Let yourself overwhelm by the music of the drummer, songwriter and teacher from Verona, who completed the recording of the last album at the Steve Studio by Steve Greenwell in New York City.
Born in 1979, the young Matteo Breoni has been playing the drums since he was 12. At 17 he started the live performances. From 1999 to 2003 he studied the drums with Andrea Quinzi and Cesare Valbusa.
Since 2004 he has been working as a professional musician, performing at pubs, discos, squares, conventions, gala evenings and other musical venues. To complete his musical education he attends several workshops and refresher courses with the teachers: Mauro Beggio, Omar Hakim, Steve Smith, Dave Weckl, Alfredo and Antonio Golino, Gavin Harrison, Giovanni Hidalgo, Horacio Hernandez and many others.
He plays a wide set of musical genres: soul, funk, rock, R&B, blues, jazz, latin, reggae and pop.
In cooperation with…
Matteo Breoni has played with world renowned Italian and foreign musicians: Carlo Poddighe (singer, guitarist, bass and keyboard player, drummer, composer, arranger and sound technician; Omar Pedrini is one of his collaborator); Filippo Perbellini (he played with Riccardo Cocciante at the Sanremo Music Festival in 2009; Alex Britti and Neffa are some of his collaborators); Frank McComb (American singer and keyboard player; he has played with Prince, Chaka Khan, Teddy Pendergrass, Gerald Levert and Teena Marie); Will Lee (American bass player, member of the CBS Orchestra of Late Show with David Letterman, he has played with Mariah Carey, George Benson, B.B. King, Cat Stevens, Michael Bolton, Ringo Starr, Gloria Estefan, Cyndi Lauper, James Brown, Billy Joel, Liza Minnelli, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Ricky Martin, Natalie Cole, etc); Karine Mensah (soul, jazz, funk and pop singer from Cape Verde. She has studied classical singing in Paris and at the Verona Conservatory of Music. She is the writer of L’arte di cantare , a book of teaching and learning to sing, and the manager of the Accademia Superiore di Canto. She has sung with Mariah Carey, Miguel Bosé, Anguun, Andrea Braido, Fiordaliso, Giorgio Panariello, Paolo Belli, Anna Oxa, Bobby Solo, Bruno Lauzi, Paola & Chiara, Jerry Calà, Ivan Cattaneo, etc. She has been member of the jury of Amici di Maria De Filippi 2009 with the task to select singers. She has sung at the Rai Televison, at the Venice International Film Festival, at the Cannes International Film Festival and at many other musical events/televisions/venues); Roberto Cetoli (pianist, keyboard player, arranger, teacher, record producer, music designer. He has played with Rudy Brink, Andrea Braido, Bobby Solo, Shel Shapiro, Marco Ongaro, Karin Mensah, Luca Olivieri, Davide Ragazzoni, Stefano Olivato, with the Orchestra conducted by Carlo Ceriani, etc. He is the artistic director of Azzurra Music Record Company. I suggest you to listen to Quando sei con me, The B Project); Enrico Benty Bentivoglio (jazz player who has performed with world renowned pop musicians like Robbie Williams, Mariah Carey and Sylvie Vartan); Teofilo Chantre (from Cape Verde, he is a musician known all over the world); James Thompson (American saxophonist and singer, he has performed with The Platters, The Olympics, Zucchero Fornaciari (7 years on tour), Billy Cobham, Frank Gambale, etc); Jury Magliolo (third place at X-Factor Italy 2008); Daniela Dhany Galli (in France she won the golden record with Benassi Bros, she has collaborated also with KMC and many others); Roberto Morbioli (world renowned bluesman, he has played with Vallery Wellington, Lovie Lee, Louisiana Red, Angela Brown, Jeanna Carol, Karen Carol, Maisha Grant, Bill Thomas, Sharon Clark, Paul Orta, Tolo Marton, Bleu Benoit Boy, Paris Slim, Sandra Hall, Chicago Bob Nelson, etc); Moris Pradella (official singer of the Quintorigo band); Luciana Vaona (backing vocalist for Alessandra Amoroso); Mattia Capitini (singer-songwriter, he has written several soundtracks for Rai Fiction, series, commercial, etc); Samuele Lorenzini, Pier Brigo, Andrea Pimazzoni, Renato Micaglio, Rudy Rotta, Morblus Band, Bobby Solo, Kathleen Hagen, Larry Mancini, Fabio Baù, Stefano Cappa, Paolo Costanzi, Claudio Sebastio, Duccio Soriani, Marco Teti, Michele Bonivento, Alessandra Ferrari and many others.
Matteo plays the drums on the recordings of the albums: All The Hits 2007 Vol.2 (Azzurra Music), U All My Need by Dan Xikidi (Exetra Records), Sand Sun-01 (Exetra Records) and appears on some tracks with Bobby Solo (Azzurra Music) that haven’t been launched yet.
Live Session is an album, a demo cd, launched in 2011. It was recorded both audio and video at the Emotions Studios in Verona. You can watch several videos of the album on the YouTube Channel (Why Georgia by John Mayer, Moondance by Van Morrison, Stir It Up by Bob Marley, Anima by Pino Daniele, I Saw Her Standing There by The Beatles, Inner City Blues by Marvin Gaye, For What It’s Worth by Buffalo Springfield).
