Building a Monastery
HISTORY WINNER-'BEST LOCAL ALBUM' in Citypaper's Best of Baltimore 2006 Competition. 'Mattingly will be a fixture on the charts if he catches the right breaks...' - Music Monthly 'The voice sounds great and (as always) the picking is perfection.' - Dale Turner, West Coast editor, Guitar One Magazine Composer, lyricist, vocalist, guitarist, pianist, bassist - Doug Mattingly creates music that moves and inspires his audience; and he leaves no stylistic stone unturned in the process. With insightful lyrics and a sound built from a wide variety of styles that he calls singer/songwriter rock, this multi-talented musician's distinctive singing voice and diverse musical background have quickly gained him a loyal following. Doug draws on a host of influences - pop, rock, urban rhythms, blues, even jazz and classical - to create a unique sound that speaks to the human experience. "I love the entire creative process," Doug says. "The writing, the live performances, producing the record. It's all meant to inspire and make a difference for people and I think that's what we're here to do." His latest full-length CD Building a Monastery draws on his own life experiences and showcases his multi-dimensional ability to play, write and produce music that reaches a wide variety of listeners. "I don't write as a cathartic experience. I write about things that I've experienced and the lessons I've learned from them, and by writing about that I can offer someone an insight into their own life." Before taking on a solo career, Doug spent time as an LA sideman playing clubs, recording for other artists and touring the United States. He's shared the stage with some of the biggest names in the music business. "Playing for all those different people and in all those different styles and seeing parts of the country that I hadn't seen before really helped me bring something deep musically to my own solo work. It all helped me understand why people connect with music, and I've been able to incorporate that into what I do." Doug also draws on musical training at the prestigious University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music, where he received his Master's and Bachelor's degrees in guitar performance and was a member of the award winning ensemble Superaxe. While working as a singer/songwriter/performer, he also reaches out to other aspiring musicians as a college instructor of guitar, songwriting, audio technology, music fundamentals, popular music theory, and jazz and classical music history. LOCAL MUSICIAN PRODUCES CD By Jackie Nickel Doug Mattingly grew up in Essex and Middle River, graduating from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Elementary and Calvert Hall High School before moving to Los Angeles. There he attended the prestigious University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music, earning both Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Guitar Performance. Doug honed his music skills in LA for several years, performing and recording with some of the biggest names in the industry as sideman, songwriter and music director. Touring has taken him all over the United States including extended visits to Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest. Mattingly returned to his hometown in 1998 to concentrate on songwriting. He currently teaches music classes and applied guitar lessons at CCBC Essex and Dundalk, is Director of Contemporary Music at Ark & Dove church in Odenton; he often plays solo jazz or classical gigs at corporate events and parties, performs as a sideman, and records on other artists' studio projects. Now, Doug has produced a CD album of 12 original pop/rock songs, 'who you are,' centered on the title theme. We caught up with him at a recent gathering where he was catching up with some old friends. JN: When did you first get hooked on music? DM: I remember being 11 years old walking down Wilson Point Rd. With a friend, listening to Pink Floyd and AC/DC on one of those real lo-fi tape recorders - and thinking 'wouldn't it be neat to play electric guitar?' When I got home I asked my parents if I could start taking lessons. I started at the old Froelich's Music Store on Eastern Avenue in 'downtown' Essex. Of course, I wanted to learn AC/DC and Floyd but the instructor was a much older gentleman who wasn't interested in teaching any loud rock 'n' roll. I settled for learning the fundamentals. By the time I was at Calvert Hall we had moved a couple times, first to Foxridge and then to Middlesex. I had stuck with lessons, though changing teachers and venues, studying through high school at Perry Hall Music and taking some classes at CHC. For the most part, guitar came pretty quickly to me. I would come home from school, stack three records on my turntable, do my homework and then spend the rest of the evening playing along with whatever came on 98 Rock. JN: When did your taste in music expand? DM: When I turned 16, my girlfriend gave me my first jazz fusion album and that really turned me around. Within months I was into Pat Metheny and Scott Henderson. As a senior at Calvert Hall I played in the jazz big band and at the same time was going to clubs and being introduced to dance music and styles with a much more urban flavor. All those sounds still influence my writing today. I had also put together a quartet consisting of sax, bass, drums and myself on guitar that rehearsed at was then called Essex Community College, where my father was an administrator and worked for the cable station. I wrote a few of my first jazz instrumentals for that group. Once I got to USC, I had no choice but to get into bebop, free jazz, fusion, you name it, as well as all the classical material. That was the program. After finishing my undergrad, I went on the road with a pop/rock band and later came back to LA to play all the big clubs (the Whiskey, the Troubadour, the Coconut Teazer) and the dives. So at that point I was being well schooled in different types of pop, rock, funk and R&B styles on the job. JN: How did you narrow down your field? DM: It wasn't until I got back to Maryland that I decided that I wanted to begin singing lead and writing material for my own pop/rock style album. So, I literally sat down and chose this path one day. I really got back to my roots with this album. And this whole idea of doing and living what's important to you is where the title 'who you are' comes from. I think a lot of people will see themselves in it. I began seriously writing music in this style in 1999. I treat the creative process like a job. I usually set a goal of writing anywhere from 30 to 50 songs a year and I show up at the page and do just that. The songs that I chose for this album were written within a year of starting the recording of 'who you are.' The hard part was narrowing them down for this album. JN: Any advice for aspiring musicians? DM: Remember, music doesn't have a corporate ladder. If you want to make a living making music, you have to be smart, especially if you're interested in longevity. It makes a big difference to be professional; show up on time, know your material, get a good sound, be nice to people. Also, live in LA, New York or Nashville, at least for a few years. That will turn you into a professional. You will immediately understand how good you really are and what it's going to take to get better. Musicians often don't realize until they live in one of those towns what the level is like. You may end up being a small fish for a while, but you'll grow. You'll learn that your playing/singing/engineering or whatever it is you do is a third of the pie; your sound is another and your personality/professionalism is the last and possibly most important. Above all, you'll need to follow your vision and persist no matter what. Nothing makes more of a difference than persistence. JN: What's next in your career? DM: Right now I'm concentrating on getting the CD out to the recording industry as I pursue a major label deal as well as publishing opportunities. I'm putting a band together to play live on this material locally and regionally in order to gather a following and get the album out to the people I wrote it for. On the grand scale, I plan on creating music for as long as it makes me and other people happy. JN: Any regrets? DM: While there have been tough times financially, especially when I was in LA just out of college, I don't have any regrets about choosing this life. My parents always encouraged my brother, two sisters and me to do what we loved. I know it may sound trite, but you've got to follow your heart, in everything, if you're interested in an extraordinary life. It's the only thing that makes a difference. And the more you do that, the more the world opens up for you, and people and circumstances begin to show up that make that possible. It's really quite magical. But you've got to take the risk. Like they say, once you step out there, the net will be provided. I wouldn't have it any other way. Reprinted by permission of The Avenue News.