Friday, May 18, 2012


Last summer, I embarked upon my final series of live performances with Iced Earth.  During some down time at the ROCK AM Festival in Germany, I was approached by a young man baring gifts­.  His name is Alex Pineda, and he had traveled all the way from Bogota, Colombia to catch one of the last shows.  I was presented with a hand carved sculpture of a jaguar’s head which represents the Jaguar God in the indigenous culture of his homeland.  I was truly grateful and I don’t really know which of us was more excited about the meeting. I know that Alex had spent a lot of time and money to make the 6000 mile trip, and was a bit “sleep happy” when we met, but I was just so appreciative of his steadfastness and was overwhelmed by his loyalty to the band.  I know that there are fans that have gone to great lengths to see Iced Earth and this was but another stunning example of how blessed the band is…and I am.

Alex is the personification of driven, and the surrogate of the metal fraternity’s loyalty.  During his travels, he documented the journey for those of us who have ever dared to dream.  Alex’s dream was to go to Germany and hang out with his heavy metal brethren, a mission that was destined to succeed, but was wrought with its own specific challenges.  For these challenges to be overcome, he enlisted the aid of several friends from overseas; fellow metallers who were more than willing to help out their “brother from another mother”.  Is there any doubt that (metal) music is THE universal language?  I don’t think so, but you could ask a Martian the next time you see one!

Anyway…I suppose that there are at least two lessons in this story (if you find anymore, keep it to yourself).  First, never be afraid to act on your dreams (unless your dreams involve you wearing a meat shirt inside a lion’s cage).  Second, never ever take what you have for granted.  Thank you, Alex, for the reminder…and thank you all for listening!

Follow your dreams!!!


1 comment:

  1. Matt, my name is Alexandre and I have recently discovered your blog. You are a true inspiration and an example. I am a huge Iced Earth fan and huge fan of your voice. I am a brazilian currently living in Uruguay and haven't had the chance to see you live yet. Hopefully we will be able to listen new material from you very soon and I will do my best to see you live one day. Stay strong and take care.