Interview: Matt Toka
SoCalMusicToday.com recently caught up with Ohio’s own up-and-coming punk outfit, Matt Toka, while on the Warped Tour in Irvine, after working a profile photo shoot with our own Paul Hebert. Toka discusses his first impressions and experiences with the tour, getting a chance to see different parts of the country, even a little football. Matt Toka will be releasing his debut full-length album either late this year or early next year, so watch out for it and check him out on the tour all summer long.
It looks like you’ve done this before.
A little bit, yeah, why not? Haha. Usually at birthday parties, my mom and my grandma, they all line up, haha.
How much fun are you having so far on the tour?
I’m having a blast man, this is fucking great, first time, chairs exploding everywhere, meeting a lot of cool people, I’m really digging it man.
Now, is it just the name, or do you have a band touring with you?
I have a band and they’re fucking incredible actually, UN-fucking-believable musicians and I’m really proud of them if you can’t already tell, haha. My bass player looks like Cliff Burton, like you just have to be part of this and we all just shred man, it’s a lot of fun.
Give me a little bit of your background, how you got on the punk scene and how you’re bringing some of that back to the Warped Tour.
Yeah, music was always big in my house, my dad liked Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, my mom was a huge Guns n’ Roses fan, liked Pearl Jam so they took a lot of the great bands and when I first heard Green Day I was like, Cool, my parents hate this shit, this is finally something that’s mine and point being, I got to work with Rob Gravalle and it’s come full circle, I’ve been grinding it out, I come from Youngstown, Ohio and this is my first time on the Warped Tour, I’m happy to be here and I feel like it’s kinda missing it’s roots, so I’m bringing some roots back.
Have the crowds been reacting well to you bringing the roots back?
Yeah, it’s been great, it’s only been four days and I’ve already met so many cool people.
In just the first week, now here in Southern California, do you have any stories from the tour already? What do you expect down the line with this?
You know, I don’t really know, I’m just going in and having fun, it’s kind of like a blur already, I know I lost $60 at roulette yesterday, my drummer’s from Salt Lake City so I got to see his neck of the woods, I got to hold a moonman for the first time and we went around the Mormon temples, Utah is primarily Mormon so he wanted to show me that environment, we were in Denver, walked on the Broncos’ stadium.
Now I envy you for that, because I’m a Broncos fan and haven’t stepped foot there yet.
Oh yeah? Elway was the shit back then, haha, see I’m from Ohio and I’m a Cleveland fan and they suck…they’re brown, the color of how they play, horrible.
Hey, but they have tradition over there.
Yeah, they get drunk and throw beer at the players is pretty much their tradition, haha.
Well, speaking of drinking, do you have fun off the stage with some of the other groups?
Well there’s a lot of work involved because I am an up-and-comer and I’m a solo artist so I handle all my own stuff, so usually I spend a lot of time editing videos every night because I try to do a tour update every day or two and it’s important to me to stay up-to-date with the fans, so I spend a couple hours hitting up the social media and keeping up with all my friends, family, fans, all throughout the internet world.
What website can they find this at?
If you go to matttoka.com, you can find all of it there, but on Twitter, it’s @MattToka, I run a blog called Say10.com and I post funny shit I find on the internet, so if you’re bored and want a few laughs definitely go there, but matttoka.com is where you can find everything else.
What else do you have going on after the tour?
You know, I just dropped an EP last week you can find it on iTunes or Amazon and I just finished a full-length album that will be coming out later this year or early next year.
Awesome man, do you have a name for it yet?
Yeah, it’s Straight To Hell.
Nice, sounds like an awesome way to get started, we’ll be looking for it. Thank you so much for hanging out and good luck on the rest of the tour.
Thank you so much for having me, I’m having a blast!