Shoot out the lights, and stone the roses—there’s some strong autobiography going on between the lines of The Matinée’s debut full-length album, We Swore We’d See the Sunrise. Taking its title from a line in “L’Absinthe”— the true story of a night of madness and delirium experienced while on tour in Quebec told between bouts of sparkling down-country guitar work from Matt Rose—what we hear is a band whose five members have known each other since high school, throwing everything they have into a record they’re treating like a milestone.
And the work was hard. Emboldened by their third place win in the 2011 Peak Performance Project and the subsequent record deal that followed, The Matinée ducked in and out of different studios, experimented, and generally strove—because they could— to be as great as possible for the year or so they spent working on this much-anticipated release.
It all started to gel with Steve Berlin. With REM and The Tragically Hip in his past, it was no surprise when the veteran producer turned out to be a strikingly good fit for the band. His native feel for Americana with a nice fat backbeat—supplied in spades by bassist Mike Young— is right there in the southern rock redux of “Sweetwater” and “Let Her Go”, which recall countless roots-rockers from Ryan Adams to The Sadies.
But Berlin and band were both eager to colour outside the lines. The starlit “December Slumber” is like a widescreen sonic painting with pedal steel guitar, while “The Road” is a stadium built anthem that plows the middle ground between rural festivals and the urban hipster ground-zero of your choice. With a live show generally known to be an uproar of stomping, clapping, and blazing chops, The Matinée are in the rare position of being welcome at both.
Meanwhile, “Long Way Home” throws different time signatures into its chunky country-rock frame, “Who Stoned The Roses” allows guitarist/back up vocalist Geoff Petrie to highlight the bands attention to harmony, and “Gasoline”—a churning rocker built on a cannonade of Bonham-esque heaviosity from drummer Pete Lemon—takes the listener even further into the outer reaches.
If the seven Berlin-produced tracks find The Matinée exploring the studio and finding new depth, the two they drummed up in lightning sessions with Hot Hot Heat’s Steve Bays have an almost leavening effect. In particular, “This Town” is an impossibly bright slab of baroque pop with a middle section that could have been smuggled in from Abbey Road. And “Young & Lazy”, as the band well knows—it’s the first single—is an instant classic; three-and-a-half minutes of Tom Petty-esque radio rock in the classic mold, given a light and summery touch by the band and fashioned to stick to the roof of your brain after one listen.
The song’s lyrics are a warm tribute to idle youth, and the bond that has carried The Matinée all the way through to this, the key moment in their career. According to vocalist/lyricist Matt Layzell, We Swore We’d See the Sunrise is their “coming out”; after years of roadwork and growth, playing everywhere from prisons to air force bases and every watering hole in between, it’s a record that simultaneously matches their explosive live show while advancing their craft by orders of magnitude.
“At the end of the day we just want a career,” Layzell states. “We hope this is setting us up for the next 20 years.” Clearly still not exhausted by the sheer amount of work that went into We Swore We’d See the Sunrise, guitarist Matt Rose is determined to follow through. “We’ve passed the point of Young and Lazy,” he says, “we're a little older, wiser, and working our asses off.”
'We Swore We'd See the Sunrise' comes out on Light Organ Records Winter/2013.
Matt Layzell - Lead Vocals and Harmonica
Geoff Petrie - Vocals, Guitar, Percussion
Matt Rose - Banjo, Vocals, Guitar, mandolin, Pedal Steel
Pete Lemon - Vocals, Drums
Mike Young - Banjo, Vocals, Bass
'We Swore We'd See The Sunrise' (Light Organ Records, 2013)
'The Road EP' (Limited Release Fall 2009)
'The Matinée' (Self-titled Release, July 2007)
The Road EP is available on i-Tunes.
The Matinée on Breakfast TV!
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“An amazing live show – this is a band on the verge of something big that you don’t want to miss!” ...“An amazing live show – this is a band on the verge of something big that you don’t want to miss!”
