Reason To Bleed

Reason To Bleed by Steven Bush

A story about taking risks and living with the consequences, Austin singer-songwriter Matt McCloskey, wrestles with the dark reality of self doubt and fear through a year long struggle to release his 3rd album, The Hard Rains.


Everyone bleeds. But artists bleed in a unique way. Hemingway understood this well when he wrote: “There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at the typewriter and bleed.” But why endure the pain of creating? An artist must have his reason. Steven Bush’s documentary short film "Reason to Bleed" tells the story of Matt McCloskey, a singer-songwriter from Austin, Texas, and the discovery of his reason to bleed.

In an early scene, Matt McCloskey sits on his back porch and tells his story with brutal honesty. In January 2010, Matt explains, he released "Let It Burn", his second record. It was enthusiastically received and he experienced the euphoria of success. But when the enthusiasm dwindled, so did the euphoria, leaving Matt in an artistic lull that bred depression and anger. After a conversation with his father, Matt realized that his depression and anger was rooted in his need for success, which adulterated his original love for music and creating. Acknowledgment of this tainted view of art led him to write "The Hard Rains", a record he loved and was tremendously proud of. But fear of how the record would be received drove him to shelve it for a year. Matt’s decision to release this record did not come easy.

"Reason to Bleed" focuses on the time leading up to the release of "The Hard Rains". The camera follows Matt as he navigates his busy daily life as a father of three beautiful children, a husband to a loving wife, an owner of a successful web design business, and a singer-songwriter in the Live Music Capital of the World, a city teeming with artists searching for their reasons to bleed.