• Home
  • keyboard_arrow_right Episodes
  • keyboard_arrow_right Season 10
  • keyboard_arrow_rightPodcasts
  • keyboard_arrow_right Elkhorn Interview: From Elkhorn to Deep Within: Matt Wiggins on Character, Music, and Gratitude


Elkhorn Interview: From Elkhorn to Deep Within: Matt Wiggins on Character, Music, and Gratitude

Chris May 15, 2024

share close

In this conversation, I chat with actor and singer Matt Wiggins as he discusses his role as William Merrifield in the TV show Elkhorn. He describes his character as wise, patient, and driven, and compares him to a big brother figure for Teddy Roosevelt. Matt talks about the strengths of his character, including his patience, experience, and leadership qualities. He also mentions a potential weakness, which is a bit of ego and jealousy. Matt explains how he built chemistry with the other actors and worked with the director to shape his character’s arc. He discusses the authenticity of his performance and how he maintained it throughout the show. Matt also shares his excitement about being part of a Western and the joy of losing himself in the time period. Matt Wiggins discusses the personal development he gained from playing the character Bill in the show Elkhorn, including humility and staying grounded. He also talks about his music career with the band Deep Within and their success in the metal genre. Matt expresses gratitude to the fans of Elkhorn and his music, emphasizing the importance of their support in his journey.


Matt Wiggins describes his character in Elkhorn, William Merrifield, as wise, patient, and driven.

The strengths of the character include his patience, experience, and leadership qualities.

A potential weakness of the character is a bit of ego and jealousy.

Matt built chemistry with the other actors and worked with the director to shape his character’s arc.

He maintained the authenticity of his performance by immersing himself in the time period and staying focused on the character.

Matt is excited about being part of a Western and enjoyed the experience of losing himself in the world of Elkhorn.

Playing the character Bill in Elkhorn taught Matt Wiggins about humility and staying grounded.

Matt’s music career with the band Deep Within has been successful in the metal genre.

He is grateful for the support of fans of Elkhorn and his music.

The personal development and success Matt has experienced are a result of the connection with fans.


00:00 Introduction and Excitement

01:56 The Wise, Patient, and Driven Character of William Merrifield

06:54 Strengths and Weaknesses of William Merrifield

08:20 Building Chemistry and Shaping the Character’s Arc

12:13 Maintaining Authenticity in the Performance

21:54 Lessons in Personal Development and Humility

25:19 Deep Within: A Successful Journey in the Metal Genre

32:45 Gratitude for Fans: The Key to Success

MATT WIGGINS (00:01.167)
Hello, I’m actor singer Matt Wiggins from Los Angeles, California, right here with Chris from Hellblazer Biz. And we’re gonna have our interview and I’m excited to be here.

Chris (00:12.017)
Excellent thank you. I’ll leave a little gap there so I can cut it. Brilliant, cheers for that Matt, thank you, appreciate it. Okay let’s crack on. Everyone I have the awesome pleasure of the company of actor and singer and former Navy veteran so thanks for your service on that one Matt. Matt Wiggins! Bringing you on from Elkhorn is where you caught my eye and obviously since then I’ve checked on your social media and obviously I’m…

MATT WIGGINS (00:14.83)
you got it.

MATT WIGGINS (00:28.174)

MATT WIGGINS (00:33.038)
Yes, sir.

Yeah, well, you know. Well, I appreciate that. Yeah.

Chris (00:39.377)
completely eye -opening to find out and not just that either I had people at Ashton Solecki go you do realise there’s a bonafide goddamn rock star! They’re all pretty much in awe of you, your fellow cast members for that one.

Cool so yeah Matt nice to meet you, thanks for coming onto the show, I really appreciate it. You’re welcome, so you play William or Bill Merrifield who is one of Roosevelt’s friends and like a father figure according to some of the writings but according to Mason like a big brother.

MATT WIGGINS (00:58.464)
Thank you Chris, thank you.

MATT WIGGINS (01:03.693)

MATT WIGGINS (01:13.901)
Yep, he is more like, in my opinion, he’d be more like a big brother where Sewell would be, I think, a little bit more like, you know, that kind of father figure. So, yep.

Chris (01:23.153)
Mm -hmm.

Yeah so it’s quite good in that respect as well. So yeah first things first I’m going to just throw you into it. How would you describe your character, how would you describe Bill in three words?

MATT WIGGINS (01:30.092)
Three words I would say wise patient and Driven so I think he’s a wise. I think he’s a wise guy. He’s been around the block a few times He’s very driven and what he wants to do. You know he was from Canada

William Merrifield was originally from Canada and then he came down to the United States and settled there in North Dakota, wanted to become a rancher and a cowboy. So very kind of an entrepreneurial, adventurous, spirited man. And so he started the, you know, working in cattle business there in North Dakota.

and was an established guy when Teddy Roosevelt came out there to hunt was the first time I think that they actually met. They were out there. He came, Teddy Roosevelt had come out on a hunt and fell in love with it. And then the two of them ended up partnering up. So, you know, he’s very wise in his decisions. He’s driven in what he wants to do, but he’s very patient as well, I think. And I used a friend of mine that,

a man, a gentleman named Lynn Winkleman, who was my mentor out at a ranch called Wildwood Hills Ranch of Iowa, where I went and started working with horses years ago. And he is kind of that type of man, you know, a very powerful man, but a very quiet, wise man. And so I kind of used him to model the character as well as, you know, doing some historical research.

