Welcome to the Behind Our Blog Team series! For the next few blog posts, we thought it would be fun to give you all a chance to get to know our team a little better. For today's entry, I interviewed blog team member Matt Martz, Wolf Trap's Communications and Marketing Assistant.
You probably wouldn’t know it from talking to me, but I actually grew up on a horse farm a few hours from Wolf Trap, and was homeschooled my entire grade school education. It sounds a tad Little House on the Prairie (I think. I’ve never actually seen that show or read the books.), but I swear it was legit. Despite having no stoplights in the entire town, we did in fact have electricity and the general amenities of “regular” people. Except I did grow up listening to a lot of Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Hank Williams, etc.
What is your favorite Wolf Trap memory?
My first Filene Center show was my favorite. I had never been to Wolf Trap before I interned here, and I saw LeAnn Rimes with the NSO in 2009 for my first show. I’ve always been a big fan of hers but I've always had a love for classical music (especially the violin), so it was kind of the best of both worlds for me. Definitely a great way to start my Wolf Trap concert list.
What is your favorite song now or of all time? What speaks more strongly to you the music or the lyrics?
My favorite song changes on a weekly basis, but my all-time favorite artist has to be Sugarland, both in terms of music and the lyrics. Jennifer Nettles is a fantastic singer, and their songwriting is a great combination of clever lyrics while still being accessible and simple. Their live shows are great too—they do a lot of fun covers and joke around with the crowd.
Do you have a musical guilty pleasure – something you don’t admit to liking in casual conversation?
I went through a huge punk music phase when I was in high school. I wanted really badly to be disenfranchised, but didn’t really know what that meant, so I just listened to a lot of Good Charlotte, Simple Plan, Green Day, Dashboard Confessional, etc. for a solid three years or so. I still know most of the lyrics to the songs, and I even went to the 10th Anniversary Dashboard Confessional concert at the Recher Theatre last year. And it was amazing.
How do you consume recorded music? (i.e. ipod, Spotify, Pandora, vinyl...)
I actually get most of my new music from watching TV shows. I’ll be watching a show and hear a really great clip of a song being used, then I’ll either use Shazam on my phone or just Google the lyrics to find out what it is. I do however have terrible timing at discovering bands before they’re getting big. I’m constantly finding out about someone kind of up-and-coming and then the next day learning that their show in D.C. is next week and it sold out.
Are you a cat or a dog person? Why? And how do animals wearing clothes make you feel?
Definitely a cat person. Cats are more conniving and know what it means to get back at you if you’re mean to them, and I’m really into that. If you’re gonna rip up my blanket, I can at least respect that you had motivation and planned it ahead of time. I’m generally not into animals being dressed up—I think it’s weird to force an animal to do human things—but I LOVE cat videos on YouTube. I’m not really sure why, but watching cats do anything funny gets me every time.
What kind of a foodie are you; vegetarian, carnivore, omnivore, sweet tooth, or something else?
I’m willing to give anything a go. I was not into interesting food at ALL until last year when I went to Thailand. I had a really simple palate and if something even sounded weird, I was out. When I was in Thailand though, I figured it was as good a time as any to just go for it and eat crazy things. I’m still not sure what some of the things I ate were, but I’m much more willing to give something a go now. I still can’t guarantee I’ll like it, but I’m not too picky and it’s worth a shot.
If you could have three things on a deserted island (things you can’t live without) what would they be and why?
1. My iTunes library (in whatever form—computer, iPod, iPhone). I can’t get through the day without listening to music. Even in college, I wrote papers and studied and did everything with music in the background.
2. Running shoes/gear. If I’ve gone more than a few days without running, I get really restless and cranky; it’s not a happy place.
3. My sister. I guess she’s not really a “thing,” but I’m going with it. We’re essentially the same person and have the same opinions, but we still make each other laugh like it’s nobody’s business. I’d go through serious withdrawal without that.
Have you ever been or wanted to be a performer?
I would give anything to be a good singer. If I could have any talent, it would be that, but I’m awful. I think I could make a small career if I sang in public places because people would pay me to stop. I am, however, learning to play the violin. It’s a slow process because I have unfortunately large fingers, but who knows. I could end up being decent.
What are three things that you want to do or see before you die?
1. See the world (lofty, no?). I made it a point starting last year that I was going to visit a foreign country every year until I’ve decided I’ve seen enough, and so far it’s going well. I did Thailand in 2011, and I’m going to Iceland this fall and probably Croatia in 2013. After that, we’ll see!
2. Skydive. I’ve always said that I would never bungee jump, but I would skydive in a heartbeat. I have an irrational fear that the chord will break, but I’m perfectly confident my chute would open. Not sure why. So, I need to put my money where my mouth is at some point.
3. See Hall & Oates play live. I missed them when they were here in 2011, and it’s one of the biggest regrets of my adult life (I clearly have my priorities in order). I don’t think I could die happy without singing along to “Rich Girl” at a concert at least once.