Thursday, January 24, 2013

Interview Series - Matt "MC" Hyser

I first met Matt around the Spring of 1998 when he was booking shows at Liberty Fire Hall in York. He played in a band called The Underground Conspiracy and that is where he got his nickname of Matt Conspiracy (MC). He went on to play in TMI Generation and then we finally started Decontrol in the Fall of 2000. To say the least he is one of my best friends and one of the craziest people I've ever met. He was a staple in the Pennsylvania scene for many years before recently relocating to Louisville. He booked just about every band you can think of, many of which by phone pre-cell phones, and I remember seeing his mom's house phone number on flyers for years.

Can you name every band you have ever played in?
Underground Conspiracy, TMI Generation, Decontrol, Bete Noire, and Olde Tigers. I've messed around with a few other projects here and there, but nothing really notable. Mitch would probably be pissed if I didn't mention Skin Flute, so there's that.

What was the first show you ever went to?
I honestly don't remember, but I know it was 1995 at the Big City/Zodiac/Fenix or whatever it was called at that point, and then for my birthday that year Blag XIII and the Fanboys played my birthday party in my mom's garage.

What was the first show you ever booked?
First show I ever booked was at Liberty Fire Hall in 1998. Underground Conspiracy, Violation, Squire, The Scam and one other local played. Over 100 people showed up for an all local show that no one had to sell tickets for. That doesn't happen anymore.

How many venues have you run/helped out/booked at?
Countless! At least four different fire halls, two record stores, four or five legitimate venues, three or four houses, and three or four bars. Probably more.

What was it like to move out of York?
It was tough! Almost everyone I've ever known has been connected to me through York somehow. But it was a great decision. Small towns are great, but they can also be very restrictive.

Can you talk about bootlegging videos for a bit?
Hahaha yeah, we were all about bootlegging videos. All the distros were doing it in the 90's so why not us too? The extra money made a lot of stuff possible for the band and the shows we were able to do.

How many times have you seen The Casualties?
More than I can count for over fifteen years now. They still put on a great live show to this day.

What was your all time favorite show you played and/or booked?
This one is really, really tough. I can't pick just one so I'll pick one show I booked from every era:
Liberty Fire Hall - My favorite show I booked was the first one. All locals and a great turnout. Got me hooked on doing shows.
Dillsburg Fire Hall - Can't pick just one, but I booked The Casualties and The Unseen two weeks apart and both shows had over 300 pay at the door. It was unreal. I was able to pay every band way more than their guarantees and still went home with more money than I could have imaginied.
Champ - Kill Your Idols, Forward to Death, The Spark, Decontrol, and Last Sunset. Kill Your Idols had become one of my favorite bands and I was so stoked to have them in central PA.
Post-Champ - I did a lot of shows in a lot of different places, but my favorite was the first show I did at the Skid Row Garage with our friends we met on tour Just Die! and Reignition. It was the start of three years of crazy DIY shows in a tiny space.

There were soooo many other shows that were amazing and fun for countless different reasons, but those four would be my personal highlights.

As far as favorite shows I ever played, there are far too many to list. Almost every show was great for a different reason. We always joke about how Decontrol played everywhere, and we really did. I could name drop countless bands that we've played with, but that's way to cliche. Maybe the best thing was that first real tour we did with Bete Noire in 2007. We bought a shitty old van, turned it into a mobile home and hit the road without a care in the world. We didn't have GPS or fancy cell phones, just printed out directions and a list of contacts for the promoters and venues. We made it with almost no problems and had a blast.

Will there ever be a Decontrol reunion?
I kind of doubt it, but it would be fun. Would people really want to see that? Do we really want to hear people yell for "Shutdown" again? It would be weird going back over all that material and reliving it.

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