Playing tough, witty, and hook-laden rock that exists in a time warp in which glam rock and Britpop are the talk of the British Isles, Switches is the brainchild of lead singer and guitarist Matt Bishop. Bishop claims he was already writing songs on a tiny guitar made for him by his father (a BBC engineer) at the age of five, and began recording them on a Fisher-Price cassette machine, creating overdubs by playing back his creations on his mom's stereo and singing along with them. (Bishop adds that since he only knew two or three chords at the time, most of these songs tended to resemble T. Rex.) As he grew older, Bishop became an obsessive enthusiast of all things rock, and as a teenager he graduated to a four-track porta-studio which he used to continue his experiments in unlocking the secrets of record production. When he went away to college, Bishop began putting together a band with like-minded classmates, and with Ollie Thomas on lead guitar, Max Tite on bass, and Jimmy G on drums, Matt Rock & the Others was born. In 2002, the group won a university-sponsored Battle of the Bands and claimed first prize -- the opening slot on a nationwide tour by the Darkness. Convinced they had a future on music, Bishop and his mates quit school and relocated to Guildford, where they began seriously working up songs and changed their name to Switches. After signing to the independent Degenerate Music label, the band recorded an eclectic five-song demo and flew to the United States to play a showcase at the South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, TX. Between the demo and their manic live show, Switches made a major impression on American A&R men, and they signed a deal with Atlantic Records. Writing material in between tours with the likes of Graham Coxon, Hard-Fi, the Rakes, and Louis XIV, Switches released their debut EP, Message from Yuz, in the summer of 2006. With three singles following in late 2006 and early 2007, Switches finally released their first full album, Heart Tuned to D.E.A.D., on April 23, 2007. Lay Down the Law followed a year later in 2008. ~ Mark Deming

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