Vox & Hops, Matt McGachy’s Histroy of Metal

Before the world turned into a cluster fuck like it exists today, I met a man as metal as metal can be. His name is Matt McGachy. He was Matt, is Matt and he will always be Matt. And this is our story. The world existed differently back then, it was pleasant, it was intertwined and elation surrounded us. But in our minds our current predicament feels as intense as George Miller’s Mad Max. Our solitude existence has certainly tried each and every one of us and the depths of our minds tend to create an almost psychotropic existence. This lockdown constantly feeding our insanity. Lets rewind back to the elation. It was a cold December or maybe November. I unfortunately arrived a few minutes late to Beauregard, lost in beer trades and all, but I was met by a very friendly and jovial dude. Thirsty and eager to get the ball rolling on a conversation I personal was looking forward to. As a die hard metal fan and musician myself, sitting down with a fellow metal head and musician who loved craft beer as much as I did was a recipe for extreme excitement. Better yet we were recording an episode for his podcast Vox & Hops, talking about peoples lives, metal and craft beer. It was a true honor to be here, and we had a very great chat together, you can catch it here.

Metal has played a very huge part in my life. Its been my identity, my confidant, something I can turn to no matter what the feelings with in me and a motivating force. It pushes me forward, it makes me move, groove, dance, and above all when in the pit F**king mosh! Lets just say I’m the type to have a few beers, hit the mosh pit, have a little fun, crowd surf, sweat, jump off the stage, and release all that negative energy in the most positive way. This was actually the first time Matt saw me, stage diving while Suffocation was breaking down their brutality. It may seems like a negative environment on the outside, especially to non-metal heads. But really it is exactly the opposite. if we fall we pick each other up, if we bleed, we carry each other and if we lose a shoe, well its too late for that, its on the stage somewhere. But we are sure to be intact. Assholes do come, extreme drunks do come to ruin the party sometimes, but that’s anywhere, and once again we band together and push them away. Its a true comradery. You see another metal head wearing a Whitechapel Tshirt, you give the horns, or a casual nod, or a quick “nice shirt dude.” Its a community. And for the love of Metal. To me the best music on this planet, and the people are a huge part of it. So too can be said about the craft beer community. So Imagine a world where metal heads are also in the craft beer industry? Well it exists, and its larger than you can imagine! The perfect metal brewery would have been to choose Messorem Bracitorium, but we wanted to shed light on a different spot and there is no other place that is blacker than the blackest black times infinity, so we landed at Beauregard.

Although this was more of an interview about me, I wanted to interview the man and now the legend behind Vox & Hops podcast. So I sent him some questions and here are the words from the man himself, covering metal, craft beer, and you could say his life of metal and craft beer! Stay Metal ya FUCKERS!

What got you into Craft Beer? 

It all began back in about 2008-2009, when I first moved out of my parent’s place & got an apartment downtown with my girlfriend.  I quickly discovered that if I picked up the mix pack from St-Ambroise with the Apricot Ale in it, my girlfriend would mind me buying a 12 pack of beer.  It was the same price as the Molson ones I had been previously buying so it was a win/win situation.  I soon found myself truly enjoying the bitter hoppy, what I used to call soapy bite of the St-Ambroise Pale Ale.  I was hooked.  From there I migrated towards Unibroue & Dieu du Ciel.  But the real game changer was Le Castor’s Yakima IPA.  That was the moment when I realized what craft beer could be.  

What were your gateway artists or Albums that got you into the world of Metal? And what drove you towards this style of music? 

My father was an avid Hard Rock fan.  I grew up discovering acts such as AC/DC, Metallica, Guns & Roses & Journey in his car.  But my first true introduction to the extremity of Metal came from Marilyn Manson back when I was in High School.  I was afraid of his music videos, afraid but highly interested.  From there I discovered KORN, Slipknot & System of a Down.  I was a Nu Metal child & ate it up.

Dream festival you wish to play at? Or play at again if you already have? 

I would love to play the Decibel Beer & Metal Festival!  The true culmination of my two loves under one roof!

