70: Meet Jeff Matika

While Little Rock has no shortage of boys in bands, did you know that we have a bona fide rock star in our bevy? Enter Jeff Matika.

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1. Name, occupation, years in LR, neighborhood: Jeff Matika; Touring member of Green Day (guitar/vocals) and Little Rock bands Ashtray Babyhead, Magic Cropdusters and Love Ghost; I moved to Little Rock in 1991 and currently live (and LOVE) downtown. 

2. You're obviously a fan of great music. What do you think has been the best album to come out of Little Rock? It's impossible for me to answer this one. There have been some astounding releases through my time here. I can say some local LPs that have heavily influenced me are:

The Big Cats - “On Tomorrow"

Ho-hum - “Sanduleak"

Two Minutes Hate - "Let It Eat"

Magic Cropdusters - “Goshen”

and I can't wait to get my hands on some recordings from Peckerwolf.

3. You have traveled a lot for work. What is, hands down, your favorite meal you look forward to coming back to in Little Rock? Tortilla soup from Las Palmas at 4154 McCain in NLR. The location is odd, but this soup is a must have.

4. What is something you wish LR had but doesn't? More support for local music. Your favorite band may be a big act now, but chances are they started off in the bars of their hometown. There is so much talent in Little Rock. Get in on the ground floor and watch some great bands develop and grow.

Now to be an even crankier old man, here's a few things I wish LR still had:

Juanita's on Main Street with Dave Barnett running sound. What a weird room, what a killer sound. Also, China Cafe on 7th & Broadway (where New Fun Ree is currently). The Wang’s gave many local musicians lunchtime jobs so we could practice and play shows in the evenings and they treated us all like part of their family--amazing folks!

5. What do you think is LR's best kept secret? David Jukes (Magic Cropdusters/Gunbunnies). After hearing "Goshen," I started begging to be in his band. I bought a bass guitar and amp, and after a few more months of relentless pestering I had talked him into it. We recruited Burt Taggart (of The Big Cats) to play drums and got to work on an album called "The Apartment" (which was recorded but never released). Jukes is not only one of the most talented and interesting players I've ever met, he's also responsible for some of the funniest moments of my life.

Keep up with Jeff at jeffmatika.com and on Twitter @jeffmatika.