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John Matthews - Bass and Vocals
John's Gear
Ampeg Amplification
Ernie Ball Music Man Guitars
Boss Effects
Fender Musical Instruments
I was born in Colorado. We lived there for only a year, so I don't remember too much of the place. After my dad's stint in the military was over, we moved to California where he got his Ph.D. in chemistry. Shortly thereafter he was offered a position at Penn State and so my family wound up here. I went to many of the local schools: Easterly Parkway, Fairmount, Park Forest and State High. What fun! I began taking clarinet lessons in fourth grade and did pretty well with it. Piano was also a big part of my youthful musical experience but I wasn't so good at that. Lack of practice was the deciding factor there! I just couldn't stand running through scales. Finally, for my birthday when I was in tenth grade, my parents asked if I would prefer a new clarinet or an acoustic guitar. By that time I was getting a little tired of clarinet so the decision didn't take more than a few nanoseconds.

It wasn't long until I met some friends who wanted to form a rock band. We went through the usual experiences with our first band, EM3. We played several high school parties and even the high school dance marathon. We thought we were rock stars! Our first paying gig was a party at my dad's house for his grad students. He paid us $50 to play the only twelve songs we knew, some of which were: you shook me all night long (AC/DC), rock 'n' roll (Led Zep), and cat scratch fever (Ted Nugent) to name a few. When high school graduation finally came, we said farewell to EM3, not to be missed by many (we were pretty bad!) We all went our separate ways but I decided to go to Penn State.

I played rhythm guitar in numerous rock bands beginning when I was a sophomore at PSU, and around 1990 I decided to switch to bass because I was a little bored with rhythm guitar and I wasn't "flashy" enough to be a lead guitar player. Throughout all this time many of the bands I was in were interested in writing music, but that was more for our own enjoyment than anyone else's. It was very difficult to get paying gigs in those days, mostly because we weren't taking into consideration what audiences might want to hear.

Finally,in May of 1994, I met Brian, Bones and Mike and we formed broken which still exists today. broken began as an alternative cover band with a tiny (but growing!) list of our own songs. We did very well at PSU fraternities but couldn't seem to get anyone interested in us at the bars. We realized that most people were pretty tired of alternative music and so we stumbled into the obvious hook of the eighties. No other bands covered that era of music as extensively as we were determined to do, so we threw ourselves into it full force and created what you know today as Velveeta. broken is still a living entity and occasionally will play opening gigs for larger touring acts. In fact, when we play at The Grape Street Pub in Philly, broken usually opens up for Velveeta. All in all it's been a very interesting trip through the years and I can't complain. Velveeta gives us the chance to play music in front of large crowds of people who want nothing more than to have a good time listening to cheesy music, while broken acts as our creative outlet.

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