Matgo Primo
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Matgo Primo


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"Amid Changing Costumes, Band Out to Change Music World"

Almost exactly one year ago, Matgo Primo began delighting crowds with its dancey, energetic songs and its colorful stage presence. The first performances were a tick shaky, but showed enough innovation to generate a cult following that recognized the band's potential to revolutionize the local music scene. Now, after a year of honing through frequent gigs, the band has done just that. Matgo Primo's approach to building acclaim is like the band itself - anything but typical. While the group is known for its artful zaniness, its performance schedule flouts the artistic safety net of the Old City. The quartet brings its quirks and Halloween costumes to the unlikeliest of places. Sports bars have become new hubs for Matgo Primo, whose gaudy-yet-glamorous ensembles instantly clash with the trademark NASCAR decor of venues like Smokey's, yet never fail to please the most discerning of crowds. "We've been trying to branch out just to get as much exposure as possible," says drummer Greg Eisinger. "One thing I did a long time ago was to go on, and it has a list of all the venues in Knoxville, and I wrote to ALL of them. So that's how we've gotten a lot of weird ones that we've never heard of." "My goal is to not have to go back to school in the fall," he continues, "so therefore we must do everything possible to get signed sometime between now and the end of the summer. I think it's a pretty realistic goal as well." Last year, Matgo Primo's progress was temporarily sidetracked as the Eisinger brothers (drummer Greg and guitarist/vocalist Tim) returned to their hometown of Chicago for their summer vacation. The brothers point out that this year will be different, as they plan to continue working on the project full speed this break. In fact, the band is presently recording the final tracks for its El Deth release due later this summer. The so-far-untitled album will contain around 13 tracks, and the rest of the band's lengthy catalog will be applied in some form using studio time won in the University of Tennessee's 2005 Battle of the Bands. "I think the general sound is going to be a lot different than maybe the feel of the stuff we've put out earlier," says Tim Eisinger. "We've been putting a lot more into the songs other than just kind of trying to rock as hard as we can. We've been putting more time into making the songs good songs in addition to being songs that are entertaining to listen to." "With the new CD, I feel like our band is sort of coming into focus," adds bassist Ryan Rickels. "Before, if someone asked me to describe our sound, I didn't - I still don't really know what to say. It used to be that we'd do something way out here and way out there, but now it's still unique and it's made me really happy." Having an ambition to match its skill, there is no telling where Matgo Primo might be this time next year. Regardless of how fabled they become locally, the group is perpetually proving itself and has recently taken a shine to battle-of-the-bands-style contests. It is safe to say the band will prove a formidable opponent even if it does wear makeup to battle. Matgo Primo claims it will never "sell itself out" by appearing live out of costume, and as with its music, so has its wardrobe evolved. "It's not as clownish, but it's still pretty out there," says guitarist/keyboardist Dorian DeLuca. "You still know you're at a Matgo Primo show...It's the best thing you've ever seen in your life. We're trying to dance around that, but really, that's it. We're the greatest thing of all time. Every so often a band comes along that creates a sea-change in the music industry, and I think this band has the potential to be that band for this generation. I'm only partly kidding about that, too."

- Knoxville News Sentinel - Jer Cole (5/6/05)

"Group Seeks to Blend the Ridiculous with the Artful"

