Often times what looks like a tragedy is really a blessing in disguise. So is the story of Immovable Objects. At the age of eleven Matt Gagin was hit in the face with a baseball during a little league baseball game. The result was a nineteen hour coma but when he awoke he had near perfect pitch. At first it was not apparent that anything had changed. He had been playing music since he was four, so there was no obvious sign of his new ability. Nearly a month later his mother was vacuuming the living room and he told her the vacuum was F#. She, not being a musician, didn’t really understand nor think of it as special. It wasn’t until later when she shared this with a musician friend whom explained the significance of pitch that she now understood the implication and scope of what the accident had done. Though there is no proof of the accident causing the pitch recognition, the circumstantial evidence is convincing.
Growing up in Southern California, Gagin was born into a working middle class family. His father, a truck driver, and his mother, a postal worker, struggled to give him the tools to become a musician. starting him at the age of four with the clarinet, moving to the violin,and finally, the guitar at age eight he absorbed instruments quickly. By age fourteen he had taught himself the piano and the drums as well, and was performing in clubs in and around the San Diego area. By age eighteen he had already toured the west coast twice with two hardcore bands.
” I liked hardcore and I still listen to bands like minor threat and house of suffering but I just didn’t feel like punk was my place. I felt like I wanted to be more melodic and textural.”
This feeling lead to couple of years searching for the right musicians to form the type of band he wanted to be in. Numerous projects came and went. A few got record deals or development deals. Others, just disappeared after a few shows. Finally, in 1999, Matt put together a group of musicians that were interested in writing textural and moving songs. This group would become Waterline drift. Though not a commercially successful band, they were self sufficient due to the rise in the accessibiltiy of music on the internet. A number of tours and a growing fan base on the west coast kept the band going for five years. Even the most successful bands can’t stay together forever. So, mutually they decided to end the band. This was another blessing in disguise.
“It was a strange time for me i was in my middle twenties and had spent five and a half years with a band mostly playing guitar and singing. I just, sort of , unconsciously decided that I didn’t really want to deal with a band anymore. While Waterline Drift was a group of some of my best friends, there was still the same bullshit that comes with being in a band. In fighting, people not showing up, arguing about the smallest detail, personality conflicts, I just couldn’t do it again. I wanted to do something where I played a lot of different instruments and creativity wasn’t stifled by preconception or personality conflicts.”
Here is where Immovable Objects begins.
After taking a job as Director of Audio production at a high definition cable network Gagin started purchasing recording gear and fleshing out his already large collection of musical instruments. One main component that had been missing was a Fender Rhodes. After purchasing the Rhodes, recording started immediately.
” I had no intention of really making a record I was just going to record when I felt like it . See what was coming out. If I liked it ,cool, if not then I didn’t. I really just was, and still am, making music for the sake of making music.”
Fourteen months later he had a record that he never intended to make.
” I’ve read on record label websites that they want you to include your successes in your bio…
the only true success I have is recording music that I like and not compromising it . So, if nothing else I have that.”