Los Toxicos is a monthly feature where we get to know a fan of The Airborne Toxic Event. To nominate a fan (or yourself) for a future month, e-mail us.
Name: Matt Jameson (@mattjameson91)
Where are you from?
Tell us about yourself (who you are, what you do for a living, hobbies, etc.).
I’m 24 and I work in a dispatch office for a gasoline company that delivers to stations all over California. For fun, I mostly read or play guitar. These days most of my friends are spread out pretty far so I spend most of my time at home or driving for several hours to see them. As for concerts, I haven’t even scratched the surface of what most Airborne fans have done. I attend about 5 concerts a year, and have yet to go very far to attend one. Which I really have no excuse for since my schedule is so open. Perhaps it’s time for a late new year’s resolution?
How did you become a fan of The Airborne Toxic Event?
This calls for a story, and it began sometime around midnight. Many years ago I went through a pretty bad breakup with the girl who, at the time, was my whole world (oh youth). The situation had been mostly my fault and I had a very difficult time forgiving myself for that. So about a year later, I was still feeling penitent and still struggling with my frequent encounters with her. Since it had been so long, I kind of had this belief that I didn’t have the right to be heartbroken about it anymore. So I mostly kept my remorse to myself, while shaming myself for not having gotten over it yet.
Well, one day, I was driving a few friends of mine out of town with my friend Gage riding shot gun and playing DJ. Since he is originally from L.A. and returned there every summer, he always had amazing music to share. This time, none of it really caught my attention. I was just mindlessly driving and ignoring the conversation. That is, until something caught my attention. An explosive violin melody, paving the way for some of the greatest lyrics I have ever heard. From the moment it began till long after it ended, I was completely captivated by this story of a man, a woman, a bar, and that internal war we all go through when in the vague company of someone who once loved us back. He was telling me a story I had lived so many times, I almost felt like I knew this singer personally. Since that day, I have been completely in love with this band. And they have touched my life in more ways than I can ever fit on a page.
Do any of your family or friends like The Airborne Toxic Event? Did you convert them, or did they convert you?
Aside from Gage, no one else knew who they were. And I haven’t had much success converting anyone since. My girlfriend enjoys “Changing” and my best friend enjoys “All I Ever Wanted,” but I haven’t turned anyone into a fan yet. Though I did encounter someone who I believe to be the only other fan in my town. Hi Katie!
What does your Airborne Toxic Event collection include?
Oh boy. It would be easier to show you. I mostly collect posters and vinyl’s. I have limited wall space so I have to be picky. I don’t get to hang up the posters from individual concerts. I also have a stack of limited/signed CD’s that I’ve gathered from Ebay, and a framed collection of picks that only contains 4 so far. I am always on the lookout for more, so if you have an extra of any of your picks, contact me!
And here is my prized possession. A custom art piece made by my friend and girlfriend as an anniversary gift. I had it signed by the band and gave Mikel his own copy. He told me it was “really rad.” I wish I knew what he did with it.
What’s your favorite TATE song, and why?
That award goes to “Bride and Groom.” Along with being wonderful to listen to, “Bride and Groom” is another song that tells me a story I’ve already lived. That feeling of being comfortable in a situation that you know has an expiration. And the frustration of knowing that sometimes, things just don’t work out. The lyrics are beautiful and Mikel manages to open up a bit about something very personal, while weaving his confessions into metaphors and creative phrasing. It’s as if he sings in a language you can only understand if you’ve travel down certain roads in life. Or perhaps I’m completely wrong and just interpreting his music my own way. But that’s the beauty of music, isn’t it?
Have you ever had a special experience at a TATE concert? Tell us about it.
I’ve had my share of high fives, selfies and conversations with the band. But those aren’t the memories that really stick with me as much. What I find out satisfying about Airborne shows is seeing how much the band loves what they do when they are on stage. Their passion for their music and their fans is contagious. It doesn’t seem like they are just doing a job. They play every show like it’s a party to celebrate the end of the world. I wish everyone had a chance to experience how incredible it is to be a part of that.
What’s on your Airborne Toxic Event bucket list?
I am hoping for another Fillmore. The tickets sold out before I got any, and I didn’t watch the stream. So to me that show is a legend. I have daydreams about a five night show with every album. I would trade my car for that.
Are there any other bands you would recommend that Airborne fans check out?
Lately I’ve been hooked on Little May and Falls, the latter of which I discovered at my most recent Airborne show. If you haven’t heard them yet, do yourself a favor and check them out. They are so charming.
And as a bonus, here is a couple of pictures from the 2014 Ace of Spades show in Sacramento.