The Department of Music here at Rowan is one of the most top-notch programs in all of New Jersey. It helps those who want to take their love and passion for music to the next level and helps young minds who developed an interest in the possibilities their program can bring. One of those young minds in question is Matt Venez, a drummer who’s majoring in the music industry program here at Rowan.
Venez graduated from Toms River North last year and was section leader of their school marching band for two years, while also being involved in their rock and jazz bands. He also plays in a band in his hometown called Right On! He also fills in with cover bands in his hometown area as well.
“My dad’s a bass player in a cover band,” said Venez. “That’s where I got a lot of the music from, I’d grown up watching him play in the bars and I learned the music and started filling in for his band.”
Venez started drumming ten years ago when the drummer in his dad’s cover band gave him his first drum set, which is still the one he plays in his home in Toms River. His dad taught him some simple things with the drums and then began to challenge him.
“In the third grade, I started taking lessons and then he would give me these songs to learn and challenge me and I learned them and we played them together and it gave me this feeling of musicianship and something for us to bond over and it’s something we still bond over to this day,” said Venez.
While he doesn’t know where he wants to go with his future in music, he chose the music industry program here at Rowan to be exposed to what his future could hold.
“I don’t really have an end goal, that’s kind of what I came here to do, I love music and I want to be around it for as long as I can be so that’s why I chose the music industry program,” said Venez. “I see what kind of jobs that I can do, while still being surrounded by music.”
When I talked to Venez, he also told me about some of the influencers that have helped shape his drumming style, including Carter Beauford of Dave Matthews Band and the late Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters.
“Beauford’s open-handed, and you can see a lot of that funk jazzy big band style in my playing and I think he’s one of my biggest influencers, especially within the past year I realized as I listen to a lot more Dave Matthews Band and I realize like that’s totally something I’d do,” said Venez.
Venez said he’s been enjoying the music industry program here at Rowan so far and has learned a few new things as well, such as how much music is really out there
“I came from a world where you’d play cover bands and bars and I never really got into the original music scene but down here it’s booming there were so many people in the music industry program like me that make music and want to get it out there and it’s been a really cool experience and to see how many people want to make the world a better place with music,” said Venez.
Venez is also in a band here at Rowan called Luna, who creates original music and has played around Glassboro as well as a family band with his dad and sister. The amount of passion Venez has for music is something that goes beyond saying and it’s going to be really interesting to see what he gets into and how he develops his skills over his career here at Rowan.