Chris (02:59.505)

Chris (03:05.969)
Mm -hmm.

Chris (03:13.617)
Fantastic fantastic. I mean that did catch out about Billy’s ears very silent He’s kind of likened him to like the Clint East with a quiet cowboy type, you know, very calculate He knows everything that’s going on in very very wise very clever, but he just he bides his time quite quite well and

MATT WIGGINS (03:22.282)

MATT WIGGINS (03:27.306)

He’s got that quiet power, if you know what I mean. He’s very influential, but he’s a quiet person and he listens. So yeah.

Chris (03:34.033)

Chris (03:42.177)
Yeah, he’s got that seems to have that respect from everybody as well because I think it’s a few times if some of them all the lesser

Lesser pleasant characters, should we say. And yeah, you know, you can tell there’s a reverence, like a revered respect when Bill walks out there, you know, you’ve got Teddy Roosevelt, because I think that’s what Mason said as well, because he’s quite short, he said. So you’ve got the empower, you’ve got him being short, then you’ve got Bill standing right behind you, big tall Bill and Sewell and everyone all around him. His little posse like that.

MATT WIGGINS (03:59.113)
Yes. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah, for sure, yeah. He’s got his posse with him, yeah.

Chris (04:22.993)
Yeah, but I say Bill’s very quiet as a trench coat and dust coat or duster isn’t it called. Just standing there quietly just taking all the scenes in and just watching it, seeing how Teddy goes along I think and stepping in just when it’s needed.

MATT WIGGINS (04:28.552)
Yep, yep. Yep. Yep. Yep, he’s ready to jump in there on Teddy’s behalf at any moment. But yeah, he’s kind of a quiet protector. And even though it’s kind of like a brother.

a little more of a brother type relationship. I think he is there to help counsel Teddy when he needs it. You know what I mean? He’s not just going to interject. I think he’s willing to let Teddy Roosevelt take the reins and want to do what he wants to do. But I think if it came to it, then he’s willing, obviously, to step in and help Teddy out and make sure that things are going down the right path.

Chris (04:57.457)

Chris (05:03.889)
Yeah, yeah. Excellent.

Chris (05:26.001)
really nice summary of it actually.

MATT WIGGINS (05:27.079)
I love him. I mean, I just like as soon as I read the script, I just fell in love with the character. So I was really excited when I finally got the opportunity and I got to go over to. So I did my first audition here, you know, after the pandemic and stuff, most people started doing auditions at their home studios, home studios.

Chris (05:34.033)

Chris (05:45.041)
Mm -hmm.

Chris (05:52.977)

MATT WIGGINS (05:54.022)
But so sending in self tapes and stuff, and then I ended up getting called into Burbank to meet a couple of the people from the production and then casting and stuff like that. And I told them then that I just, you know, whatever happens, happens, but I just, that I was just absolutely in love with the character and having the opportunity to go to set and be in something like this and play a character like William Maryfield is just a real, real joy.

Chris (06:21.521)
Yeah. Excellent. Kind of what do you believe his character, you know, Maryfield’s greatest strengths are then and weaknesses. We’ll start with the strengths.

MATT WIGGINS (06:30.629)
Well, I think his strengths are definitely his ability to be patient in situations versus a guy that’s going to be just interjecting all the time. I think that he’s highly experienced in what he does. So he’s got product knowledge, if you want to call it that. So I think he really is a go -to person, and he’s a leader.

Chris (06:43.185)
Mm -hmm.

MATT WIGGINS (06:54.949)
I think that in the show, he’s quiet, but I think it also demonstrates his leadership and that he’s a very reliable person, not only as a business person, but I think as a friend, because I think over the course of time, Teddy and as the show goes on, I’m not gonna give anything away in this story, but other people, if you know history a little bit.

the two of them do come, get much closer than just business associates and maybe they stayed friends their entire life. So he’s very committed person. And so, but a weakness I think that I see in him is, and I wouldn’t necessarily call it a weakness, but it is, it’s a part of our human nature. And that is he does have a little bit of ego.

Chris (07:32.049)
Mm -hmm.

MATT WIGGINS (07:53.06)
And in the sense that when Bill Sewell comes into the picture, and I think that this is demonstrated very early on where Maryfield had to kind of step back a little bit within himself and see what was going on on the bigger picture because there was a little jealousy there, I think, when he found out that, you know, hey, this guy from the East Coast is coming out.

maybe stepping in on my party, right? And the opportunity that I had to work directly with Roosevelt. And so there is that kind of, that battle within him a couple of times throughout the show where he is maybe a little bit jealous or a little bit fighting for that top slot or the partner.

Chris (08:21.073)
Mm -hmm.


