Matthew Good debuted on the music scene with the Matthew Good Band in 1995 with Last of the Ghetto Astronauts. That album was the quickest indie album to sell in Victoria, British Columbia, which is where the band first met. Following the foundation that was built with Astronauts, audience and career wise, the band followed up with the successful, Underdogs, releasing the songs “Rico” and “Apparitions” that helped spark a rock revolution in Canada. This sophomore release helped Matthew Good Band to fine tune their sound into what was to come.
By 1999, the band released their most pivotal record yet with Beautiful Midnight. This is the album that should have seen the band crossover to the US, but instead it was the band’s last breath of creativity we would see or hear from again. In Matt Good’s opinion though, Midnight represented the pinnacle of four guys who never really got along and were never going to get along. Matthew Good Band was poised to become the next big thing; they were onto something, on the cusp, if you will. So what happened? Did they crack under the pressure of success? “It was a lot of bad internal politics,” says Good. “In the kind of situation in which we worked in, it was lucky occurrences that fell into place despite the fact that there was so much bad internal politics that was going on in the band. I had grown tired very much of doing the work and people were trying to insert or interject things in songs for publishing credits. It became very politicized as far as business is concerned. That’s not the kind of band that I wanted to be in. We were so huge at the time. It was an unfortunate thing, but a necessity.”
Even though he doesn’t talk to his former band mates, they have since moved on to different projects. Good has started a neat little solo career, releasing the political White Light Rock and Roll Review, Avalanche, and the most recent Hospital Music. Dave Genn has joined 54-40 and is now producing a new Victoria, British Columbia band called Armchair Cynics. “I’d rather break into mainstream America on my own than with a band. I wrote everything before with Matthew Good Band, so I really don’t see that as a strange comparison…the great thing about my audience is that the people are hard core fans. I can play something from the past and so obscure that they will know it.”
However, Good does not regret breaking into mainstream with Matthew Good Band. Good says that his solo work is not comparable to his MGB days and that if he would make it big, it would be on his own and on his own terms. For now, Matthew Good Band will live on in Canadian rock and roll history and Good will make a name for himself, as he will make a solo star out of himself, yet.
Matt Good’s latest CD, Hospital Music, is out now. For everything Matt Good, visit Matthewgood.org.
Writer: Robert Frezza