Matt Sweeney & Bonnie “Prince” Billy ¦ Superwolves

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Matt Sweeney
Sweeney performing with Chavez in 2011
Sweeney performing with Chavez in 2011
Background information
Birth nameMatthew D Sweeney
Born (1969-07-02) July 2, 1969 (age 52)
New Jersey, United States
InstrumentsGuitar, bass guitar
Years active1989–present
Drag City
Associated actsSkunk
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
Iggy Pop
Jake Bugg
Queens of the Stone Age

Matt Sweeney (born July 2, 1969) is an American guitarist, vocalist, and producer best known known as a guitarist of Skunk, Chavez, and supergroup Zwan.[1]

Early life and education

Sweeney was born in New Jersey. His father was John D. Sweeney, a professor of Medieval English at Seton Hall University who was also an avid musician.[2][3] His mother, Katharine Sweeney Hayden, is a federal judge.[4] Sweeney's parents divorced after 20 years of marriage.[5] He has an older brother, Gregory Sweeney, who is a musician who works on the TV show Kitchen Nightmares.[2][4]

He grew up in Maplewood and South Orange, New Jersey. He attended Northwestern University before dropping out.[4]


Sweeney's high school band Skunk released two albums on Twin/Tone records ("Last American Virgin" in 1989 and the posthumous "Laid", both out of print). In the nineties he recorded and performed as a singer and guitarist with math rock band Chavez, releasing a seven-inch ("Repeat the Ending" b/w "Hack the Sides Away") two albums (1995's Gone Glimmering and 1996's Ride the Fader) and one EP (1995"s Pentagram Ring) on the Matador label. Chavez did several short tours in the United States and Europe between 1994 and 1997.[6] When Chavez slowed down Sweeney filled in on bass guitar for Guided By Voices on the "Under the Bushes, Under the Stars" tour. He also provided vocals on the song "Quicksilver" on Guided By Voices leader Robert Pollard's first solo album Not In My Airforce LP. The late '90s found him continuing to work a day job and touring with Bonnie 'Prince' Billy as a guitarist.

Sweeney's work has taken him across a variety of musical genres. Starting in 2000 he turned up on Cat Power's The Covers Record, playing guitar on "Salty Dog", and a couple of Bonnie "Prince" Billy singles (percussion on "A Whorehouse is Any House" and guitar and vocals on "Little Boy Blue"). In 2001 he started playing and writing with Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin in what was to become Zwan. He collaborated with Billy Corgan on the soundtrack to the movie Spun, singing the movie's opening song, a cover of Iron Maiden's "Number of the Beast". He was also featured as a guitarist and backing vocalist on Bonnie "Prince" Billy's Ease Down The Road album. He lent a helping hand to Dave Grohl in assembling the all-star heavy metal album Probot, tracking down the legendary singers and providing some guitar work (the Probot album was not released until 2004, on Southern Lord records). Sweeney recorded and toured with Zwan from late 2001-2003. He is credited as providing guitar, vocal, and some songwriting on Zwan's album Mary Star of the Sea.

After Zwan's breakup, Sweeney played guitar with Bonnie "Prince" Billy for several tours in 2004. January 2005 saw the release of their collaboration Superwolf on Drag City.[7][8] Sweeney and Bonnie toured behind the Superwolf record in the U.S. and Europe. 2005 also saw Sweeney producing Brooklyn, NY heavy metal band Early Man's debut album, Closing In. The following year found Sweeney working in both the country music and hip-hop scenes, providing guitar work, along with Mike Campbell and Smokey Hormel, on the Johnny Cash album American V: A Hundred Highways and appearing with Yo La Tengo bass player James McNew and Def Jux founder El-P, as guest artists on the first track of rapper Cage's album Hell's Winter. He also played guitar on the Dixie Chicks' Taking the Long Way album. In addition, he became a member of apocalyptic Christian folk legends Current 93's touring group, playing shows in Europe in support of the Black Ships Ate The Sky album. He also recorded with longtime friend Andrew W.K. for W.K.'s Close Calls With Brick Walls album.