MATT WIGGINS (08:47.394)
in the business and where like even Sewell and I have the conversation like, hey, you know, he brought you out as a business guy, but I’m the partner. You know what I mean? So it’s stay in your lane kind of thing. And so I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a weakness, but it is something that even as the care, even me inside the character has battled and some of that, a little bit of jealousy, maybe a little bit of ego.

Chris (08:47.569)
Mm -hmm.

Chris (08:56.817)


MATT WIGGINS (09:13.954)
But then again, I mean, a lot of these guys, you’re not going to get where you’re going if you don’t have a little bit of that. So.

Chris (09:19.921)
yeah, especially down in that time as well, because like I said it wasn’t called the Badlands for nothing so you couldn’t be a pushover, you needed to be able to assert yourself properly.

MATT WIGGINS (09:26.081)
Yeah, that’s for sure. Yeah, but I don’t, from a weakness perspective, you know, genuinely, I just, I see him as a very even keeled guy, you know, one of those people that you just respect. And I think he’s very honorable. You know, honor is a big thing for him.

Chris (09:40.465)
Mm -hmm.

MATT WIGGINS (09:50.433)
So it’s difficult for me to come up with a weakness other than the fact that I do feel, or the character feels, some jealousy, some ego kind of creeping in. But he’s very good at recognizing that. And I think that that’s obviously a big strength as well, is he’s very in tune with his emotions.

Chris (10:10.705)
Excellent, excellent. And how did you approach building chemistry with the other characters and work with maybe the director as well to shape and refine Bill’s arc, should we say, as we carry as the show goes on?

MATT WIGGINS (10:20.288)
Yeah, yeah. We so one of the great things about this show too is everybody just meshed. You know what I mean? Like Mason and I immediately the very first day of shooting at the end of January of last year, Mason and I were the only two actors there on that particular day on day one. And we were shooting that basically the opening scene for the show. Of course, you know,

Chris (10:42.353)
Mm -hmm.

Chris (10:47.217)
Right. Yep.

MATT WIGGINS (10:47.711)
shooting, we jump all over the place. But that just on that particular day, we were shooting that scene where we were walking through town. And that’s the first time we Mason and I had really met outside of just, you know, the the initial readings and stuff. So my chemistry with with the other actors came along very naturally. And so our relationship was was wonderful the entire time. And then I would so.

Chris (10:54.929)
Mm -hmm.

MATT WIGGINS (11:17.311)
For me personally, I love taking direction and I love getting direction. So Michael and Jim, Michael the director and Jim the director of photography, very early on we started talking about kind of the process of what would be happening and what not. What I ended up finding out was they trusted my intuition on the character.

Chris (11:21.169)
Mm -hmm.

Chris (11:37.741)
Mm -hmm.

MATT WIGGINS (11:47.102)
So Michael would approach me if it was something that’s very specific that he was looking for. And I love that kind of stuff. But for the most part, I have to be honest with you, when it came to character development, they pretty much just trusted me in what I was doing. And I think that maybe they had seen in the auditions and stuff, the character was very solid with me from the very beginning.

simply because of my own experiences with horses and ranching and like I said, kind of utilizing my experiences with Lynn there at the ranch. And Lynn is a very similar character to William Maryfield in many, many ways. So I just went with my gut on this thing.

And I’m hoping that, I mean, obviously the network and Michael and Gary and Panini and whatnot, they trusted what I was doing and just basically encouraged me to just like keep doing what you’re doing is basically what they said. So yeah.

Chris (12:52.913)
Excellent, excellent. And how did you feel throughout the episode 4? I’ve not seen 4 yet, I’ve seen the first 3. So how did you maintain the authenticity of the character throughout the whole performance as the show progresses? How did you keep his authenticity? I mean you kind of touched on it with how you…

MATT WIGGINS (13:01.629)
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

MATT WIGGINS (13:16.22)
Yeah, yeah. So are you talking in regards to like keeping the character consistent through each episode or? Yeah.

Chris (13:25.617)
Yeah and keeping him to himself, keeping to how he walks, you know the mannerisms and yeah keeping it all.

MATT WIGGINS (13:31.579)
Yeah, so for me, personally, I like in my process, if I’m working on a project like this, especially when it’s, you know, something that we’re gonna be working on for the better part of a year for the most part. And so my life is very eclectic, you know, I have a lot of different things going on. So, but William never really left me.

at any point in time. So I would kind of like compartmentalize the character if I was not like, say if I’m on stage or I’m doing other things, I would kind of compartmentalize him, but I never really released him through that entire process. And even still today, you know, I have a lot of him with me in what I’m doing. So for me, when I would get to set, I like to get there fairly early.

Chris (14:06.801)
Mm -hmm.

MATT WIGGINS (14:29.306)
and kind of get into the mode. So, you know, I’d grab my sides and stuff, and then basically I kind of just take a walk around the whatever area we were in and start absorbing the atmosphere of the sets and that kind of stuff. And then just, you know, get back into the dialogue and those kinds of things. But it wasn’t there was never a time where it was like, my gosh, you know, I’m my my head’s out of the game or.

