Hardcore Kid Made Good: Chef Matty Matheson talks breakdowns, basement shows and becoming executive producer of 'The Bear'

Hardcore Kid Made Good: Chef Matty Matheson talks breakdowns, basement shows and becoming executive producer of 'The Bear'

- By Ramon Gonzales

The multi-hyphenate guests for a lengthy discussion on the latest Hardlore: Stories From Tour that covers everything from shitty fast food, his early success via Vice, his undying love of hardcore breakdowns and beyond.

The dynamic duo of Colin Young and Bo Lueders of the Knotfest original series Hardlore: Stories from Tour braved inclement weather to trek to Chicago, Il. to sit across from venerated chef, restauranteur, New York Times Bestseller, television series producer and hardcore music lifer Matty Matheson for the most recent edition of the long form conversation series.

Given Matty's prowess in the kitchen and his reputation for gourmet cuisine, it seems only appropriate that the discussion with the guys began with the comforts of fast food. Weighing the merit of milkshakes, the magic of airport McDonald's and importance of Buffalo's Mighty Taco, the final fast food roll call that usually caps Hardlore, kicked things off this time.

The guys got into how their paths crossed long ago over their mutual love of hardcore. Going back to Matty's first restaurant ventures in Oddfellows, which he opened at 26, and Parts and Labour which he started at 27, the chef recalled how his second endeavor began with the idea of merging good food with a place for live music.

The basement of Parts and Labour became an in-the-know stop in Toronto for touring bands with performances from the likes of Mac DeMarco, Ty Seagull and a rotation of punk and hardcore bands. Matheson's own band, Toronto's seminal hardcore outfit Sex Tears also lay waste to the room for one of the chef's infamous birthday ragers.

Matheson offered a concise version of how he went from a young restauranteur and hardcore-loving chef to to where he is now and credited media platform, Vice, to his unique success. With offices centered in Toronto, Matheson was already drawn to the kind of subculture that was feature in Vice, but when he was tapped to do their Chef's Night Out (which became Munchies) segments he jumped at the opportunity.

Dead set on cooking, partying and indulging, Vice offered an outlet for Matheson's personality to shine and ultimately introduced a new breed of working class culinary craftsman that spoke to an audience that was far from square.


The guys also got into their own personal musical evolution, with Matty detailing how he got from Danzig to Limp Bizkit to Biohazard in just a few short album discoveries. Citing Pantera and Sepultura as his foundation, Matty expressed how heavy music was important to him from the very beginning and that led him down a path that was in constant pursuit of the breakdown. That eventually led him to hardcore and glorious playoff of the California Takeover LP from Victory Records which showcased the legendary trio of Earth Crisis, Snapcase and Strife - Matheson was hooked.

Chef also confided how shortly after finding success via Vice, he made the life choice to get sober, though he had some trepidation about how that would work on the platform he was building with a media outlet known for being heavy on the party lifestyle. He recalled how the team was supportive of his changes and gave him creative space to be himself - which ultimately led to his television series projects in Keep It Canada and Dead Set On Living - which was a tip of the hat to the Husker Du classic, "Dead Set On Destruction" by Hüsker Dü.


The conversation explored his genuine love of hardcore music and why that brand of aggressive art appealed to a kid who grew up a small town north of Toronto. He confided how that love eventually merged with his skill in the kitchen and spoke candidly about cooking became a passion purely because it was something he found he was good at.

Matheson discussed his success with the critically-praised FX-series The Bear and how he feared the show's nuanced vantage point might not be received well during the initial run of production. He also revealed how difficult it is to execute shows centered on food and understands why there isn't more programming like it, as a result.

Matheson also spoke honestly about the trajectory of his career and the kind of success he has experienced thus far, sharing that he tries visualizing where he wants to be. He explained the notion of "you're not there yet" as a way of rationalizing the journey rather than focusing on reaching the finish line - a very practical way of staying grounded, on task and optimistic about the future.

From hardcore breakdowns, breaking edge, garbage fast-food, talking tattoos with normies and attending the Golden Globes, the latest Hardlore with Matty Matheson is definitely one for the books.

Stream the complete episode below.


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