Mathew Haeffel


Genre: Rock

Mathew Haeffel’s MNotez Interview:

  • MNotez: So how long have you been a musician? What age did you begin?
    • Mathew Haeffel: I began playing guitar at 13, and have been playing professionally since 2002.
  • MNotez: What motivated you to start playing music?
    • Mathew Haeffel: Music plays you. Most musicians find that playing music was an inevitable end.
  • MNotez: Who were your musical influences, idols, or bands growing up that have helped mold you into the musician you are today? Or helped mold the music that you play?
    • Mathew Haeffel: Otis Redding “Soul Music”, Paul Simon, Dean Martin, Rascals, Glenn Miller “Big Band”. Mostly music from eras gone by, or that have stood the “test of time”.
  • MNotez: What’s the greatest concert you have ever been to?
    • Mathew Haeffel: B.B. King with Bobby Blue Bland at the Riverside in Milwaukee… three times.
  • MNotez: You’ve performed in hundreds of shows, any specific memories that stick out from one of them? Particular venues you really enjoy to perform at?
    • Mathew Haeffel: The shows I really enjoyed are the shows that the audience really enjoyed. When the crowd gets into it, I get deep into it. Of course this happens at all types of venues, large and small.
  • MNotez: Any specific traditions you have before a show?
    • Mathew Haeffel: I like to make sure I have a few minutes between set up and playing to settle my mind on performing. Nerves never go away; you just get better at handling the side effects. Anyone that says otherwise isn’t being truthful.
  • MNotez: Have you ever received a crazy gift from a fan either during a show, after a show or just in general? Or maybe a favorite memory of a fan at one of your shows that really stands out for you?
    • Mathew Haeffel: One of the best compliments I ever got was from a foreigner who said in broken English “I no get words, but I get your music”.
  • MNotez: You’ve played with a lot of amazing musicians throughout the years, how have they affected you as a musician?
    • Mathew Haeffel: Everything I know comes from someone or somewhere else, whether from a recording or a fellow musician. I have been fortunate enough to have some really great influential people in my life. I am still learning and fear the day I don’t. Learning/progressing is half the driving force of my ambitions.
  • MNotez: If you could play with any other musician or band… who would it be? (past or present)
    • Mathew Haeffel: I would love to have a writing session with Paul Simon and Ben Harper, and then arrange it with Joe Cocker, and perform it with all of them adding Otis Redding on vocals; among others.
  • MNotez: What’s your opinion of how the music industry is today?
    • Mathew Haeffel: Not having been a part of previous eras I can hardly speak of its differences “today”. However; from what I gather from “old school” players, and interviews of industry insiders, it seems like talent has become placed at the wayside of profits. More emphasis seems placed on “beer sales” than enjoy-ability. The advent of the technological age has given listeners the ability to have their favorite music at their fingertips, which has given live music performance a crippling blow, which can also be seen in all sorts of live performance art such as comedy and theatre.
  • MNotez: How do you believe the internet helps the music industry or you as a musician?
    • Mathew Haeffel: It certainly helps to get a starting musician into markets spanning great distances. It also allows for saturation of markets, which can cause great artists to get “lost in the shuffle”. It works best for those who stay ahead of the technology curve… being among the first is crucial. Myspace “made” several bands, but now that it is saturated it “makes” few if any, any longer. Recently it has been facebook and soon it will be ???, and that is what you need to catch. Perhaps MuzicNotez will be next?
  • MNotez: What’s the ultimate goal you want your music to achieve, or for you to achieve in your career as a musician? Any particular message you wish to send?
    • Mathew Haeffel: I have messages, but I also know enough to keep them to myself until I have some clout. I suppose gaining clout is a goal of mine, but I would certainly accept a healthy living doing what I love…performing/entertaining.
  • MNotez: What’s the music scene like in southern Wisconsin for you?
    • Mathew Haeffel: Many here believe that southern WI is among the “worst” places to begin, though I believe that it is as “difficult” as anywhere. People hear glamour stories from “big cities” and believe that going to those cities is a cure all. It is a “the grass is always greener on the other side” notion. The fact is that Milwaukee has a great music scene, consisting of great players and innovative writers. With enough persistence a talented player should be able to make it anywhere. Once a player “makes” it then traveling to other cities is necessary, perhaps even relocating to be near a label or studio you work with. Labels and studios are the only music industry aspects that Milwaukee lacks. Milwaukee is ripe to grow, and I believe it will.
  • MNotez: Out of all your songs or albums… do you have a favorite? What is it? And why? How has your music evolved over the years?
    • Mathew Haeffel: I haven’t had the resources (money), to do what I really envision in a studio. Under monetary constraints I have needed to “cut corners” to produce a product. Thus I am waiting to see if I can even accomplish my visions. My favorite songs are constantly changing, and if I don’t like it… I don’t keep it. My playing/talents have evolved progressively, but not having a “concrete” style in the first place makes it difficult to determine a style evolution.
  • MNotez: What kind of things do you all like to do in your free time when you’re not creating music?
    • Mathew Haeffel: Playing music is what I do in my free time; everything else is working on my music “career”, or other responsibilities.

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