As the local community and the music world prepares to say goodbye to Matt Roberts, his family and friends are reflecting on what could have been a second successful career in music.
Roberts, a native of Escatawpa, Mississippi and a resident of Spanish Fort, died last weekend at the age of 38. Funeral services will be held Friday.
He was a founding member and guitarist for 3 Doors Down, at one time, one of rock and roll’s most popular bands with hits like “Kryptonite,” “When I’m Gone,” and “Here Without You”.
This week, many of Matt’s family and friends gathered at the Dauphin Street Sound recording studios. That’s where Matt had been spending much of his time producing a compilation of local artists on his Origin Record label.
“When we got into the studio he really put on his producer’s cap and took on that roll,” said
Keylan Laxton, the engineer on the project. Recording had just concluded 10 days before Matt’s death
“I think Matt was very passionate about local musicians and trying to make sure that we could create stuff here on the Gulf Coast that could really make a big impact,” said Laxton. “And magic just tended to happen, whenever he was involved.”
Matt left 3 Doors Down in 2012 and according to his father was excited about a second career in music.
“He told me ‘you know dad, I think producing , that’s what I’m going to do,’” said Darrell Roberts.
Matt’s dad says his son had a bright future ahead as a producer. He says his parental instincts told him that more than 15 years ago when he saw how his son worked with producers on the very first 3 Doors Down album.
“I saw the way she interacted with them he worked with them and doing that and I told him ‘that’s your talent’ because you see Matt really struggled in any sort of public forum all his life. To go on stage, he was absolutely terrified.”
Darrell Roberts says as hard as it might be to imagine, Matt, the international rock star, suffered from severe anxiety. It was a problem that didn’t go away as he and his bandmates won dozens of the industry’s top awards and sold more than 20 million albums.
That’s why his family and friends were so excited about his new passion for producing and why they now look forward to that last work of his being released.
“I think when people hear the music, they’ll understand the depth of his talent,” said Darrell. “It will be his final legacy, so I would love nothing more than to see that.”
Laxton says he’s ready to finish the project after speaking to Matt about it just days before he died.
“I think that conversation that me and him had will allow us to finish this project in a way that he would be proud of,” he said.
Roberts passed away in Wisconsin where he was to perform in a fundraiser for veterans. It’s believed an accidental overdose of prescription medicine caused his death. Roberts was 38.
Click here to see an emotional Darrell Roberts reading a letter he wrote about his son: http://wkrg.com/2016/08/25/watch-3-doors-down-dad-reads-letter-to-fans-of-his-son/