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Groopie has opened for punk bands such as the Real Mackenzies and SNFU

“Remember, remember the fifth of November…” Matt Groopie jokes over the phone channeling V, the protagonist of the 2005 action film V for Vendetta. The fifth of November happens to be Matt Groopie’s birthday, and it was a fitting day for him to enter the world. Like the Guy Fawkes–inspired, mask-wearing V, Groopie aims to save those from tyranny, only this kind of tyranny is the wasteland that is modern music.

Groopie now is in three bands: the King Beez, the Matt Groopie Blues Band and Matt Groopie and the Bandits. He has been in bands since his high school days. Vintage was his first, running for around two years, and gave Groopie his first experience with being in a band. With them he played for crowds upwards of 400 people.

“We only did a few gigs, but that was the first real taste of ‘I can do this,’ ” Groopie says.

When that band ended, he started hard rock punk band the Groopies, nearly immediately, while he was in high school, and with them Groopie toured Ontario and Quebec, made it onto the radio and played for many benefit concerts raising thousands.

“We were more about the community in that band. It wasn’t like, ‘Oh we were going to be famous and rich,’ we just wanted to help the community and show support for causes,” Groopie says.

Although the Groopies started while he was in high school, the group opened for big punk bands like Real Mackenzies, SNFU and ’70s British band the Vibrators. It was a dream come true for Groopie who had wanted a career in music since Grade 4, but this may have not happened due to his elementary school trying to stifle his creativity with pharmaceutical drugs.

“The school was telling my parents to put me on Ritalin because I was a creative kid,” Groopie says. “My parents said, ‘I’m not putting my kid on Ritalin.’ [Then] they bought me a drum set, and it was the best thing they ever did for me.”

Despite his passion for music, he didn’t do well in school arts because he always wanted to do his own thing. By the time he reached high school, he’d nearly failed his high school music class, leaving the class with a 51 per cent grade.

Regardless of that class, Groopie’s music was appreciated by nearly all of the rest of his high school. He won the award for most likely to be a rock star at his prom.

Looks like they were right.

"I think that music is a great thing." Groopie says. "Every kid should be given a pile of instruments when he is little and see which one he likes playing."

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