MEET THE COLLECTIVE: MATT

Ten of Clubs Collective: MattSup! We're an independent design collective of alternative music fans. Making sweet threads for alt rockers and metalheads since 2021.

Here's where we introduce you to our brilliant team: the TEN OF CLUBS COLLECTIVE.

Next to be interrogated is our chief organiser, bearded bad uncle and bloody nice chap, Matt. For near-death experiences, bird-based superstitions, giant spiders and a whiff of Dettol, read on!

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Please introduce yourself.

I’m Matt. I manage operations and logistics here at TEN OF CLUBS.

I do the nitty-gritty jobs that keep this show on the road: ordering supplies, paying bills, managing inventory and shipping, making sure the website works.

If it involves design or creativity, someone else does it. But I do write most of our Pulitzer Prize-worthy blog articles. If it's hideously over-punctuated, I probably wrote it. 

How old are you?

I know I'm the oldest here, but thank you for mentioning it again. I am approaching 40. Sadly, from the wrong direction.

Think of me less as a father figure and more as a bad uncle.

How did you come to be part of TEN OF CLUBS?

Skev asked me to be involved. He's my best mate, so I said yes.

Matt and Skev

Do you work anywhere else?

I am happy to say no, other than the occasional shift behind the bar of our local pub. Most of us have worked there at some time or other: Skev, Rosie, Romany, and now me.

What’s the best way to start the day?

A cup of coffee, a cigarette, and a satisfying bowel movement. The holy trinity.

What is your favourite drink?

If we’re talking booze, Guinness is like mother’s milk to me. I also drink way too much coffee.

Barcode Tee 100% cotton graphic t-shirtWhat’s your favourite smell?

Odd question. I like antiseptic smells, for whatever reason: TCP, Dettol, Milton Sterilising Fluid.

What TV shows are you into?

I don’t watch much television. I prefer movies. I do like Rick & Morty and I loved Breaking Bad. I binge-watched all 5 seasons in a week when I had Covid.

My all-time favourite TV show is a batshit bonkers one from the '60s called The Prisoner. It's very weird, very trippy, very British.

The Prisoner TV show

What quirks or peculiar habits do you have?

I talk to myself a lot and tend to thank machines for doing their job. Like, I'll thank the toaster for toasting the bread. Even machines need encouragement.

I also have to salute solitary magpies, or something bad will happen. I have a similar ritual for crows.

What skill would you like to master?

Life.

What movie title best describes your life?

A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Which city would you most like to live in?

I don’t want to live in a city. I’ve lived in cities – Cardiff and Nottingham – when I was at uni. I’ve scratched that itch. I like the village I live in now.

But if you’re forcing me to move, I’ll pick Edinburgh. It’s a beautiful place and I have happy memories there.

What would you rate 10 out of 10?

Eggs Benedict. A taste sensation.

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What’s the most interesting place you’ve been to?

Before TEN OF CLUBS I had a job that sent me all over the world. I got to visit plenty of fascinating countries, and more than a few shitholes.

The most interesting was visiting the North Korean border. I was in South Korea, obviously, and got to visit the ominously-named Third Tunnel of Aggression.

It's one of the secret tunnels the North dug under the Demilitarised Zone in the hope of making a surprise attack on the South. That was very cool.

I wasn't on a secret mission; it’s open to the public. The South Koreans have made it into a tourist attraction. The tunnel’s about 250ft underground and about a mile long. It’s just wide enough for two people to pass each other.

You can walk most of it's length. You eventually come to a block wall, or you’d end up in North Korea, at which point you turn around and walk back again. It is more exciting than I’ve made it sound.

What’s the luckiest thing that’s happened to you?

I’ve had a few close scrapes with death and have somehow not died, nor been injured, so I guess they were each lucky in their own life-threatening way.

I had to be rescued from a flat I lived in in Nottingham when the bed shop downstairs went up in flames. There was only one way out and, unfortunately, it was already on fire by the time I smelt smoke. 

A friendly fireman eventually got me out via a very narrow first-floor window. It was an interesting experience.

I’m actually very calm in potentially fatal situations, because I’m typically slow to realise I’m in any danger.

What’s your proudest achievement?

That I’m still alive.

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What’s the best book or series you’ve ever read?

I’ve read all the Sherlock Holmes stories many times. I love Victoriana and gothic stuff. And Holmes appeals to my coldly rational mind.

If you haven’t read them, treat yourself. Maybe skip the novels, except The Hound of The Baskervilles, but the short stories are all brilliant.

What’s something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?

I don't know. Have a multi-faith orgy? Let all the religions of the world come together.

Do whatever makes you happy, so long as you don't hurt anyone else. Aristotle said, 'Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life.' Who am I to disagree?

When you can’t decide what to listen to, who’s your go-to artist or band?

Tame Impala. Kevin Parker is a genius. He’s a musical magpie – I should probably salute him – taking ideas from here, there, and everywhere. It's an overused term, but ‘Currents’ is a masterpiece.

‘Let it Happen’ is my all-time favourite song. It speaks to me like no other song ever has, and touches me in my most intimate of regions.

What's guaranteed to annoy you?

Many, many things. Beneath this mild-mannered exterior I’m a seething ball of barely contained rage. 

People talking over me grinds my gears. When I’ve finished making my point, I’ll leave a pause. Then it’s your turn. So many people seem to think conversation is just a monologue with an audience.

But what really boils my piss is when people say they're speaking their truth. Not the truth, but their truth. God I hate that. What they actually mean is they're just gonna give you their half-arsed, ill-considered opinion.

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What irrational fears or phobias do you have?

I hate spiders, particularly the giant, bird-eating ones that keep invading my home. When I was in Australia, I saw a Huntsman spider that was ludicrously massive. Vile.

What’s something you will never do again?

Drink tequila. Next.

Which of your scars has the best story behind it?

I don’t have any scars, apart from a chickenpox scar on my fivehead. It tells the story of where my fringe used to be, before I went bald.

What’s the dumbest thing you’ve done that turned out pretty well?

I’ve done a lot of dumb things. Not dumb in a way that’s actually cool, just dumb. Poor life choices. Unwise romantic entanglements. Trusting the wrong people. The usual.

But all my dumb decisions have led me here, and now I get to work with my best mate and a group of incredibly talented and lovely people. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Taking the long view, all of the many dumb things I’ve done have cumulatively turned out pretty well.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

No, that’s more than enough. I’ve been reluctant to share this much.

But I would like to thank everyone that’s helped and supported us so far, especially everyone that’s bought from us. You are all beautiful humans. Thank you.

November 2023

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Ten of Clubs Collective: SkevTen of Clubs Collective: CharlieTen of Clubs Collective: RosieTen of Clubs Collective: RomanyTen of Clubs Collective: TylerTen of Clubs Collective: Jordan
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