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Real rock, pure and simple

Matt Mays & El Torpedo release second full length album on Whistler performance date



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While Mays writes all of the songs himself, he brings them to the other members to work out arrangements and get their feedback, so the process is really collaborative and gives the band a unique sound.

This isn’t your typical emo-rock band — they’re straight-up rock and roll.

“I live in the heart of indie rock, the hipster scene, here in Williamsburg in Brooklyn, and there’s so many great people and everybody really respects everybody, but at the same time, I feel like it’s starting to get old,” Mays said with a laugh. “… A lot of these bands are playing disco and don’t even realize it.”

While he digs disco, and stresses that he respects the different indie bands that are doing their thing, don’t expect to hear Matt Mays and El Torpedo relying solely on their synthesizers.

While they try and push themselves musically, by incorporating new sounds into their music, they’re definitely not caught up with trying to be trendy. Their sound is quite a bit deeper, with real guitars that sound like buzz saws, and their bottom line is quite simple — they just want to rock out and have a good time.

“We’re just going to sit back and do our thing, and hopefully some young band will come up with some vibe, hopefully stoner metal or something,” he added.

Surprisingly, Mays said he doesn’t listen to much music from within his own genre. Lately, he’s actually been listening to a lot of hip hop.

“I’m finding the most originality and the most talent in it. It’s something that I can’t ever conceive of being able to do — it’s just so far away from what I do,” he said, adding that he’d just been to see The Roots and walked away amazed by the performance of MC Talib Kweli.

“I feel such a power and a hunger in that stuff that I just don’t hear in much music these days.”

Mays actually has some country roots, too. He started out playing in an East Coast country rock band, The Guthries, way back in the day, an experience which helped develop an appreciation for meaningful lyricism, which he’s clearly carried over into his own genre.

“There’s a sentiment that comes along with a country song — a true, good country song — it’s so honest and stuff, and I think that’s, as a songwriter, an important trait to keep… because people have built-in honesty detectors,” he explained.

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