Matt Bissonette

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For the former Navy SEAL and alleged author of the book No Easy Day, see No Easy Day.

Matt Bissonette (born 25 July 1961) is an American bass player and the brother of drummer Gregg Bissonette. He attended the University of North Texas's jazz music program. According to Guitar 9, an online musicianship magazine, he has played bass and other stringed instruments on at least 22 albums, with music styles ranging from jazz, jazz fusion, progressive metal and instrumental rock. Bissonette has played bass in numerous popular rock bands, alongside legends such as David Lee Roth (1987–92, recording the US platinum A Little Ain't Enough album), Jeff Lynne and ELO (2001), Ringo Starr (2003–05), and currently, Elton John (2012–present).[1][2]


In the early- to mid-1980s, Matt Bissonette toured and recorded with jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson. For part of his time in the Ferguson band, he played alongside his brother Gregg, which is something the brothers have done several times in their careers.

Matt Bissonette toured and played with Caspar McCloud for Caspar's Self Portrait album produced by Ahmet Ertgun for Atlantic Records 1982-83

In late 1987, he replaced bass virtuoso Billy Sheehan in the popular David Lee Roth band. Along with guitar innovator Steve Vai, Matt's brother Gregg (on drums,) and keyboardist Brett Tuggle, Matt toured the world behind the former Van Halen vocalist's multi-platinum, Billboard #6 album Skyscraper. While on tour with Roth, Bissonette sang the difficult high harmonies made famous in VH classics, such as "Runnin' with the Devil".

In 1989, Bissonette relocated to Vancouver with Roth, his brother Gregg, guitar prodigy Jason Becker, and legendary Lou Reed and Alice Cooper guitarist Steve Hunter, to record the platinum, Billboard top 20 album A Little Ain't Enough. Following another major world tour in 1991, which coincided with a major change in popular music tastes, in 1992, the Bissonette brothers left the David Lee Roth band. That year, Matt joined guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani's band.

Following Bissonette's five-year stint with Roth, he played with several other legendary songwriters, e.g. Brian Wilson (of The Beach Boys), Don Henley (of The Eagles), Bissonette also played with Julian Lennon, Steve Perry (of Journey), Ty Tabor (of King's X), Peter Frampton, and on Gregg Bissonette's solo album.[3]

In the new millennium (2003), Bissonette reunited with Gregg Bissonette to back the legendary drummer of The Beatles, Ringo Starr, on a US tour. In 2004, Matt played with genre-bending vocalist Boz Scaggs on Scaggs' Greatest Hits Live CD and DVD.

In June 2005, the Bissonette Brothers once again backed Starr at live shows at Irving Plaza in New York City in June 2005; the Genesse Theatre in Waukegan, IL for the PBS show SoundStage; and the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, CA, as well as on several major US TV appearances (CBS This Morning, etc.)

Following his stint with the former Beatle, in 2006, Bissonette became the bass player for Rick Springfield, while singing in his own band the Squirts. Springfield and Bissonette collaborated on Springfield's Venus in Overdrive, which Bissonette co-produced.[4][5] That same year, he is notable for playing bass with trailer rock musical band Globus on their album Epicon.

Bissonette is currently the bass player for Elton John, replacing the late Bob Birch.[6]

He has also played the themes to the television shows Friends, Just Shoot Me! and The Tracey Ullman Show.[4][5]

Personal life[edit]

Matt Bissonette now lives in Orange County, Los Angeles with his wife and two children.


With the Mustard Seeds[edit]

  • s/t (1996)
  • Red (1998)
  • III (2008)

With the Squirts[edit]

  • s/t (2003)
  • Resquirted (2006)

With Jeff Lynne[edit]

With Jughead[edit]

With David Lee Roth[edit]

With Joe Satriani[edit]

With Ringo Starr[edit]

With Rick Springfield[edit]

With Robbie Angelucci[edit]

  • A Guy with an Accent (2002)

With Maynard Ferguson[edit]

  • Storm (1982)
  • Live from San Francisco (1985)

With Boz Scaggs[edit]

  • Greatest Hits Live (2004)

With Globus[edit]

Other solo projects[edit]

  • Spot (1998)
  • Spot 2 (2000)
  • Raising Lazarus (2004)
  • Oh No! Bass Solo! (2004)
  • Life of the Party (2009)
  • Disposable Planet (2011)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Off the Record", Exploring, May 1988, p. E10, retrieved 2011-07-23
  2. ^ Christe, Ian (2008) Everybody Wants Some: The Van Halen Saga, John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 978-0-470-37356-9
  3. ^ Modern Drummer, Volume 24, Issues 7-12, p. 116
  4. ^ a b Nagy, Evie (2008) "The Billboard Reviews: Albums: Rick Springfield Venus in Overdrive", Billboard, August 2, 2008, p. 33, retrieved 2011-07-23
  5. ^ a b Springfield, Rick (2010) Late, Late at Night: A Memoir, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 978-1-4391-9115-6, p. 310
  6. ^ "". Retrieved 2014-05-24. 

External links[edit]