XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Matt: We are really excited to have released the second single of our debut record “Foundations” called Hells Never Over. We made a video for it and it has been received really well!
XS ROCK: So how long has the band been together?
Matt: Mark and I began working on this in September 2017. We have been trying to get freed up to work and it finally happened. Been grinding ever since.
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for originally starting or being in a band?
Matt: Being a musician or “being in a band” is really something that chooses you. It is an all-inclusive time-consuming life choice, to be honest. Its an inner drive type of dynamic. XS ROCK: What is your music background? I have studied music since I was 5. Piano first, then Saxophone, Jazz studies where I actually discovered my love of playing Bass. XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys? We hope we are conveying a positive message that is centered around the idea of finding your inner strength. It’s about overcoming obstacles, reaching goals and standing tall.
XS ROCK: What are your current music career goals?
Matt: We focus on one goal. Everything we do is to achieve this. We see a place in the music industry for us and our music and message and we will continue to push till we succeed!
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer?
Matt: Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience? Writing and recording is its own energy. It’s more of a marathon versus the live show which is a sprint. Studio sessions are amazing as the songs come together, the ideas flow and inspiration comes. Live is all adrenaline. We have a high energy show. Lots of movement, interaction and old school metal throwdowns. Nothing really compares to that.
XS ROCK: What are your songs’ lyrics about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Matt: Lyrics come from Mark’s life experiences. From the battlefield to the streets and back. he has seen and done some truly amazing things and his view is unique.
XS ROCK: What is the single most important thing to you as a musician?
Matt: Tacos…. and people who never forget where they come from.
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? I
Matt: Yes…. But I had to sign paperwork so…. yeah….
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Matt: I’m pretty strange myself so nothing really shocked me. Fans are people. What they really want is interaction and that is never a problem.
XS ROCK: Are your friends and family supportive of your choice to play in a rock band?
Matt: Absolutely! My family is extremely supportive of the arts so this was a win for sure! XS ROCK: What advice do you have for new bands trying to get started? Research Research Research …. have a plan and work with like-minded people.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Matt: I don’t have favorites. It’s really all about the energy in the room at that particular moment. Songs that you thought were so-so can go off live and you’re left like.. WOW that was crazy.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform?
Matt: So many… Early back as a kid.. iron Maiden Shows… Anthrax, Testament, Metallica… probably the biggest ones as a kid. Now there are new options. What I really look for no matter what the style, I just want to see a great performance.
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Matt: That’s a tough one!!! .. I would like to see it back to no more than 4 bands. Like it used to be. 4 heavy hitters on a big stage with full production. I think this way fans would get more shows coming through and we could match them up a bit more. A dream tour is more about having space on stage for every band to perform and be able to move around than “who” it is. There are so many great bands out touring right now we could do this all night!
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Matt: Without question. Learning to be selfless instead of selfish. Empathy, compassion, and love. Changed my life. When life removed the negative it made room for a new way of living. through pain, we grow. Sounds corny but it is real.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Matt: Long list there!!!.. I was an Auto mechanic for 12 years, a Teacher for 6 and then the band thing got successful. I have remodeled and flipped houses a bit and now I own and operate a Tattoo Shop called My religion Tattoo here in Reno.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Matt: Depends on the shows. I always play Ibanez Guitars with Rotosound strings. That has never changed. Live I use Mesa Boogie Titan V12 amps through vintage Boogie Bass cabs. I also use a Sans-amp for the In-ear rig I built so I can split signals between the front of the house and the monitor board we travel with. Monitor board is Allen and Heath QU16 through Shure wireless receivers. I use Line 6 Digital wireless for the basses.
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Matt: It’s a really great time for rock and metal. The tours are going, tons of great albums coming out and the fans are there. There seems to be a misconception that Rock/metal is dead but if you look at bands like Disturbed-Slipknot-Shinedown-5FDP-Iron Maiden – Slayer… I mean they’re killing it. Fake news that’s the scene is dead!
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Matt: Maybe that I am a board member of ACON(the Autism Coalition of Nevada) and I routinely testify for legislation at the state level for the special needs community. We run fundraisers from the shop. I have a daughter who has a diagnosis of Autism. REAL Autism. Not the version you see on TV. So it’s very personal to me.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Matt: Please check us out on youtube and watch our videos. Of Course, follow us on social media and if you like to take a minute to message us. We DO respond and enjoy it!
XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS ROCK!
Matt: Really… THANK YOU!!!!!!
Unveil The Strength is:
Photo Credit: Fred Morledge