MATT TONG

Like many of his peers, Matt Tong's musical education began with piano lessons, and blossomed from there. He subsequently moved on to guitar and by the age of 11 he had also added drums to his repertoire. Practicing his drumming skills provided a challenge at the time because the Tong did not own a drum kit. Matt had to make do with playing for twenty minutes a week during his lessons. At the age of 16, Matt finally acquired his own drum kit.

Matt moved from Bournemouth to London to continue his education and he eventually received a degree in Music Technology from Thames Valley University. He also looked for a band to join, initially assuming that he would play guitar. Matt took a job in the press department of his former school, but he could not find a band that appealed to him. They were all missing one essential part: the drummer. Frustrated, Matt turned his attentions back to the drums. About a year after they first met each other, Kele Okereke approached Matt to ask if he would try out for the band. Kele, Gordy and Russell were very specific in what they were looking for and eight drummers had already come and gone in the arduous process of completing the lineup. Matt sat down at the kit and what the three other men heard was magic: it was the sound they never thought could possibly exist. The chemistry was solid.

During live shows, Matt is known for his precision, skill and tendency to drum topless. An electric fan often provides some relief whilst he spontaneously combusts like the numerous drummers of mockumentary legends Spinal Tap. Offstage, Matt's tall stature may make him an imposing presence, but he is known for his lighthearted attitude and deadpanned jokes. Socially as well as musically, Matt was the missing piece that firmly fused together the elements of Bloc Party.

After moving on from Bloc Party between 2013-2014, Matt continued focusing on music production and teamed up with Bloc Party's 'Four' producer, Alex Newport, and formed the duo 'Red Love', also the name of their first and only album released in 2017. Another of Matt's venture is the New York-based avant-garde band 'L'Amour Bleu', formed together with Ryan Schaefer.

Currently, Matt is the official drummer of the Atlanta-born band 'Algiers' together with Franklin James Fisher, Ryan Mahan, and Lee Tesche. Matt originally joined the band while they were touring their first record 'Algiers', to become an official member shortly after simply because a band must be crazy to let Matt go. With Algiers, Matt released the record 'The Underside of Power' in 2017.

 

Partial source: blocparty.net