Chris (14:45.265)
Mm -hmm.

MATT WIGGINS (14:57.818)
or what have you, I was very focused with him. So, you know, as far as keeping the genuine nature of him throughout the, throughout record or taping and stuff, filming was not a difficult process. I mean, he was, he was kind of always there with me. And then, like I said, I would just, I do appreciate them giving me some private time, like when I needed to get away or whatever. And,

Chris (15:09.937)

Chris (15:17.297)
Mm -hmm.

Chris (15:26.609)

MATT WIGGINS (15:27.321)
and just make sure that I was in the zone as it were. Yeah.

Chris (15:31.889)
Nice, excellent, nice. And how did you feel it differed from other roles you’ve played before? Because I mean, the era is quite, I think it’s a very brave thing as well with all these different, you’ve got everything nowadays, mostly remakes and copies and stuff which really annoy me to be fair. So having something like Elcon is a really bold piece to go back into the westerns again which, you know, they’ve never aged really, have they, over the decades.

MATT WIGGINS (15:50.136)
Yeah. Yeah.

Chris (16:01.553)
So yeah, how did that differ from previous roles then, going back into the old western style?

MATT WIGGINS (16:05.848)
Yeah, so a lot of my background is, I mean, I’ve played a lot of period characters, and not so much in film or television, but I really cut my teeth in doing classical theater, Shakespeare back in Iowa. And so kind of always living back in the past, I guess, playing these old time characters, old.

Chris (16:23.249)
Mm -hmm.

Chris (16:30.449)

MATT WIGGINS (16:33.751)
old time language and that kind of stuff. And so, but when it comes to film and television, this is definitely the most, one of the most involved project that I’ve been in. I’ve gotten to do some very cool things, but this is the first kind of like, let’s say, you know, like a national attention kind of thing, you know, especially in a lead role. And so, but I feel like my time,

Chris (16:53.937)

MATT WIGGINS (17:00.982)
in playing characters from the past and having been in a number of period pieces from a theatrical perspective really helped me get into this. But also I have to say, it’s cool to, if you’re doing something in a contemporary show that’s set in the 2000s or whatever, but to have the opportunity to literally step back in time like this and when you’re on the sets.

Chris (17:20.593)
Mm -hmm.

MATT WIGGINS (17:30.326)
And one particular thing that happened, I was doing a scene and we went into the saloon and I was getting all my stuff on and all that kind of thing and preparing for the scene and they were walking me out there, bringing me to the set and we walked in to the saloon that the art department had, you know, with the candles and the light, all this kind of stuff. And it was literally like one of those moments of magic.

Chris (17:30.609)

MATT WIGGINS (17:59.989)
you know, like where my heart was just, it’s like, I didn’t even have to think about that this was going to be that I’m acting in this scene. It was like I was literally there. You know what I mean? So that kind of stuff really helps you, you know, get into character and kind of lose yourself in the in the time. And I had another thing to and I’m not trying to pigeonhole myself here, but I.

Chris (18:09.105)

Chris (18:27.473)

MATT WIGGINS (18:28.117)
old people out, I was like, you know what, and another thing for me, like I love the Western era of our history, you know, granted, it’s been, you know, kind of romanticized and whatnot. But I’ve always loved it ever since I’ve been a kid. And then of course, my background in Winterset, you know, I was born in the same town as John Wayne. So, you know, I was always that kind of thing going on in town. So,

Chris (18:34.673)
Mm -hmm.

MATT WIGGINS (18:54.1)
Having the opportunity to be not only in a period piece, but then in a Western particularly, it was just like, I mean, what a privilege. And I told people like, hey, if I get pigeonholed, right, as a guy that’s in Westerns the rest of my career, and I can make money doing this and establish my reputations, I’d be perfectly fine with that. You know what I mean?

Chris (19:12.557)

Chris (19:18.001)
Fair enough, fair enough. You’ll be able to keep your moustache as well.

MATT WIGGINS (19:19.395)
Yeah. Yeah, that’s right. And I get to keep this cool mustache. So yeah, but but anyway, yeah, so I there was never any issue as far as like just losing yourself in the time because one, it’s a place I’ve always wanted to be. And two, I felt natural. I mean, I felt I felt like I was genuinely there the entire time we were on set. You just the cameras go away when you’re in the scene. It’s like.

Chris (19:24.529)

Chris (19:34.097)
Mm -hmm.

Chris (19:45.905)
Mm -hmm.

MATT WIGGINS (19:48.563)
this is really happening, you know? It may sound cliche, but it’s a true thing when you’re on a set like that and you have the ability to just lose yourself in it. It’s magic. It’s like time travel.

Chris (20:03.345)
Excellent excellent. I’ve got to say as well because when you want to do watch it as well you see the characters you play you do you just sort of You you look perfectly melted you do look perfectly natural melted and at home just hanging I mean all you do everyone does because that’s the sole purpose of acting is to make yourself look that but they’re so you know, I think everyone on the set you just Fitted so perfectly well and like you said before you seem to gel so well and I think that really comes through on screen as well and

MATT WIGGINS (20:17.139)

Chris (20:30.801)
because we pick up on each other’s nuances and everything, you know, when you do get on like that and work on them as well, which is fantastic to see on a show like this.

