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Reader Spotlight: Matt Volpe

Matt VolpeMeet Matt Volpe, a bassist who has as diverse musical background as any we’ve profiled. His non-musical career is pretty interesting as well.

Matt is our player in the spotlight for the week of February 11, 2013.

Bio:

The bass bug bit Matt Volpe hard in his last year of high school upon hearing Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Eric Avery from Jane’s Addiction and Joe Lally from Fugazi. Matt started playing bass in his NYU college dorm at age 19. He has not put down the instrument since. As his musical tastes expanded to jazz, dub, R&B and metal, it became clear to him he needed to play bass, not just wanted to play bass.

His first band was with the Elevens, a rock/pop group formed with college friends. A more serious venture began when he later joined the NYC underground art metal band Shirley Temple of Doom, where he grew not only as a bassist but as a songwriter. After 10 years and three full-length albums later, Matt left STD to pursue other musical opportunities. He did a one off improv record with an art rock band he helped form named Blanche Mayhem. He appeared as a session bassist for the GODSPELL 2000 soundtrack on Universal Records. He later joined a Williamsburg, Brooklyn alt rock outfit named Slim Francis.

Matt then became a member of the female fronted punk/pop band, Pucker. He later joined a children’s music extravaganza band, Baze and His Silly Friends and he loved every second of it.

Matt plays bass and records occasionally with his cousin’s rock band, The Ed Volpe Band. He is also a session bassist, having recorded with acclaimed television composer, John Angier.

From 2010 to the fall of 2012, Matt was the bass player for Atom Strange, an alt rock band from NYC that specializes in “HI-FI SCI-FI” rock music which combines many musical genres. Presently, Matt has formed a composing team with Peter DiStefano (Porno for Pyros called biCoastal Sounds. Matt and Pete write, perform and produce music cues for licensing in film, television, video games and mobile media. Matt lives in New Jersey with his wife and their one son.

Location:

East Brunswick NJ

Day gig:

In addition to his life in music, I have a full time career as a Senior Writer/Producer for truTV

Years experience:

23 years

Bands & Gigs:

I am not in a band at the moment. However, I am in a musical/composing partnership with Peter DiStefano (Porno for Pyros). We create instrumental music for licensing in all forms of media.

Gear:

  • G&L 2000 1996 string bass
  • Musicman Stingray
  • 1975 Fender P Bass
  • Acoustic Amps and Cabinets
  • Digitech Bass Pedal 355

Why I play the bass:

My love for low end sounds.

My bass superpower/claim to fame

Speed, agility, off key and dissident stylings, funk and groove.

I used to play bass in:

  • Elevens
  • Shirley Temple of Doom
  • Blanche Mayhem
  • Slim Francis
  • Pucker
  • The Ed Volpe Band
  • Baze and His Silly Friends
  • Atom Strange

My influences

Eric Avery, Flea, Norwood Fisher, James Jamerson, John Paul Jones, Peter Distefano, John Fruciante, Rites of Spring by Stravinsky, Peter Hook, Mike Watt, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie, Hank Mobley, Paul Chambers, Ray Brown, Jaco, Slam Stewart, Oscar Pettiford, Jimi Hendrix, Mike Cody, Jaws, Sharks, Coffee and my wife and son :)

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