Matt Hopper & The Roman Candles

Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - Alive After Five Summer Concert Series

Matt Hopper & The Roman Candles are an American rock and roll band that has been releasing music since 1999. A dizzying array of music rooted in classic rock tradition and modern rock experimentation with a penchant for stargazey jams and tender folk lie within their catalog. Think Wilco, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and My Morning Jacket.

Matt Hopper & The Roman Candles exploded onto the Anchorage, AK music scene in 1999; they were loud, upbeat and catchy and fueled by long winters spent jamming in basement dens and makeshift recording studios. Like most young bands, this group performed mostly in their own city, headlining all ages concerts and opening for bands like Young Dubliners, Gin Blossoms and Starflyer 59, but Hopper had his sights set on bigger oceans. They began by touring to the far corners of the Alaskan road system and eventually made their way to the rest of America...and have crossed into Europe twice. Their first foray into legit touring was in 2003 when they were asked to open for Anatomy of a Ghost (singer and bassist went on to form Portugal. The Man) and Fear Before The March of Flames.

The six-piece Roman Candles are currently based in Portland, OR where Hopper gravitated due to the wealth of musical talent available: engineer and drummer Bryan Garfinkel, pedal steel maestro Bryan Daste, folkie multi-instrumentalist Phillipe Bronchstein (who also performs as Hip Hatchet), bassist John Fauller and keyboardist Ryan Bohac. Hopper, with the help of an exhaustive list of fellow musicians, have released 11 albums of music thus far all independent of any record label help. They don’t have a manager, a booking agent, or PR, but that hasn’t stopped Hopper from penning a tune for The Head & The Heart (“False Alarm” from their 2016 release Signs of Light), recording a full length with producer Richard Swift (The Black Keys, The Shins), or touring Europe extensively, twice. Performing Songwriter Magazine refers 
to him as “Alaska’s finest” and Rolling Stone magazine thought THATH’s version of False Alarm “drolly sweet...could be a mountain-scented lost track from Fleetwood Mac's Mirage – a throwback that feels cozy and stylish at the same time.”