MATT WIGGINS (20:32.402)
Yeah, for sure. I think casting is a big part of the success of any show and I think they nailed it on all these characters. I mean, everybody just did such a fantastic job and that also helps, you know, your project is only as strong as your weakest actor. I mean, I hate to say it, but it’s like…

and something, you know, that makes me nervous when I get involved in things is, you know, whether, especially when you get involved in like independent stuff, like say you got some friends or whatever, they want to put a movie together and, and it’s like, yeah, you know, that sounds like a fun thing, but you know, I take, I take what I do very, very seriously. And, so it’s, it’s always like, I personally, for sure don’t want to be the weakest link in anything I do.

And so sometimes you get to it, it’s like feeling people out and how everything is going to gel. And on this thing, it’s like, man, I mean, Mason and Eli and everybody was just so fantastic to work with. And so it was a real joy kind of just losing ourselves in this amazing world. Yeah.

Chris (21:28.881)

Chris (21:53.777)
Excellent thank you and now obviously is there anything that you’ll be able to take away after playing Bill from personal development anything you learn from your journey as Bill?

MATT WIGGINS (22:04.464)
Yes, I, you know, yeah, because I’m a person that’s, you know, I’m a real, I’m a perfectionist. I’m a very driven person. But I think Bill has also taught me a little bit about being okay, not being the, I guess, the guy that’s always forward.

Chris (22:26.481)
Mm -hmm.

MATT WIGGINS (22:34.127)
you know, I don’t know, the guy that’s always like in the spotlight, if you will. I’m not exactly sure how to term it, but he’s kind of, he’s taught me humility. He’s a humble guy. And so, and I think I remain even with some of the things that I’m doing in both the acting world as well as music, you know, you can kind of lose yourself in that kind of stuff. And it’s important to stay grounded in, in,

Chris (22:40.305)

MATT WIGGINS (23:03.918)
who you are as a person. And I think that working as this character and being very grateful for the opportunities that I have and just the nature of Bill being this humble, quiet, patient person has taught me to, you know, instill some of those things in myself when I’m working with other people, you know. There’s six principles of horsemanship, okay? Concentration.

consistency, repetition, ask often, expect little, reward liberally. So like when you’re training horses and I was taught these things by my mentor, Lynn, I took a lot of those things and put them into how I was not only working with other cast members because those things not only work with horses, I mean, it works with, and yourself as well, you know?

Chris (23:47.249)

MATT WIGGINS (24:00.205)
You’re asking often, expecting little, you’re rewarding liberally. And so taking those principles and then applying them to William Maryfield kind of helped me reassess those things about my own life, things that helped me out in the past. So he’s definitely been an influence on me and hopefully maybe we’ll get to do it again.

Chris (24:15.153)
Mm -hmm.

MATT WIGGINS (24:29.485)

Chris (24:29.809)
Yeah, hopefully. So it’s 10 episodes, isn’t it, for season 1, so hopefully…

MATT WIGGINS (24:33.996)
I’ll never forget this character. Even if, look, if we were to, you know, okay, season one, it was great, and, you know, we move on or whatever, I’ll never, I will cherish the memories that I had with this show, and the show will live on, and the character will live on, and not only just on television, but with me as well. So.

Chris (24:42.801)
Mm -hmm.

Chris (24:57.297)
Excellent, excellent. It’s really nice to hear as well. It’s lovely to hear that the show has meant that much to everybody because everyone I’ve talked to from the show has very much felt the same kind of way, you know, Jeff and Mason and I’ve spoken to Ashton once briefly about it because she couldn’t get that was before it was released. So she was like very often had to be very coy about what was coming out. But, you know, the excitement from all of the people has been fantastic.

MATT WIGGINS (25:19.563)
Yeah, it’s, I don’t, you know, no matter how you size it up, I mean, it’s a very special project. And every time we got to go to set, you could just feel that something special, I felt something special was going on.

Chris (25:34.417)
Fantastic, fantastic, excellent. And another thing with Matt with yourself, it’s not just the Elkhorn that drew my interest, it’s when I started looking into research and I can ask that I’ve been sitting here and picturing you with all the face paint as well from your band deep within. That’s a pretty heavy band and you’re doing phenomenally well as well. I’ve just seen how many plays you get in the dark on Spotify and you’re touring. So how did you get into that? How’s that going? I mean,

MATT WIGGINS (25:49.066)

MATT WIGGINS (25:59.722)

So, so yeah, I’ve always been kind of duplicitous when it comes to my, you know, the creative side to my myself and music has always been something like, I mean, it’s I just get goosebumps right now thinking about it, because it’s like, it’s something that’s been such a big part of my life. You know, I started out as a percussionist in school, my father was a drummer in 60s rock bands. And he had an affinity for

Chris (26:28.145)

MATT WIGGINS (26:30.857)
for all forms of music, you know, loved rock and roll, of course. But, you know, so I grew up loving, like listening to Fleetwood Mac, listening to, you know, ACDC, the Rolling Stones, all this kind of stuff. My dad was very much into music, but not just rock and stuff. He loved blues and jazz and all those. So it’s always been a big part of my life. And then as a kid, you know, as I was coming up, I was always dreaming about, you know, all the…

Chris (26:35.345)
Mm -hmm.

