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Lashoff Realizes Musical Dream

by Matt Iaboni / Toronto Maple Leafs

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There is more than hockey to Leafs defenceman Matt Lashoff. The 24 year-old native of East Greenbush, New York released his first music album Tuesday called Living On Heart.

Lashoff has been around music since he can remember. His dad Bob played in a band and when he was younger, Matt would go with his dad to gigs and try to get on stage.

“I had a surplus of instruments around me since I was a little kid,” Lashoff said on Wednesday. “Everything from a drum set to a little banjo, a guitar, everything, and it was a pretty cool environment to grow up in.”

It wasn’t uncommon for Matt or his younger brother Brian to come home and have a jam session with their dad before going out on the family rink to skate and hone the skills that would make them both professional hockey players. Brian is a member of the Detroit Red Wings organization who spent this past season with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

The two collaborated on a song on the album called Something I Know. It was a very important thing for Matt to have hockey represented on the album.

“I wanted to involve everyone that I came across in my hockey career, my brother being the main person.”

There is no question that his dad was his biggest influence on his musical backround. His dad taught him how to play the guitar but also the type of music that he would listen to. Some of the bands that he grew up on were the Marshall Tucker Band and the Allman Brothers Band. It wasn’t until he first was introduced to Stevie Ray Vaughan that he found someone he wanted to follow.

“There was the time around 14 or 15 when I concentrated on the Blues and Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton.  I wanted to put music out there that people could enjoy and it’s not really pigeon holed to the Blues.”

It took him several years to have a booklet of songs and after expanding the music he listened to included Sting and John Fogerty it brought him to the rock/pop genre of his album today.

While a hockey career is no easy thing, it was never about being able to balance hockey and music for Lashoff. Many of his teammates enjoyed playing video games after games or practices, he liked playing guitar and writing songs.

“For me it was a hobby and something that I love to do. It really kept me sane at times.”

Recording an album was something that he always dreamed about when he was younger.
When he was a member of the Boston Bruins he did an interview on NESN, it was brought to the attention of music producer Loren Harriet in Los Angeles and he contacted Lashoff to gage his interest in doing an album.

“To tell you the truth I didn’t take him seriously,” Lashoff noted. “I was kind of in awe but I thought about it and thought it would be pretty cool.”

Harriet has worked with professional athletes before having produced albums for baseball players Bernie Williams and Bronson Arroyo. When Lashoff realized he was dealing with someone who knew that Lashoff’s primary focus was on hockey he was all in.

“The feedback has been incredible, I couldn’t ask for much more positive stuff than I’m getting.”

Lashoff is showing people a different aspect of his life and he didn’t know how it would go. He is putting his thoughts and artistic work out there for people to listen to but so far he is very happy with the feedback.

“I’m extremely pleasantly surprised to see how much everyone likes it.”

There are eleven songs on Living On Heart. Lashoff wrote eight songs, four were his own with the others being co-written with the producers. There are also four cover songs including the Hockey Night In Canada theme.

Even with his first album now out, his passion for music continues with more albums out in the future.

“It will be hard not to put something else out there so I definitely see myself traveling down this road again.”
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