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Matt Weidauer Interview

Posted on: November 19th, 2008 by musemusiccafe No Comments

Few musicians have accomplished what Matt Weidauer has been able to do musically in the past few years. Each of his songs are polished folk gems which sound mature well beyond his years. His lyrical themes range from riding trains to family illnesses to God. His music carries an extremely sincere, honest, and warm tone. Matt is a Utah valley native who grew up in Cedar Hills. His is starting work now on an EP with a full length album to follow. We recently caught up with Matt to talk about what inspires his music, how he got to where he is now, and his mild obsession of Iron Madien. We plays at Muse Music Cafe Thursday, November 21st at 8pm.

How did you first get interested in music and/or playing music?

When I was in 7th grade I became infatuated with punk music (like so many of us!) I bought “Face to Face: Live.” That album made me fall in love with music. I originally wanted to play the drums but decided on learning the guitar. From watching live punk videos I knew I wanted to be on stage. Certain bands laid a musical foundation for me like the get up kids and face to face.

What aspect of making music excites you the most right now?

I really enjoy writing lyrics. Most of my guitar parts are fairly simple minus a few little diddy’s. So I love finally finding that line in the song that kind of connects the chain and makes it become my own. I love it.

What aspect of making music gets you the most discouraged?

As well as lyrics getting me excited, at times lyrics get me very discouraged. Some times it is sort of like trying to leach something from my bones without being able to find it. Another aspect is striving for originality. It is difficult finding a distinct sound. It is a matter of refining it down and having it become my own. This is very hard sometimes.

In what ways does living in Provo, or other places you have lived effect music you create or your music taste?

I don’t think living around Provo has effected my style of music. I have always played the style I wanted to regardless of my surroundings. Although for the time I lived in Hawaii I found the island style music slowly began to creep into my playing. But the islands are less musically diverse than the mainland. So I don’t think Provo has necessarily effected my music.

What band or musician do you love? Is the music you listen to similar or different from your own?

Right now I’m listening to a lot of M. Ward, Johnny Cash, Fleetwood Mac, Calexico, and Matt Pond P.A. Most of the music I listen to is similar to my style. But I also have a passion for Iron Maiden and other power metal bands. In fact I am working on converting some Maiden songs into folk songs. But I primarily listen to indie music.

What happens during the song writing process for you?

Most of the time I begin with a tune on the guitar first. Some times I have a good idea lyrically or a good topic, then I would add guitar. But mostly I begin with the guitar and then the lyrics. The two tie together as the song progresses. Usually I write music in my car at night. Often times I use the things I am seeing around me to spark ideas for lyrics.

What are the main themes of your songs? Do you think these topics will change over time?

My songs usually are about actual events in my life. I have a few that are fiction. I always try to incorporate God into my music. Some of my lyrics are embellished a bit by western themes but most of them are true. I don’t think my themes will ever change. It is easy for me to talk about God because he is the one who is making all of this possible. And I’m sure I will have many more experiences to write about.

How has your music evolved since you first started songwriting?

When I was 12 I began learning punk/ska songs. Those changed into emo songs. Those turned into metal songs. And those became folk songs. That is kind of how I have musically “matured” over the years. The first song I ever wrote was in 8th grade and it was very similar to “Dashboard Confessional” or something like they would play. Now my songs are more personal, less emo, and more western and folky. I really feel like this is my home in music.

Do you have a favorite song to perform?

My favorite song to perform is called “A Just and Perfect Man.” It is the story of Job from the Bible told as if I were him. In a way his words become my own and it is a way for me to express the way I feel. I really love playing this song. I wrote it when I was 17 years old and it hasn’t changed since then.

What can you tell me about your instruments? (i.e., Are you subject to brand loyalty or will you play with whatever’s available? What made you choose the instruments you have now?)

I do not suffer from brand loyalty. I play on a Guild GF-60 acoustic guitar. I love the sound and playability. If I could afford it I would probably buy a Gibson or a Taylor. For now the Guild is working great. I used to own an Epiphone Hummingbird that I loved. Years ago I owned an old beat up Fender acoustic. That is what I wrote a lot of my old songs on.

You play with a backing band. Who are the members and what are their contributions?

Sydney Rigby plays violin and the late Derek Lowry played harmonica for me. My brother, Jason Weidauer, also is occasionally playing bass with me. They have added so much to the songs to give them more of a unique and distinct sound. In time I plan on having more of an assortment of friends playing different instruments for me. Derek Lowry’s recent passing will be a great loss to our music and our lives.

What do you hope to be your ultimate direction as a musician?

Right now I’m just grateful people like my music. Of course I would love to go some where with it but for the time I am very content playing local venues that I love with the people that I love. I imagine I will never stop playing music whether I go some where or not.

What advice do you have for people who want to write and perform their own music?

Just write the music you want to write. Don’t write the music that influential people are telling you to write. Write what you feel. Be original but not off the wall. Have fun and love it.

How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs or a CD?

I have a facebook fan page. Most of the songs are older recordings and live material. There are also live videos on youtube.

Any last words?

Thanks everyone who has supported me since I began playing music. Thanks friends and family. Thanks muse music. Music is the greatest.

