Gig Seeker Pro



Band Rock Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Rocking The Boat"

By Sean M. Riley
Rocking the boat

Mariano Mattei and his band, Real, are changing the face of the local music scene via the Web and multi-group performances.

Although not quite on par with the legendary age of the Philadelphia music scene -- when the Golden Boys were crooning, Chubby Checker was twisting and Dick Clark was bringing dancing teens into millions of people's living rooms -- the 1970s and '80s were a viable time for aspiring musicians.

Like many other teens of the MTV age, Mariano Mattei could picture himself as the next lead singer of KISS, Foreigner or Journey, and decided he was gonna be a rock star.

He bought a guitar, recruited his cousin and some friends, and started a band that eventually became known as Edge. The group soon learned that making it in the music business wasn't as easy as having talent and a dream.

"When Edge experienced its little run of limited success, it was about 15 years ago and the Philly music scene was beginning to break down," says Mattei, 33, a lifelong resident of Girard Estate. "We got a little bit of airplay on the radio and played the local clubs, but as we reached college age, the band just fizzled out.

"The Philly scene became an ugly backstabbing place, instead of one where bands supported each other."

Mattei quickly decided that he needed a job to fall back on, and after graduating from Temple University, he planned to go into real estate, just like his father.

Not too enamored of property deals, however, Mattei decided to parlay his general interest in computers into a career in the expanding technology market.

He quickly worked his way up to senior software engineer at IBM, a job that allowed him to work from his home at 23rd and Shunk streets and spend time with his wife and three children.

He had a great job and a great family, but Mattei still had an itch that begged to be scratched.

"Edge had a little reunion about five years ago, and while it was enough for the other guys in the band, I felt a need to keep playing," he says. "My best friend Fabian Hanault filmed the reunion, and when I told him of my desire to keep playing, he said, 'Great, I'll be your drummer.'"

Never mind that Hanault didn't own a set of drums, nor did he how to play them. A clarinet player as a kid, Hanault had a brother who played the drums, but that was as close as he got to learning the skill.

"At first, I laughed," Mattei says. "But then I realized he was serious, and having known him my whole life, I knew that when he sets his mind to anything, he does it."

Six months later, the pair was playing acoustic gigs at Mattei's brother Angelo's Ground Floor Café at Front and Morris streets. Within another few months, Angelo told his younger brother that he would learn to play the bass guitar, and Mattei's new band, Real, was born.

"My brother just has such an ear for music that he picked up the instrument and just knew how to play," Mattei says. "Everyone that heard us play kept telling us that our songs were honest and real, so we figured that was the perfect name for the band."

Mattei used his experiences as a member of Edge when laying out the new band's strategy, lest Real fall victim to the infighting and turnover many groups face.

"First, we decided that we were all going to take this very seriously and practice at least three days a week in my basement," he says. "Then I decided after we made our first CD that we would distribute our music ourselves through"

The simple theory behind self-promotion, says Mattei, is that existing Web sites gladly will plug songs and CDs from independent artists, but when the groups get big enough, they sell their work to a corporation and the musicians are hung out to dry.

Instead of being a minnow to the Web sharks of the world, became a weigh station for other local original acts in the Philly area.

"We offered advice on everything from booking to playing live to producing CDs in an effort to not only network, but to once again get a sense of a Philly music scene," Mattei says. "Real realized, as did a bunch of other bands, that if we work and play together, 90 percent of our fans would dig what they were playing and vice versa.

"We are of the mentality that bringing the scene back to Philly is most important."

The grassroots plan grew to include not only other Web outlets such as and, but events where groups of original bands would come together and play all day. The first network night at the Grape Street Pub, a haven for original acts in Manayunk, brought out a huge audience to see 10 bands strut their stuff.

The informal concert also drew 20 music-industry representatives who jumped at the chance to hear a variety of live acts perform.

"Some bands got noticed and Web traffic increased 150 percent," Mattei says of the aftermath of the show. "After the second show, - South Philly Review


By Anthony J. Cavuto

1) How are you today?
Doing great. Things are really rolling along right now. We’ve got some positive momentum happening, due in part to Origivation, the work Kevin is doing with, the Zine and the net radio, and all the hard work that LDR (Little Devil Records) has been doing over the past several years.

2) How long have you been playing guitar?
Don’t laugh!! I’ve been playing on and off since I was about 11. I took about 9 years off, didn’t even touch the thing, after my first band, "The Edge", broke up in the 80’s. I then got the itch to play again and took about a year’s worth of lessons with

I studied under Chris Napoli and when he asked me how long I had been playing, I said about 13 years, and his jaw almost hit the floor. I said, "Yeah, but I TOOK NINE YEARS OFF!!!"

3) Which came first- Mariano the guitarist or Mariano the singer?
Guitar!! I became a singer by default. Fabian and I looked for about two years, trying out singer after singer. We just kept practicing and writing. He sang what he wrote, I sang what I wrote. After a while we just said screw it. We’ll just sing our own stuff. The three part harmony stuff came along quickly when Angelo joined. Now he is writing and singing as well.

4) What's your most embarrassing moment on stage?
Before we instituted the "No drinking until after a show" rule, I got completely hammered waiting four hours for our spot to come up. This is when I was just a guitar player. I ripped up the stage and jammed like I never jammed before. I got off stage and thought I was the best darn thing since EVH!!! Everybody was looking at me and I felt like a million bucks. After a day of recovery we reviewed the performance on video tape. Needless to say, people were not looking at me like that in amazement of my ability and style. I completely sucked!!!

5) Real is performing on a regular basis now- any groupies?
Oh yeah. One! Candy, Candy, CANDY!!!! Just ask Fred from Sweet Fear!!

