Q&A: Matthew “Dr. Fink” Fink

dr fink2Matthew “Dr. Fink” Fink was born February 8, 1958 in Minneapolis, MN. He studied jazz and classical piano with five different teachers while growing up in St. Louis Park, MN.  He was also influenced by many of the great pop and jazz artists from the 1940s, 50s, 60s and 70s, introduced to him by his parents, Irving and Harriet Fink, who were avid listeners of most genres of music.  Musical theater was also a big influence on him as well, and he performed in plays while growing up.  If he weren’t a keyboardist, he would be involved in astrophysics or biology, looking for cures for diseases.  He’s also interested in space travel.  He’s happily married for twenty-one years now and has two wonderful boys, eighteen and sixteen.

As the keyboardist for Prince and The Revolution, Matthew Robert “Matt” Fink has interesting stories to tell.  Matt Fink was a member of Prince’s band from late 1978 through early 1991.  In the live performances around that time before the Dirty Mind album, Matt wore a costume of a jailbird.  After that, Fink usually appeared for performance dressed in surgical scrubs and a mask. “The name and image came while working on our first tour as an opening act for Rick James in 1979,” he shared.  His wildest dream would be to have a fairly good sized co-starring role in another movie based on another famous musician’s life, like James Brown or Jimi Hendrix.

SoulTrain.com:  Please describe your relationship with Prince.

Dr. Fink:  Excellent!

SoulTrain.com:  Being the keyboardist for The Revolution must have been very exciting.  Can you describe one of the most interesting times you experienced?

Dr. Fink:  All of the live shows for the tours I was involved with were always fun and exciting, with Purple Rain being the most fun.

SoulTrain.com:  How many albums did Prince & the Revolution release?

matt finkDr. Fink:  The first two albums, For You and Prince, were written, produced and performed by Prince. I co-wrote the title track “Dirty Mind” on the third album and played the synthesizer solo on the song “Head.” The group worked on some of Controversy, 1999 and played on at least half of the songs on Purple RainAround the World In a Day was mostly Prince, Lisa Coleman and Wendy Melvoin.  Parade, which followed, was the last release that involved The Revolution. I was involved with Sign O’ The Times, Lovesexy and [the group] Madhouse after The Revolution was disbanded in late 1986. I also performed some of the Batman soundtrack album songs on tour in 1990.

SoulTrain.com:  Which is your favorite album and why?

Dr. Fink:  It is difficult for me to pick a favorite but I suppose Purple Rain because The Revolution as musicians had the most influence on Prince’s writing for that record.  My favorite single, “Lady Cab Driver,is a funky and brilliant piece of work.

SoulTrain.com:  When did your tenure with The Revolution end and why?

Dr. Fink: The group was disbanded by Prince in November of 1986, but I continued on with the New Power Generation until the end of 1990. That is a question for Prince to answer someday, if he chooses to.

SoulTrain.com:  Are there any plans to have a Revolution reunion?

Dr. Fink:  We played together for Bobby Z’s Heart Association benefit at First Avenue in February 2012 without Prince. So far, there aren’t any plans to perform again at this time. It would be wonderful to reunite with Prince again someday, though.

SoulTrain.com:  There are rumors in the industry that Prince plans to release an unreleased Revolution album, Roadhouse Garden.  Have you heard anything about that?

Dr. Fink:  I have no idea what plans he may have for that album.

SoulTrain.com:  After working with Prince, what did you do?

Dr. Fink:  I became a staff producer for K-tel Records and Dominion Entertainment for five years and also ran my recording studio. I am also freelancing as a session player and music producer for independent and signed label artists.

SoulTrain.com:  In 2001, you returned to the industry and released an album, Ultrasound. Have you released any music since 2001?

Dr. Fink:  I really enjoyed writing and collaborating with my wife Andra on that album and working with all of the other guest musicians as well. I haven’t as a solo artist, but there have been several collaborations since then.

SoulTrain.com:  In 2010, you joined “The Purple Experience” tribute band.  Are you taking your music on the road and touring?

Dr. Fink:  Yes, mainly casinos, corporate events and some club dates around the U.S.

SoulTrain.com:  Are there any artists that are popular now that you like?

Dr. Fink:  I like some of the new dub step artists like Skrillex, Zomboy, Jason Derulo, Aloe Blacc, Lorde, One Republic, Ellie Goulding, Avicii, Imagine Dragons, Zendaya and Kimbra.

SoulTrain.com:  Which current artists would like to collaborate with?

Dr. Fink:  Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell and Esperanza Spalding, just to name a few.

SoulTrain.com:  What do you think about the current status of the music industry?

Dr. Fink:  I am disappointed with the current state of the music business. I am hoping that things will improve for the artistic community in the near future.

SoulTrain.com:  Why do you think that many of the popular artists of the past are no longer in the public’s eye?

Dr. Fink:  Possibly because the record labels that supported them have stop spending money to keep promoting those artists.

SoulTrain.com:  Are there any other types of projects that you are currently working on, besides music?

Dr. Fink:  I am working on music for a Minneapolis-based play titled When Mama Prayed, which will open August 8, 2014 at The Hopkins Cultural Center.

SoulTrain.com:  What other talents do you possess?

Dr. Fink:  I have done a lot of voice over work for commercials and video games.

SoulTrain.com:  What’s next for Matt Fink?

Dr. Fink:  I will continue to do what I have been doing, which is work on recording projects in my studio and play out with various music groups.

SoulTrain.com:  How can someone find out more information on what you are doing?

Dr. Fink: I usually post things on my Facebook page as well as The Purple Experience Facebook page. Also check my website www.thepurpleexperience.com.

—Pierre A. Evans

Freelance Writer – SoulTrain.com Contributing Writer, Singer/Songwriter, Actor, Model, Poet, DJ and Owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions.  You can follow me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pierre.a.evans, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Playerre or log onto my website at http://www.pinnacleentertainmentprod.com/.   LOVE, PEACE AND SOOOUUULLL!!!!!

4 Comments

  1. Helen E. says:

    Your interview was great, as usual. Dr. Fink is a very discreet gentleman. I wish him success in his future recording projects.

  2. Thank you Helen E.

  3. Suzy Martin says:

    For more information and to buy tickets for When Momma Prayed, which is opening on August 8th – 30th, 2014 at The Hopkins Center for the Arts, Stages Theatre in Minnesota. Go to http://www.whenmommaprayed,com.

    Site will be fully functional by July 4th at the latest so keep checking back, please!

    This is going to be a great show, great music, great talent and we will be having special events and promotions through out the run.

  4. Keithm McClinton says:

    Great interview, P! As a BIG Fan of Prince and the Revolution, I appreciate hearing from Fink in his own words. I would love to see the play in Minnesota! #RoadTrip LOL

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