October 17, 2020

Meet the Band. No Direction.

Every year across the country our Rocktoberfest musicians Rock For Good to raise awareness - and critical funds - for our CoolKids. From now until October 22nd, we'll be highlighting the musicians who will be rocking virtually with us at this year's Rocktoberfest.


Up Next: “No Direction” featuring Mike Dennis, Chuck Mackie and Matt Scharpf, from Chicago.


How did “No Direction” get started?

Matt: I was playing music at a Rocktoberfest pre-event hosted by Oranj in 2019 and Mike was listening in. Between songs, he told me that he’d been playing guitar for a few years so I asked him to come up and jam a little bit.

Mike: I was there because the firm I work for, ABN Amro, has been a big supporter of ALTSO. It was a blast to play with Matt, our musical tastes really meshed.

Chuck: I saw these two guys up there having a great time and a light bulb went on to put a trio together. That night, No Direction was born!


What’s up with the name “No Direction”?

Chuck: Like many of the ALTSO band names it’s tongue in cheek, this time in reference to the teen band “One Direction”.

Mike:  It seems like a good name for three middle-aged guys making music as a side gig.

Matt: Fortunately, we all found our way to the venue and on to the stage for our set!


Tell us about your respective backgrounds in music.

Matt: I’ve had music in my veins for a long, long time. I fronted a band in the late 90’s and did the whole “living out of the back of a van while on tour” thing for a few years. The band, Jamestown, had brushes with fame but never got over the hump. But music has been a big part of my life ever since.

Chuck: I’ve often said that I’m musical, not a musician, but I love to sing and the opportunity to harmonize with a strong voice like Matt was key to me.

Mike: I’m much newer to playing than Matt and performing at Rocktoberfest last year was the first time for me on a big stage. 

Chuck: I could see the look in Mike’s eyes when we were performing and, sure enough, as soon as we got off stage he told us: “I want to do that again!”

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What is your relationship with ALTSO?

Chuck: I had friends and family play at New York Rocktoberfest in the aughts and I joined the committee when ALTSO first launched in Chicago. I had performed a couple of times at pre-Rocktoberfest events but last year was my first time on stage at the big show.

Matt: My employer, Eurex, has been an ALTSO supporter for years now, even before I worked there, and it made sense for me to strap on my guitar and join the cause. I love the way we can combine the joy of music with support from our industry and to benefit a great cause. You can’t beat that.

Mike: The same goes for me: ABN Amro has supported ALTSO for years, even before I started working there. I’m looking forward to continuing to support Rocktoberfest for years to come.


What song will you be performing this year?

Chuck: I chose “Bring It On Home To Me” by Sam Cooke. It’s a great, slow blues that gives Mike some space to stretch out while Matt and I harmonize on the sweet harmonies.

Mike: I like the message it brings as well, particularly during the pandemic. We can all relate to “bringing it on home”!

Matt: Agreed, gentlemen. It was a blast to have the pros at Martyrs make us sound so good. Thanks to Cboe Global Markets for being our sponsor!


You can RockForGood with No Direction at our first Virtual Rocktoberfest on October 22nd. Make a donation in honor of the band here.
Register to RockForGood
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