The Matches light up UNLV at Rebel Ruckus 2004
After seeing The Matches perform at Rebelruckus, hearing the story behind the band is as interesting as guitarist Jon Devoto's crazy blonde afro.
"The Matches, we're from Oakland, Calif. We used to be called The Locals, and there was a lawsuit of sorts, and we became The Matches and started out fresh about two and a half years ago. We titled our CD 'E. Von Dahl Killed the Locals,' in honor of the biatch who stole our name. The lead singer of the other local band was named E. Von Dahl," Matches singer/guitarist Shawn Harris explained.
The Matches are an Epitaph records band, but before being signed the band used their own resources to record "E. Von Dahl Killed The Locals."
"We actually released it ourselves a year before it came out on Epitaph," Harris said. "We recorded it in our basements, kitchens, and living rooms with the magic of pro tools and what-not."
Being really serious about having their music heard, the band did not stop at recording a record. Endless touring came next, and it definitely paid off.
"We started touring and we managed to luck out and get on some good tours," Harris explained. "Reel Big Fish took us out two summers ago that was our first large tour. From that [tour] Epitaph found us and was interested in signing us. Of course, that was our dream label, being influenced early on by bands like Rancid and Epitaph Punk-O-Rama catalogs. When we were making our CD we were like, 'Hey, if this comes out on Epitaph, I'll eat shit off a plate,' and that kind of thing. When we actually signed to Epitaph we had to do ridiculous things."
All of this did not come within a matter of days though. There were many questions in the air before the band was signed.
"Every step along the way we felt like we were doing the wrong thing," Harris said.
They pondered sending out demos or just recording their own album, and in the end they took initiative themselves. Many decisions the band would arrive upon did not come with ease and certainty.
"Everything felt like a scramble, but in our minds we weren't saying 'Oh God, if we keep doing this one of the guys from Reel Big Fish is going to freakishly be at our show amongst the eight people in the audience and request that we open their tour this summer," Harris said. "It wasn't ever like 'if we do this it is going to pay off,' it was like 'I guess this is what we do.'"
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