Home Jason's Jukebox The Chat Room: Matt Paxton

The Chat Room: Matt Paxton


Whether he’s on stage or in the studio, Matt Paxton wears his heart on his sleeve, delving into themes of love, loss, and self-reflection. It’s all contained on Tornado, the first collection of songs Matt has released with his new band, the Pintos, consisting of bassist Carrie Clark, drummer Robin Pirson and pedal steel maestro Chris Altmann. The EP is available now on all digital platforms, via Matt’s own Down By The Point Records.

Recorded in his hometown of Hamilton, ON with producer Tim Allard (singer/guitarist in The Redhill Valleys), Tornado showcases Matt’s poignant storytelling skills, delivered in his aching, Neil Young-esque voice. Songs like the title track and the singles “Brother” and “Southside Of The West Town” all exemplify the EP’s high and lonesome sound that harkens back to alt-country’s golden age of the late ‘90s.

Over the past several years, Matt Paxton has performed his sizable folk-rock and alt-country repertoire across Canada, in the process gaining a reputation as one of the country’s most promising up-and-coming singer-songwriters. Matt’s body of work now includes five albums, and a handful of singles and EPs that have also received attention from CBC, SiriusXM, CMT, Exclaim! and more. In addition, Matt’s made notable live appearances with the likes of Daniel Lanois, Blackie & The Rodeo Kings, Astrid Young and Evan Dando.

Since forming The Pintos, Matt has proved he’s ready to take things up a notch within the Americana world, with plenty of new music on the way. To hear more, go to Matt’s Bandcamp page.


Your new EP, Tornado, is the first with your band The Pintos. How did you put them together?
I was rehearsing for a solo show with pedal steel guitarist Chris Altmann at his house in Hamilton. After showing Chris a lot of my songs, he suggested that we should call on Robin Pirson and Carrie Clark for the rhythm section and rehearse and perhaps play some shows together. That’s how we came together as a band. After playing a handful of shows together and a few rehearsals, we were all so comfortable performing with one another and also hanging out came super easy. We all dig the same things.

Did you have the songs on Tornado specifically chosen, or were they written with the band?
I wrote all the songs on Tornado with the Pintos in mind, leaving room for drum roll build-ups launching into open space where Altmann could let loose and shine on the pedal steel. It’s such a pleasure to get to sing alongside Carrie Clark, so making sure to have parts where we can harmonize was key as well. It’s a beautiful thing showing the Pintos new songs, testing them out and hearing what they come up with. It’s been awesome playing a lot of shows and rehearsing and recording with the band. It didn’t take long for us to find that Pintos sound.

How did working with Tim Allard of The Redhill Valleys shape your sound?
Tim is very great to work with in the studio. He actually engineered, mixed and produced the EP live off the floor and captured some real beautiful sounds. I don’t think Tim and I ever spoke about what kind of sound we were looking for. He cared to keep it authentic and true to the sound of the Pintos. Personally, Tim and the band made me feel very comfortable to record songs that I felt I needed to get out in to the world and out of my mind.

You’re a proud Hamiltonian. What do you think makes the city’s music scene unique?
Hamilton is such a great city to be an artist. It’s a great setting to be inspired by. It always feels like you’re in a movie in this town. It has a lot of characters in the spotlight and behind the scenes in music. I’ve been involved in music in Hamilton since I was a kid and feel very lucky to be from here. I’ve cut my teeth playing with amazing players and songwriters and am constantly discovering new music and art in Hamilton. The people of Hamilton and their history and pride truly make the city’s scene a unique one.

What can people expect next from Matt Paxton & The Pintos?
With the EP now out, I am excited for people to have a collection of songs to listen to and get to know the Pintos. We love playing live together so look out for the Pintos playing around southern Ontario and hopefully further out as we continue to make new friends and fans from all over. In such a short time, we have been lucky to play a lot and connect with people and we’re excited to keep that up.


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