Chris (26:50.371)

MATT WIGGINS (27:00.392)
becoming all of these different things and kind of living vicariously through entertainment, you know, movies and even politicians at the time and all that kind of stuff just like fascinated with all these different worlds. So when I was in school and became a percussionist in like jazz band and those kinds of things, I had already started dreaming about wanting to be in a band, but it never happened for me during those years. So,

Chris (27:14.467)

Chris (27:21.201)

MATT WIGGINS (27:30.28)
When I was in the Navy, believe it or not, I was stationed with the F -18 Hornets up in Lamor, California. I was the legal officer up there. And so I met some guys and then we kind of started playing around a little bit with a band. And so I was like, my gosh, this is something that I want to do this for real. Like, I don’t want to just play around. So when I…

Chris (27:46.769)
Mm -hmm.

MATT WIGGINS (27:56.647)
was back in Iowa. My story is long and crazy. I’m just going to do crib notes here. But back in Iowa, I got together with some guys when I was back there. And I started we started a little band called Mind Asylum. And we recorded an album, we started playing some shows. And man, I was I was completely hooked at that point. So when I jump forward many, many years, when I came out to LA, one of my goals was not only just obviously going after my theatrical stuff,

Chris (28:08.689)
Mm -hmm.

Chris (28:14.129)

Chris (28:25.073)
Mm -hmm.

MATT WIGGINS (28:25.158)
But that I wanted to get into a legitimate rock band or metal band project out here in LA and go gusto. Like, I mean, take the gloves off, let’s really go for this thing and have no boundaries whatsoever when it comes to limitations on what we’re going to do. So I auditioned for three great bands in LA. And…

Chris (28:32.689)

MATT WIGGINS (28:53.446)
And they were very good bands, but they were a little bit more along the lines of, hey, you know, we want you to sound like, you know, go home and listen to this guy or this guy and kind of recreating what’s already been done. And I’m like, it’s not, not for me, you know, I’ll want something where we can take the gloves off and try something, you know, just be completely experimental. And so I got on a website called band mix, which is a website where you can kind of go and you put your

Chris (28:56.113)
Mm -hmm.

Chris (29:04.049)

Mm -hmm.

Chris (29:15.057)
Mm -hmm.

MATT WIGGINS (29:22.597)
you know, area in and you can associate with various artists and stuff that are kind of like mine and looking for projects or whatever. And there was this, there was this ad that said, you know, like deep within, you know, are looking for the one or whatever. So I ended up, I ended up meeting these guys and the original, the original lineup has changed since I first met them, but 2020,

Chris (29:27.011)
Mm -hmm.

Chris (29:36.177)

MATT WIGGINS (29:49.445)
is when the lineup that we’ve got now, like Jason, myself, Joe and Cody, our drummer. So we consider the band to be established in 2020 here in LA. And then we have been recording and that kind of stuff previously. The album was finished and then released in towards the end of February, early March timeframe. But what’s funny is.

Chris (30:00.625)
Mm -hmm.

Chris (30:11.248)

MATT WIGGINS (30:14.628)
we had put a single out and then we had started kind of getting some traction on the local scene here. We opened up for Quiet Riot at the famous Whiskey -a -Go -Go. We started doing some other shows with, you know, we played with Adima, Afro Man, believe it or not, Crazy Town. We started doing some very, very interesting stuff and getting some attention. So then lo and behold, we ended up getting management, okay? And…

Chris (30:22.449)
Mm -hmm.

Chris (30:35.153)

Chris (30:41.841)

MATT WIGGINS (30:42.499)
So shortly after that, we ended up getting signed by a label in Paris, near Paris or in France, a little boutique label. And then the album came out via the label at the end of, in February. And I mean, what’s going on is incredible and a blessing because…

in a very short period of time. I mean, the album’s only been out now for what, you know, three, four, four months or something like that. And here we are having come off of our, we had our first national tour with Adima Smile and Bissoul and great guys. And we traveled, I was like an 8 ,500 mile tour with them. And then we ended up getting on tour with Max Cavalera and his, you know, if any, and for people that may not be familiar with him, you know, Sepultura, I mean,

Chris (31:15.889)
Mm -hmm.

Chris (31:20.657)

Chris (31:28.913)

MATT WIGGINS (31:39.842)
you know, come on, iconic, Soulfly, Cavalier Conspiracy, and then his son, Igor Amadeus, named after his uncle, you know, Igor, they got a band together called Go Ahead and Die, and it’s a new thrash band. We got picked up to go out on tour with them all on their West Coast dates and then in their hometown of Phoenix. And it was, I mean, absolutely incredible. So things have really been going very, very well for the band.