In a town often criticized for producing musical monotony, local upstart band Matgo Primo has set a new precedent for originality. The band offers much for Knoxville to celebrate and take pride in. Though together only a year (minus a summer-long hiatus), the average turnout for Matgo Primo performances is steadily rising with every show. The music draws from a range of styles including New Wave, indie-pop and glam, but is generally dancey and packed with enthusiasm. The creativity of each song coupled with the band's superlative stage presence (an atypically stable mix of the aloof and the utterly flamboyant) is enough to bring even the most rigid of music fans to their feet. "I'd say a lot of the music is Tim (Eisinger)'s brainchild," says drummer Greg Eisinger, brother of guitarist/vocalist Tim. "It consists largely of his twisted and distorted fantasies and realities." "I'd describe it as trying to blend the completely ridiculous with the artful as well as possible," elaborates Tim Eisinger. Among Matgo Primo's distinguishing features is their stage attire. Donning costumes ranging from ninjas to zombies and everything in between, the band has no trouble capturing its audience's attention, and then maintaining interest through well-crafted adrenaline-raising melodies. The group now hopes its fans will follow suit and come to shows in costume as well, and idea that should rival "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" on some level. Make no mistake, however -- unlike the majority of costumed bands (GWAR, Slipknot, etc.) whose garbs are meant to take emphasis away from their marginal, uninspired music, Matgo's dress only serves to compliment the atmosphere exuding from the music itself. "Our music is very eclectic and we like for our look to match the craziness of the music," explains keyboardist/guitarist Dorian DeLuca. "Sometimes it plays out as a ninja playing a black guitar. Sometimes it plays out as crazy colored hair or Colombian neckties." "At the first show, we were each trying to develop these characters, but it's kind of turned into insanity," adds Tim Eisinger. "We will make it worth your while -- I don't know exactly how yet -- but it will be worth your while if you come to our shows dressed as ridiculously as you possibly can." After a summer of inactivity caused by the Eisinger brothers' return to their hometown of Chicago, Matgo Primo is making up for lost time, having scheduled a multitude of shows for the coming months, the soonest being Wednesday, Oct. 13, at The Pilot Light with Kid Commando. The show will cost $5 and begin at 10 pm. Updates on Matgo Primo and its pending show dates are available at - Knoxville News Sentinel - Jer Cole (10/4/04)

"Pilot Light Enlivens Sunday"

Sundays are a strange proposition. It’s technically still the weekend, but without the feeling of freedom to go out and have the kind of fun that needs a day or two of recovery. Flying in the face of tradition, Pilot Light is hosting a show full of wild rock music with bands Oh My God and Matgo Primo.
Armed with melodic rhythms and wacky onstage personas, Matgo Primo stands alone in their genre. Having formed less than two years ago in Knoxville, brothers Tim and Greg Eisinger handle the guitar and drums, respectively, while Ryan Rickles is on the bass and Dorian Starbuckdeluca (yes, that is his real name) is described as a madman on the guitar.
“Dorian listens to a lot of hair bands, so he’s our rock god,” Greg Eisinger said.
If the music isn’t enough for concert-goers, the show of Matgo Primo should push it over the top. Members of the band sport different makeup and costumes during their live performance. “We dress up to add to the show, to reflect the glam nature of the music,” Tim Eisinger said.
The most common garb is a zombie, but other band members have different ideas. “In the beginning, Dorian always dressed up as a ninja, a guitar ninja,” Greg said.
Granted, the costumes aren’t adequate reflections of the guys of Matgo Primo. As they sit across the table during this interview, the Eisinger brothers look like a nice and quiet pair, although an eclectic one. “We do take on personas while onstage, but they are different from our own,” Tim said.
Ultimately, Matgo Primo just wants to put on a good show for their fans. They figure, the more they can entertain the concert-goers, the more likely that they’ll return. “We want to keep it intense, and keep people’s attention,” Greg said, “Our show is fun to watch and get into, plus no one will forget.”
And for the name, the band refuses to comment.
“All I’ll say is that it is the name of a great man, who shall remain anonymous,” Tim said. With an album in the works and a couple of upcoming local shows, Matgo Primo has nowhere to go but up.
“My plan is to dominate the music scene, globally,” boasts Greg.
Of course, if that isn’t enough, it’s time to dust off that old electric organ and throw away the guitars, because Oh My God is coming to town. Crossing genres as they cross the country, the band is slated to bring down the house this Sunday at Pilot Light.
- University of TN's Daily Beacon - Emily Ledbetter (1/21/05)

"Random Quotes"

"We played with...Matgo Primo, an aggitated pop band in the general family of Talking Heads and Vic Thrill. Godd booking makes us happy." - Matt – Darediablo

"Matgo Primo makes truly captivating pop." - Molly Kincaid - Metro Pulse

"Armed with melodic rhythms and wacky on-stage personas, Matgo Primo stands alone in its genre." - Emily Ledbetter - The Daily Beacon

"One thing's for certain--you've never seen a show like one put on by Matgo Primo." - Steve Wildsmith - Maryville Daily Times

"Matgo Primo is currently tearing it up. Awesome Awesomeness." Todd Drootin - Books on Tape

"A new band called Matgo Primo...Knoxville's most original-sounding inide-rockers...established itself and quickly became a hit. Matgo Primo has set a new precedent for originality." - Jer Cole - Knoxville News Sentinel

"Matgo Primo is Amazering!" - Justin Powers - I Need Sleep

"Matgo Primo is by far my favorite band in Knoxville. No one else has the balls to do what you are doing and every time I see a show I get inspired. Keep rockin." - Scott - Llama Train

