Matt Bissonette is a name synonymous with TOP SESSION PLAYER followed quickly by the term: DYNAMIC TALENT. Matt’s list of album credits include names like The Kingston Trio, Ringo Starr, Don Henley, Joe Satriani, Rick Springfield, Brian Wilson, ELO, Steve Perry, Peter Frampton, Lita Ford & David Lee Roth among many others. Recording artist, writer, producer & consummate entertainer, Matt Bissonette is a musician known as much for his stellar sense of humor as his impeccable bass style. Always in command on stage, he’s the guy with the unstoppable energy & the infectious SMILE. Currently on a crazy busy summer tour with Rick Springfield & Co., I was stoked to steal a few minutes with Matt this week ..
5 Quick Stats with MATT BISSONETTE
1. Wallflower on the dance floor or break it down to the beats down low??
Definitely a wallflower,can’t teach dancing to a guy with three feet,wish I could dance,my wife would love me more.
2. Best makeout song ever written?
"IF" by Bread an oldie but a…..
3. ___________ is better in Michigan The Coney Islands and White Castle’s
4. If I hadn’t become a musician I would surely have been _____________
Dead. Music kept me out of a lot of trouble,and still does.
5. Plaid or Argyle?
Gargoyle. A plaid one
You are widely known as one of the most gifted bass players in the biz with a phenomenal talent for fretless bass solos. When did you decide bass was your instrument of choice?
Well thanks, that’s awful nice of you to say. I know I could have been a lot better if I practiced more and dedicated myself to the bass more,somewhere along the line I decided I didn’t care about becoming the “best” bass player in the world. I just wanted to jam with my friends and have fun,somehow I stumbled into a career and have been very thankful that it worked out. I know God always had a plan for me. I actually sit in my studio and look around and say to my wife,”Do you believe how blessed we are to do what we love?” I guess in a way if you like what you do you are successful.
I decided to play bass when I was 13. Two weeks after I got my first bass I was playing weddings and parties with my dad’s band in Detroit,he was a really great drummer. So I’ve really never known anything else but playing gigs and being a working stiff.
You have toured the world many times over & recorded with some of the most talented & influential artists of ALL time. As a Freshman studying at North Texas State, did you ever envision this level of success or the fact that you might one day tour with a BEATLE?
I drove by Denton Texas last week while out on the road, where North Texas is.. We stopped the band bus at a starbucks and I looked around the school and thought, “I don’t really remember anything!” It was so fast and the learning curve so high that it just blew by. The school was great but the best thing was the people. We would have "sessions" where you would go to friends houses and play real book jazz and rock songs, just jam for 3 or 4 hours, pack up and go to the next one. Sometimes 3 or 4 times a day. You played till your fingers fell off. There were so many great players that it was always humbling, there was always somebody way better than you. I never thought I would ever play with a Beatle, but I know all the years of gigs and going to school for music helped me prepare for it,is there really a way to prepare to play with a Beatle?
I’ve caught many of your sold-out shows with Rick Springfield & band. You guys seem to have an absolute blast EVERY time. How do you keep touring FUN after all these years together?
After all these years I’ve realized the best trait you can have is just to try and be a good guy. When you’re out on the road it can be melodramatic, everything gets bigger than it really is. It’s a show, I’m glad to be part of all the bands I’ve played in, but I realized early that it’s all a facade. I love it but can’t take any of it too seriously. One day you’re cool,the next day you’re stool…it’s the way the world is. I’m just really blessed to have played with some great players and really cool people. And,after all, we’re traveling around playing music, how can it not be fun, like playing in a sandbox.
Tell us about your studio & upcoming shows, projects & releases! Where can we get MORE MATT this year?
Can you ever get enough Matt?? I mean,C’mon!? I have a studio in our house in Orange County. I think I’ve recorded over 12 albums there so far. The newest one is called "Disposable Planet". I try and write one every year ,mostly pop music where I’m singing and playing. I’ve been writing for tv and movies etc. If I’m not writing and doing stuff I go a little crazy so I spend a lot of time in there. The best thing is recording all day at home where I can go in my son’s room and goof off with him and with my wife and be around them, then go back in and do more writing. If it wasn’t for writing and producing I don’t know what I would do.
THANK YOU for your time Matt. I know you’re one busy guy.
Well thank you Birdee. Thanks for having me, God bless ya and keep up the fine work..