Chris (31:57.521)
Mm -hmm.

MATT WIGGINS (32:10.017)
And we have a lot of big things coming. We got another setting up another tour with an up and coming band here later this summer. But our goal really is to get to you guys over there. Get to UK and yeah. And Germany, UK, all those places over there. I think that we would.

Chris (32:25.906)
I’m in the UK, yeah that’d be great. Come and see ya.

MATT WIGGINS (32:38.337)
do well and I think the people over in Europe would really enjoy the music.

Chris (32:44.337)
Yeah, yeah, I was gonna say yeah, I think you’re right especially in Germany they’re very much into into that style

MATT WIGGINS (32:49.728)
Yeah, and it’s you know, the thing about it too is like we’re a live band like I mean the the album is I mean, I’ll obviously I love the album and I love what’s what’s happening with the music from our from a recorded perspective but like it’s we’re a theatrical live band and There are a lot of great bands, you know, we’ve played with a lot of great bands, but I think one thing that bands are missing today is the

show part of the performance part of it. And I hate to use, you know, like, you know, Kiss is an example or those kinds of things. But I mean, when you look at a band like like Kiss was or Ghost now is another big one. These like larger than life shows with these characters on stage and that that’s so when we first started, you know, Deep Within, you know, there was no makeup at first.

Chris (33:20.529)
Mm -hmm. Yeah.

Chris (33:30.577)
Mm -hmm.

MATT WIGGINS (33:46.559)
And then I started, I was like, hey guys, you know, I’d really like to play around with this idea. And they were like, okay, yeah, cool. So then I started wearing the makeup. And then my dream though was like, I want to be in a band where it’s a cast of characters up on stage and then we can really build the show from that. And so everybody just, you know, slowly but surely jumped on board. And so it’s kind of culminated into where we are now. And it’s like Katie bar the door.

Chris (34:08.049)

Chris (34:14.897)

MATT WIGGINS (34:16.414)
You know what I mean? We’re, this isn’t a, you know, a 75 % effort. I mean, this is a 150 % effort. And we have, I think the trajectory that we’re on, we have a very high likelihood of doing some pretty amazing things. And it’s not because of anything we’re doing, it’s because people are grabbing onto the music. You know what I mean? And when you listen to the album,

Chris (34:42.545)

MATT WIGGINS (34:45.662)
You know, it’s a very, it’s a holistic album, but every song in there is its own narrative. You know, it’s its own story. And that’s one thing when I started working with the guys on writing and that kind of stuff, Joe does a lot of our composition. At least he did on the last album and he’s working on some new material and stuff now, but we are also working together on, you know,

Chris (35:01.265)
Mm -hmm.

MATT WIGGINS (35:10.813)
ideas with with everybody having an equal say and you know what’s happening from a music perspective then I do I do all the the lyrical writing and or the kind of stylistic stuff and so one of the things that I I said was hey I’m looking for a group of guys that are setting no limitations like we don’t have to sound just like these guys or these guys let’s just

Chris (35:24.081)
Mm -hmm.

MATT WIGGINS (35:40.188)
organically let things happen and see what and have every song be a little bit unique but holistic and what we are is deep within. And I think the results are, you know, like you said, you’re seeing what’s happening with Spotify and all. And these aren’t gimmicks either. You know, it’s like, you guys, you’re probably just, you know, you’re buying this or you’re buying that. It’s like, no, we’re not. And I’m here to tell everyone right now.

Chris (35:42.641)
Mm -hmm.

Chris (36:04.401)
Yeah, natural listeners.

MATT WIGGINS (36:08.604)
The success that’s going on is one fan at a time. You know what I mean? It’s word of mouth. It’s people getting out there, people seeing us out on tour. And it’s like, hey, if you have any question about what we have to offer, come and see a show. Check the album out. If you like it, great. If you don’t, that’s fine too. But it’s been amazing. Amazing.

Chris (36:13.489)
Mm -hmm.

Chris (36:20.081)

Chris (36:25.393)

Chris (36:31.761)
Fantastic it sounds great and it really does sounds amazing amazing journey to be on and that’s how I would love you to come to the UK so I can watch it

MATT WIGGINS (36:39.003)
It’s, you know, Chris, what’s the most fascinating thing about it is that, and you also have to say that it’s for a purpose because what are the odds that you would be doing this, like I get this show, the Elkhorn show, I’m gonna set this back. Yeah, I don’t know, so. That what are the odds that we get this, I get this wonderful show.

Chris (36:43.857)
Mm -hmm.

Chris (36:51.313)
Mm -hmm.

Chris (36:58.321)
Mm -hmm.

MATT WIGGINS (37:08.411)
And then also, literally at the same time, you know, we have this, the band also doing all these wonderful things literally simultaneously. You know what I mean? The entertainment business is very, very difficult to have any level of success and success can come, it doesn’t necessarily mean money. You know what I mean? Like you can be very successful, but you’re not maybe not making tons and tons of money yet, but.

Chris (37:20.209)
Yeah, serendipity.

