Local musician Matt Wagemann is pretty busy at this point in his life: holding down a day job while preparing to release his debut album, Matter of Time. His CD release party is scheduled for October 4th at the Canopy Club, but in the meantime, he’s performing tonight at 10 p.m. on WEFT Sessions. Tune in to WEFT – 90.1 FM to check out his acoustic stylings. Click below to read an interview with him.
Smile Politely: Are you a graduate of the U of I? Do you still live in Champaign
Matt Wagemann: Yes, I graduated from U of I in 2007. I’m originially from the Northwest Chicago suburb of Mundelein. I am currently still in town living in Savoy, IL.
SP: Have you played live for a radio show before?
MW: Yes, I played the WEFT Sessions over a year and a half ago when most my album songs were in thier beginning stages. Wow, that was back in the day!
SP: How do you anticipate it being different from a regular live gig? Will it be just you, or do you have other people that will play with you?
MW: This radio show will be my first time playing with my newly formed band. I got some friends together (Keith Norton on bass, and Stephen Johnson on drums) for a few practices because I thought it would make for a more exciting CD release show. So yeah, that will definitely be different than the usual solo acoustic show. This is going to be our first time playing out together. It’s exciting to get the chance to play with these guys. Stephen actually plays multiple instruments on the actual CD. He plays (drums, electric guitars, and some keys) on the album, very talented guy!
SP: How would you describe your sound for someone who’s never heard your music before?
MW: I would say that my music is a pop/rock/alternative sound with an acoustic centered drive to it. Kind of like Goo Goo Dolls meets John Mayer.
SP: What’s a singer or band that you’ve been compared to that you don’t think is representative at all, and why not?
MW: Hmmm….well, some of my older music was pretty emo sounding and someone had told me I sounded like Jason Mraz…and I didn’t even know who he was back then, I thought I sounded more like Dashboard back then…more recent someone related my sound to Third Eye Blind which I guess I could kind of see, but not really, those guys are old school now!
SP: What is the greatest album of all time? Why?
MW: That is a tough one…but it would probably have to be one of the Beatles albums. Possibly the Abbey Road album, they knew how to keep it simple and yet it was so amazingly catchy, easy for people to relate, just good song writing.
SP: What was your favorite band when you were in junior high?
MW: Haha, I grew up listening to good old punk rock! I was definitely into MXPX and Blink 182. That is actually when I started singing in a band, we called ourselves The Goonies and we performed a bunch of MXPX and Blink 182 covers….haha, good times!
SP: How do you feel about getting ready to release an album?
MW: I am just so excited to finally have it all done. It’s taken massive amounts of patience to get it finished the way I wanted it! Been through a lot of obstacles but it is finally coming together just like I imagined it to be a few years back.
SP: What do you do for a living to fund your music habit?
MW: I a currently a recruiter for a company called Glotel, which I basically do contract recruiting for Fortune 500 companies such as Visa, Yahoo, AT&T, etc….sit in a cubicle and call people up all day. If you’ve ever seen Office Space….kind of similar to that! Haha.