Five Firsts: Matt Ferguson of BEWARE! The Other Head of Science

Matt Ferguson on bullhorn
Matt Ferguson performing at Larkfest in September

NAME: Matt Ferguson
BAND AFFILIATION: BEWARE! the Other Head of Science, Desperately Obvious, numerous B3nson projects
INSTRUMENT: mostly guitars and synthesizers. and confetti.

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … This is a tough one because I’m pretty sure most of my earliest cassettes were gifts since I never had any money (some things never change). I started out just taping songs that I liked off of the radio onto blank cassettes. FLY 92’s “Top 10 at 10” used to actually play the Smashing Pumpkins, the Flaming Lips and even Metallica, so I used to stay up late and wait for something that I wanted and then hit “record.” I stole a copy of Pete Townshend’s “White City” from my father, I thought that was the greatest stuff ever at the time. But around fifth or sixth grade, I started liking stuff that my family wouldn’t get me, so most likely it was either Weird Al Yankovic’s “Dare to Be Stupid” or Green Day’s “Dookie.” Some people might be embarrassed to admit that, but I’ve still got them all. And now I’m debating whether or not I should return that Pete Townshend tape to my dad.

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … Ah, funny story about that. So, when I was really little my mother took me to see Peter, Paul and Mary at SPAC. Yeah, they played the hits – “Puff the Magic Dragon,” “Blowin’ In the Wind” and “Leaving On a Jet Plane.” But as a kid, my favorite song by them was “Stewball,” and I was really, really excited to see them play that song, but they didn’t. To this day, no band I ever go to see ends up playing the song that I want them to (with the exception of bands that I am friends with). Peter, Paul and Mary forever cursed my live music experience.

3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … I played alto saxophone in elementary school and then tenor and baritone saxophone in middle school. I would imagine that I was pretty terrible, I never really practiced and was generally very unenthusiastic about the whole thing. So I quit band when I went to high school and ended up learning guitar from some of the kids I was hanging out with. I was much more enthusiastic about that because playing guitar just seemed so much cooler than saxophone. The problem was that there were so many guitar players already no one needed another one in their band, so I convinced my parents to get me a bass guitar for Christmas that year. It was several years before I switched back to guitar.

4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … This is another question that I don’t know I can answer 100% factually. My first few bands never made it out of the basement, but the first real ‘gig’ I ever had was at my friend Stephanie’s birthday party at the Ballston Spa Elks Lodge. I know there were some Nirvana covers in there, there was some Offspring, and there was definitely some Blink 182, but we also did a rippin’ version of Tommy James’ “I Think We’re Alone Now,” which I seem to recall being our opener. It might not have been, but that’s a way better story than if I said “Self Esteem” or “Dammit.”

5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … As much as I’d love to go through the list of embarrassing and terrible band names from my first few ‘metal’ bands (and keep in mind that I’m in a band named BEWARE! the Other Head of Science…), none of those ever actually performed out or did anything remotely cool. The first band that I ever played shows with was called the Lost Boys, which was with my current bandmate, Richard Nolan. As much as I’d like to think that we predicted this whole vampire craze years in advance, the name was actually not a reference to the campy 80’s vampire flick, but a shortened version of our original name which was Peter Pan and the Lost Boys… which is so much lamer to admit. The Lost Boys had just about everything you could hope for in a high school pop rock band: bad haircuts, terrible musical influences and almost zero musicianship. But we were a blast live.

Matt Ferguson and BEWARE! The Other Head of Science are performing at Savannah’s in Albany at 8pm on Friday. Sharing the stage will be Skeletons in the Piano, Severe Severe and Ghoul Poon. Admission is $7 at the door.

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