Matinee@Midnight releasing latest EP "The Heartbreak"

January 28, 2011|BY TIFFANY ARNOLD |
  • Members of the band Matinee @ Midnight will have an EP release party Thursday, Feb. 3, in downtown Hagerstown.
Submitted photo

Dustin Perrott left the structure and classical setting of a music program at Alderson-Broaddus College, a private school in Philipi, W.Va., to pursue his dream of becoming a rock star.

"I didn't want to waste my money and waste my time at the school when I knew that's not what I really wanted to do," Perrott said.

And so far he has no regrets.

Perrott, 21, is the frontman for the five piece pop-punk band, Matinee @ Midnight.

The guys have been writing, recording and gigging like mad and are hoping to show off the fruits of their labor Thursday night during a EP release party at Legends on the Square in downtown Hagerstown.

The five-band lineup includes Detroit-based pop-punk outfit Rocky Loves Emily, who are recent additions to the Seattle-based indie label Tooth and Nail.

We caught up with Perrott in the days leading up to the debut of the band's first EP, "The Heartbreak."

HM: When you were forming the band, what sort of music did you really set out to do?

Perrott: Well, back then, it was really a hobby thing. We were having a lot of fun trying song writing for the first time. Basically in the first couple of song-writing sessions, we realized the kind of music that came to us most easily was the mainstream pop, rock music. A lot of stuff you'd hear on the radio.

I think the biggest genre that really clicked with us was pop-punk music. If I had to compare a couple of the mainstream bands, it would probably be Yellowcard, The All-American Rejects, Boys Like Girls and All Time Low — All Time Low is probably our hugest one because they're actually from Maryland.

HM: So when you all were starting off, did you do covers of their songs or did you set out to do originals fresh out the gate?

Perrott: When we first started off, we tried to do as many original songs as we could — half originals, half covers. A lot of us were still learning our instruments. I had only been playing guitar for a year when we started the band. I still had a lot to learn about the guitar. We were trying to write as many good original songs as we could. But the same time, we practiced by learning the cover songs we played.

You mentioned when you were in school, you found it was hard to reconcile the style of music you were learning with what you really wanted to do. What was the tipping point?

It was a really hectic day. I had a choir performance at the college at 9 a.m. and then I had Battle of the Bands back at my old high school (North Hagerstown High School). So I jumped into my car right after the choir concert, drove three and a half hours with a change of clothes and my guitar in my car and got right to the school probably 30 minutes before we had to play. I changed in the bathroom, played our set for about 35 minutes, and then right after that I had to hit the road again and go back to the college because I had a performance in the college music department's musical production that night.

I probably drove a total of seven hours round trip that day. Then I got a phone call that night that we had won the Battle of the Bands. That felt so much better than singing in the concert and being in that musical production. I realized that's what I really wanted to pursue.

HM: You realize though, if you all made it big, you might end up having to tour and you'd could similar issue. Is that something you considered?

It wasn't something I considered at that point because the band was still in its infantile stages. We were playing the Battle of the Bands, we were playing more local shows. It was for fun. We didn't have any demos or anything like that.

But the band got serious. We recorded the EP in April 2010. After we recorded the EP, got the songs and got the response we really wanted for those songs, and played a bunch of shows over the summer, we got asked to travel a couple of places, even my college, to play.

We got used to the traveling, and we really liked it. Then that's when we realized we really want to give this a shot. We know it's going to be a lot of work, we know we're going to be really tired, but it's the most awesome feeling in the world once we're up there doing it.

HM: So do you guys still have day jobs?

Perrott: Yes. It's really funny because our base player, Braden, has worked at the Olive Garden at the Valley Mall since it opened. He actually got every single one of us jobs out there. We're the Olive Garden band  — that's what they refer to us as at work.

HM: How did you guys get Rocky Loves Emily to come to Hagerstown?

Perrott: It was coincidence. Before they got signed, they were doing acoustic shows at all the Hot Topic they could play at. I was randomly at Hot Topics one night they were there. I kept in touch with them over the course of a year or so while they were touring. They needed a show date in the Maryland area. I helped them book a show back in November. That was the first time I got to work with them and play with them.

HM: What are your hopes long-term, say 10 years from now?

Perrott: Wow, 10 years from now I would like to still be making music, have the backing so that we don't have to pay out of our pockets, to do all this stuff ourselves any more. I would like our music to be able to reach a little farther than the Tri-State or four-state area.

HM: Worse case you get to quit your jobs at Olive Garden?

Perrott: Oh, that's best case.

About Matinee @ Midnight  ...

  • Matinee @ Midnight is a  Hagerstown-based pop-punk band
  •  Dustin Perrott, 21, of Hagerstown — lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist
  •  Roger Pleasant, 20, of Hagers-town — drummer
  •  Justin Harris, 22, of Hagers-town  — lead guitarist
  •  Braden Myers, 22, of Hagers-town — bass
  •   Zack Uchima, 19, of Hagers-town — synthesizer
  • Next show: EP release party, at Legends on the Square, 43 S. Potomac St., Hagerstown. 8 p.m. to midnight, Thursday, Feb. 3.

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