at the Pentagon in Washington for the anniversary of September 11th, or we were playing that gig we were mistakenly booked on at that gay bar in San Francisco this past February (swear to God, this actually happened. More on this later. Probably in my memoirs. But yet another gig I'd like a hypnotist to remove from my memory banks. Amazing how touring mishaps stay the same even after 20 years!). It's all the same stool! God knows I love it though. It keeps making a living at what I love to do exciting. Just a little too exciting some days.
Question: Gunnar, I hear you love to cook, not just for yourself...but for friends and family as well. What is your favorite dish that you like to make? Have you ever thought of coming up with a recipe book of your favorites:
GN Answer: Hmmm... yes, I do love to cook for everyone I love. I'm still learning though... and my entire house, including my kitchen, is currently being remodeled by my contractors. I would in fact love to write a cook book called 'The Best of The Best'. The yummiest of yummy. But that's a task for another day. In the meantime, here's a cookie recipe for you that should show you 'my style'- that is, the way I approach the kitchen:
Chef's note: I happen to be one of the millions of humans who are "allergic" to wheat. I don't get hives or stop breathing and do the floppy-fish-dance or anything… but the effect is staggering. If I eat something made of wheat like a slice of common bread or some pasta, the next morning I look like Marlon Brando… after God Father III. Problem is, I LOVE chocolate chip cookies.
While experimenting with substitutional ingredients that would put a lightly more healthy spin on traditional chocolate chip cookies, I happened upon Kamut flour. Kamut is purportedly the original wheat. Before our modern agricultural techniques mutated the wheat we currently eat into such staples as the Bulgur and Durham variety Italians like so much, Kamut wheat was what Pharaoh was eating when he was trying to figure out what to do with all the damn frogs. It is darker and heartier than its modern counterparts. The challenge is finding it. I recommend health-oriented markets such as Whole Foods and Trader Joes (on the west coast).
There is a bright side to the extra effort: not only are chocolate chip cookies made with Kamut flour truly delicious, they fill you up like nobody's business. I once needed to eat at least a dozen of the standard variety cookies in order to feel like I needed to go belly up on the couch. Now, just one or two of these turbocharged Kamut cookies do the trick. Great taste/more filling= less eaten/slimmer waistlines. You can't lose with this one.
Good Eating, Good Loving, and Good
What to get:
· 2 ¼ Cups
· 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
· 1 Teaspoon Salt
· 1 Cup (2 Sticks) Butter (I prefer Challenge salted), softened BY HAND (see note)*
· ¾ Cup Granulated Sugar
· ¾ Cup Packed Brown Sugar
· 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
· 2 Eggs
· 2 Cups (12-ounce package) Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
· 1 Cup Chopped Walnuts
· 1 Medium- sized
· 1 Large mixing bowl (hopefully part of a stand-type electric mixer)
· Electric mixer
· 1 Large measuring cup
· 1 set of measuring spoons
What to do:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl and set aside.
Beat butter, both kinds of sugar, and vanilla (you can't overdo the vanilla in this recipe) in a large mixing bowl. This is the most fun part for me… you get to be a kid for the moment. Make sure your dirty mitts are clean, and dig right in. Add those two sticks of butter with the sugar and knead away until the butter melts. I swear to you, this makes the cookies taste their best. I've tried cheating by nuking (microwaving) the butter, but the cookies looked like charcoal briquettes when they were done. So, 'nuff said. Use your hands. Only when the butter/sugar mixture is soft warm and gooey, you can use the electric mixer instead of your hands to whip in the two eggs, one at a time.
Be patient, and gradually beat in the flour mixture you've set aside a little at a time with the electric mixer. Once that's all said and done, slowly add the chocolate chips and the walnuts, and beat them like a red-headed stepchild.
Place balls of dough on un-greased, non stick cookie sheets. I use something uniform like a 1/8 cup measuring cup to meter out the cookie dough… but that's just because I'm an A-type Virgo with far too much time on my hands. If you want your cookies to look like cast of Rent, that's your call.
Bake in your preheated oven for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown. Remember, all ovens cook differently… better to be safe than sorry. You can always put undercooked cookies back in the oven… if they're overcooked, oh well. You can always give them to your mother in law. Remember, they'll continue to cook about a minute's worth even after you take them out of the oven.
The dough keeps really well in the fridge too… try baking half now, saving half for later on in the week when you're riveted by that new Corey Feldman movie you just rented from Blockbuster.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies