Note: This was posted and Matt has done a lot since then. Follow him on twitter @mattgreiner find him at www.bandhappy.com for some lessons.

Who are you currently endorsed by?

I’m endorsed by Truth Drums, DW Hardware, Zildjian Cymbals, Vic Firth Drum sticks, Evans (switched to Remo in 2012*) Drum heads, and Ultimate Ears.

For starters, where are you now as a drummer vs. where you were when you first got signed to Tooth and Nail?

When we signed to Tooth & Nail I was a young and aspiring drummer; all I wanted to do was play drums.  I remember practicing on my practice pads for hours before shows.  Members from other bands we were on tour with would tell me things like, “I used to be as passionate as you about my instrument, things change!”  I didn’t take the nay-sayers very seriously, I just kept on hashing out my chops.  I really enjoyed progressing as a drummer, working and sweating and honing my craft. As the years went by I found my passion for playing drums shifting from strictly practicing to taking what I had developed and using it creatively for the song.  In other words, playing for the song, not just to show off my own sound.  Six years after signing to Tooth & Nail I find myself still enjoying playing drums just as much as I used to and still progressing as a musician.  Today I’m most passionate about learning what works best for differing styles of music and incorporating my own personality into those genres.

What was your first endorsement deal?

I remember talking to Devin from Haste The Day about his Truth Drum-kit and feeling so jealous about his endorsement with them.  He
was kind enough to give me a contact over at Truth and I built up enough courage to call them and lock in a deal.  I was most excited to
be a part of a list of drummers who represented a company.  It almost felt like I belonged to an elite group of musicians and I totally felt
honored to have that experience.

I always use you as an example of someone who put in the time and really earned the respect of AR reps and companies.  I recall you doing a marathon NAMM signing a few years ago and after a good majority of the people left, you were still up there, even after two hours.  You also did some free lessons on tour and gave out some swag. How important is it for you to be proactive and on good terms with the companies that you work with?  Is there a lot of give and take?

Honestly, going out there and showing people you love what you do is the most important thing any musician can possibly do.  I say that
because if you love what you do then you’ll work hard and support the people supporting you.  I’ve always really enjoyed having a
relationship with the folks giving me free or discounted gear.  I have always put myself out there with AR reps as well as fans of August
Burns Red.  I gave drum lessons on a tour with a simply practice pad setup and a bunch of photocopied papers.  I reached out to Vic Firth, Zildjian, and Evans and got them to send me lanyards, lighters, sticks, hats, t-shirts, etc. as giveaways for the lessons.  I don’t know how much the students learned from me in the 30 minutes we had together but I’m confident they weren’t hesitant to purchased products from the companies that support me and they certainly never forgot that short experience!

Something else I’ve found a lot of success with is putting videos on YouTube with a list of my endorsers and clips of me recording drums in the studio.

What sort of advice can you give to a drummer in a band that is sort of caught up in the now; one who expects certain endorsements because their band has had some moderate success?  How important is patience and long term thinking?

I waited for 4 years to get a Zildjian endorsement. I had another offer on the table for a little while and just kept putting it off because of how badly I wanted Zildjian.  I was always the kind of person who liked what I liked and was willing to pay for it rather than settle for something else just because I got it for free.  Be patient for the companies you care about to notice you.  In the meantime, work hard at your instrument and don’t let impatience extinguish your passion for playing hard.

4.  You’ve had some high profile ads.  What’s it like to have a full page in Modern Drummer and with a company like Zildjian?

Crazy!  Seriously I was over in Europe last year on a run after sound check.  I stopped by a news-stand and picked up a copy of Drum!
Magazine.  The first page I turned to was a Zildjian ad of my face.  I almost threw the newspaper on the ground out of excitement.  I think
the idea of being in high profile ads for Zildjian Cymbals and Truth Drums makes me want to practice that much harder and be that much more worth their money and time in promoting me as an artist.  Like any business relationship, both parties have to work hard and show up or that relationship will fail.

Do you collaborate with companies on product development?

I haven’t done much with product development.  I had the opportunity to go to the Zildjian Headquarters in Massachusetts last year and work on some ideas I had on bells.  I don’t like the Zil Bell very much and thought I could help develop better sounding bells; boy was I wrong! It’s so hard to craft good sound out of a piece of metal.  Turns out I went home with some cool looking ‘bell’s’ which I’m really stoked to have as part of my cymbal collection.

Also, I have a signature kit coming out on Truth Custom Drums this year. I helped design the color, hardware, and style of the drums.

You are very active in the faith community (IS THAT THE BEST WAY TO PUT IT?). How do you think drumming enhances the religious experience?   Is a full metal band out of the question at church or do you think kids might dig it?

I grew up playing in church so drumming is very much so attached to my relationship with Jesus Christ and my experience worshiping Him.  I was just in Wolfsberg, Austria for 2-weeks on holiday and had the opportunity to play drums for a ‘bar church,’ where we played worship songs for God while people drank their beer and smoked their cigarettes.  I enjoy playing drums in different venues for different
styles of music, it’s what keeps me excited about my instrument.

And about the full metal band… probably not happening!

Any clinics/speciel Greiner stuff percolating?

I was asked to do a clinic in Indonesia later this year.  Other than that, I’m putting all my time into performing live with ABR, which is
sort of a drum clinic in and of itself!


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