Newcastle comedian Matty B is busy on the circuit, having recently released his album Philosophical Bogan and been preparing for solo and group shows. We caught five with the man himself.
Your new album is called Philosophical Bogan – how autobiographical is the title?
The album title is a reflection of a juxtaposition that I often feel in myself. There are many parts of the Australian culture that I think are wonderful but that is also balanced out by a deep concern for where we are heading. The title is autobiographical in the sense that I like to see myself as being accessible to a wide range of people but there are also times when I feel quite isolated.
Without drawing on stereotypes, Newcastle must have its fair share of philosophers and bogans alike?
Ha, no doubt about it. Newcastle has its share of bogans; it’s a place built on mining and rugby league. However, it’s also evolving and growing a strong arts scene as a counterculture to that. I love performing in an environment where there are both coal miners and hipsters and realising that they essentially find the same things funny.
How did you become involved in comedy?
Largely by accident. I was at a comedy club one night and there was a free spot going; my mates thought it would hilarious to watch me humiliate myself. So I jumped up there, absolutely sucked and they had a good laugh. After that experience I thought to myself, “If I actually prepare something, I might be halfway decent at this.”
Apart from your solo sets, you’re part of a show called Three Blokes Telling Jokes – what can you tell us about that?
Three Blokes is a concept that myself and a couple of mates came up with because we really wanted to do a festival show where the emphasis is on the craft of joke writing and telling. A lot of festival shows are themed and rely on narrative and a range of other techniques to structure an hour-long performance. With Three Blokes you get three different comedians and three different styles of stand-up but all of that comes with emphasis being on banging out a lot of punchlines.
What is it about Australians that makes us love to laugh?
Probably because we have a culture of not taking ourselves too seriously. I can perform in Queensland and do my joke where I call them fuckwits, I can perform in Victoria and do my joke where I insinuate they are pretentious, latte-sipping morons and the jokes get the same reaction as when I do them anywhere else. I like that as Australians we put funny before our own self-regard and are willing to laugh at our own flaws.
Catch Philosophical Bogan as part of Sydney Fringe Festival 2014 at Factory Theatre on Wednesday September 24 and Friday September 26, tickets here. Three Blokes Telling Jokes plays at the Factory Theatre on Wednesday September 10 and Friday September 12, tickets here.