"As danceable as they are eccentric, Matgo Primo would've been a great opener for Talking Heads." - Elaine - WDVX 89.9 fm Matgo Primo "is the best-dressed new-wave/glam rock outfit Knoxville has shuttered up in its moth-infested closed." - Arrison Kirby - El Deth Productions

"Matgo Primo is easily the best band in Knoxville." - Nathan Tipton - El Deth Productions

- none

"Matgo Primo: Profile"

It's not unfair to say that most of the more prominent bands in Knoxville lack self-conscious theatricality, but it's not unkind, either. The determinedly inimitable MATGO PRIMO fill the hole pretty nicely, what with their makeup paint & wacky outfits, but it's a dubious distinction, considering the affectations mostly come off as just that. The music, though, is strong, and for what it's worth the visual and musical aesthetics do work together, so long as you're interpreting their images as New Wave carnies playing circa-1980s indie pop. Frontman Tim Eisinger has a knack for catchy, oddly endearing tunes, but seems to lack confidence as a vocalist, hiding behind mumbles, yelps, and vocal tics; the rest of the band is solid, and they serve the music well as it jumps from Bungle-y circus organs to the jittery, delicate stomp of the Talking Heads. All of this obviously works well for Matgo Primo, as their refreshing openmindedness in gigging has gained them a surprisingly diverse audience, and their offering of something different yet distinctly striking and palatable has earned them the top spot in two "Battle Of The Bands" competitions over the past year. For all their significant strengths, though, Matgo Primo is a good band held down by the gimmickry of a pretentiousness only half as rooted in innocent silliness as they think it is.

RIYL: Talking Heads, Oingo Boingo, Pink Floyd
- Nick Huinker (2/16/06)

"Cracking Up: An hour with Matgo Primo proves almost as entertaining as their rollicking shows"

It’s easy to pick out Tim Eisinger, lead singer and guitarist of local band Matgo Primo from the small crowd at Old City Java. He sits, wide-eyed, a loud ‘70s-looking button-down clinging to his thin frame, his hair dyed orangey-pink. He munches on strips of red bell pepper from a free buffet for some other band’s CD release show. Apparently, he doesn’t eat his veggies that often because the other band members start teasing him when they show up. “Well, we normally go for our sacks of meat…,” he responds before moving on to some pineapple chunks.
The conversation and the band itself is just plain goofy. This attribute can sometimes be annoying in a band, but that isn’t the case with Matgo Primo. They go off on tangents, and I sometimes feel like a second-grade teacher trying to wrangle their attention, but they make up for it in candor and Beavis and Butthead-like humor.
The teasing is constant, but it becomes evident that it’s one of those “you only tease the ones you love” things. Tim’s brother, the band’s drummer Greg Eisinger, says sarcastically of their move to Knoxville from Chicago a few years ago, “Tim came down here with a vision of a band and proceeded to assemble us as he saw fit.” Tim starts to shift uncomfortably in his chair muttering, “Um…that’s not exactly how it happened…you guys are the only ones that would play with me.”
Indeed, guitarist and keyboardist Dorian DeLuca confirms, “Tim had put up a note at the Tomato Head where I worked that said, ‘I need a band.’ I finally got around to calling him, more out of pity than anything else.”
But the band has been together almost two years, so there must be something there besides pity. And soon the teasing turns to adoration, when DeLuca, amidst the flurry of jocular insults and cracks of wit, says, “Part of the reason we all get along is because Tim is a creative genius.” For a moment it’s quiet, and Tim looks down at his hands.
“Our music is very lyrically driven and that’s good because Tim’s lyrics are amazing,” DeLuca explains. “Even if I wasn’t in a band with him, I would think that.”
And for all its members’ frivolity, Matgo Primo makes truly captivating pop, upbeat and rough around the edges for the most part, but sprinkled with synthetic space-outs likening it to glam rock. Eisenberg’s lyrics are indeed the driving force, and some songs are moody and metaphorical, while others are more like personal narratives. The instrumentals are guitar-heavy in a good, trippy way—just enough energy, while not overpowering the lyrics or the senses.
Another way Matgo strokes the senses is by dressing to the nines for its live shows. Looking like they’ve raided the closet of a circus troupe and had their make-up done by Tammy Faye Baker on LSD, they add a visual decadence to the performance. “We’re not like those metal bands that thrash around on stage, so we dress flashy to give the audience something to look at,” says bassist Ryan Rickels. Tim pipes up to liken their whimsical wardrobe choices to a line from the movie Velvet Goldmine: “Music is a whore, and it needs to be prettied up a bit.”
Maybe so, but the folks at El Deth, a local recording company that has been steadily gaining clout over the past year or so, liked Matgo’s music even in the raw. After recording a track for an El Deth compilation with other artists, the band signed on to record its first full-length album, which they expect to release sometime this year. Like other artists working with El Deth, Matgo’s members rave about how great they are to work with. “It’s nice because they’re doing everything for free. We thought that might be limiting, but they seem to be willing to spend the rest of eternity doing this,” says Tim.
As the hot teas dwindle to the dregs, Java fills up with concert-goers, and the boys become too rowdy to even try to follow. But then again, as their repartee implies, why take yourself seriously? Greg: “Yeah, we tend to be cocky.” Dorian: “We like us.” Tim: “Yeah, I’m really into us.”