Chris (37:32.593)
Yeah. yeah.

MATT WIGGINS (37:38.106)
So to be on the trajectory that I’m on personally with having the opportunity to do this show, be an actor on Elkhorn and then other things coming along in the theatrical area as well, but also then being in this up and coming metal band like this is just, I mean, to me there’s a higher level to it for sure. So.

Chris (38:02.545)
Excellent. It’s like you say, it’s a really difficult industry. So you know, it’s really, yeah, it’s like a serendipitous for you to have all of this coming at you once, if that’s the right word. I love how you said, I love how you said as well, sorry, going right back is how you started with your dad, because my dad was a minister of religion for United Reform Church. But he also played, he was also a drummer. He was a semi -pro drummer and he used to play jazz drums. So he’s played at Ronnie Scott’s. He played for Dudley Moore. He’s played for Dave Brubeck.

MATT WIGGINS (38:12.217)

MATT WIGGINS (38:20.056)

MATT WIGGINS (38:28.44)

Chris (38:30.993)
I’ve actually got a set of drumsticks, my dad passed away in 2009. So I’ve got a set of drumsticks from him, which Dave Brubeck gave to him as well as his drum kit and stuff. So, you know, he used to do that. He was going to go to the States. He was offered a contract to come to the States and be a professional session drummer. But he just, I don’t think he thought it’d be too risky. So he stayed in the ministry. He just did. He used to go to the bands and, you know, play in the evenings. But he played at Footlights. Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, I think he played for a couple of the Monty, when the Monty Python guys were there and stuff. So.

MATT WIGGINS (38:39.128)

MATT WIGGINS (38:47.768)

MATT WIGGINS (38:57.944)
wow. That’s awesome.

Chris (39:00.177)
he was playing band. So yeah, so I was just thinking when you say that, I was thinking that’s not really similar because that’s got the 60s as well. So I was like, that’s actually quite similar to my dad.

MATT WIGGINS (39:07.32)
Very cool, yeah, my gosh, I love it. Yeah, was he on any recorded stuff? Like the record?

Chris (39:16.177)
I don’t think so, no I don’t think it was any session, it was more like he gigged, he had his own band. So he had his own little band going as well. But just now I don’t know if he was on any recorded stuff, I don’t think so. I just know he got to play at Ronnie Scott’s with his band and I think he played alongside Dave Brubeck at one point. Which is one of his claims to fame because he loved Dave Brubeck which is classic isn’t he?

MATT WIGGINS (39:24.087)

MATT WIGGINS (39:31.607)

yeah, yeah, for sure. Awesome, very cool, yeah.

Chris (39:45.457)
Yeah, it’s just reminding me of the similarity. So as I draw this recording to a close, Matt, which is a shame because I could chat to you all day. Is there anything?

MATT WIGGINS (39:50.807)
Yeah, I just have to tell you that my mind kind of goes in a million directions. So on some of these things, I feel like I’m kind of going on and on. But it’s just because when I start telling one story, then it kind of leads to this and that. So I appreciate your going along with me on all of this.

Chris (40:14.737)
No, that’s exactly how I am normally and to be honest I’ve got, I’ve not slept properly, I’ve got bad throat so I’m actually quite happy because I’m just sitting, I’m just quite happy sitting listening to your stories they’re fantastic. Is there anything you’d like to say to people who are watching or listening to this show now before we sort of…

MATT WIGGINS (40:23.391)

MATT WIGGINS (40:32.662)
Well, you know what? Well, first off, Chris, I want to say, you know, thank you to you and thank you to her to is it real quick. I know we’re recording this is hell biz. Hell blazer biz. OK, so so yeah, Chris, first off, I want to say how much I appreciate you and hell blazer biz and what you do and drawing attention to, you know, projects like this and.

Chris (40:44.337)
Hell blazer biz, yeah.

MATT WIGGINS (41:00.855)
individuals like myself who are out here, you know, slugging away and attempting to do things. So, yeah, I want to extend a great appreciation to, you know, the fans of obviously the show, you know, Elkhorn. I think it’s doing very well. And like I said, hopefully we’ll get to continue that journey together. And I also want to thank all the people.

really around the world that are supporting the band right now as well. And because it’s only through people like people that love are loving the television show, people that are loving the music that make these things possible. You know, like as an entertainer, you can work as hard as you want. But really, it’s you know, it’s it’s the magic of people connecting.

with you in some way that open up opportunities. And so it doesn’t matter how successful, you know, like I may become or how successful other people are in the end, it’s really about the fans. It’s really about people out there that take interest in these things. And like with Elkhorn, you know, there’s an appreciation from people on all sides, like the historical people, the Western people. So it’s got a lot going for it. And I just am very grateful.

and very humbled and I feel very privileged to be able to do what I’m doing and it’s really all happening because of people like yourself and fans that are out there watching the show and listening to my music. So I’m very grateful and look forward to seeing what’s coming in the future.

Chris (42:44.145)
Fantastic, thank you very much Matt, I’ll just stop.

Rate it
Previous episode

Post comments

This post currently has no comments.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *