|Matthew Good Band|
|Origin||Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada|
|Labels||A&M, Mercury, Polygram, Darktown, Universal, Atlantic|
Age of Electric
Matthew Good Band was a Canadian alternative rock band formed by Matthew Good that existed from 1995 to 2002. The band consisted of Good (vocals, guitar), Dave Genn (lead guitar/keyboard), Ian Browne (drums) and Geoff Lloyd (bass) from 1995 to 1999 (replaced by Rich Priske from 1999 to 2001). The band would become one of Canada's most successful rock bands of the late 1990s and early 2000s, being nominated for 14 Juno Awards and winning the awards for "Best Group" and "Best Rock Album" (Beautiful Midnight) in 2000. The band dissolved in 2002. Good has since pursued a successful solo career, while Genn joined the Canadian rock group 54-40 in 2005. Geoff Lloyd died in January 2010.
Good's early career in music involved a variety of folk demos and a stint as the lead singer of a folk band, the Rodchester Kings. Matthew Good and guitarist Simon Woodcock were discovered at an open mic at Simon Fraser University by manager Brent Christensen. Early Rodchester Kings demos were recorded at Fragrant Time Records in Burnaby by Greg Wasmuth and Steven Codling.
From 1992 to 1993, Good recorded short demo tapes called "Left of Normal", "Broken", and "Euphony", which featured acoustic songs like "Mercy Misses You", "Heather's Like Sunday", and the title track "Euphony". In 1994, he won a prize from 99.3 The Fox's Seeds competition, an annual competition of local Vancouver-based bands. The prize included recording time at a local studio/recording school, where, in September 1994, Good, along with band members Steve Codling, Judy Renouf, Eran Vooys, and Ariel Watson, recorded "15 hours on a September Thursday". This demo tape included songs like "Second Sun", "The Ocean", and "Last of the Ghetto Astronauts". In December 1994, the band signed a publishing deal with EMI Publishing.
In March 1995, the original band went on tour across Canada. Upon return, the band split up and Matt started over with a new group of musicians.
In mid-1995, they released their debut full-length album, Last of the Ghetto Astronauts. Although initially popular only in the Vancouver area, the album began to catch on across Canada in 1996, with the singles "Alabama Motel Room", "Symbolistic White Walls", and "Haven't Slept in Years" becoming significant hits on radio and MuchMusic. The album was the first of several the band would record at Greenhouse Studios.
The Matthew Good Band would return to Greenhouse Studios to record their next album, Underdogs. The album was released in 1997 and spawned the hit singles "Everything Is Automatic", "Indestructible", "Apparitions" and "Rico". Good's political outspokenness and brash confidence were unusual in the Canadian rock scene of the 1990s, and he was soon recognized as much for his seemingly difficult disposition as for his musical talent. As a nod to his reputation, merchandise with the phrase "I Hear Matt Good Is a Real Asshole" was sold at MGB shows. He also maintained a subversive image, sometimes posing for publicity photos in a gorilla mask.
1999 saw the departure of Lloyd and the joining of Rich Priske as the new bassist. The band released Beautiful Midnight the same year. Like Underdogs, Beautiful Midnight was produced by Warne Livesey at Greenhouse Studios. The album became successful via singles including "Hello Time Bomb", "Load Me Up" and "Strange Days". The album earned them two Juno awards in 2000, for Best Group and Best Rock Album. (Good himself boycotted the Juno Awards, and guitarist Dave Genn has been quoted as saying that he only attends for the open bar.) In 2000, the band's song "Running for Home" was featured in an episode of Higher Ground.
After touring Beautiful Midnight for nearly two years, the band set to work on The Audio of Being. Good was 31 then. The album's creation came during a difficult emotional period for him. While he struggled to deal with the band's success, he was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, a disease that causes lesions to form in the lungs, prompting him to temporarily quit smoking. Following throat surgery to remove a nodule from a vocal cord, Good stayed in a hotel for three weeks in Whistler to work on songs. Good wrote most of the album while unable to speak or sing. Good later wrote that he spent much of the time "trying to keep down food supplement bars, trying to forget the growing tension within the band, the high expectations of needing to produce 'hit songs' (whatever they are these days), throwing up, and trying to find some semblance of direction in my personal life".
The band entered the studio in late 2000 to record the material. The sessions saw a great deal of intra-band turmoil, with Dave Genn quitting the band before the album was complete. He returned a few days later, however, only to quit permanently not long after the album's release in October 2001. Following Genn's departure, Good dissolved the band in 2002. The band's last music video, for Anti-Pop, contained brief cameos of Priske and Browne, but consisted primarily of camcorder videos following Good, American race car driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and a kidnapped garden gnome to popular tourist destinations throughout the United States. Ian Browne appears at the end of the video as the owner of the returned gnome (information taken from "In A Coma" DVD commentaries).