Mat Thompson – Drums

Mat Thompson was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1970 and began playing drums at an early age of around 2 and the drums were anything he could find like pillows, pots and pans, boxes, etc. His love for music came from both parents, although he must have gathered his actual talent from his dad and that side of the family’s DNA. His dad played lead guitar in several local bands and his uncle learned to play bass while his grandmother was a talented pianist at their church. One of his favorite things to bang on was a Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket with the lid on, which his grandfather would tie a piece of rope to so he could wear it around his neck like a marching drum. He grew up listening to all of the classic 60’s and 70’s rock, R&B, Soul and Pop music, with even some country thrown in to round out the flavor. He learned to play by ear and came to favor flashy groups like KISS, which his family despised, and other big 70’s groups like ELO and Bachman Turner Overdrive.

After destroying several cheap toy drum sets he received as Christmas gifts, he received and played on a couple of more cheap, yet more durable kits, as the years went by. He started playing with his dad and uncle as a three piece around the age of 12, which was just a weekend jam session, and they eventually played a few weddings and talent shows for their church. He took band in junior high and tried to learn to read music and learn the snare drum rudiments. He then took jazz band in high school and learned to improvise on the drums and play more complex music. All through college he just practiced and never played with any bands, except jamming with his father and uncle now and then.

The years went by and, from about 1998 through 2011, he eventually played in or with some local bands like the Cornpickers, Sideshow, Brothers with Different Mothers, and Hell’s Kitchen, which morphed into 800 Bullets. He met Nick Shaver while playing in 800 Bullets and after they decided to retire, Nick called him in late December of 2010 and asked him to audition for Rip Van Shizzle. Mat knew immediately that the band, its talents and choice of music was something special and fresh for the music scene in Little Rock. After 18 months of playing together and filling dance floors with RVS, Mat has found his new brothers to tighten up his stroke with.