Matt Sweeney

Matt Sweeney

Matt Sweeney's high school band Skunk released two albums on Twin/Tone records ("Last American Virgin" in 1989 and the posthumous "Laid", both out of print). In the nineties he recorded and performed as a singer and guitarist with NYC heavy rock band Chavez, releasing two albums (1995's "Gone Glimmering" and 1996's "Ride the Fader") and one EP (1995"s "Pentagram Ring") on the Matador label. When Chavez slowed down in the late '90s he toured with Bonnie "Prince" Billy as a guitarist.

Sweeney's work has taken him across a variety of musical genres. Starting in 2000 he turned up on Cat Power's "The Covers Record", playing guitar on "Salty Dog", and a couple of Bonnie "Prince" Billy singles (percussion on "A Whorehouse is Any House" and guitar and vocals on "Little Boy Blue"). In 2001 he started playing and writing with Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlain in what was to become Zwan. He collaborated with Billy Corgan on the soundtrack to the movie "Spun," singing the movie's opening song, a cover of Iron Maiden"s "Number of the Beast". He was also featured as a guitarist and backing vocalist on Bonnie "Prince" Billy's "Ease Down The Road" album. He lent a helping hand to Dave Grohl in assembling the all-star heavy metal album Probot, tracking down the legendary singers and providing some guitar work (the Probot album was not released until 2004, on Southern Lord records). Zwan recording and touring took up all of his musical time from late 2001-2003. He is credited as providing guitar, vocal, and some songwriting on Zwan's album.

He resurfaced from that band's implosion playing guitar with Bonnie "Prince" Billy for several tours in 2004. January 2005 saw the release of their collaboration "Superwolf" on Drag City records. Sweeney and Bonnie toured behind the Superwolf record in the U.S. and Europe. 2005 also saw Sweeney producing Brooklyn, NY heavy metal band Early Man's debut album, Closing In. The following year found Sweeney working in both the country music and hip-hop scenes, providing guitar work, along with Mike Campbell and Smokey Hormel on the Johnny Cash album, American V: A Hundred Highways and appearing with Yo La Tengo bass player James McNew and Def Jux founder El-P, as guest artists on the first track of rapper Cage Kennylz's album "Hell's Winter." He also played guitar on the Dixie Chicks "Taking The Long Way Home" album. In addition, he became a member of apocalyptic contemporary Christian folk legends Current 93 touring group, playing shows in Europe in support of the "Black Ships Ate The Sky" album. He also recorded with longtime friend Andrew W.K. for W.K.'s "Close Calls With Brick Walls" album.

In 2007 Sweeney again collaborated with El-P, this time alongside Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala of Mars Volta, on El-P's 2007 album, "I'll Sleep When You're Dead", in 2008 with Jakob Dylan on his first solo outing. Most recently he has recorded and toured, in an unlikely but very successful collaboration, with Neil Diamond.