Pop tunesmith Matthew Sweet is happy he moved back to his home state of Nebraska five years ago after two sunny decades in Los Angeles. Waiting for the gas man to reignite his furnace’s pilot light, the Lincoln-born, Omaha-based artist was excited to feel that familiar nip in the autumn air. “Because the coolest thing about being in Omaha is the seasons, and I just love winter,” he says. Career-wise, however, everything is simultaneously heating up. Sessions for his 2017 disc “Tomorrow Forever” were so prolific, he released a companion volume, “Tomorrow’s Daughter.” And three catalog classics (“100% Fun,” “Altered Beast” and “Girlfriend”) are being reissued on CD and vinyl, following a star-studded tribute album “Altered Sweet.” He’s also co-headlining tour with Dream Syndicate. “Don’t forget the bronze cats I sell at the merch table!” he adds.
Like your “Tomorrow” series, the latest Dream Syndicate album, “How Did I Find Myself Here?” is a fine return to form.
I really like it, too. But we all love each other, and we share a guitar player for these dates, Jason Victor, so he’s really going to get the spotlight all night at these shows. When I first got out of high school and moved to Athens, Ga., the first thing I saw there, musically, was a Dream Syndicate show in the student lounge, and they were just awesome. Then later on, I met Steve [Wynn] through the R.E.M. guys, so we go way back. But I hadn’t really kept up with him until a couple of years ago, when I started using his guitarist Jason to play lead on my records. It was actually our agent who came up with the idea to put us on a co-bill.
Point being, artists are making some of their best music later in life these days.
You certainly feel rejuvenated. I’m about to turn 54, and the world is really different now, and we can do our thing and make records and tour around, though it’s not like we make a ton of money. That’s the flip side of the internet, after it destroyed the record industry. It’s a great tool for those of us from a long time back to find an audience that still cares. But I’m just happy to be playing, and I’m kind of amazed. When I was a kid, I really admired artists who kept making lots of records, even if there weren’t as many fans around for it.
And in between some clunkers, bands like Cheap Trick would release some masterpieces like “One On One.”
Funny you brought up Cheap Trick. I did a show with them in Florida, and I’m friendly with them from way back. I said, “Hey, I really want to do a record with you. I’ll write a bunch of songs, and Tom (Petersson) can play bass and Rick (Nielsen) can play guitar, and I’ll play drums and sing.” And they were totally into it. But they got bogged down in a Christmas record they were trying to finish, and ended up bailing on it. But then I had Jason play lead on it and I played bass, and it became a full album called “Wicked System of Things” that we’re releasing on Record Store Day, Black Friday.
IF YOU GO
Matthew Sweet, The Dream Syndicate
Where: Fillmore, 1805 Geary Blvd., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Oct. 19
Contact: (415) 346-6000, www.ticketmaster.com