Weapon ~ Matthew Good

Matthew Frederick Robert Good  is a Canadian rock musician. He was the lead singer for the Matthew Good Band, one of Canada’s most successful alternative rock bands in the 1990s, before dissolving the band in 2002. Other band members included drummer Ian Browne, guitarist/keyboardist Dave Genn, and original bassist Geoff Lloyd, later replaced by Rich Priske. In the years since the Matthew Good Band’s disbanding, Good has pursued a solo career and established himself as a political activist and blogger.

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.

The Matthew Good Band was formed in Coquitlam, British Columbia in 1993. In late 1993 they recorded a short demo tape called “Euphony”, which featured acoustic songs like “Mercy Misses You”, “Heather’s Like Sunday”, and the title track “Euphony”. In 1994, they won a prize in CFOX 99.3′s annual local Vancouver independent artist competition “Vancouver Seeds”. The prize included recording time at a local studio/recording school, where, in September 1994, they recorded “15 hours on a September Thursday”. This demo tape included songs like “Second Sun”, “Dancing Invisible”, and “Push”. 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. Last of the Ghetto Astronauts, made on a budget of roughly five thousand Canadian dollars, eventually set the mark as the highest selling independent label release by a Canadian artist.

The band’s 1997 album Underdogs spawned the hit singles “Everything Is Automatic”, “Indestructible” and “Apparitions”, the latter of which remains the band’s most successful single. 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.

Beautiful Midnight, which saw the departure of Lloyd and the joining of Rich Priske as the new bassist, followed in 1999 and became hugely successful via the singles “Hello Time Bomb”, “Strange Days”, and “Load Me Up”. The album skyrocketed the band’s celebrity status and earned them two Juno awards in 2000, for Best Group and Best Rock Album. (Good himself boycotts the Juno Awards, and guitarist Dave Genn has been quoted as saying that he only attends for the open bar.)

After touring Beautiful Midnight for nearly two years, the band set to work on The Audio of Being. The album’s creation came during a difficult emotional period for Good. 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.[1] Following throat surgery to remove a nodule from a vocal cord, Good holed up for three weeks in a hotel in Whistler to work on songs. 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.

Good released his solo debut, Avalanche, in 2003. The album featured major stylistic differences from those recorded with the previous band, and featured the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra on several tracks, including the first two singles, “Weapon” and “In a World Called Catastrophe”.

Weapon

The music video for “Weapon” was directed by Matthew Good and Ante Kovac. In a later commentary, Good related that Kovac’s first edit of the video was far too standard, with gratuitous and generic fades. After firing Kovac, Good flew to Toronto and worked with video editor Jay Deschamps to re-craft the footage. While working on the edit, Good began to experiment with overlaying text and adding still frames and stock photos to help deliver the message. Good noted that he felt that the video was his favorite from his catalogue.

The video won the award for “Best Video” at the 2003 Juno Awards. However, due to Good’s boycott of the Juno Awards, Kovac accepted the award alone.

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Here by my side, an angel
Here by my side, the devil
Never turn your back on me
Never turn your back on me, again
Here by my side, it’s Heaven

Here by my side, you are destruction
Here by my side, a new colour to paint the world
Never turn your back on it
Never turn your back on it, again
Here by my side, it’s Heaven

Careful, be careful
Careful, be careful
This is where the world drops off
Where the world drops off
Careful, be careful
You breathe in and you breathe out
For it ain’t so weird
How it makes you a weapon
And you give in
And you give out
For it ain’t so weird
How it makes you a weapon
Never turn your back on it
Never turn your back on it again

Careful, be careful

Here by my side, it’s Heaven

  • Audio from the 2003 album, Avalanche:

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About DJ Allyn

DJ Allyn is a burned out radio guy who went on to become a burned out sound engineer for a few Seattle area grunge bands in the 1980s and 1990s. Left the madness of worldwide tours with bands, cleaned up my act and went into the relative sanity of sound engineering for television series. Currently working as the Director of Sound for a television series being filmed in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I am always on the lookout for interesting videos, old music, and fun.

One thought on “Weapon ~ Matthew Good

  1. Here by my side, an angel
    Here by my side, the devil
    Never turn your back on me
    Never turn your back on me, again
    Here by my side, it's Heaven

    Here by my side, you are destruction
    Here by my side, a new colour to paint the world
    Never turn your back on it
    Never turn your back on it, again
    Here by my side, it's Heaven

    Careful, be careful
    Careful, be careful
    This is where the world drops off
    Where the world drops off
    Careful, be careful
    You breathe in and you breathe out
    For it ain't so weird
    How it makes you a weapon
    And you give in
    And you give out
    For it ain't so weird
    How it makes you a weapon
    Never turn your back on it
    Never turn your back on it again

    Careful, be careful

    Here by my side, it's Heaven

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