In 2007 Sweeney again collaborated with El-P, this time alongside Omar Rodríguez-López and Cedric Bixler-Zavala of Mars Volta, on El-P's 2007 album, I'll Sleep When You're Dead.

In early 2009 Sweeney formed The Brill Sisters with Andrew W.K. and producer Don Fleming. They played their first show (without Fleming) at Santos Party House on April 2, 2009.[9][10] The entire group performed on April 21.[11]

In 2016, Sweeney toured with Iggy Pop, Josh Homme as well as Matt Helders to support their album Post Pop Depression.[12]

Production work

Sweeney produced Dax Riggs' album We Sing of Only Blood or Love in 2007 for Fat Possum records. In late 2007, along with Bonnie 'Prince" Billy, Sweeney produced Baby Dee's debut album for Drag City Records, Safe Inside the Day. The album was released in January 2008.

Sweeney is credited for "wry guitar licks" on an album for NYC heavy blues rockers Endless Boogie, called "Focus Level." It is rumored he produced the album as well. He also turned up on the Six Organs of Admittance's LP Shelter from the Ash. In addition, Sweeney has songwriting credit on certain pressings of Cat Power's Jukebox album, for "Song to Bobby." He is also credited as an additional guitarist on that album.

Session work

In tune with his many collaborations, an unlikely combination of Sweeney and Neil Diamond was proposed by seminal producer Rick Rubin in 2008 to follow up Diamond's Rubin-produced 2005 album 12 Songs.[13] The 2008 album Home Before Dark, released on the 12th of May, features Sweeney on all songs.

Sweeney also plays guitar on Kid Rock's 2010 album Born Free.




  • Gone Glimmering (1995) Matador
  • Ride The Fader (1996) Matador
  • Better Days Will Haunt You Best Of Compilation CD/DVD (2006) Matador
  • Repeat the Ending EP (1994) Matador
  • Pentagram Ring EP (1995) Matador
  • What's Up Matador? feat. "Theme From 'For Russ' (1995) Matador
  • School House Rock feat. "Little Twelve Toes" (1996) Atlantic Records
  • Boys Making Music, Music Making Men Documentary VHS (1996) Matador
  • Cockfighters EP (2017) Matador


Matt Sweeney & Bonnie 'Prince' Billy


  • Probot - by Probot - Executive Producer Matt Sweeney (2004) Matador
  • Closing In - by Early Man - Produced by Matt Sweeney (2005) Matador
  • We Sing Of Only Blood Or Love - by Dax Riggs - Produced by Matt Sweeney (2007) Fat Possum
  • Safe Inside The Day - by Baby Dee - Produced by Matt Sweeney with Bonnie 'Prince' Billy (2008) Drag City
  • Focus Level - by Endless Boogie - Uncredited production by Matt Sweeney (2008)
  • Full House Head - by Endless Boogie - Uncredited production by Matt Sweeney (2010)
  • Sexual Harassment - by Turbonegro - Produced by Matt Sweeney (2012)
  • Optimisme - by Songhoy Blues - Produced by Matt Sweeney (2020) Transgressive Records

Other collaborations


  1. ^ Cohan, Brad (23 December 2010). "Q&A: Chavez's Matt Sweeney On How He Ended Up Working With Josh Groban". Village Voice. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  2. ^ a b Esteban, Gabriel (10 September 2014). "Death of Professor John D. Sweeney". Seton Hall University. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  3. ^ "Prof. John D. Sweeney". The Holle Family. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Maron, Marc (14 September 2015). "Episode 637 - Matt Sweeney". WTF with Marc Maron. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  5. ^ Hoffman, Jan (15 October 1995). "Judge Hayden's Family Values". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  6. ^ LeMay, Matt (8 December 2006). "Interviews: Chavez". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  7. ^ Welch, Will (14 July 2011). "Return of the Superwolf: An Interview with Will Oldham and Matt Sweeney". Gentleman's Quarterly. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  8. ^ Aquarium Drunkard (7 June 2011). "Matt Sweeney :: The AD Interview". Aquarium Drunkard. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  9. ^ "The Brill Sisters (Minus One) - The Grey Funnel Line". YouTube. Retrieved 2020-03-31.
  10. ^ "The Brill Sisters (Minus One) - Spontaneous Boogie". YouTube. 2009-04-04. Retrieved 2020-03-31.
  11. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2020-03-31.
  12. ^ "Iggy Pop and Josh Homme Team Up for Secret Album". The New York Times. January 24, 2016. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
  13. ^ Cohen, Jonathan (13 May 2008). "Matt Sweeney Makes Unlikely Neil Diamond Sideman". Billboard. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  14. ^ McDermott, Emily (18 June 2015). "Exclusive Short Film Premiere: 'False True Love,' Emily Sundblad and Matt Sweeney". Interview Magazine. Retrieved 14 September 2015.

