Last updated: 05/30/2010 12:00:00 PM
Mat Barber Guitar, Vocals
Bryan Whiteman Bass
Anthony Brock Drums
Matt Breen Vocals, Guitar
Upon first meeting, it’s easy to tell why some are calling Matt Breen rock’s newest self-loathing posterchild. Just ask the soft spoken, 21 year old singer guitarist of the band Emanuel about their upcoming debut album "Soundtrack to a Headrush”, and the impact his life has had upon the music. He will appear to be more interested in the bulls eye pattern on his shoes than delivering an honest answer.
"Our music a direct reflection of ourselves" claims Breen who along with bassist Bryan Whiteman formed the band in 1998, borrowing the name from that of a local drug dealer through whom they met Emanuel's other half, guitarist Mat Barber and drummer Anthony Brock. "Everything we write is truth. It’s our mantra. We're just putting it on our sleeves for everyone else to see. We're not doing it for anyone but ourselves."
When asked about the reasoning behind the albums title Breen answers easily,” The songs on Soundtrack, are ten stories from the most fucked up year of my life. I just wrote them one by one as it went along, and this was the music in my head. This was my soundtrack."
Emanuel's music is the byproduct of the gritty, heavy local sound of their hometown indie-rock scene in Louisville, KY and the members love of both nineties alternative acts such as Nirvana and the Smashing Pumpkins and classic rock greats like The Beatles and Led Zeppelin. The influences bleed through on all of the riff heavy songs on "Soundtrack To A Headrush", taking dramatic twists and turns lead by Breen's throat shredding vocals, through pounding verses and glossy, unforgettable pop choruses. The albums opening track "The Hey Man!" is a sonic fuck you to "self righteous hipster types" around the world, complete with chainsaw guitars and a cynical yet irresistible dance breakdown. "When you go to a show anywhere today it's more about fashion than it is rock." explains Breen, "This is our way of saying, bring it back to the music. Take the popularity contest back to your high school.”
By the time you reach the albums risqué first single, the haunting, anthemic "You Cannot Rape The Willing", you realize that Breen isn't biting his tongue any longer. Accompanied by jagged, siren like guitars laid down by Barber, he confesses the songs title along with a tendency for self-destructive behavior.
"The song doesn't have anything to do with physical rape.” Breen insists. "It's about vices. Whether it is drugs or alcohol or even a lover. I'm just using the adage to say, you can't force someone to do something that they want to do."
The record continues on, bridging together sub-genres and styles into unique songs such as the sexually charged, urban rock vibe of "Make Tonight" and into the chaotic, musical anxiety attack of "The New Violence", in which driven by the explosive rhythm section of Brock and Whiteman the band warns the listener of being "eaten alive".
After years of hard work and anticipation the bands full-length debut "Soundtrack to a Headrush" will be available in February on Vagrant Records. "This is what we live for." Breen remarks assuredly. "And this is just the beginning. I've got a lot of shit to say, and now I have the mic. So make sure you’re listening."