City Soundtracks presented by Gibson is making its inaugural appearance inside Freedom Beat on November 9 and 10. Freedom Beat teamed up with Gibson to create this “musical road trip” making its first stop in Seattle: Home of Grunge.
The minds behind the event are Patrick Genovese and Nick Mattera, of the local band Strung Out Sessions. We sat down with them to get more insight into the conception of City Soundtracks and learn more about their own musical backgrounds.
When and where did you get your start as musicians?
Patrick Genovese: I grew up in a musical household, though I did not pick up the guitar until college in the early ’90s, of course! I started my first band, Exit 12 with my brothers.
Nick Mattera: I’d been playing guitar since I was 9 or 10 years old. I got my 1st guitar as a gift for my 1st communion. Starting playing in my group Big Bad Zero when I was 23 years old and we signed a record contract shortly after.
Tell us what we can look forward to during City Soundtracks
Patrick Genovese: Nick and I hope to turn back the musical clock for a few days and celebrate the music that spawned from the Seattle area. You’ll hear music from artists who changed the musical landscape forever and whose music is still relevant and revolutionary over 20 years later. We want this to be inclusive and hope to share stories and great memories.
Nick Mattera: Go back in time to the days of organic music, no tracks just real guitars, real vocals. The grunge era of flannel shirts and raw rock ‘n’ roll.
How has the music of Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, etc. influenced you as musicians today?
Patrick Genovese: Jim Croce, CSNY, Steely Dan and the iconic bands from the ’60s and ’70s, the bands you mentioned spoke to my generation. MTV Unplugged had me hooked from the get-go. I had just begun learning a few chords on the guitar, and those tones were just mesmerizing. The vibe was incredible and has influenced me in many of my projects to this day. Our Strung Out Sessions shows were a complete nod to that era.
Nick Mattera: Those bands have helped me to stay true to honest lyrics and keep things simple when writing original music. Those bands and their songs are iconic and will remain classics because each song had a meaning and something you could relate to.
How did you go about selecting the Las Vegas musicians to recreate this historical catalog?
Patrick Genovese: We’ve reached out to many of our musical friends and colleagues who share similar paths and stories. It’s always great to hear how others interpret these songs.
What was your favorite part of the ’90s?
Nick Mattera: Discovering these bands which had their own style and going to concerts in Southern California and actually seeing them perform and watching them go from an underground band and cross over into superstar acts.