WeirdMusic.net EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
[ Matt - photo by Paul LaRaia ]
WEIRDMUSIC.net MAGAZINE - MATTY AMENDOLA EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW:
- Do you Like/Write Weird Music ?
I do like weird music. I never thought I wrote weird music until I started releasing solo
material and everyone told me it was kind of weird. I think I'm on to something though...
If you break down my chord progressions and melodies, it's pretty dark and "out there"
but my lyrics are usually about love... Or talking to trees.
- When and where did your experience in music start ?
My father was a successful musician. 3 top 10 billboard hits in the 70's with his band
Mantus and he played drums on a lot of hits later on so I was doomed. I was banging on
drums in my high chair and as I got older I started playing guitar and bass and training
- What are you currently working on and what are your plans for the rest of the year ?
Since starting the indie label 825 Records, I've been producing every artist on the roster
, I've kept up my career as a session musician, and I'm also recording my 3rd solo
album "The Wind Internment." On the 825 side I'm currently in the middle of producing,
co-writing, and playing on 5 records which will all be coming out mid 2011. We also just
released Grammy Award Winning Toni Rose's debut EP which I produced and co-wrote.
I just finished a 50+ song soundtrack on drums for hire for a new broadway play with an
amazing band consisting of some studio legends! Hugh McCracken, Leslie West,
George Small, and Will Lee just to name a few. It's amazing being in the studio with
As for "The Wind Internment," I'm just taking my time. I put out my first 2 records less
than a year apart, so I'm really focusing on the songs on this one as well as the exact
sound that I want.
- What do you consider your greatest inspirational sources in music ?
Life. Every sound is a feeling, every lyric is a vision.
- Best Song Ever ?
Wow you guys have asked the hardest question ever! But I'm going for it: "No Rain" by
Blind Melon... How's that? :)
- Please describe your personal studio for us...
My project studio which was started by my father and then turned into the 825 Records
facility is about 10 minutes from my apartment and it's hard to pull me out of there. It's
the ideal spot for any singer/songwriter. I record about 95% of my artists there, I do a lot
of drum FTP tracks for people, and I'm constantly buying new gear. We have a great
setup and it's only getting better. Grammy Award Winning engineer Butch Jones works
down there with me.
- Do You Like Your Voice On Your Answering Machine ?
No because it reminds me how much of an asshole I am. I don't like when people don't
answer my calls so you'll probably never hear a happy message from me. Picture some
kid with a thick brooklyn accent cursing you out for not answering your phone. Who likes
- What are your favorite readings ?
I've never been a fiction kind of guy but since my girlfriend has gotten me some fiction,
it's definitely helped with my songwriting. I usually read books about the human
condition and the mind.
- Are you religious ?
God is karma.
- What is your best physical attribute ?
What magazine is this interview again for? I'll keep this PG... My hair? :)
- Do you have a secret talent and what is it ?
I do magic. Take me to dinner, ill show you.
- 3 things you cannot live without ?
Love, a guitar, and my iphone.
- Huh ?
I really hope my generation smartens up... Sorry but your all a bunch of morons.
- Anything else ?
Thank you weird music.net for letting me be weird. You're pretty.
PRODUCER/ARTIST - MATTY AMENDOLA LINKS:
=ecstasy (2008) - http://www.myspace.com/mattyamendola/music/albums/ecstasy-15079007
Life Commercials (2009) - http://www.myspace.com/mattyamendola/music/albums/life-commercials-15078998
Matt - photo by Paul LaRaia
In today’s stagnant, ringtone-fueled, television-driven music industry, Matty
Amendola is a breath of fresh air. Talented, versatile, determined fresh air.
Matty has been playing drums professionally since the age of 13, has recorded
on a countless amount of albums, released two of his own and has quickly
become a recognized name as a producer and songwriter. Last January, he
started the independent record label, 825 Records, turning out material from a
wide-ranging roster of artists. With Matty’s music reaching the masses
internationally, he is showing no signs of slowing down.
A Brooklyn native, Matty has been making big moves and is being recognized for
his work in the New York City and national music scenes. Don’t let his young
looks fool you – this experienced musician started on drums at age five, and
within a few short years he was sneaking into bars and clubs to sit in with as
many musicians as possible. As a teenager, Matty started working as a musician
for hire, making his mark performing on major television shows, national tours
and studio work with some legendary heavy hitters.
