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*My friend and former band mate* prepped me for my first Candy Snatchers

show. There would probably be bloody self-mutilation involving broken


beer bottles, he said. More than likely there would be fire. Possibly
nudity. And without a doubt, there would be a lot of alcohol-induced bad
behavior.
There was all of that. But there was also rock-n-roll at its ugly,
nasty, middle-finger-in-your-face bestand much of it came screaming out
of a Marshall stack courtesy of Snatchers guitarist Matthew Odietus, who
died at the age of 40 at his home in Virginia Beach on June 28.
Formed in 1992, local punk rock icons The Candy Snatchers gained
notoriety for their outrageous, often dangerous live shows, which earned
them a small army of underground fans and even got them banned at one
point from the legendary CBGBs in New York.
Odietus was a founding member of the band and, along with singer Larry
May, one of two members who remained constant through a series of lineup
changes. The Candy Snatchers released a string of recordings including
their self-titled full-length in 1996, /Human Zoo/ in 1998, and /Color
Me Blood Red/ in 2000. They had recently recorded tracks for a new CD
(tentatively titled /Down at Delilahs/), and they had a gig scheduled
for July 19 at Steppin Out in Virginia Beach.
On stage, Odietus was the beer-spitting, cocky badass in spread-eagle
punk rock stancelow-slung guitar, thrift store western shirt and skinny
black jeans with a long sweaty mop of black curls flying. But behind the
antics, there was raw talent. He ripped out Chuck Berry-esque riffs over
a rude wall of frenetic noise, lending old-school cred to the Snatchers
raw punk sound.
Odietus penchant for the hard-partying lifestyle was no secret. Though
no official cause of death had been released as of press time, rumors
about a possible overdose swirled on the internet and in the local music
community last week. The entire bands reputation for debauchery, in
fact, was a big part of their act.
"I was devastated when I first heard [the news] but I wasnt totally
surprised," Odietus longtime friend and producer of all of the Candy
Snatchers major recordings, Dean Rispler, told me following Odietus
funeral last Wednesday. "It was almost like a joke, almost sort of
betting on who was going to die first in that band from some sort of
drug overdose or some sort of drunken related accident, because those
guys are real hardcore rock-n-roll guys.
"People would say, "Oh, those guys in the Candy Snatchers, theyre drug
addicts. And I would say, theyre not drug addicts they just love
drugs. They just love them. Those guys love to have fun and that was fun
for them."
But the party lifestyle wasnt a 24-7 thing, says Rispler, who lives in
New York, where the band often recorded and played gigs.
"[Matthew] was a really great person. I think a lot of people, they go
to see the band and see him in this crazy element and they think theres
only one side to him, but he was very fun to hang out with. It wasnt

all crazy all the time. There were definitely parts to him that were
introspective and he was a lot smarter than a lot of people believed."
The entire bandincluding Odietuswas all business in the recording
studio, says Rispler. As a guitar player, Odietus carved out a niche.
"Everything that he played was basically simplelike simple, three- or
four-chord rock-n-roll with blues-based solos or country-based solos. It
wasnt hard to play but he could plug into any guitar, any amp and it
always sounded like him. There are very few people that you could say
that about. He had his own distinctive sound that you couldnt duplicate."
Not long ago, Rispler says, Odietus came to visit him in New York. He
had brought with him a collection of Matchbox cars he had as a kid and
some childhood photos of himself for Rispler to keep, a gesture Rispler
found odd.
"To myself I said, this is weird, this is like someone who is going to
end their life soon...I dont mean to infer that there was any
premeditated action in that, I dont think there was, but it was just a
little bizarre."
Bizarre and somewhat out of character.
"And this was from a guy who had nothing," he says. "When he was playing
in the band, he didnt have a guitar. He didnt even own an amp.
Everything was borrowed. Today, when he was in the coffin today, in the
casket, he was wearing /my/ shirt and holding [a borrowed guitar]. It
was insane, we show up and hes buried with this classic Matthew
Odietusgrin on his face. Everyone who knows him looked at that and was
like, Thats perfect."
Odietus is survived by his mother. His father and sister are deceased.
The Snatchers final recording with Odietus does not have an official
release date but fans can count on having it available at some point,
says Rispler.
*
For a taste of classic Snatchers insanity, search "Candy Snatchers Why
I Drink" on YouTube.
*
Comments:
Friday, July 18, 2008 11:54:17 PM by *Anonymous*
The eulogy for Candysnatchers Matt was awesome. Thanks for paying
tribute. There are some pictures on three quarter slug s myspace page
and a few on mine (just find me on their friends page.) I hope to post
more soon. The Outer Banks scene has always been stoked to see a
snatchers show.
Megan
Friday, July 11, 2008 10:32:53 PM by *Anonymous*
Thank you for writing about writing "Matthew was a really great a
person". Matthew was not only talented, he was smart, witty and kind
when he wanted to be. My friends and I are all truly saddened by his
death and we will miss him.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008 11:47:04 AM by *Anonymous*


Rest in peace, Matthew. You will be missed!
Wednesday, July 09, 2008 7:08:26 AM by *G.*
R.I.P. Matt!
Wednesday, July 09, 2008 1:48:51 AM by *Anonymous*
Dean, great interview... nice way of succinctly recounting what you knew
of Matthew with real humor and aplomb... I ll miss him... -Rob

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