Left to right: Chris Matulich, Ryan Donovan, Jay Northington
Walking his new puppy through Alamo Square on a clear SF morning, Chris Matulich seems content with the prospect of taking his foot off the gas for awhile. “When we started, there was nothing I wanted to do more than escape my life at home and go on tour,” reflects the singer/guitarist of Nothington.
Matulich and co-vocalist/guitarist Jay Northington have been the core of the San Francisco punk band since their inception in 2006. The band made a name for themselves writing melodic punk anthems with gritty, blue-collar craftsmanship. With Northington playing his weathered, soulful growl off of Matulich’s snotty punk delivery, the duo’s sonic synergy gave them a signature punk style all their own. For all you noobs out there, imagine Green Day ft. Merle Haggard. But like…better. You into it? Cool, because on Saturday night, Nothington will be taking the stage for the final time at Bottom of the Hill.
(photo: Alex Lorenz)
“Bottom of the Hill is my favorite venue. It’s the perfect venue for Nothington. I think it’s the perfect venue in general.It’s a little bit smaller than Slim’s. A lot of bands try to play Slim’s and if it’s not packed, then the energy is just different. There’s nothing better than a packed punk show and you can definitely get that with small/mid-level touring bands that come through SF. I just saw Teenage Bottlerocket there. I’ve seen so many good shows there over the years. “- Matulich.
Matulich recalls struggling to book their first local shows. “When we first started off here, the only place we could book a show was at Kimo’s on Polk Street. It was one of the only places that didn’t ask us ‘How many people can you draw?’ I mean, there’s a reason venues ask that. But getting your first show at Bottom of the Hill or Slim’s is a big deal for a band. It was pretty cool to go from calling and emailing them — just trying to get Nothington to being accepted as a local opener. And now years down the road, we can ask for a Saturday night and they’re like ‘Yeah, no problem.'”
Now more than a decade of nonstop recording and touring, Matulich is excited to start a new chapter of his life. “I was 25 when we started and my life consisted of working in a restaurant, busing tables, and saving up enough money to pay rent in my flat in SF where I lived with three roommates. The band was a great way to get out and do cool things in the world…now almost 12 years later, I like being at home. I don’t want to escape my life anymore!”
Come to Bottom of the Hill on Saturday night and buy these boys a beer.