Life goes on for musician despite accident, theft



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Matt Costa's latest album, Unfamiliar Faces, is in stores now.


For the record, SoCal singer-songwriter Matt Costa wants the world to know that Mr. Pitiful, the first single from his second full-length CD, Unfamiliar Faces, was in no way responsible for the following events:

1) Last month, thieves broke in to a Winnipeg theatre and stole nearly $25,000 worth of his gear, including valuable guitars, a mandolin and a bass. "The equipment hasn't contacted us yet," Costa joked to Metro. "But the city's police department have detectives on the case. And the mayor of Winnipeg is also trying to help us out."

2) Days later, Costa's van and trailer were involved in a rollover accident in Iowa. Costa's keyboard player Jacob Sahagen sustained serious leg injuries.

The 25-year-old Costa exudes a reassuring calm and focus, saying these situations will resolve themselves and life can go on.

It's an attitude he used on himself years ago, when Costa - once an avid skateboarder close to turning pro - damaged his leg in a skateboarding accident. Rather than ruminate about the injury, Costa turned his undivided attention to the guitar and songwriting.

"I needed to have some sort of focus," he said. "When you start writing songs your mind tends to wander all over the place. It's good to have something that reels you back in.

"But for me, the most exciting part of my life is discovering something new, or be able to turn ideas in your head into something real and physical."

Costa's passion for his craft - influenced mainly by British folk and pop-rock - made its way to the ears of No Doubt guitarist Tom Dumont, who would befriend Costa and help co-produce his two EPs, a previous full-lengther (Songs We Sing) and Unfamiliar Faces. The latter two were released on Jack Johnson's Brushfire Records label.

But while Costa cites being fortunate enough to work with Dumont and tour with Johnson, he said his biggest highlight so far was an encounter with folk-rock legend Donovan. "When I first started writing songs, I styled my writing and voice after him," Costa said. "I told him all that when I met him. Later he left this note for me at the front desk of this hotel where we were staying, which said, 'Nice to meet you. Keep up the great music.'"