mathien is the brainchild of singer/songwriter Chris Mathien, who describes the band as “an aural representation” of the music and ideas constantly going through his head. Inspired by vintage reggae, soul, and hip-hop, Chris has developed his own unique style that combines funny stories and spiritual truths with serious, self-effacing subject matter such as interracial love affairs and infidelity.
After a stint with bands from his native Chicago, Chris left for college in the fall of 2003, full of high musical ambitions. Performing his own vocals, guitar, bass, drums, and any number of other instruments, Chris started writing and recording a sizeable catalog of over 50 original songs. Meanwhile, he began to perform limited engagements around SIU and garnered a small but dedicated local fan base.
In the fall of 2005, Chris recruited a talented quintet of student musicians from the halls of SIU's music program to form mathien. After an impromptu show at Carbondale’s Hangar 9 in early September, Mathien began to make a bigger impression on the local music scene, with several appearances around the SIU campus and several dates at Big Boy’s Q’n on the Carbondale Square and road dates in college towns like Charleston, IL.
Chris Mathien's solo material has also been gaining attention from advertising agencies, music publishers, and Chicago-based booking agents. In April 2006, mathien took third place in Band Wars 2006, an epic seven-week battle of the bands at Carbondale’s Copper Dragon Brewery. The start of 2007 finds mathien with a dedicated fan base in college towns across Illinois and appearances at a venue near you.