Happy Birthday Matt!
Today is Matt's 33rd birthday and even though he doesn't like to make a fuss about it, I think that even though we're between the holidays and Stu and Maria's birthdays, he should to get a shoutout - and a bottle o' Basil Hayden ('cuz nothing says "birthday" like booze!)
I met Matt about ten years ago. Me and Stu's pop band Fierce Logic was running out of creative steam and I was looking to rock out more. I found an ad in The Rocket (the long defunct local music mag) and called it. We had a good chat, Matt and his housemate Andy were looking to start a band, but we didn't have a drummer. I didn't know if Stu would go for it, so a couple of months went by. I finally asked Stu and it turned out he was interested! Matt, Andrew, Stu and I got together in the basement of Stu's mother's house for our first jam as The Visitors in September and worked out some songs Matt had. The first one was called "Fay Wray." We recorded a demo soon after which we expanded to a full length some time after that, but we never released it.
Andrew moved away, we got "management" (Matt's girlfriend, Trish) and play a bunch of gigs but around the fall of '97, I was frustrated and ready to move on. I wanted to do even heavier rock and Matt was moving in a more loose and experimental direction. The band continued with newer personnel as Askew, but that fell apart after awhile. Matt moved away and got married. I never did start my "Super Maximum R&B" band, but while on vacation with Stu in 2001, I listened to the old Visitors disc and I loved what I heard. Matt and Leslie had moved back to Seattle, so I contacted him and Fey Ray was born.
Aside from being a husband, father and my Brother In Rock, Matt's a touchable and interesting dude. He's into film, poker, music in all its guises (he turned me onto Television, for example), does an awesome Bob Mould impression, is an excellent cook and his political writing is precise, concise and insightful in way I wish mine were (part of the reason I quit doin' it!) He's a graduate student in Middle East Studies and Arabic and I look forward to the day he's on Meet the Press, pontificating on the Middle East and the differences between Eric Clapton and Dave Gilmour's string bends.
Happy B-day dude.
(And thanks for the cigs!)