Matt Bissonette (born July 25, 1961) is an American bass player. According to Guitar 9, an online musicianship magazine, he has played bass and other stringed instruments on at least 22 albums, with music styles ranging from jazz, jazz fusion, progressive metal and instrumental rock. Bissonette has played bass in numerous popular rock bands, alongside legends such as David Lee Roth (1987–92, recording the US platinum A Little Ain’t Enough album), Jeff Lynne and ELO (2001), Ringo Starr (2003–05), and currently, Elton John (2012–present). He is the brother of drummer Gregg Bissonette.
Bissonette attended the University of North Texas’s jazz music program. In the early- to mid-1980s, he toured and recorded with jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson. For part of his time in the Ferguson band, he played alongside his brother Gregg, which the brothers have done several times in their careers.
Bissonette toured and played with Caspar McCloud for Caspar’s Self Portrait album produced by Ahmet Ertgun for Atlantic Records 1982–83
In late 1987, he replaced Billy Sheehan in the David Lee Roth band. Along with guitar innovator Steve Vai, Matt’s brother Gregg (on drums,) and keyboardist Brett Tuggle, Matt toured the world behind the former Van Halen vocalist’s Billboard #6 album Skyscraper. While on tour with Roth, Bissonette sang the difficult high harmonies made famous in VH classics, such as “Runnin’ with the Devil”.
In 1989, Bissonette relocated to Vancouver with Roth, his brother Gregg, guitar prodigy Jason Becker and guitarist Steve Hunter, to record the Billboard top 20 album A Little Ain’t Enough. Following another world tour in 1991, the Bissonette brothers left the David Lee Roth band. That year, Matt joined Joe Satriani’s band.
Following Bissonette’s five-year stint with Roth, he played with several other major songwriters, including Brian Wilson (of The Beach Boys), Don Henley (of The Eagles), Bissonette also played with Julian Lennon, Steve Perry (of Journey), Ty Tabor (of King’s X), Peter Frampton, and on Gregg Bissonette’s solo album.
In 2003, Bissonette reunited with his brother to back Ringo Starr on a US tour. In 2004, Matt played with vocalist Boz Scaggs on Scaggs’ Greatest Hits Live CD and DVD.
In June 2005, the Bissonette brothers once again backed Starr at live shows at Irving Plaza in New York City in June 2005; the Genesse Theatre in Waukegan, IL for the PBS show SoundStage; and the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, CA, as well as on several US TV appearances (CBS This Morning, etc.)
Following his stint with Starr, in 2006, Bissonette became the bass player for Rick Springfield, while singing in his own band the Squirts. Springfield and Bissonette collaborated on Springfield’s Venus in Overdrive, which Bissonette co-produced. That same year, he is notable for playing bass with trailer rock musical band Globus on their album Epicon.
Bissonette is currently the bass player for Elton John, replacing the late Bob Birch.
Bissonette also played on the theme songs to the television shows Friends, Just Shoot Me! and The Tracey Ullman Show.
Bissonette now lives in Orange County, Los Angeles with his wife and two children.
With the Mustard Seeds
With the Squirts
With Jeff Lynne
With David Lee Roth
A Little Ain’t Enough (1991)
With Joe Satriani
The Extremist (1993)
Strange Beautiful Music (2002)
Is There Love in Space? (2004)
G3: Live in Tokyo (2005)
Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock (2008)
With Ringo Starr
Ringo Starr: Live at Soundstage (2007) Koch Entertainment
With Rick Springfield
Venus in Overdrive (2008)
Songs for the End of the World (2012)
With Robbie Angelucci
A Guy with an Accent (2002)
With Maynard Ferguson
Live from San Francisco (1985)
With Boz Scaggs
Greatest Hits Live (2004)
Other solo projects
Spot 2 (2000)
Raising Lazarus (2004)
Oh No! Bass Solo! (2004)
Life of the Party (2009)
Disposable Planet (2011)