Jonathan Devoto

Jonathan Devoto


Devoto is the lead guitarist of the Matches (3 albums on Epitaph Records; recently announced hiatus). His recent acoustic demos and solo performances this summer show off songs his new band will soon debut; driving rock, emotional vocals and band feel of Kings of Leon, Tom Petty, Third Eye Blind.


Jonathan Devoto surprises some long-time fans as he bounds forward to front his own band as lead vocalist, lead guitarist, and writer. However, those who have followed his eight year career with the Matches, the popular Oakland-based (and constantly touring) rock band with Devoto handling lead guitar and backing vocals, are familiar with his intense and fiery live show and magnetic stage presence even in his support role.

Through three albums (Epitaph Records) and years of international touring, Devoto generated raves and accolades. Alternative Press magazine identifying him as one of current music's three best guitarists of 2008, stated: "Devoto brings a chameleon-like quality to the lead guitar slot in the Matches, as he's equally adept at sunny pop and lo-fi fuzz as he is on theater-punk and loud rockers."

The new songs Devoto and his writing partner produce are woven with sharp and nimble wordplay, blending driving rhythms and compelling melodies, much like the Matches' music. However, Devoto's material leans toward a more meaty, more emphatic rock sound, apparent in his summer 2009 solo shows. Those familiar with Devoto's prior band will find that the few Matches' pieces he sings fill the room with a powerful vocal delivery and an explosive guitar technique, producing an almost shockingly big sound from this one acoustic instrument and one voice.

Devoto's project is so new that the full band he will debut with August 21, Friday, in Berkeley, CA, is not yet named. Devoto has shaped a sonic blend with echoes of Kings of Leon, Tom Petty, Third Eye-Blind, and, yes, the Matches. Emotional, intense, vulnerable, and vivid -- the songs, the vocal delivery, the guitar moves, the instrumental interplay all convey the passion of a young man with a complete and confident music vision.

The few acoustic demos now heard on myspace were produced by John Paulsen for Talking House Productions.