Matt Mays at the 2008 Ottawa Bluesfest
August 10, 1979|
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
|Origin||Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada|
|Genres||Indie rock, folk rock|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, harmonica, tenor saxophone, keyboards|
|Associated acts||Matt Mays & El Torpedo, The Guthries, Sam Roberts|
Tim Jim Baker
Jay Smith (deceased 2013)
Matt Mays (born August 10, 1979) is a Canadian indie rock singer-songwriter and was the lead singer of Matt Mays & El Torpedo, a rock music group based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and New York City. Previously, Mays was a member of a Canadian indie band The Guthries. Mays was born in Hamilton, Ontario, and grew up in Nova Scotia.
The Guthries were a Canadian country rock band formed in 1998 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The band's first album Off Windmill, was released in 2000. The band toured extensively throughout Canada and the UK. Mays subsequently left the band in 2002, just prior to the release of the band's second release, the self-titled The Guthries. However, following the self-titled release, the band members each began pursuing solo projects, and have not released another Guthries album.
At the 2005 Juno Awards, Mays presented an award, and was himself nominated for New Artist of the Year and Adult Alternative Album of the Year for his self-titled album.
In 2014, his album Coyote won the Juno Award for Rock Album of the Year.
Matt Mays & El Torpedo
Matt Mays & El Torpedo consisted of Jay Smith (guitar, vocals), Andy Patil (bass, vocals), Tim Baker (drums), and Adam Baldwin (keyboard).
"Cocaine Cowgirl" received saturation airplay on Canadian rock radio in 2005, and its video heavy rotation on MuchMusic. At the 2006 East Coast Music Awards, MM&ET were nominated for entertainer of the year, group of the year, radio rock recording of the year, album of the year, and single of the year (for "Cocaine Cowgirl"), and won all of these but entertainer of the year award. They closed out the national broadcast of the event with "Cocaine Cowgirl". As he introduced the band, host Mike Smith (Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys) said that they were one of his favourite bands. In Maclean's magazine, Ron MacLean of Hockey Night in Canada listed Matt Mays & El Torpedo among the artists whose music he "never leaves home without."
In 2006 Matt Mays and El Torpedo released a music video for their single "Time of Your Life ('til You're Dead)", directed by Drew Lightfoot. The video was filmed in Kensington Market, Toronto, Ontario. This particular video features the card manipulations of American comedian and magician Erik Tait. This video received notice in the magic world after it was pointed out that the card manipulation with the box is physically impossible. This particular manipulation was achieved by filming Erik's hands then playing the footage backward. The card work is also acclaimed in this video as members of the band perform some of the manipulations.
When the Angels Make Contact
Matt Mays' project When the Angels Make Contact, released on November 7, 2006, is a soundtrack to Mays' unfinished film of the same name. Regarding the origin of the idea, Mays stated: "I had this album that was based on the theme of an all-nighter. It started when the sun went down and ended when the sun came up. Then I thought, 'That would make a good movie.'" The album flows with the themes of the movie, following the character J.J. Carver, a motorcyclist on a quest. The music video for the title track and the "movie trailer" were both directed by Drew Lightfoot. Although much of the movie was shot in early 2006, production then stalled due to lack of financing. Sam Roberts has a cameo role as an Australian surfer. The album features Buck 65, Skratch Bastid, and Rose Cousins, among others.
The last album, Terminal Romance, was released on July 8, 2008. Singles, "Tall Trees" and "Building a Boat" have received heavy airplay on Canadian radio, including CBC Radio 3.
Throughout July 2008, Matt Mays and El Torpedo toured with Kid Rock in support of their new album.
On December 12, 2008 Matt Mays & El Torpedo received 5 East Coast Music Association Nominations including Group Recording Of The Year and Songwriter Of The Year.
Disbanding of El Torpedo
Matt Mays & El Torpedo officially disbanded in June 2009 with the departure of Andy Patil and Tim Baker, however Adam Baldwin and Jay Smith remained with Mays. The band added four new members, including drummer Damien Moynihan, keyboard player Matt Scott, guitar player Matt Hammond and former The Guthries member Serge Samson. Jay Smith was found dead in his Edmonton hotel room on March 27, 2013.
Matt Mays released the album Coyote in September 2012, and completed a cross Canada tour to promote the release. The tour concluded on November 17, 2012, in Fredericton, New Brunswick. At the 2014 Juno Awards Coyote received the award for Rock Album of the Year.
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions|
|Matt Mays + El Torpedo||
|When the Angels Make Contact||
|Once Upon a Hell of a Time||
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
- "City of Lakes" (2002)
- "Cocaine Cowgirl" (2005)
- "On the Hood" (2005)
- "Time of Your Life" (2005)
- "When the Angels Make Contact" feat. Buck 65 (2006)
- "850 Commando" (2006)
- "Wasn't Meant to Be" (2007)
- "Tall Trees" (2008)
- "Building a Boat" (2008)
- "Terminal Romance" (2009)
- "Queen of Portland Street" (2010)
- "Take It on Faith" (2012)
- "Indio" (2013)
- "Ain't That the Truth" (2013)
- "Faint of Heart" (2017)
- "Sentimental Sins" (2017)
- "NYC Girls" (2017)
- The Star. Toronto https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/music/2013/03/28/guitarist_jay_smith_of_matt_mays_and_el_torpedo_dies_suddenly_on_tour.html. Missing or empty
- Jason MacNeil. "The Guthries". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
- "CANOE - JAM! - The Guthries succeed with unintentional debut". Jam.canoe.ca. 2001-09-05. Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
- Barclay, Michael. "Guthries - Off Windmill • Folk & Country Reviews •". Exclaim.ca. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
- Pascual, Brian (2002-05-17). "The Guthries — The Guthries". CHARTattack. Retrieved 2012-03-19.[permanent dead link]
- Wagner, Vit (2007-01-18). "Soundtrack? Check. Film? Well ... Matt Mays tours with the album that he's still working on a film to accompany". Toronto Star. p. G2. Retrieved 2008-06-15.
- Conner, Shawn (2007-01-25). "Matt Mays risks his sanity to tell the story of a dude on a quest". The Georgia Straight. Retrieved 2008-06-14.
- Tour Page Archived 2008-06-23 at the Wayback Machine.
- The Star. Toronto https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/music/article/1250616--matt-mays-wouldn-t-be-rushed-with-new-album-coyote. Missing or empty
- Rockingham, Graham. Hamilton Spectator http://www.thespec.com/whatson-story/4438537-hamilton-native-matt-mays-wins-rock-album-of-the-year-at-juno-gala/. Retrieved 12 April 2014. Missing or empty
- Billboard peaks
- MattMays.com, Matt Mays official site