Matt Mays (born August 10, 1979) is a Canadian indie rock singer-songwriter and was the lead singer of Matt Mays & El Torpedo, a rock music group based in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia and New York City. Previously, Mays was a member of a Canadian indie band The Guthries. Mays was born in Hamilton, Ontario, and grew up in Nova Scotia.
At the 2005 Juno Awards, Mays presented an award, and was himself nominated for New Artist of the Year and Adult Alternative Album of the Year for his self-titled album.
In February 2006, Mays appeared with the Symphony Nova Scotia in their Rising Star series on the Dalhousie University campus.
In April 2006, fellow Canadian rocker Sam Roberts released his new album titled Chemical City. Mays performed on the track "Uprising Down Under".
In 2014, his album Coyote won the Juno Award for Rock Album of the Year.
Matt Mays & El Torpedo:
Matt Mays & El Torpedo consisted of Jay Smith (guitar, vocals), Andy Patil (bass, vocals), Tim Baker (drums), and Adam Baldwin (keyboard). Previously, Mays toured with the Atlantic Canadian group The Guthries.
"Cocaine Cowgirl" received saturation airplay on Canadian rock radio in 2005, and its video heavy rotation on MuchMusic. At the 2006 East Coast Music Awards, MM&ET were nominated for entertainer of the year, group of the year, radio rock recording of the year, album of the year, and single of the year (for "Cocaine Cowgirl"), and won all of these but entertainer of the year award. They closed out the national broadcast of the event with "Cocaine Cowgirl". As he introduced the band, host Mike Smith (Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys) said that they were one of his favourite bands. In Maclean's magazine, Ron MacLean of Hockey Night in Canada listed Matt Mays & El Torpedo among the artists whose music he "never leaves home without."
In 2006 Matt Mays and El Torpedo released a music video for their single "Time of Your Life ('til You're Dead)", directed by Drew Lightfoot. The video was filmed in Kensington Market, Toronto. This particular video features the card manipulations of American comedian and magician Erik Tait. This video received notice in the magic world after it was pointed out that the card manipulation with the box is physically impossible. This particular manipulation was achieved by filming Erik's hands then playing the footage backward. The card work is also acclaimed in this video as members of the band perform some of the manipulations.
Matt Mays & El Torpedo performed on Late Night with Conan O'Brien in December 2006.
When the Angels Make Contact:
Matt Mays' project When the Angels Make Contact, released on November 7, 2006, is a soundtrack to Mays' unfinished film of the same name. Regarding the origin of the idea, Mays stated: "I had this album that was based on the theme of an all-nighter. It started when the sun went down and ended when the sun came up. Then I thought, 'That would make a good movie.'" The album flows with the themes of the movie, following the character J.J. Carver, a motorcyclist on a quest. The music video for the title track and the "movie trailer" were both directed by Drew Lightfoot. Although much of the movie was shot in early 2006, production then stalled due to lack of financing.Sam Roberts has a cameo role as an Australian surfer. The album features Buck 65, Skratch Bastid, and Rose Cousins, among others.
The last album, Terminal Romance, was released on July 8, 2008. Singles, "Tall Trees" and "Building a Boat" have received heavy airplay on Canadian radio, including CBC Radio 3.
Throughout July 2008, Matt Mays and El Torpedo toured with Kid Rock in support of their new album.
On December 12, 2008 Matt Mays & El Torpedo received 5 East Coast Music Association Nominations including Group Recording Of The Year and Songwriter Of The Year.
Disbanding of El Torpedo:
Matt Mays & El Torpedo officially disbanded in June 2009 with the departure of Andy Patil and Tim Baker, however Adam Baldwin and Jay Smith have remained with Mays. The band added four new members, including drummer Damien Moynihan, keyboard player Matt Scott, guitar player Matt Hammond and former The Guthries member Serge Samson. Jay Smith was found dead in his Edmonton hotel room on March 27, 2013.
Matt Mays released the Coyote album in September 2012, and, as of October 2012, is completing a cross Canada tour to promote the latest release. The tour concluded on November 17, 2012, in Fredericton, New Brunswick. At the 2014 Juno Awards Coyote received the award for Rock Album of the Year.