by: Young Coconut
Today I had a chance to catch up with my buddy Matt Howell, who is a multi-disciplinary artist from Cambridge, Ontario, who has a lot to say on a lot of topics. We got into music, the ’80’s, the ups and downs of the arts scene, and more (interview below).
So What’s The Deal With This Matt Howell Guy?
I know Matt to be a funny and very passionate guy who loves baseball, pro wrestling, all kinds of music (Johnny Cash to ETID), and a whole heap of other stuff.
Matt holds a big torch for all of the cool things from this formative years, like movies and video games you’d have to rent at Landry’s to play with friends over the weekend, video arcades, and the lost art of making mix tapes for your friends (and sometimes for girls you liked). In other words, stuff that is pretty much absent now from our current society but which meant something to the people who grew up during this time.
Matt Howell is currently taking it all in and sharpening his skills as a freelance interviewer / journalist, reporter, and photographer of the local music scene here in Southern Ontario. That means he attends a lot of shows, and he’s pretty much up on what’s going on in this area. Ear firmly is attached to ground, so to speak. He sometimes even gets into shows for free, that lucky bastard!
So, as I’ve been saying, Matt as a multi-disciplinarian of sorts…a Renaissance Man, if you will, because he gets up to a lot. Being the personable gent that he is, and with great enthusiasm, he gets out into the community and enjoys doing things like performing for the people. For instance, he’s a musician in several different bands that play several different styles of music, and has done so for years.
The bands I know Matt from are the entertainingly named When An Ambulance Needs An Ambulance, which then transmogrified into the rockin’ and rollin’ The Last Good Fight.
Mr. Chris And The Gassy Bubbles
He has also been on tour lately with his latest project, called Mr. Chris & The Gassy Bubbles, of which he is one of the bubbles. The drumming bubble, to be specific.
As you can see from the above picture, Mr. Chris and the Gassy Bubbles is a colorful and fun band which essentially puts on a family friendly show that all can enjoy, which includes ample amounts of singing, dancing, puppetry, audience participation, and some rock ‘n’ roll thrown in for good measure. The shows so far have been a hit, and Matt has been diggin’ it. Songs they play are classics you may remember from your childhood, such as Itsy Bitsy Spider, Roly Poly, and this one, Little Bunny Foo Foo.
So while Mr. Chris & The Gassy Bubbles are busy gigging for crowds of kids and family members who reciprocate the love, Matt also has a growing career as a journalist of sorts. Currently working for the local TV station Rogers, Matt is out on the live music scene, doing interviews with a wide variety of bands, taking photos and video footage of different bands and artists and getting the scoop on what they are up to.
Taking in these shows is where a few skills come into play for Matt personally, such as the photography, the videography, and interviewing skills, and just the interpersonal skills that allows Matt to get up close and personal with a variety of musician types.
Since he’s also a fan of writing, Matt has goals to document his adventures in writing as well. And, not only that, but several podcasts are being talked about, including one on wrestling, one about movies, and another about history!
So, without further delay, check out the YTMS interview with Matt Howell, as we cover all of these topics and more!