External links

Veröffentlichungen von Bonnie “Prince” Billy die im OTRS erhältlich sind/waren:


Bonnie “Prince” Billy auf Wikipedia (oder andere Quellen):

Will Oldham
Oldham in 2009
Oldham in 2009
Background information
Birth nameWill Oldham
Also known asPalace Flophouse
Palace Brothers
Palace Music
Palace Songs
Bonnie "Prince" Billy
Born (1970-01-15) January 15, 1970 (age 51)
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Years active1993–present
LabelsDrag City, Domino, Spunk
Associated actsDawn McCarthy, Boxhead Ensemble, The Cairo Gang, Mekons, Matt Sweeney, Mick Turner, Tortoise, Trembling Bells, Harem Scarem, The Picket Line, Alex Neilson, Björk, Slint, Silver Jews, Joan Shelley, Bill Callahan

Joseph Will Oldham (born January 15, 1970) is an American singer-songwriter and actor. From 1993 to 1997, he performed and recorded in collaboration with dozens of other musicians under variations of Palace (Palace, Palace Flophouse, Palace Brothers, Palace Songs, and Palace Music). After briefly publishing music under his own name, in 1998 he adopted Bonnie "Prince" Billy as the name for most of his work.

Early life and education

Oldham was born on January 15, 1970, in Louisville, Kentucky.[2] His mother, Joanne Lei Will Tafel Oldham, was a teacher and artist.[3] His father, Joseph Collins Oldham, was an attorney and photographer.[4] Oldham graduated from the J. Graham Brown School in 1988. He attended Brown University sporadically while pursuing a career as an actor, and living between Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and Bloomington, Indiana.[5] He began making music during this time, initially as a project for his professor Jeff Todd Titon, an ethnomusicologist at Brown University.[6]


Oldham is known for his "do-it-yourself punk aesthetic and blunt honesty,"[7] and his music has been likened to Americana, folk, roots, country, punk, and indie rock. He has been called an "Appalachian post-punk solipsist",[7] with a voice that has been described as "a fragile sort-of warble frittering around haunted melodies in the American folk or country tradition."[7]

Oldham first performed and recorded under various permutations of the Palace name, including Palace Brothers, Palace Songs, Palace Music, and simply Palace. Regarding the name changes during this period (1993–1997), Oldham said:

I guess the idea is that when you have a name of a group or an artist, then you expect that the next record, if it has the same name, should be the same group of people playing on it. And I just thought we were making a different kind of record each time, with different people, and different themes, and different sounds. So I thought it was important to call it something different so that people would be aware of the differences.[8]

Will stated in a 1995 interview with KCRW that the name Palace Flophouse was inspired by reading John Steinbeck's Cannery Row. Beginning in 1998, Oldham has primarily used the moniker Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, which draws inspiration from several sources:

[T]he name has so many different references that it could almost have a life of its own. Bonnie Prince Charlie has such a beautiful ring to it, and I was very conscious of appropriating that mellifluous sound. And I was also thinking about the name Nat King Cole. But it wasn't until later, and this may have been subconscious, that I remembered that Billy the Kid was William Bonney or Billy Bonney.[8]

He has explained that "the primary purpose of the pseudonym is to allow both the audience and the performer to have a relationship with the performer that is valid and unbreakable."[9]


Studio albums

Critical reception

Some of his albums, such as There Is No-One What Will Take Care of You (1993),[12] Viva Last Blues (1995),[13] and I See a Darkness (1999),[14][15][16] have appeared on greatest albums lists.