Erick Thompson – A Channel (Victoria)
Roots Music focus of the Band
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The Matinee has performed in front of all sorts of audiences. But perhaps none as intimidating as...The Matinee has performed in front of all sorts of audiences.
But perhaps none as intimidating as a group of B.C. prison inmates.
"They were an attentive audience," quips Matinee guitarist Matthew Rose.
"But overall it was a really great experience. I think the inmates were genuinely thankful for the opportunity to see some live music."
The show was part of the band's Reachout Tour last year, which took them to high schools, prisons, youth detention centres and post-secondary institutions across B.C.
Organized by the B.C. Schizophrenia Society, the tour helped raise awareness of mental health issues.
"We became involved primarily because our bass player Mike (Young) suffered from a lot of the symptoms we talked about during the presentation. Mike dealt with severe depression and psychosis during high school and he shared his experiences with the kids."
The Matinee played to more than 25,000 people through the Reachout Tour and are now hoping to build on that new audience by getting back on the road. The group brings its roots rock to the Ironwood Stage & Grill on Monday and Dickens Pub on Oct. 23.
"We're getting repeat fans showing up in a lot of cities and our online fanbase continues to grow the more we tour," says Rose.
"Unfortunately, we all still have day jobs that we have to return to in Vancouver, but we're not far away from taking this on full time."
The Matinee formed almost three years ago when Rose and vocalist/harmonica player Matt Layzell began writing songs together and playing Vancouver coffee shops.
Though they were already members of different hard-rock bands at the time, the two Matts shared a love of roots music created by the likes of as Ryan Adams, Lucinda Williams and The Band.
Rose and Layzell soon recruited three high school friends -- Young, percussionist Geoff Petrie and drummer Peter Lemon -- as well as Dave Young on keyboard, and released their debut self-titled CD in 2007.
"We've all played in so many different groups covering so many different musical styles," says Rose.
"With The Matinee it's almost like we're taking the music back to its roots. We try to put the songs front and centre and not get too caught up using effects or synthetic sounds. We're all multi-instrumentalists so this band gives us a chance to include some mandolin or stand-up bass or pedal steel -- the kinds of instruments that we could never really play in some of the rock outfits we were in."
The band recently received a grant and are recording new songs for an album they hope to release in the spring.
For now you can take a listen to The Matinee at www.myspace.com/thematinee
The Matinée takes over the Night!
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The six members of Vancouver roots/rockers The Matinee took over the stage of Henotic last Thursday ...The six members of Vancouver roots/rockers The Matinee took over the stage of Henotic last Thursday night, engaging and entertaining the appreciative audience. Featuring infectious hooks and a rustic rock feel, they have the potential to overthrow the radio waves with their carefully crafted songs. Their quality musicianship is apparent, as is their easy-going attitude, evidenced by the casual conversations with the crowd. They shine especially bright on numbers like “What I’ve Found.” The haunting Fender Rhodes keyboard tone provided by Dave Young complements Matt Layzell’s lead vocals, in addition to the back-up harmonies of guitarists Matthew Rose and Geoff Petrie. “The Road” is reminiscent of the happy bounce of the Kings of Leon, and “50 Bucks” is another feel-good tune, with lines like “I’ve got fifty bucks and it’s not coming home with me.” The Matinee also know the merit of including a couple of well-placed covers, throwing in the classic “Feelin’ Alright” into their set, as well as a sensational version of Led Zeppelin’s “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp.” Watch for these guys to make significant strides in the near future, as they’ve been receiving plenty of radio play on both community and FM radio stations. The Matinee is the type of group that gives you a reason to actually listen to FM radio these days: a diamond in the rough amongst way too many overproduced, low talent, pop-star wannabe’s.
From Myspace to Mainstage
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“Which one do you think is cute?” Henry Small asked me suspiciously, as I sat cross-legged on the gr...“Which one do you think is cute?” Henry Small asked me suspiciously, as I sat cross-legged on the grass front and centre at Music in the Park on Wednesday night.
