Point of Brew: Matt Burton


A coffee break with Matt Burton of Elder (vocals and guitar).

How do you take your coffee?

I usually take my coffee black. I really like pour overs and batch brews only because you still get the strength without the weird acidity and lack of consistency that you get with espresso.

Is there any foodstuff or beverage that you relate to the most?

I think I relate to one vegetable: eggplant. I love eggplant so much it’s just so beautiful! It’s cost-friendly but also a wine and dine vegetable, if you will. It’s versatile, you can make veggie lasagne, bakes and eggplant curry. It’s the best.

Is there any period in history that you find the most interesting or take inspiration from for your work?

The beatnik generation. Jack Kerouac – fucking love that dude! My favourite book of all time is The Dharma Bums by Kerouac. Allen Ginsberg too. I bought a fish the other day and named him Allen.

Is there any period in your own life that you take inspiration or lessons from?

Moments I have alone are very important to me. A lot of us spend a lot of time out, surrounded by others and friends but those moments that you spend by yourself, things like riding your bike and finding your own space, are really healthy. I find it’s important to be able to think about your own thoughts and compress them and decompress them again and validate what you feel, without the influence of what others think.

What are you flogging right now?

I’ve always really loved small, non-binary or female bands from the US. Bands likes Sales and Florist are pretty much my staples.

Apart from music, what do you like to create?

I paint watercolours with friends of mine! Painting for me is really a way to relax. If a friend is messaging me and sounding a bit overwhelmed by life I’ll just be like, “Alright, come over, we’ll have some tea, paint some watercolours, chill out and it’ll be fine!”

What sort of mental or physical state are you in when you do your best work?

I seem to do things kind of impulsively. I wrote and recorded the Fen EP in one day. Everything was recorded in one take and that was it. I didn’t even write down lyrics. I just improv’d the words, did the take, and then packed up the tracks and I was done. I really like just getting stuff done and I’m not too fussed on a lot of refinement. I like going with my emotional flow, I guess.

What’s the weirdest dream you’ve ever had?

I was in my fishbowl, but my fishbowl was the whole world. I wasn’t a fish or anything, it was just me in water and the only thing that existed other than me was the bowl surrounded by white walls. So whack. I was like “Where is my fish? Why am I in water? What is going on?!”

What are you watching/reading at the moment?

How Children Fail by John Holt, which is about teaching and schools, and students’ relationships with their educators and those institutions. I think it’s really interesting because the way you are taught in schools really shapes who you are as a person. While I’m reading this, I’m reminded of how in Australia we have a long way to go in terms of our education system and how kids are taught.

If you could sit down and have coffee with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

Any other small-scale artist from Brisbane or elsewhere that I know of but have never had the chance to sit down and talk to. I have a fascination with artists who are amazing but haven’t broken through yet. Also, Emily Sprague from Florist.