By: Lisa “Sunshine” Svelnys – Hollywood Rock Journalist
At just 24 years of age, and with extraordinary technical ability, Matt Coates makes it look all too easy. He’s already graced a Canadian Tour as Lukas Rossi’s guitar player, is a part of the EMG Pickups family, and has just emerged on his own with a vengeance.
His brand new single, “The Light Inside” has gained national attention released November 3rd, 2017 on air with 94 Rock. This powerful song is striking a chord with all going through a hard time and struggling to be alone with an incredible message of hope. His inate ability to be able to connect with his fans and write about “the hard stuff” in a beautiful way is transcending him as a “stand out” to peers and critics alike. Considering the suicides of Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell, mental health issues and how to deal with the loss of loved ones have become something to be talked about, not put away or to ever be ashamed of.
Within hours of release thousands viewed His Facebook Video
I had the chance to sit down with Mr. Coates…
Lisa- “The Light Inside” was instrumentally written in one day and vocals tracked by Brian Black in two, what is the deepest meaning in this song, where did this all come from?
M.C.- My stepfather committed suicide 9 years ago, it has been a struggle for my mother and I.The reason I am doing this, is because in my heart I know people need a place to turn to, when they feel like they have nothing. I’ve been there, and I want to create that space for others who feel alone. Most importantly, I want to prove to myself and others that we can all succeed. Personally, I never felt good enough or capable to be globally successful, so I also want to prove to myself that I can beat the odds and so can everyone else.
Lisa- Where are you from? When did you first start playing music?
M.C.- I’m from Ontario, Canada! I was 14/15 when I started playing guitar. There was a group of very talented musicians in my high school, and after seeing them play, I officially discovered my life’s purpose. I’m a self taught guitarist, although I feel like I had a bit of an advantage though. I am an extremely competitive person, and I was surrounded by such incredibly gifted players, so I had no time to waste, if I was going to reach their level someday!
The most important thing I’ve learned though, is that while growing as a musician, I’ve learned it’s not a contest. There is no winning in music, and there is no “best”.. I’ve learned how powerful and impactful music can be, and I’ve since shifted my mindset from “wanting to be the best” to “How many people can I impact or inspire, while doing what I love doing.” I feel like this has really helped me grow as an artist.
M.C.- I’ve technically played in 2 bands, 1 of them was technically 2-3 different projects, with different singers, but it developed into the band CHOICES, which really was the kick-starter to my music career. We didn’t have the money to pay for a manager, so I spent 3 years studying the industry, learning how to manage music, and since then I have just been this social media addict, who loves learning about the industry.
The 2nd band that I was in, was for Lukas Rossi. I was his guitarist for a Tour in Canada. It was really the first time I’ve ever been on the same stage with an iconic singer. That experience was quite the experience, and I learned a lot from it. It showed me, that no matter how successful or far someone has went, they’re still just human and the same as everyone else.
Lisa- What is your favorite song that you have ever written?
M.C. – I don’t think there is 1 song in particular that I like more than others. When I write music, I try to express the emotions that I am feeling at the time, so each one of my songs holds a special meaning to me, whether it’s about sadness, happiness, love, sex, lust, evil. Each one is important in its own way!
However, I feel like my new song “The Light Inside” Featuring vocalist Brian Black, is one of the most important and powerful projects that I have created. It’s about mental illness, and this is one of the main reasons why I’m still an artist today.
Lisa- How do you describe the music you are playing now?
M.C.- I’m proud to be part of the EMG Pickups family. They welcomed me to their team a few years back, which was one of my happiest moments as an artist. I am going to stay a solo artist for now, featuring different vocalists, and keeping things under 1 roof while I can. I’ve had pretty bad experiences with bands, so until I find the right team, and members who share the same message / positivity, I think being on my own is best for me right now. Although, if any of my songs featuring a singer was to take off, I’d definitely consider building a band around that project.
Lisa- When you are not playing music, who are you listening to? What CDs are in your car right now?
M.C- 30 Seconds To Mars, day and night! I am in love with that band. I think they are one of the most tasteful, and enjoyable bands on the planet. There isn’t another singer in the world, who can make the hair on my neck stand up like Jared Leto can! That dude is unbelievably gifted.
Lisa- Besides music, do you have other aspirations in the entertainment industry?
M.C.- I have always had a passion for entertaining in general. I dream to someday transition this into more than just music. I’d love to be in a movie someday. I have done modelling, and it was a great experience for me. I have a passion for fashion and being different!
Lisa- So when are we getting you out here to LA? When can we tell them you will be able to start booking?
M.C.- I am hoping to make it to LA sometime in the earlier months of 2018. If I got in touch with the right team, I’d certainly be interested with meeting them and seeing what we can do together! If it was the right fit, we could get the work visa process going, since I am Canadian, it’s sadly a bit more difficult, but I’d do whatever it takes to make it work!
Matt is currently in process of writing and recording his follow-up to this incredible rock anthem of strength and encouragement. We look forward to sharing his future work and remind you this holiday season to keep a keen eye out for those that may be having trouble, a listening ear or just to know someone is there physically if you need them can make all the difference.
For more info…
Matt Coates – The Light Inside Ft. Brian Black
iTunes ► https://tinyurl.com/y7q9vmsc
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Photo Credits: Photos by Rei Allen and Curt Genau