Interview with Matt Simons

"It’s really incredible being behind the wheel, listening to the AMG sound!"

Matt Simons was a guest at the Home of Driving Performance in Affalterbach during his European tour. The program included a ride in current Mercedes-AMG models. We seized the chance to ask him among others your questions!

AMG Private Lounge: Matt, what was the experience like when your music gained such fast popularity in a short amount of time?
Matt Simons: You know, it was surreal honestly. When you hear of overnight success and overnight everything changes … I had that experience where I just woke up one morning and went from having not that many people listening to my music to a whole country listening. And that was the Netherlands. This is where my career really started. 

What kept you grounded during that period of time?
I’ve been grinding it out for a lot of years. I don’t feel like I rose to prominence in music too quickly. I think that’s important. I kind of had the ego beaten out of me for many years. So, when I did find a little bit of success in music, I was really grateful for it.

You have sold-out shows across the globe. What was your favorite road trip from touring?
The first time getting on a bus and driving around Europe was incredible. I had been driving around in cars and vans for so long all over the U.S. Even though there is some kind of a romance to that, creatively, to just be roughing it, being able to just sleep and lie down on a bus for the first time was pretty surreal.

Any place you want to experience, but haven't yet?
I’ve never really experienced Africa. I’ve been to South Africa and played a couple of shows there, but I didn’t get to explore that country or to explore the continent. I think that would be fascinating and interesting to be able to go and visit there.

Who do you look up to most as your idol or mentor, and who do you really want to persuade to work with you in the future?
I look up to any musicians who are still making music into their 60s, 70s or 80s+. Who are still being creative and still writing songs. People like Paul Simon, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder or Bonnie Raitt. All these incredible musicians. They have such a drive. I was always so impressed by that and would love to collaborate with someone like that. That would be a dream come true.

"In Affalterbach I experienced that everyone working there is really passionate and loves AMG cars. I was lucky that I was allowed to be one of them for a while"

What were you looking forward to most for your trip to Affalterbach? And what excited you the most?
I was really looking forward to driving these cars. You hear 650 horsepower, and I had no idea what that felt like. It turned out it felt pretty cool. I try to be safe, but I’m a little bit of an adrenaline junkie. That was definitely exciting!

What was your favorite model from Mercedes-AMG from the test drives, and what cars do you own or want to own?
I had the chance to drive various AMG models. That green Mercedes-AMG GT R was really something special. I took it out on the freeway. The car is so well built, and the handling is so good. I could definitely see myself driving one of those some day.

AMG customers and employees often talk about the AMG spirit. As it was your first time to get in touch with the brand AMG, did you feel that spirit, too?
I definitely felt that AMG spirit, just visiting the factory and meeting everybody. It’s so obvious that everybody is so passionate about what they’re doing, and they love these cars. They work together really well and make this incredible product that people get to enjoy. I feel lucky that I was one of those.

The AMG Driving Academy is often called “The World’s Fastest Family”. While visiting Affalterbach, you had the chance to be part of this family when you were on the race track and during the guided tour. Is the claim for you just a marketing slogan or is it more to you?
The Driving Academy was really fun. “The World’s Fastest Family” could just be a marketing slogan, but by the end of my visit, we kind of became like a little family. Even when we got lost while driving and eventually found our way back – that kind of feels like a metaphor for a family. Like, “I’ll always be there for you waiting if you get lost along the way.”

Do you have a secret desire to be a racing driver for Mercedes-AMG?
I don’t think I have the secret desire, but I do think it’s cool. Even though I like the occasional adrenaline rush, I don’t like to do it all the time. I think I’d get really exhausted. It takes a special person to be a racing driver.

Which AMG persona are you? Extroverted or introverted?
My career requires me to be extroverted so I put that persona out into the world, but I actually think I’m more of an introvert. Deep down I have to try to be an extrovert. It’s not always easy.

You are a musical person. What do you think about the AMG driving sound?
Oh boy, that sound when you put down the gas feels like a jet engine taking off. It’s really incredible. It felt good to be behind the wheel, it felt really powerful. I had a good time with it, and I think it’s a beautiful sound. Maybe I’ll find some way to put it into a song.

"That’s a real road trip kind of vibe when you got a playlist on of all your favorite songs, you've got your friends in the car and everyone knows all the words, everyone is singing along."

What is your favorite artist, song or album to drive to?
I love any song or album that you can sing along to. That’s a real road trip kind of vibe when you got a playlist on of all your favorite songs, you've got your friends in the car and everyone knows all the words, everyone is singing along. I don’t know if I have a specific artist or album. But I would say, put on some tunes from childhood, maybe from the 90s, and get rollin’.

Your plans for the future?
Just keep doing what I’m doing. Keep playing shows, keep making music. There’s no way to tell what that looks like. But all I can do is keep showing up and doing my best.

Freedom for you is...
... the ability to live off of my music, my art. To be able to create and connect with people enough that I get to do what I feel like doing. And that is making more music and putting my message out into the world. And as long as I can keep doing that, I’ll be free.

 

 

What is your favorite artist, song or album to drive your Mercedes-AMG to? Let us know in the forum here!

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The AMG Experience is all about unbridled driving pleasure, a bespoke lifestyle and the raw essence of motorsport. We traverse scenic coastal routes and take on the majestic peaks of Europe. We delve into the pulsing heart of the most vibrant cities. While in Swedish Lapland, AMG performance reaches its zenith. Whether you're a racetrack newcomer or a seasoned expert, or whether brief escapades or luxurious expeditions are more your game, we've got you covered with a diverse range of courses and events.

Kraftstoffverbrauch kombiniert: 13.2 - 12.8 l/100 km | CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 300 - 290 g/km | Emissionsangabe [1,2]

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