Posted: January 20th, 2013
On the third night, MATT MAHONEY, the “6th member of moe.” contest winner for the 12/30/2012, show, played with the moe. at the State Theater in Portland, Maine. Here is what he had to say about his sojourn from Kansas City to Maine and back.
Q: You entered the contest early on. Tell us a little about that. What the wait was like as the competition unfolded?
A: I was told by a former band mate and my friend, Grant, about the contest. He told me, "Matt, this is your calling." He must have seen the contest right away because I uploaded my audition that same day and was the first video posted by Relix and moe. The video was made prior to the contest and was not intended to be an audition of any kind. I am a big moe. fan and just figured that I'd give it a shot. Having seen more and more and more videos pop up online, I figured I had no chance at winning. Also, many of the contestants submitted great videos. So I approached this contest with a long shot mentality and feel very fortunate to have been chosen. When I was told that I'd won a spot to play with moe., I was very excited. Jim had emailed me as we'll as someone from Relix. It was very short notice and had been so long since I'd submitted my video, I had figured it was over and I hadn't made it.
Q: What led you to choose “Rebubula” to play with the band?
A: I chose “Rebubula,” because to me, it is one of their quintessential songs. I saw moe. the most when I was in high school and college. I was absolutely hooked after seeing them live. “Rebubula” was one the first songs I heard and I love it. Also, the main reason I chose it is simply because it is complicated and lengthy. It is a challenging song and the longer the song, the longer I can jam with moe.! It was certainly a fun challenge.
Q: You mentioned in an email that your experience was awesome—in what way(s)?
A: My experience was awesome because the band and crew and everyone involved was very hospitable and polite, yet laid back. The fact that I flew from Kansas was another reason it was enjoyable. I had never been to Maine and I got to hang out with one of my absolute favorite bands ever. The fans were also very nice. Their enthusiasm is unwavering. I received high praise from seemingly hundreds of moe. fans. They were happy with my song choice and the execution. It was great to see how much work and thought goes into putting on a show like that also. I never knew how much work goes on in preparation to put on moe.'s shows, and I've seen them many times. Each band mate was very personable, helpful, enthusiastic, and hospitable. The same can be said for everyone involved with their program. Their families and staff were very nice and it was a pleasure to be able to be there with them.
Q: Was there much anxiety before going on stage?
A: After moe. began their set on the night I played, I started to feel a little nervous. I’m in a band in Kansas City that plays a lot of parties and weddings. I am never nervous before these gigs. The fact that the song [“Rebubula”] is fairly complex and the musicians are seasoned veterans made me a little nervous. The stakes were high to me because it was such a rare opportunity. I wanted to make the most of it. Once onstage, and a few minutes into the song, I was able to loosen up and start playing a little less conservatively.
Q: Have you ever played in a theater such as the State or performed before a crowd of that size or greater?
A: I had never played a venue quite like the State. I've played venues similar but with far fewer people present.
Q: With regard to your musical career, what’s the next step for you?
A: I am moving from Kansas City to Chicago next week in order to work and pursue music. I am looking to join several bands in order to remain busy and get myself out there in a city that looks to be full of talent. The band I have been playing with usually plays about 2-3 times a month on weekends. I am excited to work on some original material and play some live music in Chicago. I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for moe. shows in the region as well.
Q: It’s good to hear you’re on the move. It sounds as though there was a lot of positive in the experience?
A: Overall, it was absolutely amazing. I can't remember ever having so much fun. It was a unique opportunity that I felt I had to make the most of. When I found out I'd won a spot, I worried because I knew I could hardly afford the trip. Looking back, it was one of the best times I've ever had. It was so worth it that I can't believe I thought about financing the trip. The band, crew, and crowd made this an unforgettable experience for me. I wish I could do it again tomorrow. Thanks to everyone involved, it made my year. Hopefully I can keep in touch as everyone was so nice from moe.