Ex Machina Interview

Posted on: October 27th, 2008 by musemusiccafe No Comments

Band Interviews will now be a recurring part of our blog and hopefully soon part of our weekly podcasts. For our first interview we are pleased to get to hear from Ex Machina frontman Robbie Folley. Ex Machina is a Salt Lake based band. Just as last year, they’ll be playing a show at Muse on Halloween (Friday) with Mary May I. Don’t forget to check out their music here, (and get the live experience at Muse of course).

Muse Music Café (MMC): What’s the name of your band?

Robbie: Ex Machina, our first bassist came up with the name & it just stuck with us.

MMC: Who’s in the band and what are their contributions?

Robbie: We started as three piece band With myself Robbie Jolley (Guitars, Vocals, Piano), Micah Alldredge (Drums), & Jerry Hines (Bass Guitar.) But the band now consists of, Myself, Micah Alldredge & Cody Florence (Guitar.) We’re currently looking for a bassist. Chris Fallo, Guitarist from Mary May I fills in on Bass for most concerts until we find a set Bassist.

MMC: What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences?

Robbie: I would say that we’re a progressive rock band. Most of our main influences are, Muse, Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Red Hot Chili Peppers, & Jeff Buckley

MMC: How long have you all known each other? How did you meet?

Robbie: Cody & I met about two and a half years ago. He was roommates with a friend of mine. I met Micah through our first bassist about the same time I met Cody. Although I have known Cody for two and a half years, he is a recent addition to the band.

MMC: When did you form your band? What inspired you to make music together?

Robbie: We formed the band in December of 2007. We all just love music and wanted to write something that could make people feel the way we feel when we listen to our favorite bands.

MMC: What can you tell me about your instruments?

Robbie: Wow we are gear nuts! First of all for guitars Cody and I favor Fender guitars. I usually play Fender Stratocasters and Cody plays Fender Jaguars and Stratocasters. For my amp I use a Fender Vibrolux class A combo amp. Cody uses an Orange AD 30 amp. For effects I usually use the Zvex fuzz factory and the Ibanez tube screamer for a nice over driven tone. I also use a MXR phase 90, Digitech Whammy, Line 6 DL4 Delay, and a Boss Digital reverb pedal. Cody pretty much has the same set up as me for pedals except he uses a Boss Ds1, and MXR Zakk Wylde over drive pedal, Electro Harmonix small clone, & a Vox wah pedal. For bass, we usually use Fender Jazz Basses & Richenbacher Basses. We use an Ampeg STV Classic head & an Ampeg 8X10 cab. For effects we use, Turbo Ratt, Russian big muff & a Boss Flanger. For drums Micah uses a Tamma Starclassic set with Sabian and Zildjain custom K cymbals. He uses a Chad Smith Pearl snare and an Acrylic Pork Pie Snare. He also has a Pacific DW drum kit as well. All of our gear is too expensive but we are particular about our gear because we want to have our band sound the best it can possibly sound.

MMC: Where have you performed? Do you have any upcoming shows?

Robbie: We have performed all over Salt Lake and Utah valley. Our next show is at Muse Music Café on Halloween night with Mary May I, & Follow the Earth.

MMC: Does the band have a favorite song to perform? Do you ever play any covers? Do you usually have a set play list?

Robbie: We all have our favorite songs to play. I can’t say I have a favorite, they’re all special to me in their own way. We sometimes play Creep by Radiohead as a cover. We have a couple set lists that we put on rotation.

MMC: Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs? Do you think these topics will change over time?

Robbie: I am the primary song writer in the band. I don’t usually have topics when I write. When it comes to lyrics, I usually free lance write everything then I read the lyrics after they’re finished & I usually know what they mean by then. Most of the songs are about love, not being able to sleep, suicide, death, crazy violent things you keep to yourself, fun things such as that. When it comes to writing music, I do the same thing. I have no particular “topic” & or “theme” I just write what ever my soul expresses to me.

MMC: Could you briefly describe the music-making process?

Robbie: When it comes to writing the songs I usually write the main riffs at my house then I take it band practice & sort out all of the parts together like a puzzle. Melodies and lyrics are mainly written in the studio. But lately I have been writing lyrics and melodies at my home with my Acoustic Guitar.

MMC: What are your rehearsals generally like?

Robbie: We usually practice three times a week from seven until about eleven or later. Depending on what we have going on. We usually talk at the practice about what we want to accomplish and do our best to be productive. It’s about writing and expressing ourselves.

MMC: How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?

Robbie: It has evolved intensely. We have really learned how to work together to get everything musically accomplished. Playing together has come second nature to us, but all of that is due to playing consistently for the last two years.

MMC: What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?

Robbie: Bass players, we need one, do you play? Ha ha

MMC: What’s your ultimate direction for your band?

Robbie: To put out a record that speaks to people. We want to go as far as we can possibly go.

MMC: What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands?

Robbie: Don’t ever give up ever. Always keep your dreams intact. It’s not easy to be in a band. It takes work and be prepared to work, I mean work really hard! Keep a positive attitude and never lose sight to why you’re making music.

MMC: How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs or a CD?

Robbie: We are working on the art work for our EP and hope to be releasing it by December. But as for now you can go to our myspace page, and listen to our songs there.

MMC: Any last words?

Robbie: Thank you to everyone who supports the local music scene and genuinely cares about other people!

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, Robbie. We look forward to your new release and of course to the show on Halloween. Good luck with the bassist search!