- Knoxville's Metro Pulse - Leslie Wylie (3/31/05)

"Matgo Primo to Help Celebrate Brewer's Jam"

One thing's for certain -- you've never been to a show like one put on by Matgo Primo. It's not that the Knoxville foursome camouflage any instrumental shortcomings by overloading the senses with a visual assault of outlandish wardrobes and eyebrow-raising makeup patterns. In fact, they can play quite well; check out two distinctly different tracks at It's that by combining its onstage theatrics with some tack-sharp instrumental skills, the guys in Matgo Primo make for a truly fun rock 'n' roll experience. ``I go to a lot of shows here in town, and the thing that I like most is that I don't see much else like us,'' guitarist and keyboardist Dorian DeLuca told The Daily Times this week. ``I know a lot of musicians say that about their bands, but it's true. We try very hard to make our shows very exciting, to make them very lively and very full-of-energy. That's why we wear the various outfits that we wear -- to get the audience involved in the music and involved in the visuals as well. ``It's very important for us to get the audience involved, so that they're not just standing there, and we go as far as we can to make that happen. And most of the time, we get some really good reactions from the sheer flamboyance of the show.'' The band is the brainchild of singer, guitarist and songwriter Tim Eisinger, who put the group together two and a half years ago after moving to Knoxville from Chicago. (His brother, drummer Greg Eisinger, is also in the band.) He put a notice up in Market Square's Tomato Head restaurant soliciting bandmates, and DeLuca answered. What he discovered was a guy with a vision. ``From the very beginning, Tim wanted Matgo Primo to be the sort of band people would dress up to go and see, almost to the point where it's a `Rocky Horror Picture Show' sort of thing,'' DeLuca said. ``The idea is not just getting people to show up to see a band, but to show up to see Matgo Primo. We sort of set out thinking we were going to be a synth-pop band and that the music was going to be a throwback from the 1980s -- dance music with a more guitar-driven sound from time to time. ``But since we've been together and the music has progressed, Tim's songwriting has gotten a lot tighter and we've moved away from the synth-pop aspect of the music. Now, we're getting into themes that are more important to us. At first, we were writing songs that were poppy and catchy, but now that they're more important to us personally, it's made us more excited about playing live shows because the songs have more meaning.'' Just because the songs have more meaning to the band members, however, doesn't make them entirely clear to those in the audience. And even the band members aren't always sure where Eisinger's lyrics come from -- DeLuca recently asked the singer about the lyrics to the song ``Holes in the Walls,'' which has received airplay on WUTK-FM, 90.3 The Rock.

``For the longest time, we had played it and I didn't fully understand what the song was about, so I sat down and asked him,'' DeLuca said. ``I found out that it's a very symbolic song to him and very meaningful, because it's about his childhood. And knowing its depth and meaning makes it much more important to all of us. ``Tim can be quite out there sometimes. His lyrics can be away from this Earth. What he tends to do is pick a thing -- an event he witnessed, or something that happened to him or even a television show that he saw -- and write this crazy world around it. As a listener, it comes across with this intense feeling around the song, but maybe from line to line, you might be wondering where it's coming from.'' And as the music has become more meaningful, the band has slowly scaled down its visual assault on the audience. That doesn't mean there's going to be a KISS-like ``Matgo Primo without makeup'' phase, but it does mean that the guys want to call more attention to the music they're playing. ``That's something we're talking a lot about, because from starting out, we wanted to be as flamboyant as possible and outrageous, but now we feel like the band is more focused,'' DeLuca said. ``We still have the stage presence, and we still want the band to look big. We still want people, when they see us in the audience, to say, `Ah, that's a member of Matgo Primo.' But we're now honing our image to let our individual personalities come out in the clothes we wear. ``We want to stand out, to be energetic on stage, but we also want to put as much effort into the music and being as meaningful as we can be. We don't want to overpower the music.'' The music already packs a big enough punch, he added. In fact, the new music the band is writing -- hopefully for a release on Knoxville's El Deth label by year's end -- is almost better suited for bigger venues like Saturday's Knoxville Brewers Jam.

