Hamilton born, Halifax bred Matt Mays has made a career out of defying expectations. From his early days as a member of the seminal ‘alt-country’ group The Guthries, Mays has always zigged when the public has been expecting a zag.
After departing The Guthries to embark on a solo career Matt released his self-titled debut which maintained the rootsy, laid-back feel of his earlier work but also had a decidedly more rock vibe. The solo debut caused quite a stir across Canada and went on to be nominated to two Juno Awards (New Artist & Adult Alternative Album).
Matt followed this up with the first Matt Mays & El Torpedo album, recorded with the live band he had formed to tour in support of the Matt Mays album. Matt Mays & El Torpedo had quickly evolved into one of Canada’s best live acts. Produced with Grammy Award-winner Don Smith (Tom Petty, Keith Richards), the album’s first single “Cocaine Cowgirl” was a massive hit and the album went on to win four East Coast Music Awards in 2006. The band began working in the US as well, the highlight of which was an appearance on the Conan O’Brien show.
Just when everyone had him tagged as a Tom Petty inspired rock and roller Mays veered off in another direction, producing the music for ill-fated When the Angels Make Contact film. While it confounded many fans the album was a critical success and went on to be nominated for another Juno in the Adult Alternative Album of the Year category. Matt put together an eight piece band to tour the music and visuals from When The Angels Make Contact.
2008 saw the return of El Torpedo and the Terminal Romance album. Produced in the UK with producer Chris Tsangarides (Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest, Anvil) the album features the singles “Tall Trees”, “Building A Boat”, and the epic title track. Terminal Romance won the CMW Indies Award and the ECMA for Rock Album of the Year as well as fourth Juno nomination.
With the departure of a couple key members of El Torpedo in 2009, Matt opted to retire the band name but continues to perform both solo and band shows (his current band consists of Adam Baldwin, , Jay Smith, and ). For show updates please visit: www.mattmays.com.