OUR STRAIGHT MATE, MATT PRICE
What’s a nice hippie boy like you doing in a fluoro pink man-kini???
DNA: You and your partner Jess found fame on The X Factor. Good memories?
Matt Price: There’s nothing like your relationship being thrown into a high-pressure reality TV show to strengthen you as a couple. Flying to London and Abu Dhabi and meeting Simon Cowell was surreal. Then Jarryd James pulled us aside at the ARIAs to thank us for putting Do You Remember back into the charts. It all seems crazy now. We met so many incredible people and we really grew as artists more than we could’ve imagined.
You also formed a great friendship with Chris Isaak, yes?
We connected straight away with Chris even though he wasn’t our mentor. He loved the fact that we were acoustic singer/songwriters and took us under his wing. Now we meet up in places all over the world and call each other friends. We featured on his Christmas record alongside Stevie Nicks, and he featured on our recent Songs From The Village album. He’s well and truly a part of our family. He even offered to sing us down the aisle at our wedding.
Is it just me, or do you actually look like a young Chris Isaak?
Oh, I’ll take that! Jess would be happy you said that because she’s always had a huge thing for Chris. Hopefully I can grow into the strapping silver fox he is today!
Songs From The Village features ’60s protest songs. Does that say something about our current era?
These songs are more relevant than ever. You can feel there’s a huge change coming and you only have to look at the recent marriage equality win to see it. To stand up and fight for what you believe in, and to question the world… these are the songs that encouraged people to use their voice, and it’s important that such messages are kept alive.
What was your experience of last year’s marriage equality debate?
It was very confronting because it gave a voice to a bigotry that I didn’t realise was so prevalent today. The idea of a young person coming to terms with their sexuality while being confronted by such an unnecessary and hurtful debate was sickening and harmful. When Jess and I were in New York recording the album, we sung a passage written by Bob Dylan from The Times They Are A Changin’ to encourage
Australians to vote. The lyrics, “Come senators, congressman please heed the call, don’t stand in the doorway don’t block up the hall… there’s a battle outside and it’s raging, it will soon shake your windows and rattle your walls, for the times they are a changing’”. Says it all!
You both really engaged with it, didn’t you? Yes, we did, publicly. People told us we should stick to music and stay out of politics but, at the end of the day, this was never a political issue – it was basic human rights. This was a point that many, sadly, couldn’t comprehend. The love and support of the community prevailed and I only hope that helps repair some the damage, and that we move forward stronger as a nation.
Do you see a strong connection between human rights and the arts?
The day we stop standing up for human rights is the day we lose our integrity as artists and, ultimately, as human beings.
Do you have gay family members?
Both our aunties are gay, as are many of our closest friends. We saw first-hand the confronting emotions that so many of our loved ones faced. There were happy tears when the result came in, and Mardi Gras was just so beautiful and the energy in the air was electric. It was something we’ll never forget.
Apart from Jess, who is your music diva?
For me, Stevie Nicks is the ultimate diva. The way she joined Fleetwood Mac as the plus-one to her then-boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham, and went on to become one of the most influential artists of our time… She is also super badass with her cameos in American Horror Story.
What about Aretha, who we recently lost? Aretha Franklin was a one-of-a-kind of artist. She empowered and inspired generations of people, both musicians and non-musicians, and that is where the true power of music lies. She was a fierce trailblazer and left a legacy that will live on to inspire others forever, including myself.
Madonna recently turned 60. What do you think of her longevity?
She’s so unique and constantly evolving. I think her fans look up to her for that. That’s the true definition of an artist, and it’s what makes her a legend. I love Vogue!
Taking part in All Together Now must be quite a unique experience?
It’s so different to any other singing show we’ve been a part of and being in the judging seat has been a wonderful new experience. The idea that people are coming from all walks of life to sing their hearts out to entertain us is amazing. $100,000 can change lives and that’s what this show does.
Your team captain is Ronan Keating. Are you a fan of his and Boyzone’s music?
We’ve worked with Ronan a few times now, most recently on Love Child where we appeared in a cameo, and we get along like a house on fire. I’ve always been a tragic sucker for a bit of boy band corry. Er… corry?
Choreography! And Boyzone deliver it in spades. So being a fan is a big yes for me.
Your career is still young but you’ve already had some notable highlights, correct? Absolutely – hanging with Stevie Nicks! To have one of my biggest idols sit down with me and to chat like I was her equal was ridiculous. She gave some amazing advice and even dedicated her song Landslide to us at her concert. That was after seeing us perform on X Factor while she was here touring and watching TV in her hotel room.
You have incredible hair; how do you look after it?
Why thank you! I have a lot of it so I try not to wash it too regularly. The dirtier the better, within reason, of course! I actually need a haircut every two weeks before it gets totally out of hand.
Have you ever had an on-stage wardrobe malfunction?
[Laughs.] Oh, yes! I’ve been on stage and performed an entire show with my fly undone. It wouldn’t have been so noticeable had I not worn skinny white pants with red undies!
On the undies front: fitted boxers, briefs or freeballing?
Briefs! I always sleep nude, but during the day you’ve got to make sure everything’s in place with still enough room to breathe.
Summer’s coming; speedos or boardies? Boardies generally because, no matter how much I train them, I have chicken legs! But I do love a budgie smuggler from time to time when I’m feeling confident, not to mention tanned! In fact, the boys recently put me in a lovely pink fluoro Borat man-kini for my buck’s weekend! Jess fake-tanned my bum because I had a feeling my legs would be out!
Matt and Jess on X Factor.