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Interviews : “I’m so excited, I just can’t wait to play with them” – An interview with Matt Cooper (El Colosso)

By on January 18, 2019

Sometimes in life, and even in music, the planets align. Like when excellent and deserving local acts score big supports with bands they know and love, and have been a fan of for a long time. Matt Cooper, frontman of awesome Melbourne heavy act El Colosso, has been a fan of brutal, avant-garde thrash metal outfit Voivod for as long as he remembers, and as we spoke at a beer and burger bar in central Melbourne one sunny Saturday afternoon, he had only recently received word that his band would be supporting the Canadian legends for the Melbourne leg of their Aussie tour in late January. He could not be happier.

“I’m like a little 19 year old Matt Cooper all over again!” He enthuses, “this is one of those band that, as a kid I latched on to. They really changed my perspective on music, and when I got the email just the other day I was shaking like a leaf. I was really blown away.

“I remember, some friends of mine way back said ‘you’ve got to hear this band, it’s really weird, crazy heavy music. It was (fifth album) Nothingface. It was around the time (Faith No More’s) The Real Thing came out. I heard Voivod and I was completely creeped out. But I couldn’t stop fuckin’ listening to it!

“They are just genius, I’m so excited, I just can’t wait to play with them.”

So how did the support slot come about? “Well we don’t have any management of anything like that,” he reveals, “it’s all really DIY, no one really seems to want to work with us, so we just have to it all ourselves. You just hear things, you see things on social media, an agency’s bringing certain bands out, it’s just a matter of sending them an email. A couple of agencies know us, because we’ve worked with them before. David Roy Williams brought Seether out last year and we played with them just before we went away on tour.

“So I sent them an email, hopefully it wasn’t too grovelling!” He laughs, “I think I might have said something along the lines of ‘these are my boyhood idols’. We didn’t hear anything for weeks and weeks, and I just assumed that because it was only a few weeks away it was a done deal for other acts, but lo and behold, far out man, we got the email. My ears are still popping out of my head.”

Strangely enough, Cooper soon found out that he was actually alone in his Voivod fandom within the context of his fellow El Colosso members. “Talking to the guys, I told them I’d applied to get the support for this show, and they said ‘oh right, who’s Voivod?’ My jaw just fuckin’ dropped!

“So I put them all onto it, and they’re blasting it non-stop, especially the new album.”

Speaking of new albums, El Colosso have a massive year coming up, even beyond the VoiVod support, including a brand new member and the imminent recording of the follow-up to their debut album of 2017 Pathways. “We’ve got a new bass player, Alex Hayes is his name,” he says, “he’s a fantastic musician. It’s fabulous to have him in the unit.

“We’re finishing off some new material, we start a new album in March. We’re recording 10 songs. Musically, I think it’s a bit different to Pathways, in that some of the stuff is heavier, some of it’s a bit more left of centre, so who knows what some people’s reaction to it’s going to be.”

And things won’t end there. On the contrary, the release of the album will be just the beginning. “After the album comes out around mid-year, we’ll start to have a look at getting back to Europe. We have great support over there through the agency that got us over there the first time. We had some fantastic shows, some not so fantastic too of course! We ran the gamut of playing to several thousand people to several people.

“But we’re definitely looking to get back to Europe in 2020.”

Discover more of El Colosso by heading to their official Facebook page. Catch El Closso supporting Voivod in Melbourne on Friday, 26th January at Max Watts. Discounted tickets via the band’s official Bandcamp page.

About

Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine, themusic.com.au, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.