Shifting uncomfortably under the outdoor music series’ co-ordinator’s accusing stare, I understood the question completely.
Not just because the dudes playing were indeed cute, but because I, the KTW entertainment reporter had not attended a single show at the Rotary Bandshell in Riverside Park all summer.
And here I was, still on groupie row after the last song had been sung.
But how could I not be, I asked Henry apologetically, and he understood the question — completely.
Vancouver-based roots-rock band The Matinee was on stage, which might not mean anything to you if haven’t heard them.
If you’re like me and Henry, though — and I’m sure, now, the hundreds of others who skipped out on Randy Travis to hear the young band play — it means you’re a big fan.
I previewed the band earlier in the week and after one listen to their MySpace page, I was hooked.
It doesn’t happen often — as my Music in the Park attendance record clearly shows (no offence) — but these guys are just that good.
First of all, they’re great performers, even switching places and instruments, which included an upright bass, throughout the show.
Lead singer Matt Layzell’s sometimes emotional, but otherwise fun, lyrics are catchy and authentic, and each song was reproduced exactly as I’d heard it through my headphones all week.
Singing along with my new favourite song, the ballad Red Wine and Whisky, I wished I had a glass of one or the other, so I could toast these new up-and-comers for a job well done.
Another friend who caught me in the park said she thought the band sounded a bit like Blue Rodeo, and when they did a cover of The Tragically Hip’s Boots or Hearts, I thought they just sounded pretty dang good.
In addition to an energetic show, they also did a few toned-down acoustic pieces that really showed off, not just their song-writing talents, but their ability to capture an audience’s attention with just one melody.
In my work, I’ll admit, it’s not often a band comes around that has the ability to move me period, let alone as far away from my desk as Riverside Park.
So, yes Henry, I’m smitten with The Matinee.
If you missed it, visit myspace.com/thematinee.
By Mikelle Sasakamoose - Kamloops This Week
Published: August 09, 2008 12:00 PM
The Matinee will Show You a Good Time
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The Matinee are playing at Bobby’s Place Saturday evening. An entertainment package and beer. Good c...The Matinee are playing at Bobby’s Place Saturday evening. An entertainment package and beer. Good combination.
Not exactly something I would call country as it don’t quite fit there, and thankfully nothing you would hear on the top forty ( hey, they say they don’t care for money much ), but it has some roots in western swing with some solid songwriting and lyrically pleasant.
They have six comfortable songs well worth listening to and prepping you for their live show so you can sing along.
You will not go wrong enjoying an evening out at Bobby’s with this LIVE entertainment.
The Moose Jaw Times Herald
Songs to Drink, Dance and Live With
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The alt-country-pop-squad "The Matinee" are making some honest footprints across Canada. Their self-...The alt-country-pop-squad "The Matinee" are making some honest footprints across Canada. Their self-titled 2007 release is a clean and crisp collection of songs to drink, dance and live with.
The Matinée Strips Down for Swan City Show
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Vancouver band The Matinée may have only been together for the better part of a year, but the six-pi...Vancouver band The Matinée may have only been together for the better part of a year, but the six-piece band is on a roll. They’ve released a catchy, roots-rock album called Blue Collar in 2007; they’ve toured Canada, and are active with the B.C. Schizophrenia Society’s efforts to help those with mental illness. The Matinée will play Better than Fred’s, along with Katie Rox, June 28.
The band includes singer Matt Layzell, lead guitarist Matt Rose, drummer Pete Lemon, bass player Mike Young, guitarist Geoff Petrie and keyboardist Dave Young.
The Grande Prairie show will be stripped down with a three-piece version of the band doing an acoustic set.
Layzell said the show is a change that should leave concertgoers smiling. “It keeps everything fresh, because it seems every show is different, depending on the venue,” he said, noting the tunes have been adapted for the smaller show.
