October 17, 2020
Meet the Band. No Direction.
Author: ALTSO Staff
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!”
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!