As the newest member of the Zac Brown Band, Matt is excited to be returning back to Boston to play Fenway Park. After he graduated from Berklee School of Music, he moved to Atlanta and soon after he was hired as a bassist for his first real tour and the rest is history.
SD: Congratulations on joining the band. As the new guy, how are you fitting in with the dynamics of the group?
MM: I have actually been around the band a long time. I have also filled in as the bass guitarist a few times in the past.
SD: As the former guitarist for John Mayer, how was the transition into country music?
MM: It’s actually been a long time in between the two. I met John while we both attended Berkeley. The early years were great because I had a lot of time to grow personally and professionally as a player. Living in Nashville, I have learned a lot, especially about Blue Grass music. It is rich and deep. It’s really the foundation of all country music. As a bass player, you need to know how to play all kinds of genres.
SD: When did you start playing the bass guitar and why?
MM: No one in their right mind chooses the bass, it happens by accident. I wanted to play in my high school’s jazz band and all the other instruments were already taken, so I was told if I could learn to play the bass guitar, I could join.
SD: Joining an established band, how much creative input are you allowed in your playing?
MM: Zac really encourages each band member to be creative. He wants us to inject our own personality into what and how we play. That is what makes playing with this band so exciting. We get to contribute and really show who we are as an artist. For me its huge, you don’t get that a lot of freedom in this business.
SD: Playing at Fenway Park is big?
MM: It’s pretty big! Usually I don’t get very excited about venues, but Fenway Park is huge. When I attended Berkeley, I used to live on Park Drive and would walk down to Fenway, so it feels like a homecoming to me. Plus, what is going to make the show so awesome is we have so much material to draw from so both shows will be different.
For more information on Matt Mangano and the Zac Brown Band visit www.zacbrownband.com. Tickets for both the Friday, June 27th and Saturday, June 28th Fenway Park shows are now sold out.