“We’ve had to, not relearn the songs, but just come up with ways of keeping the songs interesting as they’re really stripped down,” said Layzell. “That’s the way of telling your songs truly work, because if you can strip it down to just the guitar and vocals and drums and it still works, then you know it’s a good song.”
The band has been on tour since June 6, hitting venues from Kaslo, B.C. to Lethbridge, Alberta.
“The benefit of touring stripped down is that you can afford to go to those smaller places that you wouldn’t normally, and that was actually our goal for this tour,” he explained. He said they wanted to “go places we’ve never been to perform for people that might not get to see us ever and bring them a cool show.”
Layzell, Matt Rose and Pete Lemon knew each other from high school and, after playing in bands around Vancouver, they took a fateful trip up the West Coast.
“We kind of just went away for a weekend up the coast of B.C. and just started jamming and decided, ‘Why don’t we quit playing in other people’s bands and get a band of our own’,” Layzell recounted. “We’re all long-time friends.”
Putting the band together was a little bit humbling, because of the experience each member had in the music industry, Layzell said. “It was going back a few steps in a sense, starting from scratch.”
The Matinée has spent the past year touring high schools, colleges and prisons. Layzell said in total, about 30,000 students have had a chance to experience their sound in person.
Playing for inmates in some of B.C.’s toughest prisons was an experience that changed his perspective on things, said Layzell. He said for the past three years, even before The Matinée was formed, members of the band had been touring to educate people about mental illness.
“Our bass player ... he suffered from depression in high school, that’s how we got involved in the first place,” Layzell said. The band plays for students who get the chance to chat with the band about mental illness and, of course, music.
“They always ask questions to Mike about depression and about his experience, and what he had to do to get better,” said Layzell. Apart from the heavy subject matter, the singer said kids were also into them signing their CD’s and chatting with a touring rock band.
They were approached to play in prisons, where many inmates suffer from mental illness. Layzell said his opinion of prison inmates matured when the band played its first few gigs inside prison walls.
“They don’t have a choice (to see you), the joke is that it’s a captive audience,” said Layzell, chuckling. “They’re actually really into it, because, as you can imagine, they don’t get a lot of entertainment up there.
“The first time we did it we were kind of intimidated,” Layzell remembered. “But then you kind of forget that they’re in there, and you don’t know what they’re there for. You end up talking to them and shaking their hands.”
When they get off the road in August, the full band will head into a recording studio with a producer to flesh out their ideas for the next disc. In contrast, 2007’s Blue Collar was a home-studio effort, where Layzell, Rose and Lemon hired a bass player and mixed their own tracks.
“It was a lot of risk, but it was a good challenge and we pulled it off. We did 13 songs on our own, self-produced,” said the vocalist. The plan for record number two is to take it up a notch.
Songs like “Mama”, “50 Bucks” and “San Diego” have a whimsical, rootsy feel to them, which comes from everybody in the band. “There is a real sound that we’ve honed in on that we all enjoy,” Layzell said.
He said no member has pushed for big changes in their sound, but each person is helping The Matinée evolve in their own way. “Everyone’s learning new instruments as we go along and there’s new things being added to the mix,” he said.
The future is pretty bright for the boys from Vancouver. They’ve signed with a new agent who’s booking tours to Asia and the United States, once the new record is released. Their upcoming show should be a good night for music fans, Layzell said.
“We’re kind of doing this as an intimate and interactive night of storytelling and song,” he said, describing what the show should be like. “We’re going to be talking with the audience instead of just performing to them.”
To hear The Matinée’s music, check out myspace.com/thematinee or thematineemusic.com.
Thursday June 19, 2008
Roots rockers ready for Red Room
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Selected as the premier band for the online video series ‘Vogville Presents,’ Vancouver roots rocker...Selected as the premier band for the online video series ‘Vogville Presents,’ Vancouver roots rockers The Matinee play Sept. 29 at the Red Room as part of the Peak Performance Project Showcase. The following day they hit the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel for the West Coast Music Series. Joe Leary spent 24 Seconds with singer Matt Layzell.
