Hodera just returned from a month-long tour in the Midwest and East Coast and now they’re gearing up to play this year’s Champagne Jam on December 18th. This is the second time that The Front Bottoms have set up this massive music day and night in Webster Hall right before Christmas. It is their gift to us. They always try to have great New Jersey bands on the bill and this year’s show is positively STACKED with them. Hodera will join other NJ acts dollys, Brick + Mortar, American Trappist and Screaming Females. And, these are just the bands that have been announced so far.
We caught up with Hodera’s lead singer, Matthew Smith, at the coolest place in Bloomingdale, NJ—River of Beer. The band had just come off their latest tour where they drove from Florida all the way up into Canada and then into the Midwest. If you haven’t had a chance to catch their live show yet, you definitely should try to make it out to one. They have a great stage presence and their music is incredible. Smith writes from the heart and is not afraid to lay it all out in his work.
Now that they’re back from tour, they are working on a new album now which sounds like it will have a range of different sounds. Matt says he’s always writing new music but is settling into recording it all now. This is the first time he’s recording with a full band behind him. Previous releases, United by Birdcalls and Reset to Default, were all written and recorded by Matt alone. This was news to us and we were astounded. We can’t wait to hear what the rest of the band—who are Doug Gallo on lead guitar, Alek Mager on bass and Scott Tilley on drums—will bring to the new album.
The Front Bottoms were the first band Matt got into when he started taking part in the New Jersey music scene. He knew them so well that for a while he thought the Backflip line about a safety pin and ballpoint pen tattoo might be about him. Brian Sella hasn’t definitively confirmed or denied that.
We’re looking forward to seeing Matt and the rest of Hodera at Champagne Jam. He’s also looking forward to having his parents see him perform on the biggest stage they’ve played so far.
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