Encouraged by his father, Billy Amendola, who had three Billboard Top 10 hits
with his band Mantus in the 1970s, Matty developed his talents beyond the drum
set, deciding to pick up a guitar and write his own music. "I've always been the
band member with a lot of concepts, ideas and direction,” says Matty. “I knew
sitting behind the drum kit and humming out my ideas was not enough. I needed
to be a step ahead of everyone."
By age 13, Matty was playing with a variety of bands, opening up for larger acts
in nearly every small venue in New York City. Throughout high school, Matty
worked as a drummer for hire for studio work and live shows. He also started
running his father’s studio, helping young talent by producing their music and
giving them a professional, marketable product.
Matty was beginning his undergraduate music education when he embarked on a
22-city tour for “Jump,” a dance competition covered by Nickelodeon. He worked
with well-known dancers and choreographers, including Laurie Kanyok (Movin’
Out, Come Fly Away), Dee Caspary (Justin Timberlake) and AJ Russo (Cirque
du Soleil). Matty played drums and was later named musical director of the
show, performing at such world-renowned venues as the Supper Club and Radio
City Music Hall.
Through his extensive touring, Matty quickly became a well-known drummer
within the industry for his hard-hitting rock/funk style. He became a Pearl Drums
endorser and appeared in advertisements for the Pearl Vision Series drum kit in
every drum magazine in the United States. “I was on tour, playing with a dozen
local bands and producing artists,” says Matty. “But I needed to release a solo
project. My songs, my outlook and my life.”
Matty funded and released =Ecstasy on his own. “It was a total experiment for
me,” he recalls. “I wanted something that both musicians and commercial radio
listeners would dig. I’ve learned that’s a very difficult dynamic to capture, but
every day is a learning process.” =Ecstasy successfully combined Matty’s multitalented
musicianship with catchy pop hooks, creating a unique sound and vibe
all his own.
A short year later, Matty released his sophomore album, Life Commercials, a
unique blend of funky drums and bass, scorching rock/pop guitars and honest
lyrics. The record opens with “Now,” a burst of motivating energy that carries
through to the Beatles-influenced “Hide” and the feel-good first single,
“Summer.” He transitions easily between heavy rock, catchy pop and slow
ballads, forcing the listener to wonder what style he’ll pull out next.
Besides writing and producing =Ecstasy and Life Commercials, Matty also sang
and played all the instruments. Audio engineer Butch Jones (Rolling Stones,
Talking Heads, Madonna) says, “Working with Matty is hard to put into a few
short words. But it’s a real charge for me!”
In between writing material for his solo projects, Matty developed all facets of his
talents by performing and producing. He got his first taste of fame playing bass
in TV personality Damien Fahey’s band, The Classic Futures. In addition to cowriting
and co-producing their debut album, Another Way, Matty performed with
The Classic Futures on MTV’s TRL and toured the Northeast. The band’s
exposure created major buzz; they were covered by Access Hollywood and every
major music blog. His experience with them helped him discover his skill for
studio work. “I love making parts and sounds feel multi-dimensional,” Matty
states. “I really love producing.”
The Classic Futures disbanded after touring when each member decided to
pursue a music career in their own way. Matty chose to follow his talent for
producing, spending more and more time behind the scenes, using his
experience in the pop spotlight to create marketable music for new artists. “I
quickly went from red carpets to being a hermit in the studio,” says Matty. “But it
felt like home.” And so, 825 Records was born. Matty works closely with every
artist on the 825 roster, using his songwriting and producing expertise to bring
their raw material to a finished product. He runs all aspects of artist
development, and has built a small team to drive the marketing and publicity
campaigns of each artist.
825 Records has been gaining wide regard in the local music industry as a label
that stays true to its independent roots. "Artist development is best put into the
hands of the artists themselves,” said David Weiss in Sonicscoop.com. “Matty
Amendola is making sure that bands have a chance to flourish."
"I guess I should drop a bunch of fancy names of people I may or may not have
played with, I won’t,” says Matty. “I think anyone who listens to anything I do can
see I've been around, and I'm just gonna keep going."
Matt - photo by Alex Solca
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