24: How did the band form?
ML: The Matinee, as you see us now was formed close to four years ago when Matt Rose and I decided it was time to solidify a lineup that we could tour with. We had recently re-connected over a chance coffee meeting and the realization that we were both listening to a lot of the same artists like Ryan Adams, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Lucinda Williams.
24: With so many band members, you must have a variety of tastes and musical influences. How does that figure into the songwriting?
ML: We definitely draw from a lot of different influences, which we find often lends itself to the writing process. Some songs are written in five minutes, but a lot of the time it takes experimenting with everyone's input to get to the strongest version.
24: Do you get a lot of energy playing off a live crowd?
Click here to find out more!
ML: We definitely thrive playing to a live audience and put everything we have physically and emotionally into our show, which often leaves us sweaty and bruised. The crowd can see how much we are enjoying ourselves, which in turn causes them to have just as much fun.
24: You've performed for everyone from the Armed Forces to the infirmed. What's the difference in reaction?
ML: People in general want to have a good time and experience a distraction from the day to day, so playing to Canadian Air Force pilots bound for Afghanistan and playing to prisoners who were locked up and doing time, wasn't much different. They all wanted to have a good time and forget where they were for the moment.
24: How do you describe your style of music; it seems to incorporate elements of several styles.
ML: We call our style 'roots-rock.' We have elements of alt-country, folk and rock, but it is definitely all tied together with a real rootsy feel. Diversity is the key to holding someone's attention. We try hard to take the listener on a journey.
Peak Performance Project names top 5
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The top five finalists in the 2011 Peak Performance Project were announced Wednesday afternoon, with...The top five finalists in the 2011 Peak Performance Project were announced Wednesday afternoon, with three of them getting one step closer to landing a top prize of $100,500.
Victoria's Current Swell and Vancouver's The Boom Booms and The Matinee will all be in contention for top honours at the Peak Performance Project finale, held at the Commodore Ballroom on Nov. 17.
Vancouver singer-songwriter Hilary Grist and Victoria poprockers Acres of Lions have officially earned fourth and fifth place with cash prizes of $10,000 and $5,000 respectively.
"The top 20 finalists were all very close this year," Music BC executive director Bob D'Eith said. "There was no clear standout act - it was anybody's game."
The competition, organized by Music BC and Vancouver radio station 100.5 The Peak, involves a series of challenges including a music boot camp, live performance showcases, and evaluation based on marketing skills and career planning.
Previous top prize winners include Kelowna's We Are the City and Vancouver rapper Kyprios.
Tickets for the Peak Performance Project's finale are on sale now for $10.05 plus service charges at Ticketmaster.
The 2011 Top 5 PEAK Performance Project Artists
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Who will take home the grand prize of $100,500 in the 2011 Peak Performance Project? On October 2...Who will take home the grand prize of $100,500 in the 2011 Peak Performance Project?
On October 26, 2011, 100.5 The PEAK announced the Top 5 PEAK Performance Artists. The announcement named the 4th and 5th place artists, while the Top 3 were named in alphabetical order:
Top 3 Peak Performance Project Artists 2011:
The Boom Booms
4th and 5th place Performance Project Artists 2011:
4. Hilary Grist
5. Acres of Lions
Now in its third year, the award-winning artist development program from 100.5 The PEAK and Music B.C. will give out over $225,000 to the Top 3 artists at the PEAK Performance Project Finale on November 17th at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver. The three finalists will perform at the finale where the ranking of the Top 3 will be announced.
Tickets for the PEAK Performance Project Finale are now on sale at ticketmaster.ca. for $10.05 (plus service charges).
The Matinée can play up to two hours of original music.
They can also do a mean WEEN cover-tune.
PDF RiderThe Matinee - Rider
There are no upcoming dates at this time.