Matt North

  • Release
  • 02/21/2017
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About

MATT NORTH

Raised on an equal dose of Hee-Haw and Soul Train, North played gigs in Champaign, Illinois from a young age alongside the late Jay Bennett of Wilco and former John Coltrane bassist, Rafael Garrett. He became house drummer for The Sunshine Dinner Theater at age 14 where he worked until college and, after winning the Illinois All-State Drum Set Competition, received a scholarship to study drums at the University of North Texas with world-renowned instructor, Ed Soph. Following his freshman year, University of Illinois jazz band director, John Garvey, invited North to join his band for a summer tour of Russia alongside bassist Viktor Krauss (Lyle Lovett).

North’s training ground for songwriting was atypical. Working as a fact-checker for Mother Jones Magazine in San Francisco from 1994-97, he unexpectedly began working at The Punchline Comedy Club as an opening act for Mitch Hedberg, Marc Maron, Jimmy Fallon, and Dave Chappelle. North was roommates with comedian Patton Oswalt in Haight-Ashbury for two years before moving to L.A. where he began privately writing songs, answering “Drummer Wanted” ads, and writing his original screenplay Best Western that won multiple awards, resulting in regular work as a story analyst – skills he now transfers to songwriting. His great uncle is novelist and Kentucky poet laureate, Jesse Stuart, and his father's family were Scotch-Irish coalminers in Harlan County, Kentucky.

In 2000, North starred opposite James Woods in the Golden Globe winning movie “Dirty Pictures” and was soon cast by Larry David for seven episodes of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” as Jason Alexander’s agent. After shooting the first episode of Season 2, HBO abruptly wrote North out when Alexander left “Curb” to star in his own NBC sitcom “Bob Patterson.” His last years in L.A. were focused entirely on drumming, songwriting, and raising his son who was born on the autism spectrum while North worked as a valet at Century Plaza Hotel and Beverly Hills City Hall as a custodian.

Before leaving L.A. for Nashville in 2010, he produced “I Can’t Die In L.A.,” by L.A. band, Hail The Size, featuring vocalist Maria McKee of Lone Justice. Vintage Guitar Magazine later called it “one of the best albums of the year.”  As a new Nashvillian with few connections, North began learning guitar, piano, and recording “Above Ground Fools” in his garage.  Looking ahead, North will release what he calls his “punk-rock-special-education-protest-single” about the Tennessee Department of Education, “Tennessee IEP” in Fall 2017.

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For Extended Bio, Hi-Res Pics, or to schedule an interview: mattnorth.net

 

 

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Rock | Americana/Roots | Indie Rock

Links

Source

Howard Wuelfing

Nashville Songwriter Matt North's Debut, Above Ground Fools

Matt North’s Debut “ABOVE GROUND FOOLS” Out FEB 21, 2017

Throughout Above Ground Fools, Matt North delivers ten original songs of doomed romance, the death of newsworthy news, male jealousy, legal battles, and other upbeat tales of personal failure – all of them true.

  • Featuring Nashville’s A-list: bassist Chris Donohue (Elvis Costello, Emmy Lou Harris), keyboardist Michael Webb (Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton), guitarist Stuart Mathis (Lucinda Williams), guitarist Michael McAdam (Steve Earle), and keyboardist Billy Livsey (Brendan Benson).
  • Mastered by Pete Lyman, known for Chris Stapleton’s Grammy winning “Traveller,” Sturgill Simpson, Elizabeth Cook, Jason Isbell, and Shovels & Rope.
  • North has performed and recorded drums with L.A. punk band, The Buxotics, Maria McKee, Peter Case, Andy Prieboy, Jesse DeNatale, Mink Stole, and Blondie Chaplin (Rolling Stones, Beach Boys).

“I always saw singing and writing as part of what’s expected,” North explains. “When other kids were drumming to Rush, I was more impressed with how Neil Peart wrote their lyrics. I grew up practicing to the first three Police records, but paid closer attention to Stewart Copeland’s solo work as Klark Kent and how Levon Helm, Stan Lynch, and Keith Moon all sang from behind the drums. And of course I noticed every Kiss concert was pretty much built around Peter Criss singing Beth.”

Track By Track Commentary by Matt North

A Good Day In Nashville – “I wrote early drafts house-hunting in Nashville 2010 and finished the song after Nashville’s development boom became absurd. After living here for a year, I already wanted my old Nashville back.”

