Bringing back good music

Bringing back good music

Matt Salkeld tunes his guitar for an impromptu outdoor jam session near his home.

Graham C Wheat, Features Editor

The music world is full of artists who seem to be larger than life and unreachable. Plastic personas and producer-driven hooks dominate the airwaves while artists seem to drift further from the listeners.

In a world of impersonal musicianship and music, one man strives to bring Bakersfield good music and keep it coming back.

Matt Salkeld is a local guitar player and songwriter, among other musical endeavors, who has been playing music since 1998. He keeps his punk rock-influenced music personal, and he is finding that he is still evolving as a musician.

“It [my music] has changed a little bit over the last year or so,” said Salkeld. “Last year I put out two records, a full length that was all heart-felt life experience stuff,” said Salkeld concerning his latest albums. “Then I went on tour and wrote another record after that. That one was about being on the road and with friends, stuff from that perspective. I really feel at home when I am out there on the road.

“Now the songs are more like stories to be honest. Sometimes I am pulling lyrics from experiences that happened five years ago.”

When asked to play some of that evolving music, Salkeld responded with true punk rock in a guitar player fashion.

He jumped a fence near his Southwest home that led to a ponding basin for runoff water, right behind a massive box store. Sitting down amongst the graffiti and old beer cans, he played a new song about a harrowing drive up Highway 101 that happened a few years ago, and how he almost crashed a van. The song was called “Back In Gear”, and when asked if it had any double meanings, he simply said, “I want my music to be meaningful in many different ways for people.”

When he isn’t writing new music, he also devotes time to being a promoter who relentlessly pursues authentic music and delivers it to Bakersfield, one song and one band at time.

3rd World Booking, a promotion company that started in 2007, is Salkeld’s other passion. Like his musical ventures, he continues to add his own personal touch.

“It started in January 2007. I was on Myspace listening to a band I liked, and I saw something saying that they needed tour dates. I talked to some people and got a show for them and a couple other bands,” said Salkeld.  “That was the first show I ever booked. I saw a band that wanted a show, and I got it for them. Now it has bloomed into a network. But I still do it for the exact same reason as that first show.”

Being a musician has given him new perspectives as a promoter too.

“I can picture myself in their situation, you wanna tour and get heard by people.”

The last band that Salkeld brought to town was an unsigned southern California punk/hardcore/metal band, Drown The Witness, who played at local watering hole called Riley’s Tavern

To illustrate his genuine enthusiasm and commitment to the music scene, Salkeld told the story of the weekend that the band played and how the rockers lodged in his home.

“At the show the lead singer was going crazy, and there was a three foot gap between the stage and the first sacred hipster girl. I was right up there rocking out with him.

“They stayed the night in town at my house to the dismay of my roommates,” said Salkeld.

He is continuing his musical journey with a new split album and has a tour in the works to promote it.

“I am pretty stoked about the new music, the new stuff is different,” said Salkeld.

“I am doing a split album with Jared from Sic Waiting. We have done acoustic tours together and talked about doing a spilt record, but didn’t really have the time. Now we are going to do six songs each and then go on tour sometime in the summer.”