Tag Archives: The Clash

Play like there’s 5,000 people: an interview with Matt Groopie

Check out King Beez and Matt Groopie and The Bandits

Check out King Beez and Matt Groopie and The Bandits

Matt Groopie is a Canadian artist in both King Beez and Matt Groopie and The Bandits. He discusses both bands (click the picture to visit Matt’s site), some tips for touring, and the six albums he would replace first if his music collection were ever wiped out.

You’re in King Beez and Matt Groopie and The Bandits. Tell us about each band.
King Beez is a metal-influenced, mostly instrumental surf-punk band. We have made a self titled full length album as well as an EP entitled Deathproof Vol. 1 which came out last October and is available on iTunes.  We have a new EP coming out at the end of May as well as Deathproof Vol. 2 in September. We have been a band since 2007. We have taken a bit of a break but have the Tour to Conquer Cancer April 19, 20 and 21 in support of our bassists Ride to Conquer cancer. We have lots of dates in June and over the summer all around Ontario and Quebec including festivals in Toronto, Ottawa and Newmarket with more large scale gigs being added daily in support of our upcoming EP. We will hit the road again in October in support of our Deathproof 2 album.
The Bandits are an acoustic country-influenced folk act. Originally we were a full electric band and released an EP and even had a top 20 hit “Wrapped around your finger” in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We are currently working on a new album with the new sound and lineup. We have been playing lots of shows and they’ve been going great and we’ve been getting a fantastic response. We also won a battle of the bands in Newmarket, Ontario a few weeks back. We have some big festival gigs coming up in Schomberg and Richmond Hill as well as club dates all around Canada throughout 2013.
You’ve played more than 2000 shows across Canada. What is the best advice you can give about touring?
The best advice I can give about touring is strategically planning things is important. Also, always make sure your vehicle is working properly before you leave. Another thing to keep in mind is saving money. Bring a cooler and buy groceries as opposed to eating fast food. Another way to save money is having places to stay as opposed to renting a motel. Also, if your gig is more than three hours away, it pays to do more than one gig. Maybe do one on the way, and the way home. Always have backup cash. You never know what’s going to happen out there on the road. Always have someone watching the gear. ALWAYS. Also, touring is tiring so working out a bit plus water and vitamins are important. Most important, always play good and be positive and professional, even if there’s 5 people. Those five people paid to see you. Play like there’s 5000 people. One fan at a time.
What’s your ritual before going on stage?
Before I go on stage I like to get some air and drink a glass of water. Clear my mind and focus 100 percent on my performance and role in the band.
If your music collection gets wiped out, what are the first five albums you replace? Why?
1. Ramones - (self-titled)
They are the best band. Ever. And I learned how to play the guitar playing to this record every day. The Ramones were so pure and exciting. Great riffs and amazing lyrics. Simple, fun and real.
2. Roky Erickson – The Evil One

This album contains some of the greatest guitar riffs ever, as well as some strange lyrics and themes. It’s interesting and entertaining as well as down right scary. A definite nugget worth finding.

3. Flying Burrito Brothers – Anthology

The Burrito Brothers wrote some of the greatest country rock music in history. Featuring some of the greatest harmonies ever recorded, Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman came together to create a band that were totally ahead of their time. I also love the pedal steel played by Sneaky Pete. I am a big fan of Gram Parsons, who also shares a birthday with me. Chris Hillman is also an extremely impressive and versatile musician. He was also great in the Byrds.
4. The Clash – London Calling
Joe Strummer’s finest moment. I love Joe. Great drumming from Topper Headon who proves you can play punk and still have good chops. Jonsey and Simo added lots of layers artistically. It’s really just a perfect album. Great lyrics and variety of styles. No fear.
5. The Doors – (self-titled)
The greatest debut record from a band. They were totally ahead of their time and extremely dark for the times. Ray’s organ is very interesting and menacing but at the same time beautiful. Robby Krieger is also awesome. Lots of surf and foreign influences. John Densmore was an underrated and innovative drummer as well. Not a crappy song on the album.
6. BONUS ALBUM (because I said so)
Frank Zappa – Overnight Sensation
Why? Because Frank Zappa was the MAN! A true genius and extremely smart and entertaining.

What would you be doing if you weren’t making music?

I’m really interested in film and am actually in pre-production for a documentary I’m doing about the Toronto Surf Scene. I run a podcast on indieroundtable.com which is also fun and rewarding as I get to hear lots of great music. I am deeply into environmental and human rights issues and I have a twitter for that at @TomorrowTodayCa . I do a lot of charity events and lately have been working with the Lupus foundation. Also, I always wanted to manage the Toronto Blue Jays.

Follow Matt on Twitter (@mattgroopie)

Take ‘Er Easy Thursday: King Django

Dudeism laid down to an easy ska melody

Dudeism laid down to an easy ska melody

Yes, I know “Career Opportunities” is a song by The Clash, but I thought I’d present a version of this song that you’re less familiar with. Last week, I featured a song that I think is a fist-pumping anthem for Dudeists everywhere. This song frankly is  an encapsulation of all things Dudeist set to a laid-back ska melody. Frankly, it’s almost like The Clash envisioned The Dude before the Coen brothers did. I should mention that King Django (from New York) modified the lyrics to suit his time and place.

The offered me the office, offered me the shop
They said I’d better take anything they’d got
Do you wanna make coffee at NBC?
Do you wanna be, do you really wanna be a cop?

Career opportunities, the ones that never knock.

I hate the army an’ I hate the Marines.
I don’t wanna go fighting in the desert heat.
I hate the civil service too
And I won’t open anthrax letters for you.

They’re gonna have to introduce conscription
They’re gonna have to take away my prescription
If they wanna get me making toys
If they wanna get me, well, I got no choice

See what I mean about this being an encapsulation of the Dudeist ethos? Do you really want to be a cop, you know, like the fascist The Dude encountered in Malibu. He hates the army and Marines and won’t go to fight in the desert heat, so he is clearly a pacifist like The Dude. Furthermore, The Dude just isn’t looking for any career opportunities, and I have to give props to anyone who falls into that category.

Ska Saturday: Pocket Billiards

A ska sampler platter from Belfast

One of the things I enjoy most about doing this is exploring how music spreads throughout the world. Ska obviously has its origins in Jamaica, but has spread throughout the world to places like Belfast. And yeah, maybe I’ve been around the block a time or two, but I still think it’s cool to have a music find like this one.

Pocket Billiards is an interesting ska band because it’s a bit of a sampler platter. At times, this band reminds me of Madness, Fishbone, Mustard Plug, even The Clash (especially in “Panic”). More than that though, this band still weaves some of the roots of ska into its music (just listen to the horns and guitar in “So Many People, So Little Time”). Plus, check out Robot Repeat. Doesn’t the intro remind you a bit of “Guns of Navarone” by Skatalites?

Ska fans of all stripes should enjoy this band because let’s face it. This band will get you skankin’ in your living room (or wherever you may be). And isn’t that what you want from a ska band? Click the picture to hear Last Chance to Dance! in its entirety.