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Matt Leonard

“Some call me Matty Dub. I play drums for a number of bands in the region including Relacksachian, Groova Scape, The Dead Reckoning, GOTE, Sly Devil, & Welcome to Hoonah.”

“I first got started in music when I was a baby. My older brother was a percussion player in school band and we always had instruments around the house. One of my earliest memories was using drumsticks to ‘tickle the ivories’ on Mom’s piano (which didn’t go over well with her). I guess I’ve always loved making noise. When I was old enough, I also joined the Woodrow Wilson middle school band, but chose to play bass clarinet to broaden my views of music. Then came high school; Led Zeppelin were gods and rock and roll consumed me, so I taught myself to play drums.”

“I love making music for the smiles. In the end I want people to remember the good times I helped create.  Being a bit of an introvert, I find myself staying quiet in crowded spaces and not interacting with people. On stage, it’s a different story. When I really get at it, playing hard, head banging and generally losing myself in the music, I find the crowd is right there with me and for a moment we share one existence.”

“In addition to my music, I spent 15 years as a snowboard instructor. This work included a lot of critiques of my performance and public speaking abilities. Those experiences helped me learn how to be a better performer. I learned that people want to feel safe, secure, and be entertained. My favorite shows are when the room is so packed that you can feel the warmth of the bodies and the crowd is humming like locust.  Last July, Groova Scape and Welcome to Hoonah played the Speakeasy tent at Floydfest, and both crowds possessed those traits. When the energy is there, all that I need to do is hold the sticks and let the drums play me.”

“To anyone wanting to learn to rock, my first advice is practice, practice, practice. After that, it’s not to take it too seriously. I know some unbelievably talented musicians that get on stage and bore their audience. As a musician, I work to interact with and feed off of the people, and let crowd set the tone. By surrendering to the flow, it helps create an environment that stimulates everyone.”

When Matt’s not playing drums, he works as a stagehand. From lighting and audio to pretty scenic set pieces, to him it’s all part of the show. He has had the opportunity to work and learn the music business from some of his favorites, from Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Widespread Panic, String Cheese Incident, Carlos Santana, Billy Kreutzman, Trey Anastasio, Tom Petty, and far too many more to list.

#Drums #Stagehands #Bass #Clarinet #Rock


Photo by Stacy Cox

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