MEMBERS AND INSTRUMENTS: Matt Gerovac (guitar, vocals); Brandon Petersen (drums); Tyler Drake (bass); Joseph “Panhead” Peck (steel drums)
KINDRED SPIRITS: File under “Dudes doing rock and reggae right without the punky junk that’s often mired an otherwise interesting fusion of greatness, topped with a touch of soul ‘n’ class.”
RECENT RELEASE: Reggae Is My Rifle (full-length forthcoming)
As a youngster, Matt Gerovac couldn’t have grown up in an area seemingly more disparate than the Inland Empire. The MG3 frontman and founder was raised in St. Thomas (part of the U.S. Virgin Islands) where he recalls spending his earliest days with his sister outside on the beach, playing with the locals. In such a setting, Gerovac says, one never knew whom they’d encounter milling about the woods or along the coastlines, from bushmen who “just wanted to be left alone” to neighbors that lived in a shack “with illegal electric straight off the power lines—complete with a TV and VCR, all, of course, rent free.”
It’s that sort of open, carefree attitude that Gerovac notes has now penetrated the overall persona of MG3’s reggae-rock hybrid.
Need further proof? Pull up MG3’s MySpace page and you’ll be serenaded with Gerovac’s insanely soulful vocals. From the first few notes, you’ll catch that he’s a true talent, with a glossy timbre that resides neatly atop the moderately vibe-y pulsations of his backing act. Brad Nowell comparisons shouldn’t prove offensive nor too far off the mark (however, one oughta whittle away any lingering punk rock influence); even hints of Jeff Buckley could be located within his compositions.
Gerovac’s laundry list o’ influences start with Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Gregory Isaac, but it doesn’t stop there, he says. “The rock element of the Police or some of the old Blondie stuff, the Specials. Plus, anything produced by Sly & Robbie. Then you have the singer/songwriter stuff, Paul Simon, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and the improvisational element you can hear with the Grateful Dead or Phish.”
Gerovac drops additional names, including Al Green, Prince, the aforementioned Buckley, Rick James, Otis Redding and Rufus Wainwright. It’s all evidence of the amalgamation that his is music—and perhaps his life, too.
“My iTunes is kind of all over the place,” he says. “All sorts of different stuff.”
MG3 at the Press, 129 Harvard Ave., Claremont, (909) 625.4808. Sat., Dec. 13, 10PM. Free (as always!)