Matt and Luke Bonner Spurs Rock On Night Q&A
March 13, 2014
Over the last few seasons, Spurs’ fans have witnessed many different versions of Matt Bonner. We witnessed ‘The Fundamentals of the Game’ from Coach B, cheered on the ‘Red Rocket’ during his All-Star shootout and this season we witnessed the ‘Red Mamba’ morph into the ‘Masked Mamba’. On Friday, Matt and his brother Luke will take on yet another role when the pair host Spurs Rock On Night, an evening that will benefit the Bonner brother’s Rock On Foundation and Silver & Black Give Back. Spurs Rock On Night will feature pre and post-game performances in the Bud Light courtyard from both emerging and established artists.
We sat down with the brothers (stood on our tiptoes) for a Q&A to learn more about the foundation and their journey into philanthropy.
Lauren Sokol/spurs.com : What inspired you guys to start the Rock On Foundation?
Matt Bonner: It all started in 2007, I wanted to become more active in the community. I love music and I love basketball, and I wanted to try to combine the two; that’s how the Rock On Foundation came to be. It’s a 501(c)(3) nonprofit where we promote arts, music and athletics in the community.
Luke Bonner: All three Bonner kids have an extensive background being involved with sports and sort of reaping the benefits of having a really strong structure growing up and getting involved with that stuff. We were also really involved with the arts, and more specifically into music. We sort of realized that there are a lot of similarities in terms of the positive impact those two things can have on a young person. Those are the two things Matt and I are most passionate about in terms of creating an organization that gives back. We wanted to focus on those two areas because we figured that’s what we would do the best job with and be the most passionate about.
LS: Can you tell us a little bit more about the foundation for those who aren’t as familiar with the nonprofit?
LB: The Rock On Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and our mission is to go out and support community art and athletic programs. We try do so by operating events that are meant to inspire the host community. We will bring in events such as the Spurs ‘Rock On Night.’ The funds raised from our events are reinvested in the community through nonprofit programs that operate youth art programs or community sports programs.
MB: We operate a number of events, one of the main components being charity shows like the one we are hosting here (AT&T Center) on Friday. We try to bring good music to the people, to the community and we use the proceeds to support local community programs to help kids rock on with what they love to do, whether it’s arts, music or athletics.
LS: Switching gears a little bit here, if you guys started a band what would it be called and what instruments would you play?
LB: That’s a great one. If we started a band, what would we be called? (repeats question followed by a long pause) Let’s start with what we would play. I think that Matt would play the glockenspiel and I would probably just be a backup dancer or backup vocals. I would definitely be the lead man even though I’m the backup vocalist. Back to ‘what would we be called’? I feel like this is a great opportunity to show how witty I am and I’m just falling on my face. Maybe Matt can answer that one.
MB: Oh, geez. If my brother and I started a band it would have to be like Milli Vanilli because neither of us have a musical bone in our body. We’d have to rely on better musicians and that way we could pretend like we’re doing it.
LS: If you could partner up with any musical artist, dead or alive, for a concert, who would you pick?
MB: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. My all-time vote goes to The Beatles though.
LB: Dead or alive? Woah, that is a loaded question. The obvious choice would be The Beatles, right? I think that would be the ideal one because of the mass appeal, they really appeal to all generations.
LS: How did the idea of hosting a concert at the AT&T Center come about?
LB: With the Overtime Concerts that the building hosts following home games, they’ve allowed Matt to select a couple of the Overtime acts in the past. We did our South by Southwest showcase last year in Austin and we thought that it would be really cool to bring that vibe into San Antonio.
MB: We wanted to do something similar to last year’s showcase. Because of the way the schedule worked out with the back-to-back games we thought that it would be easier to bring it to a Spurs game as opposed to going to Austin. It involves Silver & Black Give Back, which is another great organization, and it’s a great way to get the Spurs involved.
LB: It came together pretty easily and the bands are super excited to come see an NBA game and play a special show.
LS: What would you like the Rock On Foundation to accomplish in the next five years?
MB: That’s a better question for my brother who’s more actively running it (Rock On Foundation). As an organization it’s about growing its presence and I think that the more we can grow it in scale with the events we do, the more we can achieve with funds raised.
LB: In the next five years I would like to have hosted a show with The Beatles, I’m just kidding. In broader terms, we would just like to have a substantial impact on the communities that we’ve done stuff in. Also, we want the foundation to be viewed and recognized on a larger scale. We want to be a cutting edge nonprofit that is doing things a little differently for something that we feel is a worthy cause.
LS: Last but not least, David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar?
MB: I don’t want to polarize anyone out there so I’m going to keep it neutral.