Top 10 Metal albums of 2019

I dropped an episode with my top 10 Metal Albums of 2019 alongside Oli Pinard the bassist of Cryptopsy, Cattle Decapitation & Vengeful.  The link for that episode is here: https://voxandhops.simplecast.com/episodes/top-10-metal-albums-2019-with-oli-pinard-cattle-decapitation-cryptopsy

Here is our list in no specific order:

1-Vitriol: To bathe from the throat of cowardice

2-Herod: Sombre Dessein

3-MGLA: Age of Excuse

4- Hath: Of Rot & Ruin

5-Disentomb: The Decaying light

6-Cult Of Luna: A Dawn to Fear

7-Misery Index: Rituals of Power

8-Shadow of Intent: Melancholy

9-The Acacia Strain: It Comes in Waves

10-Blut Aus Nord: Hallucinogen

I would add Death Atlas by Cattle Decapitation which was omitted because Oli can’t have his own band on his Top 10 List.

Whats a typical day for you on tour?

I wake up around 10 or noon parked outside of a venue which most of the time is still closed.  From there I must find a toilet to do the morning business.  Then it is all about coffee & a smoothie.  Once load in time arrives, we get ourselves settled in & ready for the gig.  If I have time, which I tend to, I will head out to the nearest Craft Beer Pub.  I have been extremely fortunate to have tasted brews all over the globe thanks to this.  Most of the time they are fantastic but sometimes they are just ok.  After treating myself I head back to the venue for dinner, to warm up my voice & perform the show.  After the show we sit back with a few brews & rest for the night.

Hardcore moshing, hate it? Let the crowd do what they feel sense of freedom? Love it? Don’t care?

If everybody is having fun & nobody is getting hurt, I don’t care how people enjoy themselves.  But a pit is meant to be enjoyable & I do not tolerate watching people hurt others maliciously.  

How do you feel about all the new different styles of metal that continue to be introduced? 

I love it.  The more the merrier.  If someone gets into metal via one style or another and they get hooked, just like I did with that St-Ambroise Pale Ale, they will dig deeper & possibly stumble onto more “true” forms of metal.

Talk a bit about how the metal industry goes through decade shifts as far as style and genre and how it creates copy cat bands in very large numbers and a sense of all bands starting to sound to similar. How can one metal band in that genre stand out? 

It is very difficult to be unique nowadays.  Everything has been done, nothing is new.  It is all about just being true to yourself & being authentic.  Stand behind what you believe, what you love & the crowd will follow.  A few examples of this are bands like Vitriol, Shadow of Intent & Tomb Mold.  All of whom have noticeable influences but have managed to find a sound of their own.

Struggles of making it as a tour musician. Selling merch makes money etc. CD sales not so much, nor spotify. 

It is very hard to make a living being a Metal Musician in this modern era.  Owning the rights to your music helps a bit.  Having a strong merch game is very important.  There is just so much competition from other bands, that there is no room for any missteps anymore.  We must bring our A game to every show, every album & every aspect of the business.   

Some thoughts on the future of Craft Beer in Quebec?

The future is bright.  Just as there are so many amazing Metal Bands out there today there are just as many burgeoning Craft Beer Breweries.   I am so proud of my brothers at Messorem Bracitorium for winning the “Best New Brewery” in Canada award from Rate Beer.  The sky is the limit with these guys.  Hazy brews, crispy lagers & Pastry Stouts to die for…what more could one want.  They deserve all the praise they have been receiving.  They have really shown the Quebec Craft Beer Scene what people want from their breweries & many are following suit.  Sir John’s Brewing Co & Pub Brewskey are right up there alongside them paving the way for the new wave of Craft Beer coming out of Quebec.

Thoughts on the future of Metal and where you think the next sub style would go towards? 

Metal will live on.  Every show I go to I see a new group of younger Metal Heads emerging.  It is a blessing that with each new batch of Metal Heads there is always one of two that have the patience & the hunger to dive into the back catalogues of bands to discover where this genre came from.  Black Sabbath’s first album just turned 50th years old.  Nobody has forgotten them & nobody ever will.  As for the next style, I do not think we have seen the end of genre blending.  It has always happened & will continue to happen.  I am a huge fan of “Author & Punisher”, his blend of electronic drone & metal is something that I believe we will be seeing much more of.

Thoughts about many metal heads doing collaborative brews, Motorhead, Mastodon, Iron Maiden, etc. 

I love it of course!  Cryptopsy has been trying to get one of our many & I mean many craft beer ideas off the ground for years now.  The important thing is that it must be a good beer.  It can not just be about the label.  The brew inside must be just as strong.

Your Ordinary Beer Citizen

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