Hailing from Montebello, California, Matamoska! was created during the infancy stage of the ghetto ska-punk movement, in November 2000. The band is comprised of musicians with a very diverse taste in music, which leads to their signature mixes of sounds, influences, and even language (both Spanish and English). As a result, this edgy and original sound has led to various performances from numerous backyard shows to club shows featuring some of the top punk, metal, hardcore, sXe, crust/grind, psychobilly, garage, reggae, rock en espanol, and ska bands around.
The current roster includes Jose Padilla on rhythm guitar and lead vocals, Richard Sanchez on drums, Hector Rivera on bass, Esteban Flores on keyboard and backup vocals, and a horn line comprising of Jovan Loera, Ivan Lopez, and Robert Verdugo on saxophone, trumpet and trombone respectively. Ernesto Ocampo subs in as lead guitarist frequently
After developing an initial following, Matamoska! released their demo CD in April 2001. This release propelled the band to appearances on LATV live and bigger shows at venues such as like The Whiskey A Go- Go, the Coconut Teazer, The Roxy, and out of state venues, taking them as far north as Seattle and as far east as New York and opening up for legendary English and Spanish ska acts such as Reel Big Fish, Voodoo Glow Skulls, The Slackers, Mustard Plug, Ska-P, Los Pericos, and more. They also took up offers of appearing on compilation albums such as Keeping the Spirit Alive and Backyard City Rockers. Their success on these albums led to them being approached by OBSCENE RECORDS to release their own official album.
Their first EP De Verdad was recorded in 2002 and released in 2003. The album featured 5 songs plus an extra bonus track at the end. An unintentional error caused the first 200 albums to feature a red cover. These would be known as the initial limited edition run. This first EP gained traction, including coverage in several fanzines and webzines, which led to wide spread internet based radio play, reaching such areas as in Texas, Tijuana, Guadalajara, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, and the entirety of California.
Shortly after the 2005 release of Problema sin solucion, front man Jose Padilla left the band. Experimenting with different sounds and members, the band continued to play through 2006 until taking a hiatus from 2007-2010. The band reunited with most of the original lineup, including the return of front man Padilla, and in 2011 the band added yet another member, Esteban Flores on keys. That same year, the band released a live album including a new song that would become a staple of the band, Beer Goggles.
With the new lineup together, the band spent two years producing the LP M is for Murder. This featured some classics such as Night of 100 Frights and, for the first time on studio album, Beer Goggles. The album release party was held in 2014 at the Whisky a Go Go and included a guest appearance from Angelo Moore of Fishbone singing a cover of Monkey Man by The Specials.
During the summer of 2014, the band once again hit the studio to produce an EP entitled Slacktivist Swing. The album which features songs such as Six Months, El Jefe De Ska and Mario Bros Before Hoes was recorded by producer Dave Irish, who had previously produced for Ska staples Reel Big Fish, Stupid Flanders, and Suburban Legends. This album was a display of the maturity of the new lineup, as well as revamped lyrics and musicality.
In 2017, the band had its newest release Skalluminati. The album debuted during a month long summer tour with Las Vegas ska band Be Like Max. The album brings about more diversity to the Matamoska! catalog including hits such as East LA and politically charged songs such as Reggaenomics and Wonderbread. It also includes a cover of The Misfits hit I Turned Into A Martian.
The band is as busy as it’s ever been, having come back from recent US tours with bands The Bandulus and Be Like Max. Future plans include a Mexico tour and the addition of European dates to the calendar in 2018, and continue sharing the stage for some of the top ska bands in the world. ~ PAUL VERDUGO (2017)