“We’ve actually played a number of outdoor shows, and we’re always amazed at how good we sound outdoors,” DeLuca said. “We started out as a club band, but the truth is that the music we’re writing has almost been a little too big for the venues we’ve been playing. We have these big, grandiose parts and huge crescendos that lend to these large places, and when we’re playing a small venue, it almost feels trapped, like the sound doesn’t have any place to go to.”

“I think what we’re going to discover this weekend is that we’ve been playing these clubs, but that our music is built for a big place, and the songs are really going to shine when we’re out there on the festival stage.”
- Maryville Daily Times - Steve Wildsmith (10/14/05)

"Keepin' It Weird"

You might describe Matgo Primo as a "closet" rock band. Take guitarist/keyboardist Dorian DeLuca, for example. DeLuca is one of nicest, salt-of-the-earth guys you'll ever meet. He works at a nature center and knows everything about composting. His calm, genuine, 100% vegan smile could charm the cynicism out of a politicianor coax a veggie hamburger out of its bun. But when he picks up a guitar and dons a ninja costume to play a Matgo Primo show, DeLuca's alter ego steps forward. Drummer Greg Eisinger describes DeLuca as a "madman." "We all completely worship him," Greg says, speaking on behalf of his guitarist/vocalist brotherTim and bassist Ryan Rickels. "He's a diamond in the rough we plucked from the earth, and we're turning him into a rock god." As college students, Rickels and the Eisinger brothers also betray their Matgo Primo images by day - although they admit to having their personal quirks. However, the members' somewhat left field approaches to life and music are what brought them together a year and a half ago.Matgo Primo wrestles for a way to summarize its unique sound. Greg employs the description "mind-bending synth-rock." Rickels adds, "It's bizarre rock, a little campy. It's kind of crazy and whimsical, and the costumes go with it." Matgo Primo's on-stage theatrics include the use of glam-rock costumes in an effort to stamp its image a little more firmly onto the memories of listeners. "It's kind of a trademark," Greg explains. "You see so many bands play, and maybe the one wearing the pleather coats and zombie make-up stands out. The big thing is just to keep it as weird, interesting, and unique as possible to keep people's attention."

Thankfully, Matgo Primo's art for the sake of art ideology is limited to its image, not its sound. Rather than resorting to unsettling minimalism or grating noise-rock, the band's music is pleasantly melodic and danceable. It's all original material, with the exception of an occasional rendition of the "Duck Tales" theme song. The band recently began working on a recording with the help of El Deth Productions (
- Speed Magazine - Leslie Wylie (Spring '05)


None, Never
Recorded by Don Coffey

Past Recordings:

The Flying Madman Hit The Sun - Recorded in 2005 with El Deth Productions

Demo - 2 songs Recorded by Matt Lincoln in 2005



Introduced in spring, 2003 as a tribute to the man, the legend, the enigma himself, Matgo Primo has maintained a position as one of the most popular and exciting bands in their home town of Knoxville, Tennessee.

Described as “new wave carnies playing circa-1980s indie pop,” Matgo Primo borrows liberally from early art-rock/glam pioneers such as David Bowie and Roxy Music. From the beginning, Matgo Primo’s live shows have been a whirlwind of visual and musical energy, with the complexity of their music never getting lost in the shuffle.

With a sound that blends acts like David Bowie and Talking heads with more aggressive acts like The Pixies and Mr. Bungle, Matgo Primo provides an exciting and unique musical experience, and their energetic, fast-paced performances never fail to electrify even the most stoic of crowds.

Matgo Primo is currently working on their first full-length album, to be released in 2007.

Past and Recent Accomplishments

Winner of the University of Tennessee Battle of the Bands 2004.
Headlined 10th Annual Knoxville Brewer’s Jam