06 / 04 / 2015
  - 02:20:11 PM
FLASHBACK - Ten Questions With Matt Zajac

1. So, what’s the deal with you?

I'm a Cancer.  From the school of sex, drugs, & rock n roll.  Longtime skate punk , gardener, musician, music educator, singer, drummer, guitar player, but also a somewhat responsible father of 3 who is married to a goddess from Venus.

2. What are some of your earliest memories as a musician?

My grandfather got me my first drumset when I was 10.  I was big into Motley Crüe, Ozzy, Def Leppard, & stuff like that. I Played like crazy til I found my way.  Started jamming with some friends when I was in, like, 7th & 8th grade.  By then I had traced back the roots of those 80s bands I was into & found their influences like Aerosmith , Zeppelin, Sabbath etc. and I had also discovered punk rock and heavier music as well.  I was playing a little guitar by then but never in a band.  When I went into high school I started playing in some hardcore/punk bands like Clenched Fist and Second Wind.  My junior year I helped form a band called Arise.  It was like hardcore prog-metal and we quickly made a name for ourselves.  My junior and senior year of high school we'd play 2-3 nights out of the week quite often in places like Hartford, Boston, Albany, New Haven & New York City.  We did a few tours that took us as far as Florida and everywhere in between.  That band lasted a little over five years, scored a publishing deal and broke up.  Towards the end of Arise I started a band called Headrush.  This band I was singing in and writing the music on guitar (didn't play guitar in the band though).  It was like Janes Addiction meets early Motley Crüe.  This band played some big festival gigs and toured the west coast a few times playing places like the Whisky a Go Go.  Total hedonistic party rock.  When that band broke up I was in a few short lived endeavors.  One of which was with Joey Kramer's (Aerosmith) son Jesse on drums.  Around this time I started making a living teaching drums.  Eventually I started getting more serious about learning guitar and eventually started playing guitar and singing at bars and stuff and added guitar to my teaching resume.

3. Have you ever been in, or considered starting, a band called Zajac Attack

Marvel ended up buying the rights to that name when they did that comic book series so I'm not allowed to use it.

4. You did pretty well at The WMRC Local Music Awards. Where are you displaying your trophies?

What a thrill to be recognized for my efforts like that. I really appreciate being in such fine company as the other nominees and am really thankful to have people enjoy what I'm doing. I was so shocked when they called my name to win and was stoked and inspired by the experience. The trophies are on display in my basement studio at my house.

5. Who is your favorite artist to cover and why?

Probably the Beatles because they have such a deep catalog of such amazing songs.  I also really enjoy playing stuff by the Stones, The Black Crowes & The Grateful Dead.  I like exploring alternate tunings and finding songs that translate well to just one guy singing and playing guitar.

6. You always seem so happy!  What’s the key to that?

I'm high all the time.  So that helps.  Beyond that, I'm amused easily, I like having a good time and I'm appreciative of things.  I've experienced loss and hardship so I tend to not take things for granted.  I try to view the world from a place of kindness, understanding, and harmony and that puts a smile on my face.  Plus, when I see you I'm usually playing music and that brings me joy. Especially when I'm sharing that experience with other people.

7. What do you do when you are not making music?

I have 3 kids.  I have a son in college and another in high school.  And I have a daughter in kindergarten.  To be honest there isn't much time that I'm not making music.  In my free time I'm constantly trying to better my craft and I'm always studying music and theory.  Looking up stuff and reading books on theory.  I'm always trying to further my understanding of why music sounds the way that it does and how songs tend to work.

8. What will music sound like in 20 years?

There will be the McDonald's music for the masses who are too lazy to look any further than what they're being force fed.  You know, like the soulless corporate bullshit we have now. You'll always have that.  And then you'll also have the gourmet stuff for those in the know.  Music that has substance and meaning.  Songs and albums that can move you and that are pure and honest.

9. If you could have been a part of any musical time period, what would that have been?

Gotta be late 60's to early 70's.  Beatles, Zeppelin, Janis, Doors, Stones, Aerosmith, Jimi, all that stuff.  I love a lot of different music but that's sorta my bag.

10. Do you “get” today’s commercial music?

I get it but I do not approve.

Cover Photo by Tim Rice Photo





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