Matt Bennett is best-known as a comedic actor who co-starred on the Nickelodeon series “Victorious,” which aired on the network for four years and continues in re-runs. Bennett is also a musician and songwriter whose debut album Terminal Cases is scheduled for release on June 10th. Produced by Jim Greer (Foster The People), Terminal Cases is a concept album about Bennett’s parent’s divorce, taking stylistic cues from Lou Reed’s Berlin, and lyrical inspiration (including its song titles) from the films of Robin Williams that Bennett obsessed over as a youth.
“I first got the idea for Terminal Cases one afternoon while watching the movie ‘Jumanji,’ Bennett recalls. I wrote a song based around it that told the story of a man revisiting his childhood home and not recognizing any of his surroundings. I decided to structure the project around the album Berlin by Lou Reed,” Bennett explains. “I had been fascinated by Berlin since I was in high school, especially the song ‘The Kids.’
Bennett then spent the next year watching and re-watching Robin Williams films, writing and re-writing. And in his viewings he noticed that in Williams’ movies, there is often a character named Jack (see: “Jack,” “Hook,” “Fisher King”), and that the films often deal with aging – either too slowly, too quickly, or with the reticence of a man child to “grow up.” They also often dealt with divorce.
“That last realization came at a crucial time for me,” Bennett explains. “My parents had just announced their plans to divorce.” Around the same time, Bennett’s dream job on “Victorious” ended. “With no job and very little structure to my days, my life seemed directionless,” he recalls. Bennett worked on Terminal Cases every night for nearly two years with the intention of somehow getting it into Robin Williams’ hands, and he had most of it written when the legendary actor unexpectedly and tragically passed in 2014.
“There’s no way I can release this album now,” Bennett thought. “It’s dark and strange and completely wrong.” Bennett sat on the material for much of the following year. “But there was something in these songs that lingered with me,” he recalls. “I needed to get them out of my head, and completing this album has been very therapeutic for me. It was a great experiment to write these songs, to record them, and now to release them.”
01. Fisher King (STREAM | MP3)
04. Hook Pt.1
07. Hook Pt. 2
09. What Dreams May Come
10. Garp (Terminal Cases)