Or I’d have to assume, since I’ve never been married. More specifically, it’s like being married to three other people. It’s some bizarre rock and roll version of “Big Love.” Anyhow, you love these people and you have this abnormally strong bond that you think will last forever. In the case of a band, you always have it in the back of your mind that you know it can’t last forever, but you also can’t envision the end.
Today we are losing a member of our Cassafamily. Matt Snow, who has been our one and only drummer, is leaving the only state he’s ever called home for the friendly warmth of Nashville, Tennessee. We are celebrating this decision because Matt has a huge opportunity: he is going to play drums for our good friend Ted Drozdowski in Scissormen and various other projects and have that elusive opportunity to be a full-time musician. He already has touring plans set for Europe and across America. Trust that this was a very, very difficult decision for Matt and for the rest of us, and that these things are never clear. You expect a moment of clarity where you think, now THIS is the right decision. That just isn’t the case sometimes. But after months of discussion, we agreed that although Matt doesn’t move until February 2011, it is best for Cassavettes to move on and get a “new guy” acclimated, rather than have Matt learning new songs as a lame duck drummer. Thus, tonight, we are playing Tommy Doyle’s in Harvard Square for their annual Mulefest, and it will be Matt’s last time tending the drums for Cassavettes.
Matt is one of my favorite people in the world. What he has meant to this band is immeasurable just by listening to our CDs or seeing him make crazy faces from behind his kit during a live show. In many ways, Matt has been the heart of Cassavettes. He is the even-tempered, playful center of the band. The unquestioned life of the party. When I’ve said that a goal of the band is to make it feel like a family that anyone can be a part of, Matt’s affability is a huge draw to that approach. He is immediately lovable. He never stays mad. He keeps everyone from taking themselves too seriously or getting too pissed at anyone else, and he rarely gets pissed off back (to wit: he once said that if, on tour, someone successfully defecated on his face while he was sleeping, he would be more impressed than angry). If Matt does get mad, it’s over within a matter of minutes — like a mini eruption followed by complete calm (once, years ago, Matt got so angry at me on the phone that he couldn’t express himself with words anymore and just made a weird squeal/screech — GEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHRRRR!!! Following this nonhuman sound, there was dead air for five seconds, and then Matt began quietly laughing, before building up into hysterics. The fight was officially over). I don’t think Matt has ever gone to sleep angry, and if he has, he hasn’t been angry upon waking up. For this reason, he makes touring fun and easy.
He is also unbelievably adaptable, which makes me confident he’s going to succeed in Nashville immediately. Matt, as many of you know, is the ONLY non-Texan in the group, the only one who didn’t seemingly grow up in a tight-knit group before coming to Boston. And yet, you could hardly tell from the moment we met him. When Mike and I auditioned Matt in May 2005, it was immediately like reconnecting with an old friend (he addressed us as “bitches” during the initial meet-and-greet, which normally would put me off but for some reason, I found this refreshingly easing). After his audition, he asked us to drop him off a liquor store around the corner from his house — easily walking distance — to “meet some chick.” We complied, he got out, and despite Matt being the exact opposite of anyone we’d encountered before (our first Masshole?), Mike and I were immediately sold.
We have had five years together, and there have been ebbs and flows, like any relationship. It’s hard work and you want to stick it out together, but sometimes you have to do what’s best for yourself. That’s what Matt is doing and I am extremely glad he is taking that opportunity to pursue what he loves full-time. We wish him all the best, and this surely isn’t the last we have seen of him. And Ted, take it from me, you’re a lucky man.
With that being said, the band will play out its remaining Maine dates (Oct. 16, Oct. 30 and Nov. 5 in Kennebunk) with the aforementioned “new guy”: Josh Kiggans, an unbelievably talented and fun individual who you may have seen behind the drums with Glenn Yoder & His Merry Band. We are then planning to enter into a brief late-fall/early-winter hibernation to acclimate Josh, cook up new songs, and see what develops in the laboratory. More on Josh to come once we officially announce him, but today, we celebrate Matthew James Snow!