No Hard Feelings – “If the inspiration for this were to be identified it’d constitute a breach of contract.”

Seventeen Days – “The first verse is actually true to the early courtship of my wife. The rest of the song threads anecdotes from other lives with my own, but I won’t confess what came from whom.”

Cronkite and Cosell – “I wrote it at the onset of the 2016 election cycle when CNN pretty much began handing Donald Trump the nomination. It addresses a lost era when news was, in fact, newsworthy.”

Miss Communication – “I started the song where it all began - the drum intro is actually the first beat I ever learned on the drums in Champaign, Illinois jamming to The Who, Devo, and Kiss records in my garage.”

I Sold It All – “Definitely autobiographical -- about bittersweet eBay sales in desperate times as a struggling drummer-father: two words that should really never be hyphenated.”

Murder Shows – “Inspired by my wife, who often ends her day watching murder shows, drinking Modelos, painting her toes. In the morning she reports how husbands and wives killed each other before I’ve even had my coffee.”

Jesus And Fireworks – “My first song as a Nashvillian. I wrote it adjusting to Southern culture like churches on every corner and the multitude of reported lost fingers, toes, and eyeballs after 4th of July cook-outs.”

Badgering The Witness – “Once we settled into Nashville, we became immersed in a four-year legal battle against Metro Nashville Public Schools over the state’s failure to provide appropriate services for my son’s special needs. Sitting in court during a nine-day trial, I wrote “Badgering The Witness” sitting in court after opposing attorneys kept me on the stand for five hours (mostly to escalate my legal fees).”

Come Here Go Away – “A not-so-subtle lambaste of falsely polite Southern communication. I take on the role of offending parties, bless their hearts.”

BIO

Raised on an equal dose of Hee-Haw and Soul Train, North played gigs in Champaign, Illinois from a young age alongside the late Jay Bennett of Wilco and former John Coltrane bassist, Rafael Garrett. After dropping out of college and forfeiting his scholarship to study drums at the University of North Texas, North was invited by University of Illinois jazz band director, John Garvey, to join his band for a 1989 summer tour of Russia and Ukraine alongside bassist Viktor Krauss (Lyle Lovett). North played in the legendary “Garv Band” from 1989-1991.

North’s training ground for songwriting was atypical. Working as a fact-checker for Mother Jones Magazine in San Francisco from 1994-97, he unexpectedly began working at The Punchline Comedy Club as an opening act for Mitch Hedberg, Marc Maron, Jimmy Fallon, and Dave Chappelle. North was roommates with comedian Patton Oswalt in Haight-Ashbury for two years before moving to L.A. where he began privately writing songs, answering “Drummer Wanted” ads, and writing his original screenplay Best Western that won multiple awards, resulting in regular work as a story analyst – skills he now transfers into songwriting. His great uncle is novelist and Kentucky poet laureate, Jesse Stuart, and his father's family were Scotch-Irish coalminers in Harlan County, Kentucky.

In 2000, North starred opposite James Woods in the Golden Globe winning movie “Dirty Pictures” and was soon cast by Larry David for seven episodes of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” as Jason Alexander’s agent. After shooting the first episode of Season 2, HBO abruptly wrote North out when Alexander left “Curb” to star in his own NBC sitcom “Bob Patterson.” His last years in L.A. were focused entirely on drumming, songwriting, and raising his son who was born on the autism spectrum while working as a valet at Century Plaza Hotel and Beverly Hills City Hall as a custodian.

Before leaving L.A. for Nashville in 2010, he produced and co-wrote “I Can’t Die In L.A.,” by L.A. band, Hail The Size, featuring vocalist Maria McKee of Lone Justice. Vintage Guitar Magazine later called it “one of the best albums of the year.”  As a new Nashvillian with few connections, North began learning guitar, piano, and recording “Above Ground Fools” in his garage.  Looking ahead, North will release what he calls his “punk-rock-special-education-protest-single” about the Tennessee Department of Education, “Tennessee IEP” in Fall 2017.

# # #

For Photos, Extended Bio, or to schedule an interview: mattnorth.net

Dispatch Details

Release Format: Album
Release Type: Digital & Physical
Record Label: Round Badge Records
Release Title: Above Ground Fools
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