6) What's your favorite board game?
I’d have to say... Scrabble. JoBaby, my wife, kicks my butt every time!!! But SOMEDAY BABY, SOMEDAY!!!!

7) What tape / CD is in your car right now?
BonJovi - Crush
Pat Benetar - Pat Benetar and Crimes of Passion
Metallica - Black, Load, and Re-Load
Harry Conick Junior

Chris Isaac
Johnny Lang
Fortune, Vinson, Cruise, Featuring Brenda Smith - Live at Zanzibar Blue
Jack Scat - Where Ignorant Armies Clash By Night
Brian Richman - as yet untitled

8) A major band just called you and wants to take Real on tour. Who's the band?
Bon Jovi

9) How does the writing process play out in Real?
I write most of the tunes. They usually cook in my head and in my heart for several months until they just come boiling out. I usually don’t know what they are about until it comes in the flood. The best songs come from the "Guff". You know, like when you are just a channel for something from somewhere else and it all gets done in about 10 minutes. I love that. For Fabian’s songs, he usually comes up with some lyrics and a basic tune. We work on it together from there. Angelo is becoming more and more involved in writing as we go. He is the newest member and brings a unique feel to the sets. He tends to be more soulful and musically diverse than the straight ahead stuff that I and / or Fabian would write.

10) Many people may not know that you actually own Little Devil Records, where did the idea for that come from?
We wanted to be more than just a band. We wanted to help other musicians and until I ran across, Origivation, Napoli Music School, and BudZilla, we used to try to do it all. We were spread too thin. I got back to as many people as I could via email but it got to be too much. If you go to our "Services" section of the web site now, we send people to the web sites that do that particular service much better than we can. We are now concentrating on artist development, producing, recording, etc. And of course, "Real" is the main project. I’m looking into expanding into a professional studio and getting some national distribution.

11) Words to live by:
Be true to yourself.

12) You play a Parker Guitar, tell us how you came to own such a great piece of equipment.
I lucked out on eBay!!! I got that Parker Classic almost brand spankin’ new for about $1,300!! ($3,500 new) I knew I wanted one as soon as I picked one up in the music store. I retired my Kramer Stagemaster (Jasper) when I bought the Parker Classic. I drove out to Delaware (2 hours) to pick it up. I was so sure that it would not work when I brought it home. I opened it and just stared at it for about an hour. Then I closed the case and did not plug it in until the next day. I was sure it was not going to work and that I just got taken for a ride on eBay. Well, needless to say, it was perfect.

13) The one thing I've learned from being in a band is____________.
- Origivation Magazine

"CD / Live Review"

Untill You’re Home Again
By Bill Baldwin

I recently went to The Nail and saw the band Real. Real is comprised of two brothers, Mariano (guitar, vocals) and Angelo (Bass, Vocals) Mattei, and Fabian Henault (Drums, Vocals). They had recently added a keyboard player, Joe Falcione and that night was his first show.

After their set ended they gave away, for free, that means no money, a full length CD titled Until You’re Home Again. The CD’s title song (The last song of 10) is a beautiful ballad with a great trippy guitar solo. The band’s style is pop/rock with a few songs reminding me of The BoDeans and The Rembrandts. Especially Now That You’re Gone a great pop offering that I could envision eventually being the theme song to a ½ hour sitcom. They do mix it up a little with a more modern rock sound on Rain and Laelean and have great fun with a 50’s style old time rock-n-roll song Baby Likes Rock-n-Roll. Angel is a 6 and a half-minute classic rock epic reminiscent of Procol Harem or Manfred Mann. What’s really nice about this band is that all four lend their writing and vocal talents to the whole. Real’s harmonizing is very well done, their song Let Me Be The One reminds me of the classic REM vocal layering. Days and Nights is a pretty ballad with very melodic harmonies; this is one of the several songs Fabian sings while throwing spare drumsticks at Angelo, the bass player. Mariano’s guitar work is solid throughout the CD with exceptional solos on Take My Hand, Laelean and the very danceable Everything About You.

The songwriting is mostly about things the band loves, their wives, children, girlfriends and everything else that makes for great love song subjects. The CD is presented in a very professional manner. In this writer’s opinion, the mix has the vocal a little too far out front, but considering the opposite is normally found with independent releases, maybe this was intentional. I’ll tell you this, the live show is a much better sound experience and I would recommend they do a live recording in the future, and please include the song about the Mattei’s sister Maria. Real’s audience at The Nail consisted largely of female fans and I recommend their show if you are on a date with that someone special or looking for one. My wife thought Real was great, she thought their songs touch on the emotional and were identifiable to her, plus it didn’t hurt that they are all good looking boys from South Philly.

-Bill Baldwin
- Original Music Association of Philadelphia


Until Your Home Again, 2001
I Blame You, 2004
13, 2006
Not Again, 2007


Feeling a bit camera shy


Real is the conscious connection between the love of music and friendship. Originally a power trio from South Philly, Real has morphed and changed through the years. The only constant that remains is their undying love of music, which comes to life during their hard charging live performances. Whether performing at intimate parties during the once a month Philly Stir Fry Live or as a regional headliner - Real puts it all out there for the fans.

Its back to basics for Real in their latest release "Not Again," as the band returns to its power trio roots. "Not Again" joins the line up of Real CDs as yet another example of the band performing songs stemming from personal experience. Anger, joy, sadness, pain and love all come through in Real's latest release.

Alone, Real is three guys and a bunch of hardware; on stage - Real is magic. The band continues on their journey to be seen and heard, converting everyday people into fans after experiencing the "magic," and becoming "Realized."

Buckle up and come along for the ride.