Johnny Cash recorded a version of "I See a Darkness" on his American Recordings disc American III: Solitary Man (2000). Oldham provided backing vocals. Marianne Faithfull included Oldham's "A King at Night" on her 2003 Kissin Time tour. Steve Adey also covered "I See a Darkness" on his 2006 LP All Things Real. Mark Kozelek recorded a version of Oldham's "New Partner" on his 2008 disc, The Finally LP. Katatonia covered "Oh How I Enjoy the Light" on their 2001 EP Tonight's Music. In 2009 Mark Lanegan and Soulsavers recorded a cover version of "You Will Miss Me When I Burn". The release is a split single, backed with the Lanegan-penned "Sunrise" featuring vocals by Oldham. In 2011, Deer Tick's cover of Oldham's song "Death to Everyone" appeared in an episode of Hell On Wheels. Cadaverous Condition covered "Black" on their To the Night Sky album (2006).

Film and other media

Oldham's first film acting role was as the teen preacher in John Sayles's film Matewan (released 1987), a dramatization of the life of Appalachian mining community in the 1920s and the Battle of Matewan. Following this, he moved to Hollywood to pursue a career as an actor.[17] He played the role of Chip McClure in Everybody's Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClure (released 1989), and the role of Miles in the film Thousand Pieces of Gold (released 1991).

Oldham played minor roles in Julien Donkey-Boy (1999), Junebug (2005), and The Guatemalan Handshake (2006).

In 2004, Oldham appeared as himself in the short documentary film "Tripping With Caveh", by Caveh Zahedi.

Oldham played a lead role as Kurt in Kelly Reichardt's film Old Joy (released 2006). He was Pastor Pigmeat in the "Horse Apples" special, episode 207, of WonderShowzen. In 2007, he starred alongside Zach Galifianakis in a music video for Kanye West's "Can't Tell Me Nothing".[18]

In 2009, Oldham narrated "Madam and Little Boy", a documentary film about atomic weapons, directed by Swedish artist Magnus Bärtås.

In 2010, Oldham narrated , a documentary about the formation of the Louisville Orchestra, directed by Owsley Brown III and Jerome Hiler.[19] Also in 2010, Oldham appeared in Jackass 3D as a gorilla trainer. As part of an agreement to play that role, he wrote a theme song, in the style of a Saturday-morning cartoon show, for filmmaker Lance Bangs.[20]

Oldham also provided voice work and inspiration for the character "Will" in the video game Kentucky Route Zero

Photography and editorial work

Oldham shot the black-and-white cover photograph of Slint's 1991 album Spiderland, showing the band members treading water in the lake of an abandoned quarry.[21]

Oldham also featured as guest aesthetic designer for the North American literary magazine Zoetrope All Story (vol 11, no 1) in 2007. In a note contained in the issue, he jokes that it would be "really magnificent to imagine this issue as a cocktail party at which all of the contributors, word and image, are present. add a bowl of keys and some mushroom cookies and i am there."[citation needed]



1985What Comes AroundYoung Tom Hawkins
1987MatewanDanny Radnor
1990Thousand Pieces of GoldMiles
1999Julien Donkey-BoyUncredited
2005JunebugBill Mooney, scout
2006Old JoyKurt
2006The Guatemalan HandshakeDonald Turnupseed
2008Wendy and LucyIcky
2010Jackass 3DHimself
2011New JerusalemIke Evans
2017A Ghost StoryPrognosticator
2021Hands that BindBarkeep


1989Everybody's Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClureChip McclureTelevision film
2006Wonder ShowzenPastor PigmeatEpisode: "Horse Apples"
2007Trapped in the Closet Chapters 13–22Sgt. PlatoonVideo
2008Xavier: Renegade AngelReverendEpisode: "Signs from Godrilla"
2018AnimalsFather FerretEpisode: "At a Loss for Words When We Needed Them Most or...