2012 is an important year for Matteo: Teases, the soul, R&B, pop, reggae, funk and rock album is launched after the recording and mixing at the Poddighe Studio in Brescia by Carlo and Andrea Poddighe (except for tracks 2 and 7, that were recorded and mixed by Roberto Cetoli at the ‘Accademia Superiore di Canto’ in Verona). Two cover songs (digital recording) and seven unreleased songs (analog recording; listen to And The Moon Comes and Eternity by Poddighe), three are composed by Matteo Breoni (Not For You). Perbellini, Poddighe, Pradella, Capitini, Bentivoglio, Cappa, Baù, Lorenzini, Brigo, Costanzi and Maria Tisi play on Teases.
‘The Matt Project’ was born in the same year, a project with the need to talk about things and feelings of true life and to have an old sound, typical of the American soul of the ‘60s – ‘70s with a contemporary taste. The project got immediately started with It Makes…, soul, R&B, funk, blues, rock, pop and jazz album. Thanks to talented musicians and singers (Poddighe, Perbellini, Galli, Morbioli, Pradella, Sardo, Vaona, Jury, Maria Tisi, Peggiani, Brigo, Lorenzini, Pimazzoni and Hagen), who took part in It Makes…, after the recordings and the master at the Poddighe Studio, the album was finished at the Steve Studio in New York City, where Matteo looked after the mixing and editing together with Steve Greenwell, record producer and sound technician for world renowned musicians (Joss Stone, Diane Birch, Jonas Brothers and many others). The album has been launched at the beginning of January 2013.
It includes three pieces written by Matteo – Barefoot, It’s Over Now and Never (with the cooperation of Lorenzini) – four songs composed by the collaborators – Better Half Of Me (Morbioli, Scala, Dillon), Slowin’ Down (Poddighe), It’s A Miracle (Perbellini, Pimazzoni, Hagen) and Paris (Poddighe) – and four cover songs – Why Can’t We Live Together (Timmy Thomas), She’s Lonely (Bill Whiters), You And I, We Can Conquer The World (Stevie Wonder), ‘Ghost Track’ She’s Lonely (Bill Whiters; Poddighe’s version).
The arrangement of all of the pieces was made by Poddighe and Breoni.
When did you receive your first drumsticks?
First drumsticks… what a good question! I was very young, probably I was 7-8 years old (1986-1987). A drummer of a dance band gave them to me.
You can play a wide range of musical genres: soul, funk, rock, R&B, blues, jazz, Latin, reggae and pop. Among all of these genres, which kind of music do you identify yourself with?
Let’s say I try to be the more versatile I can… It’s very difficult to play plausibly so many different genres for cultural background reasons and for your personal technical/musical limits. However I like listening to different kinds of music and compare myself to them… So you have to try it! Regarding to the genres… well, it depends on the period of time and on the listening. Lately I’ve listened to lots of stuff of the soul and ‘old style’ R&B.
It Makes… includes three of your pieces: Barefoot, It’s Over Now and Never (written in cooperation with Lorenzini). Concerning the melody, the lyrics and/or the choice of rhythmic cells, which one represents you most?
I think that Barefoot is the one of the three that shows most my musical mood, even if, I must say it, without the help of the great Carlo Poddighe, these pieces wouldn’t probably be so, they would be very easy voice and piano demo. I’m not a pianist nor a singer, but I’m into creating chords, melodies and lyrics!
Barefoot talks about reaching solitude to relax, but, at the same time, this relaxation makes you ask yourself questions about life and about what surrounds you… you’re not happy, you realize that this solitude creates anxiety. Well, it talks about the well known mood of ‘making troubles for nothing’ of our time.
In my opinion the lyrics of Never sound written after the melody, which is rhythmically well defined. Do you agree with me?
I appreciate the choice to stress the voice and the drums on different points, it makes the song very alive and there is a continuous attention to all the instrumental parts. Was this idea born at the beginning or in the drafting of the arrangement?
I like very much the lines ‘Watching at your soul. It looks like a falling star. And there’s an open light to see a rainbow’… would you like to explain us this metaphor? What does light mean?
Yeah… I agree with you about Never! At the beginning the melody, made by the guitarist Samuele Lorenzini, who has been my musical collaborator for more than 14 years, was based on the classic way to sing something and then I wrote the lyrics.
There are lots of lines that join perfectly the funky and R&B trend of the song. The lyrics needed a trend like the groove of the piece… I hope to have got closer to the idea.
It’s true that there are metaphors in the lyrics… The lyrics talk basically about obsessions that everyone can have and about the help everyone can give to and receive by friends, fiancé, acquaintances, relatives, etc for their love you try to solve the problems.
Last year, September 11, Carlo Poddighe and you (The Matt Project) gave a gig at Wicked Willy’s, 149 Bleecker Street, in Greenwich Village, cultural and artistic district of Manhattan. Could you please talk about this experience? Tell us something about Yankee audience.
