Playing With Matches
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Playing With Matches

Band Rock Pop


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Playing With Fire"

The first track on Playing With Matches’ self-titled debut LP is a minute and a half of dialogue. To the band, it’s a necessary element that sets up the rest of the album, but it’s the public’s opinion that will count when Playing With Matches hits stores May 12. After all, concept albums are a feast-or-famine proposition in the music business (Anyone remember Kilroy Is Here? Thank you very much, Mr. Roboto), and PWM’s is as ambitious as any, taking the script of a play, dialogue and all, and making it into the album’s lyrics sheet.

Color the band unconcerned. Bassist Andy Marshall says when singer Derek Luna came up with the idea of Eugene, a rock singer who walks away from music only to rediscover why he loved it in the first place, Luna wrote the songs to stand on their own while keeping a cohesive plot. The band is so confident in the strength of the songs that Luna says they won’t be played in order during the band’s CD release party May 12 at Remmington’s Downtown. In other words, they will give an unconventional album the most conventional of shows: Play the best songs and crank the volume.

It’s not a bad idea, since their live show is the reason most music fans know who Playing With Matches is. For the band’s first full-length album (It released an EP a couple of years ago) it called on producer Brandon Sammons and engineer Kevin Gates, guitarist for A Day Away. All of them set up shop in a house-turned-studio to record during six weeks in March and April. The entire record was recorded one instrument at a time; none of the band members got to record together during the process. The finished product, however, has generated unanimous excitement from the band, producer and engineer. “I’m really just awestruck that we pulled it off to this extent,” Marshall says. - GO Magazine


"Momento Mori" 5 song EP/ 2004/ Riat Records

"Playing With Matches" 13 song LP/ 2007 / Workers Unite



When I finally caught up with Playing with Matches, I found them not hiding in a green room but scattered throughout the crowd at their show Friday night at Remington’s. Listening to opening bands, handing out drinks, cracking up with friends, one thing was obvious from the start: this band loves their job. It was all I could do to pry them away from the sold out show to have a word with them in the downstairs bar. The five-member band has the personality of a sketch comedy group. Personality oozes from this five-member band making five minutes without a laugh or a joke almost impossible.

“We’re like an old family vaudeville act. We live together, we work together, we’re a pretty tight unit,” Luna says of his fellow band mates. The band, consisting of brothers Adam and Jacob Showalter (guitars), Jake Richardson (drums), Andy Marshall (bass) and Derek Luna (vocals) has been playing in its current lineup for about a year and a half.

Last spring the band’s sound caught the ear of Jeff Smith, engineer and producer at Studio 2100. Playing with Matches worked with Smith, who passed them on to Jim Wirt, chart-topping producer behind Incubus, Fiona Apple and Hoobastank. The band worked with Wirt through April and ended up with a demo of three songs slated to be on their next album. The band toured through summer and fall with a few dates on The Warped Tour, raising funds for their next full length while, while handing out the three songs like candy and gaining a hoard of faithful fans.

Smith says it is Luna’s lyrics that always stood out to the producer. “Nowadays, vocalists and lyricists don’t really write like that. It’s a little more intelligent rock.” The fact that the band eats, breathes and lives music doesn’t hurt either. The band just finished recording sessions for a full-length album, which Luna says will be “a story…from front to back, a story. Somewhere in between a radio drama and a rock musical.”

The band has been working with Producer Brandon Sammons and engineer Kevin Gates for months now and is eagerly awaiting the debut of the album, which they promise will be “unlike any album you’ve ever heard before.” Playing with Matches will then hit the road this summer, hoping to grow their already booming Midwest road following (they outdraw many local bands in Omaha, Kansas City and St. Louis), most likely playing another couple gigs on the Warped Tour and drumming up support for the new album. They way everything sounds (and I say this having gotten a sneak preview of the new album), the “Next” in the Next Big Thing, should be very short lived.