“It’s a real honour to be asked to contribute to UPF. It’s great to see Australia making such a strong mark on the progressive music scene and it’s a real pleasure to be a part of that. Furthermore, this is a musical collective with an important environmental message that will hopefully make everyone think about the responsibility we all have to look after this planet we call home.”
Matt’s mother says she remembers Matt coming down the hallway singing the song “Movie Star” by one hit wonder Harpo, when he was just a toddler – a sign of things to come perhaps? He was always drawn to music as a child and a love of Kiss and the animated music video for Roger Glover and Ronnie James Dio’s hit “Love Is All” both left a huge impression on him.”
As a youngster, Matt always had a transistor radio in his room along with a small record collection, which he treasured. “I was an only child until the age of ten and music was a great companion for me, something that entertained me and fully captured my imagination” said Matt. At the age of twelve, he began to discover bands like Van Halen and Rush and instantly fell in love with heavy metal and prog rock. “It was around this time that many of my friends were learning an instrument and while I showed an interest in learning the guitar, it just never really stuck for me” says Matt.
By 18, Matt decided to take some vocal lessons from a local teacher. It was then that he discovered a natural ability to sing but his lack of confidence meant the only person who ever heard him was his teacher! Matt spent much of his 20’s living in the UK and Europe working in the music industry with some of the biggest names in prog rock. However aside from a guest vocal spot on a friend’s album (“Uneasy Listening” by Dirtbox ), he rarely pursued his interests in singing.
Upon returning to Australia in late 2001, Matt finally joined his first band – a Beatles tribute called ‘Glass Onion’. Matt explained, “A friend of mine was starting a Beatles cover band and encouraged me to come down and have a jam with them. He said you’ve always wanted to sing, if you don’t have a go now you never will. I figured as it was with people I knew, I had nothing to worry about. It didn’t take long before I realised I could sing the songs well and from there the confidence thing just grew”.
Matt performed locally around the Adelaide music scene for a few years both with ‘Glass Onion’ and then later with ‘Toast’, another group of friends playing classic rock covers by bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Whitesnake. Then in 2014, Matt answered an online ad from a Pink Floyd tribute band seeking a lead vocalist. His audition was a success and since then, Matt has been performing in theatres around the country with Echoes of Pink Floyd – Australia’s premier Pink Floyd tribute show. A combination of his experience and passion for Pink Floyd, made him the perfect vocalist to re-create the stylings of both Roger Waters and David Gilmour.
After reconnecting with his old band mates from ‘Toast’ who introduced him to vocalist Mark Trueack, Matt was honoured to be asked to take part in United Progressive Fraternity. “It’s exciting!” said Matt, “I’ve not really had the opportunity to be a part of an original band before so I really appreciate being asked to contribute to the new UPF album. It’s so great to see Australia really developing quite a respectable prog scene and to be a part of that in some way is a dream for me”.