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Memories of moe.: "I Wanne Be In moe." Winners Reflect on Their Experiences
*December 30 winner- Matt Mahoney_
Before you entered the contest, how long had you been listening to moe.? How would you characterize the state of your moe. fandom?
I first heard moe. When I was a sophomore in high school. (about 10 years ago) I became obsessed soon thereafter. I saw them many times when they would play around the Midwest, including the Summer Camp and Bonnaroo festivals. As a guitar player, I enjoy how Chuck and Al harmonize and play together so well. They have very different tones and styles but it melds together really well in my opinion. I would characterize my moe. Fandom as being very strong. My Stratocaster and car boasted moe. Stickers all through high school. Anytime moe. Is in my area I will always go see them play. I enjoy playing along with their music on guitar as well.
What was your thought process in terms of your contest entry video?
My friend and former college bandmate told me about the contest the day he went to see them in Colorado. I submitted my video that afternoon. I had made the video about a week before for fun but jumped at this opportunity. I have played live music for several years but playing with moe. would be the ultimate opportunity for me. I am looking to further my music career as well, so this was an ideal situation. After submitting my video (the first video submitted), I sat back and watched while over 100 other contestants’ videos poured online. After a few days, I had pretty much assumed that someone else would win. There were a lot of really talented musicians in the contest which was discouraging at the time. The biggest thing that I took from this experience was the encouraging fact that at least I can play along with guys of moe.’s experience. My video was submitted mostly as a shot in the dark to be able to play with moe. Needless to say, when I saw that Jim had emailed me telling me I’d won a spot, I was extremely excited. Throughout the contest, my family and friends watched as all of the other videos poured in. I am very encouraged as a musician having come into the contest with no real idea of where I stood. This experience shows that people who play at home and enjoy music on their own should be encouraged.
Can you describe your initial meeting and soundcheck with the band?
When I arrived at the State Theater for soundcheck, the crew was setting up the band’s equipment. I met up with Chuck and Al and they showed me the green room and told me to make myself at home. They were really nice guys. We plugged in once the crew was ready and ran through “Rebubula” twice. Once we were a minute into the first rehearsal, I realized how lucky I was. I have been a huge fan of the band and all of a sudden I’m standing onstage with them. It is hard to describe the feeling that came along with all of it. I was ecstatic. It was hard to contain myself considering that I am a big fan of theirs. Al offered to let me play his solo in the middle of the song, which was also a nice opportunity to have. The band was really nice and funny. They were very helpful and hospitable. Soundcheck was really fun for me because I got a chance to hear what it sounds like playing onstage with moe.. You can feel Rob’s bass in your chest and the band truly plays like a well oiled machine. All of the guys are spot on which is really interesting to experience. All of the guys were excited for me which was really nice of them. It was simply incredible to be able to jam with the guys considering that I’d only been on the outside of the barricade in front of the stage. We ran through the song and decided on who would do what during the harmony parts. It really hit me when we started running through the song that this was actually happening. The sound was awesome and it is really loud so you could really feel it. It was exhilarating to be able to play with such talented musicians. It was a unique opportunity also because in my experience, bands don’t let people sit in all too often. I have been a guitarist in bands for a few years and this was a great opportunity for me and my career.
What was the experience like taking the stage with moe? What if anything surprised you?
Taking the stage with moe. Was absolutely exhilarating. The crowd was loud and intense and I was simply trying to focus on not messing up. Looking back, I wish I’d have played a little less conservatively. I was surprised at how much positive energy came from the crowd during and after the performance. Also, the band members are simply nice guys. I was surprised at how much work goes into putting on their show. Every person I encountered that was involved with the production was really nice. Walking onstage was wild to me because I could feel the energy of the crowd. I’ve played live many times and nothing could compare to the energy of the moe. crowd. After I played, I talked to 100’s of people who were all very supportive and happy for me. It was unbelievable how positive the experience was for me. The fans were very excited and I received a lot of encouragement before and after the performance. Overall, Relix and moe. holding this competition was a great thing for an everyday musician like myself. Musicians of all types should be encouraged by this because if you simply work hard and get yourself out there, anything can happen. This experience gave me a lot of encouragement. I had no idea where I stood in the world of guitarists and it feels good to have been able to just play along with those guys. The band, their families, the crew and the fans were all incredible to me. Thanks to Relix and moe. for hosting the contest and for allowing me to participate! I hope this helps!