Matt Neal
A gifted musician and creative visual artist, Matt Neal can best be described as astute, affable, personable, witty and comedic. His behind-the-scenes work with Southern Edition has made him one of the publication's most valued assets.

Matt is a guitarist and background vocalist for the Upstate South Carolina rock band Yesterday Fading. He and his bandmates take a fresh approach to pop/punk to the delight of their fans. At the 2007 Anderson Soiree, a popular spring festival held in historic downtown Anderson, Yesterday Fading (formerly known as Falling with Style) performed a 1 1/2 hour-long set! The group also performed in Myrtle Beach during the July 4th festivities, and held a multi-band event on the campus of Clemson University on September 22, 2007. A new recording project by Yesterday Fading is currently in the works. In between tours, Seth Bolt (bassist for the Word/LavaAtlantic act Needtobreathe) has been producing and engineering the band's new record at his Old Plantation Studios near Walhalla, South Carolina.

In addition to his musical prowess, Matt is proficient in drawing, illustration and photography. From contributing designs for tee shirts and book covers for his church to painting a mural on the wall of a post office, Matt has ably demonstrated his artistry. His sizable portfolio of photographs includes some excellent black and white images of historic buildings and a plethora of digital pictures ranging from candid people shots to views of nature.

Having recently earned two Associate Degrees from Tri-County Technical College, including one in Engineering Technologies (majoring in radio/television broadcasting), Matt hopes to land a media position, preferably in the field of outdoor or magazine advertising. On a freelance basis, Matt has performed grip work at Lincoln Financial Sports (formerly JP Sports) and Disney/ESPN events and manned the camera at NCAA games.

Matt was instrumental in helping me get Southern Edition off the ground. While I'm still not as computer savvy as I would like to be, Matt has taught me a great deal. From introducing me to photo editing software to showing me some shortcuts I might not have ever figured out in a million years, I am indebted to him for his assistance . . . and patience. Besides, working with Matt is fun. He is hysterically funny.

In addition to relying on him for technical advice, I am privileged to have Matt as my friend. He's a great guy and, like most true artists, Matt thinks on a much deeper level. He's anything but a surface person, and he's definitely not a conformist! Our conversations are always colorful and diverse. I don't know of too many individuals with whom I, in a single evening, can talk about Third Day's latest single, discuss Ansel Adam's photography and reminisce about aiding police in the capture of a drunk driver. (Yes, Matt and I once did that!!!). Adding to the variety, these conversations have often occured while getting our Chinese or Mexican food fix!

Neal's Contributions to Southern Edition

Photograph:  untitled image of St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, Charleston, appeared in Then and Now:  Charleston's St. Matthew's Lutheran Church on August 4, 2007

Author:  Greg Freeman.  Last updated on September 10, 2010.

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