Matt Schwartz’s musical journey to NC

by Heather MacIntyre

This 28-year-oldmusician was born in Dickson, Tenn. on Aug. 20, and according to hisfamily he showed musical interest at a surprisingly young age.Originally from the Atlanta area, Matt Schwartz began his career on aprofessional level with a music business degree from Georgia StateUniversity. But the “biz” isn’t what it’s all about for thissinger-songwriter. His focus is geared more towards his personal,life-long relationship with music, which today manifests itself in aproject he created called Pacifico. Widely known for hisargument against “the industry,” he preaches his music not as a “band,”but as an idea – a personal outlet for art and passion. Pacifico wasGeorgia-born in 1999, but after a few years and some schooling, theproject was waylaid when Schwartz was asked to join as the front manand singer/guitarist/pianist for Winston-Salem’s now defunct rock band,Monday In London. He made the decision at the time to relocate to NorthCarolina with a positive attitude and excitement for what was yet tounfold. Investing time and tour with Monday In London made for apositive growing experience, but after four years they grew apart andtherefore moved on to other projects. This gave Schwartz more time tospend on his original love, Pacifico. Classical music andoldies were his biggest influences – more of a pure sense of music thantrend and formula. It was important to him to learn multipleinstruments, theory and the history of the sounds before creating hisown. His all-time favorite records include the Beatles’ Abbey Road andRadiohead’s Kid A (Thom Yorke being an obvious vocal influence inSchwartz’s live show). Every day, his love for the Triad’s localmusic is growing. His current favorite would be House of Fools, one ofGreensboro’s hometown bands he has had the honor to share the stagewith. Other NC bands that he has enjoyed performing alongside includeRookie of the Year, Evoka, Autopassion, Joy Electric and In Passing. Youmight recognize Schwartz from a few collaborations including, and notlimited to, an split-EP with Copeland and vocals with arrangements forRookie of the Year and Harrison Hudson. This spring he had afull-length 19-track release on Allalom Records for Pacifico entitledAnthology, full of power pop, rock and roll, and even spurts ofpop-punk similar to Green Day. The album is more like a mixed tape thatsounds like musical ADD (you know, people who can just barely listen toone full song before they flip their iPod to something else, usuallycompletely different); it keeps you hooked. But he just can’t stop.Immediately after the release, he has plans to release an EP entitledFacedown, shipping out July 15, with plans no more than two weeks laterto start recording his first solo album out on the West Coast withproducer Jason Martin (Starflyer 59/Jason Colinger). So, whatmakes him think he can do an entire record on his own? Perhaps hiswell-known vocal talent and guitar, or how about the fact he can alsoplay the piano, bass, drums, trumpet, baritone, harmonica anddidjeridoo? Do you even know what that is? Regardless, even with therecent band break-up, Matt has no plans to move away from the Triad. “Ilove it here,” he says. “Winston and Greensboro have such a great musicscene that I really feel is on the verge of just exploding.” Hisnext show is at his favorite venue, Greene Street accompanying Sinkingthe Shoreline (, Far-Less( and Telescreen ( onFriday.