Matt Pike

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Matt Pike
Pike performing in 2016
Pike performing in 2016
Background information
Birth nameMatthew Pike
Born (1972-06-03) June 3, 1972 (age 49)
Southfield, Michigan, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)Musician
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years active1989[1]–present
LabelsSouthern Lord, Relapse, Man's Ruin, Earache, Tee Pee
Associated actsHigh on Fire, Sleep, Asbestosdeath, Kalas
Websitehighonfire.com

Matthew Pike (born June 3, 1972) is an American musician best known as the guitarist of stoner metal/doom metal band Sleep and the frontman of High on Fire. With High on Fire, Pike won the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance for the song "Electric Messiah".

As a guest star, Pike voiced a Klokateer in Metalocalypse on late-night block Adult Swim.

Early life[edit]

Pike was born in Southfield, Michigan.[2] He moved to California after spending time in military school while living with his mother in Golden, Colorado.[2] Arriving in San Jose, he realized the hardcore punk and heavy metal scenes were more active than the ones in Colorado. He made friends, attended shows, and eventually joined the sludge metal band Asbestosdeath. When playing around the Bay Area they developed a much heavier and slower sound more akin to doom metal. The quartet soon gained a following and changed their name to Sleep.[3]

Career[edit]

Sleep[edit]

Pike performing with Sleep in 2019

When fellow Sleep guitarist Justin Marler quit the band, Sleep became a power trio. The band's second album, Sleep's Holy Mountain, illustrated Pike as a young Tony Iommi, playing Black Sabbath-styled riffs.

As a result of the increased press, the band's demographic and following widened greatly, and major label deals soon began surfacing. However, instead of following a path to mainstream exposure, the band fled further underground, turning down countless major label deals[citation needed] and submitting the one-song, full-length record Jerusalem in mid-1996. In 1997, the band called it quits after London Records refused to release the Dopesmoker/Jerusalem recordings and the pressure the members were experiencing became unbearable. Pike couldn't come to terms with the break-up and became depressed. He soon realized that his career as a musician was far from over, and began inviting people to jam in his garage. Deciding to work in a power trio again, he brought in Desmond Kensel (drums) and an old friend George Rice (bass) to play in his new band. Within six months, the jams were headed to fruition and High on Fire was developing from a simple need to play guitar again.[4]

High on Fire[edit]

From the ashes of Sleep rose Pike's new band, High on Fire, and while his guitar tone remained largely the same, he began playing faster and more aggressively than Sleep. Pike handles both guitar and vocal duties in the band, as well as writing a bulk of the material. High on Fire have toured constantly since their inception.[5]

Kalas[edit]

Pike was the frontman of the Bay Area psychedelic-metal band Kalas (formerly Scum Angel) that featured members of Econochrist, Samiam, and Cruevo. Pike set aside the guitar for Kalas, as they already featured two guitarists; his vocals were surprisingly melodic,[according to whom?] especially compared to his snarling growls in High on Fire. After only releasing a self-titled album, Kalas split by October 2006.[6]

Personal life[edit]

In 2012, Pike made his problems with addiction public as he dropped off the Rockstar Mayhem Festival during the summer and went into rehab. He cited health problems caused by his heavy consumption of alcohol as the reason. He admitted to having "fallen off the wagon" a few times since. In addition to this, he has admitted to suffering from bipolar disorder, and has sustained bodily injuries from relentless years of touring.[7]

In 2018, Pike's band High on Fire announced they would be cancelling their upcoming tour due to Pike needing a partial amputation of one of his toes.[8] Again on January 7, 2019, they announced via their Instagram that High on Fire would be cancelling their 2019 Electric Messiah tour because of Pike's risk of losing his big toe or part of his foot, due to complications from diabetes.[9]

Discography[edit]

Pike with High on Fire, 2016
Sleep
High on Fire
Asbestosdeath
  • 1990: Dejection (EP)
  • 1990: Unclean (EP)
  • 2007: Unclean Dejection
Kalas
  • 2006: Kalas

References[edit]

  1. ^ "HIGH ON FIRE's MATT PIKE to Release 'Head on a Pike: The Illustrated Lyrics of Matt Pike'". Blabbermouth.net. June 25, 2021.
  2. ^ a b @Loudwire (November 16, 2016). "Matt Pike - Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
  3. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Biography: Asbestos Death". AllMusic. Retrieved March 19, 2010.
  4. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Biography: Sleep". Allmusic. Retrieved March 19, 2010.
  5. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Biography: High on Fire". AllMusic. Retrieved March 19, 2010.
  6. ^ "KALAS Calls It Quits". Blabbermouth.net. October 30, 2006. Retrieved October 30, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Pehling, Dave. "High on Fire's Matt Pike on Life After Rehab: "Every Single Day Is a Struggle"". SF Weekly. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  8. ^ "HIGH ON FIRE Drops Off Coming Tour Due To Matt Pike's Medical Emergency". Metal Injection. October 29, 2018. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  9. ^ "𝕳𝖎𝖌𝖍 𝖔𝖓 𝕱𝖎𝖗𝖊 on Instagram: "High On Fire will not participate in the 2019 "Electric Messiah Tour" sponsored by Revolver Magazine. Fans can refund their tickets through…"". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 25, 2021. Retrieved January 10, 2019.

External links[edit]