A band is only as good as its drummer. The 109s are lucky to have a spankingly good one.
Steve learned his chops as a reggae drummer and developed a keen sense of where to place the crisp dynamics that are the essence of his drumming style. Since turning his attentions to rock music, he has perfected a style that combines the power and groove of John Bonham with the scampering, playful rolls, flams and fills of Keith Moon. This potent mix is the bedrock upon which The 109s build their sound.
Like many singers, Dave hates the sound of his own voice . . . which puts him very firmly in a minority of one, as he is possessed of a pair of pipes which most other singers would kill to have.
His voice combines a chiming clarity with a husky warmth that makes him equally at home singing soft, sad songs on an acoustic, or belting out the unusual cadences and phrasing that are the trademarks of his vocal style within The 109s.
Dave is also an accomplished rhythm guitar player, and the clean, crisp tones of his Fender Telecaster provide the perfect foil to the denser, more distorted sounds produced by The Empress, as Matty P’s Gibson SG is affectionately known, and the band’s harmony guitar lines are a major feature of its sound.
Bassist, Andy H, is a veteran of dozens of bands, something that has created a melting pot of influences which he brings to The 109s.
His smooth, fluid bass runs add movement, complexity and dynamics to The 109s’ songs, and his ability to mirror Matty’s complex guitar riffs adds weight and density to the songs in all the right places. Andy plays through an enormous stack, which provides him with a growling twang that is somewhere between Lemmy and John Entwistle.
Matty plays The Empress, a wine-red Gibson SG that has been his main guitar for more than 20 years. He feeds this precious instrument through a Fender Hot Rod Deville amp (the loudest, gnarliest combo amp on the market) and enhances his sound with a Cry Baby wah and a Big Muff distortion pedal.
Matty is an obsessive student of late ’60s and early ’70s lead guitar, and plays a style that acknowledges every great guitarist from that era – Hendrix, Green, Taylor, Kossoff, Clapton, Young – and his punchy, melodic solos are another key element to the band’s unique aural landscape.
Outside of music, Matty is an internationally published crime-writer, whose work has received critical acclaim and was nominated for a number of awards. He has had four novels published in English and two in German, and is currently putting the finishing touches to a fifth novel.