|Matt Groopie and the Bandits|
March 16 2012 – We are very excited that Slacker Canadian Music Week (CMW) 2012 is coming to Toronto from March 21st to the 25th. CMW is a music festival, conference, exhibition, and even a film festival all rolled into one. It is also billed as “Canada’s Largest Music Festival” and aims to bring exposure to Canadian music of all genres and in general to support the Canadian music industry. Over 900 artists from 40 countries in 60 venues converge for 5 nights in Toronto and this puts us on the map in terms of large artistic and creative gatherings. Having just come back from the fabled South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, we are very pleased that Toronto will host CMW and we are certain that CMW will grow in both number of attendees and stature in the music industry (much like Toronto’s International Film Festival has).
We weeded through all the bands bios found here and narrowed it down to the ones that were of interest to us musically. From there we quickly listened to a sample of their songs found on the same page and were left with a handful of bands that we were interested in finding out more about. We approached those bands and offered them to appear on our Emerging Artist Spotlight feature. Our first two CMW spotlights featured TimeGiant from Toronto and Grain from Edmonton. We now set our focus on yet another band from the Toronto area named Matt Groopie and the Bandits. All bands are asked similar questions to each other so we can get to know them better.The description on their CMW page reads:
Matt Groopie is a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/dj and producer from Thornhill Ontario Canada. At the young age of 25 he has already released 9 records as an indie artist and sold over 10,000 copies off the side of the stage, was featured in a documentary at TIFF 2009 as well as having songs being featured in upcoming tv and movie project’s, has appeared on radio and television countless times, and is currently enjoying radio play with his newest single “Teenage Love Affair” featuring The Bandits. He has toured and played over 1500 shows in Canada and is currently working on a multi-dimensional record which will feature lots of guests and sounds. It is set to be released in 2012.
Here is what Matt had to say to us:
1. Hey Matt, thanks for taking the time out to talk to us. Let’s start off with the obligatory introductions. Who’s in the band and what instrument does everyone rock?
MG: I (Matt Groopie) play the guitar, harmonica and sing lead, as well I have Adam Bandit on guitar and backing vocals, Magic Mike Crombey on bass and backing vocals, and Johnny Irwin on the drums. I have decided for our next record though i will be trying to focusing on playing some other instruments such as harmonica, banjo, organ and piano.
2. We found you as we were searching through the mountain of artists being featured at the 2012 Canada Music Week. How important is CMW for bands fighting to get noticed and the exposure you can gain from it?
MG: I feel events such as CMW are a good way to meet some cool people and an excuse to rock out. These days, it is easy to gain exposure if you work really hard at it through online resources and word of mouth. But conferences like CMW do not hurt, at all. I don’t feel like I’m fighting with anyone, either. I don’t feel like I am competing. I write my songs, make my records, play my shows, and if it connects with someone in a REAL way then that’s good by me. It’s about playing music and writing songs for me.
3. Not sure if you read the recent interview with Dave Grohl on Billboard, but the interview title was “Why Rock Will Never Die & Why 2011 Was His Best Year Ever”. So tell us your thoughts – Why do you believe rock will never die?
MG: Rock and roll will never die because people care deeply about it. The numbers seem to be less and less all the time, but it’s almost like a religion, at least for me. Music is a wonderful and magical thing. The only language anyone can understand. Probably the first language ever. There’s something you get from a rock and roll song you just can’t get anywhere else. Maybe the fact that you can’t put your finger on it is what makes it great ;)
4. Why will 2012 be your best year ever?
MG: 2012 will be my best year ever because after 10+ years of experiences i finally feel like I am READY and emotionally capable of a) Handling being a full time musician and b) Writing a good song – things come with time and especially with music, it’s a total learning curve. Trial and error, you have to go through some stuff to fully UNDERSTAND what you’re doing and why you are doing it. I am at that point. I feel like I “GET IT”. Regardless of anything that might happen, I will always make the records I want to make even if I have to continue to pay for everything myself for the next 30 years or however long I want to do this. I don’t rely on anyone and any good fortune or good luck I’ve been lucky to have has come naturally, without me forcing a hand. It’s about playing music. So I have already achieved my dream. Anything else is just a bonus at this point.
5. Imagine each of you were the guitarist/drummer/bassist/vocalist in another band. Would that band be: Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath or Nickelback and why?
MG: Johnny is definitely John Bonham from Led Zeppelin because of the backbeat. Adam would be somewhere between David Gilmour and Jimmy Page (not too shabby), he plays these very big notes like Gilmour, but can riff out like Page. Mike would be Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath. A total bottom riff master. And as for me, I’d compare my vocal abilities to Roger Waters (not the greatest singer) and my playing to all the guitarists listed (Tony Iommi, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour) minus Nickelback. This is because all those guys had a profound influence on my playing. Nickelback, not so much ;)
|Matt Groopie and the Bandits|
6. What is the future of the music industry? With the concept of the album and physical CD’s facing extinction, how will we be consuming music in 10 years? Are the economics feasible for emerging artists?
MG: I can’t speak for the future of the music industry. There will always be music. That much I know. I feel it’s been reversed kind of like it was in the 50s. Singles. Payola. The Glitz. The Glamour. Bells. Whistles. Haircuts. Oufits. Scandals. It depends what happens with the internet. I think file sharing is important. It’s like an online library. Oh right, they’re trying to close REAL libraries. I wouldn’t know half the stuff i do if i wasn’t able to go to the public library and borrow some stuff when i was a kid. I made tapes of those albums and I still have them. The Clash, The Pogues, Elvis (Presley and Costello), etc… I just want people to enjoy music. And to care about it. The industry blew it by not using the internet to their advantage. Now they’re trying to catch up. In 10 years, i will still be listening to my vinyl records. As far as emerging artists, it will be hard. Guys i know that are NOT emerging artists still work day jobs. They have toured the world with huge bands, to then come back and work as a busboy or store clerk. But hell, most of the bands I love never sold many records, so I really have no expectations other than I’m going to keep making records, doing gigs and being a music fan. I hope in 10 years there are some enjoyable things coming out because right now it feels pretty synthetic all around.
7. How long has the band been around, and how did you guys get started?
MG: I have personally been writing songs and playing in bands since i was 12 years old (I’m now 25). This lineup of the Bandits I have behind me has been together for over 2 years. A great group of guys who really know how to play their instruments.
8. Where can people get your music/CD, is it being sold anywhere?
MG: Our stuff will be available on iTunes in the future, not as of yet.
9. At the end of 2011 we did our picks for top 10 albums of 2011. What albums did we miss on our list, or how would your top 10 list differ from ours?
MG: Albums you missed: Booker T. Jones – The Road from Memphis , Steve Earle – I’ll Never Make it out of here alive, Ramble at the Ryman by Levon Helm Band, and Low Country Blues by Gregg Allman.
10. Any closing remarks for our readers?
MG: I’d just like to say for all info check out MATTGROOPIE.COM and I hope to see you all at the Underground Garage , Toronto on SATURDAY MARCH 24 at 9pm SHARP for our CMW Showcase! . Also, please do what you can to not pollute the environment. Little actions go a long way. It’s important we all start respecting the Earth. She’s ALL our mother ;)
Thanks so much to Matt Groopie and The Bandits. We hope that you can see them live. They are playing Toronto’s Underground Garage on Saturday March 24th for Canada Music Week. The band’s website is here and as you would expect they are on Twitter and Facebook. In the meantime check out their video below from YouTube.