The experience at Wicked Willy’s has been really fantastic! That day we were recording at the Steve Studio, nearby Times Square, in Manhattan. At 6 p.m. we had a date with Will Lee, a world bass legend who has been a member of the CBS Orchestra of Late Show with David Letterman and has played on albums of the biggest American and international musicians…
We had to be at the pub at 8 p.m. for the soundcheck etc. So we had really few time to record a song (it was already done at the third take). Then, in a hurry, Carlo and me got a taxi to the pub in downtown. We got stuck in traffic, so we arrived late, we prepared everything and started to play!
You can’t imagine the satisfaction we’ll always have in our hearts: playing our songs in New York City and having a good feedback, applause and compliments! Carlo Poddighe (guitar, voice) and me (drums and backing vocals) will always remember that evening!
New York City is the well known ‘melting pot’ of the world. In the ‘Big Apple’ you can find several cultures. How did you get in touch with this reality very different from Italy? I would like to have your viewpoint also concerning the difference of the musical market, the work in the recording studio, etc.
NY is the city that gives you the impression of opportunities of any kind of genres. It’s a messy, noisy and polluted city and at the same time it’s full of surprises, unexpected meetings and great artists: a daily shot of new stimulus… that’s really great of NYC! Live music performances take always place, everywhere, each evening and 24hours; it’s a continuous stimulus for the artist, who wants to learn, get better and confront himself/herself with others.
Recording production in NYC works like the ‘golden age of the productions’: the recording studios have fabulous material, very experienced sound technicians with an unlimited good musical taste, wide time to get the best of each song… it should always be so, all over the world.
You’ve been teaching drums in Verona city and area (Accademia di Alta Formazione Musicale, CSM, etc). The young and adults follow your precious teaching… how giving them your experience makes you feel?
I’m lucky to teach and play at the same time and for this reason I’m a privileged person. I try to spread the passion for music and for the instrument. Each student has his/her own skills and time to learn, so I teach him/her with a specific program, each one is quite different from the others, my program is changeable depending on the needs of my students.
The aim is to get them better and better and the hope is to give them the love for music! That’s for sure!
Besides music, you have a great passion: soccer. You have done a good soccer carrier: eight years with the young of Chievo Verona then you also scored 5 points in ’97-‘98 Chievo Primavera, a well known B league Italian soccer team. Now you are a player of the Valpolicella team, First Category. How was this passion born?
The passion for sports was born in my family, there has always been the bond with music. Renzo, my dad, who passed away in 2006, was the main figure who gave me the passion for the sports. I’ve had satisfaction also with soccer, but music has always been the capital thing, especially since when I was 20 years old. I like playing soccer, but I follow very few what happens in the soccer world, I don’t even support any single team.
I remember that once, during a match against Juventus Primavera, I scored to De Sanctis, who is Rome and Italy National Football Team goalkeeper now… little satisfaction to remember.
Sport in a recreational sense is good!
Let’s come back to music. Your next album ‘The Matt Project’ 2014 will have the collaboration of two excellent musicians: Will Lee and Frank McComb, with whom you played last 17th November (together with Stefano Cappa) at the Cantine De L’Arena, in Verona (watch the live version of Superstition). Could you give us any preview about the musicians that will take part into it and about the new pieces please?
The new album is still in a finalization phase, we have had the chance to play with these two great guests, of course they have given us a magic contribution! Steve Greenwell (music producer, sound technician and musician for Joss Stone, Diane Birch, etc), owner of Steve Studio where we recorded It Makes… , Carlo and me have taken into consideration the possibility of other collaborators like the singer Kelly Joyce, who achieved great success at the beginning of the century with Vivre La Vie, a song with French lyrics (click here to watch the video of the rehearsal of Joyce, Breoni and Poddighe).
The situation is keeping on changing and, probably, on May we’ll record the songs. We hope to finish everything by the Fall!
I just want to specify that I thank Carlo Poddighe, The Matt Project would never be so without his contribution. He is an excellent multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer, arranger, sound technician, etc… His contribution has made our sound unique. I’m very proud and I thank him for having accepted to join me and believe in The Matt Project, a project that has given us satisfaction!
Can you give us the dates of your next concerts?
Well… Carlo Poddighe and me (the Matt Project) on Easter Monday, Bardolino (Verona), happy hour, Relax Lounge Bar, Lake Garda promenade.
27th – Cantine De L’Arena (Verona) with Kelly Joyce.
I play also with other friends, for example ‘Brothers Deluxe’ with Andrea Pimazzoni, Samuele Lorenzini and Pier Brigo, we’ll have a gig on 5th April, Caselle (Verona), Db Hotel.
Could you please send a message to our drummer readers?
Well… what a good question! I don’t have any particular message. However I can just say that the importance is to keep alive the passion for music with a positive curiosity, the one that grows you up and makes you learn new things, get better and mature… not only in music, but in all the fields!
I thank you also on behalf of Music Wall for granting us the interview and for your good music.
We wish you and your collaborators all the best!
Visit the official website of Matteo Breoni
Buy It Makes… on CdBaby