“I started a band in high school with a few friends, and we played some backyard keggers, and by that time it was clear I was not suited for any kind of structured job.”
Fitting, then, that Matt Wignall is a true jack-of-all-trades.
As a photographer he’s shot bands including Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, My Brightest Diamond, J. Roddy Walston & The Business and Thrice, and worked on fashion projects for companies like Volcom and NSF.
He has his hand in the world of moving pictures, having filled the roles of cinematographer, director and/or producer on a range of projects, from numerous music videos to commercial pieces with a documentary flair.
He is a producer and audio engineer who has cut records with Delta Spirit, Mando Diao, Cold War Kids, The Fling, and Deep Sea Diver. His analog recording studio, Tackyland, sits in back of his Long Beach home.
He is the former lead singer of Havalina Rail Co., whose music is too rich and varied to even begin to attempt describing here.
He is a graphic designer.
He’s involved in some capacity with these guys.
His wife, Judita Wignall, is a raw and organic foods cookbook author.
When I contacted Matt about an interview, I opened my e-mail with the following three anecdotes:
1 – In the fall of 1999 my insufferable thrash band, 4 Pete’s Sake, opened for Havalina Rail Co. in the fellowship hall of a small church on the west side of Santa Cruz, CA. Seventeen people attended. One was my mom. Midway through our set our bass player fell down and simultaneously unplugged all of our amps. You and Orlando were kind afterwards.
2 – In the spring of 2007 some friends and I were picking up a trailer that our buddies in Cold War Kids had gifted us. It happened to be parked in your driveway. While lifting the trailer to back it onto our truck’s hitch, we inadvertently struck, knocked over, and utterly destroyed a ceramic chiminea that belonged to you and your wife.
3 – Last year while having coffee with a friend who will remain nameless I was told an apocryphal-sounding story involving you, XXXXXX, a Mexican wedding, a speedo and a toothbrush. I’m not sure I believed it.