Matressi presents new rock ‘n’ roll sensation

The dimly lit Brass Monkey Bar was crowded with patrons as they sang along to Matressi’s cover of “Ohio is For Lovers.”

This Louisiana band is not one to sleep on. Matressi has three members—vocalist and guitarist Rodney Pardue, drummer Mason Guntharp and bassist Bailey Murray. Together, they create sounds ranging from punk rock to pop punk and even power pop.

Pardue, a business administration graduate student, said he believes a smooth flow within a band is necessary to produce fruitful results.

“Being in a band’s like being in a relationship. Communication is key,” Pardue said. “Booking gigs, touring and playing shows can be exhausting, but it’s worth it.” 

Despite leading busy lives, the three musicians manage to create something special. 

By playing shows and getting Matressi’s name out there, they’re bringing life to the community. The band said it’s important to support other musicians, especially if they’re local.

Guntharp, a freelancing audio engineer, said he believes the best way to show your love for art in your area is to go out and actively support them. He believes in Matressi’s progress and feels they are the loudest in the area. 

“If you like a group, support them by streaming their music on Spotify, go to their shows and help promote them any way you can,” Guntharp said. 

Murray, a senior nursing major, is the most recent member of Matressi. Before becoming a Warhawk, he played football at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. He lives out his love for sports by playing intramural softball and flag football at ULM. 

“I recently joined Matressi this past summer right before my third semester in nursing school. Being in nursing school and playing in a band is definitely stressful,” Murray said.

Murray spends 12 hours at a hospital during the day helping patients, which prepares him for his future in the medical field. 

According to Murray, the work is rigorous but rewarding. When he gets home, he works on music. 

“Nursing is very important to me, but so is music,” Murray said. “I’m dedicated to nursing, but I won’t stop playing music either.”

Matressi has performed several times since Murray’s arrival. 

Many people agree that these young men are dedicated to what they do and they’re not slowing their roll anytime soon. 

Robert Reed, the assistant director of Recreational Services where Murray worked as a student supervisor, described Murray as “well-rounded,” and has even seen Matressi perform. 

“I’m excited about Bailey’s future, and I admire him,” Reed said. “I recommend that others go and watch Matressi’s performances.” 

Local producer, Adam Harper, spoke highly of the drummer’s work and passion for his craft. 

“Mason’s devoted, hard-working, and motivated towards his art. He’s a talented musician and likes to help others,” Harper said. “As a well-educated audio engineer, he puts his full capabilities into each song and live set productions. I highly recommend Mason for your audio technical services and needs.” 

Kaylea Burgess, a senior nursing major and Murray’s classmate, said she admires Matressi for the outlet it provides their listeners.  

“They clearly love what they do. It’s difficult being a student, especially in nursing school,” Burgess said. “We try to decompress from school stress and pressure. It’s great what Bailey does.” 

The path of a musician, no matter the sound’s style, is not a simple one to follow.

Matressi is inspired by multiple artists like Alkaline Trio, Blink-182, Beach Bunny, Greta Van Fleet and Panic! At The Disco. 

For their sounds, they use a selection of gear that includes a Fender P-Bass, a combo of DW and Mapex for drums, Sabian cymbals, a Zildjian hi-hat and more. 

The trio is currently working on new pieces. They plan to release a new album in the summer and a new single as early as April. 

Matressi is available on all streaming platforms. They also perform live at several bars in the community like The Brass Monkey and Downtown Billiard.

“People that come to our shows fuel us,” Pardue said. “Getting to play live is a privilege.” 

In a final comment, Matressi thanked listeners for their support. 

“Feeling the energy from everyone at a gig is amazing,” Guntharp said. “We’re all on the same wavelength.”