The Rise and Fall of GrabBagVille"

2020The Midnight GospelBubble MaxEpisode: "Vulture With Honor"

Personal life

He married the textile artist Elsa Hansen Oldham in 2016.[22][23] They had a child together in 2018.[24]


  1. ^ "Björk: Björk – The music from Drawing Restraint 9". Paste. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
  2. ^ Alan Licht (Ed.) (2012), Will Oldham on Bonnie "Prince" Billy. Faber and Faber Ltd., London, pp. viii.ISBN 978-0-571-25814-7.
  3. ^ "Joanne Oldham (1942 - 2020) - Obituary". Retrieved October 23, 2020.
  4. ^ "Joseph Oldham - Obituary". Retrieved October 23, 2020.
  5. ^ Adam Schwartz (February 17, 2016). "Bonnie "Prince" Billy Tells of His Royal Roots". [Indiana Public Media]. Retrieved July 14, 2021.
  6. ^ Derek Walmsley (March 14, 2013). "Exclusive Bonnie 'Prince' Billy Interview". The Wire. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c Baldwin, C. (March 28, 2002). "The Wanderer". Chico News & Review. Retrieved May 8, 2007.
  8. ^ a b Ashare, Matt (January 20, 2003). "Mystery Man: Palace Brother Will Oldham becomes Bonnie 'Prince' Billy". The Phoenix. Archived from the original on December 2, 2008. Retrieved May 9, 2007.
  9. ^ "Bonnie 'Prince' Billy" (PDF). Foggy Notion. April 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 10, 2007. Retrieved May 8, 2007.
  10. ^ Knott, Alex. (April 30, 2012) Bonnie 'Prince' Billy announced new EP, book + reissue of 6 LP's | Music News. Frost Magazine. Retrieved on May 4, 2012.
  11. ^ Kim, Michelle (September 10, 2019). "Bonnie "Prince" Billy Announces New Album, Shares New Song: Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  12. ^ Irvin, Jim; Colin McLear (2003). The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion (3rd ed.). Canongate. p. 585. ISBN 1-84195-438-1.
  13. ^ LeMay, Matt (November 17, 2003). "The Top 100 Albums of the 1990s". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on May 6, 2007. Retrieved May 8, 2007.
  14. ^ Irvin, Jim; Colin McLear (2003). The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion (3rd ed.). Canongate. p. 651. ISBN 1-84195-438-1.
  15. ^ Bowers, William (November 17, 2003). "The Top 100 Albums of the 1990s". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved May 8, 2007.
  16. ^ Dimery, Robert (2006). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Universe. p. 854. ISBN 0-7893-1371-5.
  17. ^ Roberts, Randall (June 3, 2009). "Will Oldham's Trouble with Hollywood". Dallas Observer. Retrieved January 16, 2010.
  18. ^ The Kanye West/Will Oldham/Zach Galifianakis Collabo You Never Saw Coming. Wired, July 25, 2007. Retrieved on August 23, 2012.
  19. ^ Webster, Andy (September 17, 2010). "Louisville, Ky., as a Contemporary Music Hub". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  20. ^ Will Oldham Discusses Jackass 3D, Working on 'Blueprints' for New Album Archived March 12, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. (March 9, 2011). Retrieved on May 4, 2012.
  21. ^ McCarthy, Shannon. "Slint Lyrics and Biography" Retrieved on November 25, 2007.
  22. ^ "Watch Bonnie "Prince" Billy Cover Merle Haggard With His Dogs on Morning TV Show – Pitchfork". Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  23. ^ Pak, Minju (April 4, 2017). "Pop Culture Figures – Rendered in Embroidery". The New York Times. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  24. ^ "Episode 40: Will Oldham/Bonnie 'Prince' Billy ClifTones W/ JC Denison podcast".

External links


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Matt Sweeney & Bonnie “Prince” Billy ¦ Superwolves
CHF 38.00 inkl. MwSt