Heavy metal surfer thumps music, reveals surprises.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
The beautiful town of Carmel has many fixtures. There’s Ocean Avenue, with its upscale shops and faux European looks, the fanciful storybook cottages, the dogs frolicking along Carmel Beach. But there is one common sight that is not publicized in the glossy travel magazines promoting the quaint burg. It’s the sight of the bare-chested surfer with almost waist-long blond hair commonly referred to as “Metal Matt.”
On cloudless days, visitors and natives alike have walked along the beach and been surprised at the sound of incoming thunder. Noticing nothing in the blue sky, they turn their gaze to a passing pick-up truck blaring the punishing metal riffs of bands like Slayer and Morbid Angel. There, behind the wheel and a wall of blond hair, is Matt. Once sighted, he inevitably grins and throws up the “devil’s horns,” a hand gesture often used by heavy metal aficionados.
While long known to anyone who frequents Carmel Beach, Metal Matt’s fame is currently radiating beyond the confines of Monterey County. Recently, the popular surf website Surfline.com posted a slide show of Central California’s surf spots. Between shots of coldwater barrels was a slide of Metal Matt hanging out on Carmel’s Scenic Road.
Despite being an affable and ubiquitous guy, Matt consciously remains a mystery, even when asked to talk about himself. He does admit that he is employed by a furniture shop, but claims he spends his days in pursuit of something else. “I work,” he says, “at having fun.”
His interests range from the predictable—heavy metal—to the surprising. “My favorite movie is Happy Feet,” he says. “I love the soundtrack.”
Then comes the next surprise—despite guarding his last name, Matt seems to think he may have given away too much about himself. “Don’t get me in trouble with the CIA,” he says. It’s hard to tell if he’s joking.