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ARTS & EDUCATION

Playing in the Park

written and photographed by SHERIL BENNETT TURNER

40 GreerNow JUNE 2009


ARTS & EDUCATION

The sun came up the very next day though she never thought it would. So she cursed the ground of yesterday because she never understood, That the bad times that she had left behind were lived to push her towards the dawn. But the sun will set, and then you can bet, she will sing another sad, sad song. ~Matt Fassas from his song “Hollow Eyes”

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f you haven’t stopped by the amphitheatre in the new Greer City Park to enjoy the free concert series Lunchtime Live!, then you don’t know what you’re missing. On a perfect breezy Wednesday afternoon, I caught up with 22-year-old musician Matt Fassas, who was entertaining the crowd while they enjoyed their box lunches. Q: Matt, do you have a “regular job?” Yes, I’m a guitar teacher. I teach at several places in the area. Q: Where are you from originally? Irvine, Kentucky   Q: What made you move to this area? I still don’t have a clue (laughing). More of a need to leave Kentucky than a want to move here.   Q: When did you start playing guitar? Performing? I started playing guitar at age 10. I suppose my first performances would have been middle school talent shows. My first time playing with a band was the high school talent show my sophomore year. That was when the first version of my first band got together. We played “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica.   Q: Who are some of your favorite artists? I’m into a lot of the classic rock and blues from the 60’s and 70’s (Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Blind Faith). I’m a big fan of the later Miles Davis stuff

with Mike Stern playing guitar, as well as a slew of the 90’s grunge bands like Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. As far as newer artists . . . My Morning Jacket, Ryan Adams, John Mayer Trio, Between the Buried and Me, this list could go on for days. Overall the most influential band to me has been the Stone Temple Pilots. Q: What is your favorite genre of music? That’s just about impossible for me to answer. There’s great music in every genre. I suppose I listen to rock, blues, or metal more than anything else, but I listen to jazz, classical, and country all on a daily basis as well. I’m into any music with feeling, and any music that doesn’t sound like anything else.   Q: What artist have you been compared to? None yet . . . any ideas?   Q: Do you write your own music? Indeed.   Q: Is anyone else in your family musical? Definitely. My father is a great guitar player and is pretty much the reason why I play today. My mother is an artist, not really a musician, but she will sing (and sing well) if the moment hits her.   Q: Any funny stories about performing or music in general? Not many that are appropriate enough to be published (haha). My first band once played this little diner back in my hometown. When I got there, I was

asking the owner where we should set up the drum set and she said, “You’ve got a drummer in a bluegrass band?” There was obviously a big communication problem somewhere in the booking of the gig because we were a metal band. They let us set up and play, and even paid us extra because we brought so many people in, but the look on the owner’s face when she realized she had accidentally hired a hard rock band was priceless. Q: Hobbies? Just guitar, but all aspects of guitar. I like to rebuild them, “hot rod” them. I’ve got a few guitars that I play out on a regular basis that started out as cheap $100 guitars and now they compete just fine with many of the nicer instruments I’ve played.   Q: What do you hope to accomplish with your music? Just to have fun. I play a lot because it’s therapeutic to me, not because I want the attention. If writing my own songs takes me somewhere, then I’m all for it. I suppose a steady job as a studio player would be my top choice. For more information on Matt and his upcoming performances, go to www.Myspace.com/mattfassasmusic or email him at mattfassas@gmail.com.

GreerNow JUNE 2009

41

09-06 Playing in the Park  

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