Artist: Matthew Check
Hometown: Newtown, Pennsylvania
Song: “Old Wooden Floor”
Album: Without a Throne
Release Date: September 30, 2022
In Their Words: “Just the other week on August 17, 2022, I celebrated eight years of sobriety and ‘Old Wooden Floor’ is the first song I’ve ever written exclusively about my life as a drinker before I got sober. Unlike some of my songs where I take liberties with things that have happened to me, or where I might obscure certain details with esoterics, the story in ‘Old Wooden Floor’ is basically an autobiographical recounting of what my daily life was like in the final months of my drinking.
“My alcoholism was progressive. For much of my early adult life, I was able to have fun and handle my affairs well. But by my early 30s the hangovers and blackouts were not only awful, but got seemingly worse with every day, week and month that transpired. I knew on a certain level that I wasn’t in control of my own actions anymore. I’d wake up hungover, promising myself not to drink again, only to repeat the same behavior.
“The lyric in the song, ‘Those neon lights are calling / At the corner liquor store’ is literally about the liquor store on the corner of East 90th Street and Lexington Avenue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, just by my old apartment. And the lyric, ‘Like the sirens in their mystery on some far distant shore / There’s nobody left to tie me down…’ describes how it was for me. No matter how much I wanted to stop drinking, due to events that had transpired on a previous evening (sometimes because I couldn’t even remember what had happened the night before, in fact), I always felt compelled by some indescribable darkness and loneliness inside of me that was comforted by getting drunk.
“Many years later, as a sober musician, I consider myself lucky that spending time around alcohol often doesn’t bother me (that isn’t always the case with some). In the beginning as I was figuring out life without alcohol, it was of course difficult. But once I finally redirected my habits and activities, I found not only that I could play music without drinking, but that I was an even better musician without any alcohol at all. For me this is one of the greatest gifts of sobriety because more than any other thing in the world, I am a musician and a songwriter.” — Matthew Check
Photo Credit: Natia Cinco