Matt Siblo: music man

John-Paul Anthony

If you’ve ever gone to a concert on campus, you’ve probably seen him. If you’ve ever laughed at an article in the Villanovan, you’ve probably read his words. If you’ve ever found yourself basking in the glow of a million dollar smile and fashionable wardrobe, you’ve had real, human interaction with him; the man, the myth, the legend – Matthew Siblo.

Sitting down for coffee with Siblo, one can’t help but be won by his charming personality. The words he speaks come easily, almost as if he knew the question you wanted to ask before you posed it. His friendly demeanor and winning smile make you feel as if you’ve known him your whole life. Of course, all these qualities don’t just come naturally, but are products of what Siblo likes to call his “second education.”

While attending Villanova, Siblo has been the go-to guy for music promotion on campus. In his position as head of Special Events for WXVU, Villanova’s student run radio station, Siblo has brought countless music acts to the student community and has learned the ins and outs of dealing with people on a one-on-one basis. While his psychology major and communications minor have played roles in helping him correspond with top players in the independent music scene, it seems to go deeper than that.

“Sure it’s a little nerve-racking trying to talk to someone who I know has an amount of relative fame,” Siblo said over his coffee, “but I just have to sit back and remember that they’re people too. People who happen to be extremely talented musicians.”

During the time stretching from the beginning of his sophomore year to this year, his last at Villanova, Siblo has dealt with some of the biggest names in independent music in bringing them to the University.

“I just wanted to provide Villanova students with the opportunity to see some of the most important musicians of our generation,” Siblo said, before adding with a smile, “of course, the fact that they’re usually one of my favorite bands may have something to do with it as well.”

This favoritism, however, has done nothing in getting in the way of Siblo continually bringing relevant musical acts, free of charge, to Villanova students. Over the years, these acts have included Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Q and Not U, An Albatross, Supersystem, Weird War, Murder By Death, Beauty Pill, The Moviehouse Arcade and World/Inferno Friendship Society.

While music promotion may seem to most to be enough of a time-consuming activity, Siblo doesn’t draw a line in the sand there. He also writes continually entertaining articles for the school newspaper, acts as editor for his own music e-zine, and contributes to the nationally circulated publications “Rockpile” and “Punk Planet.”

“Everytime I talk to Matt he’s working on something new,” said close friend and Haverford senior, Pia Agrwal. “I promote shows at my school, and even with a larger budget, I have a hard time competing with the guy.”

True, competing with Siblo may be foolish, but being one of the many he considers his friend is not.

“I can’t imagine life at Villanova without Matt,” said Mindy Brown, a sophomore psychology major at Villanova. “Through him, I met so many interesting people that I may have never approached without the prior knowledge that we both knew and loved the Siblo.”

The connection is not an unusual one, with seemingly opposite people sharing friendship with the one man who can adapt to all types. His laidback attitude toward life, coupled with the intense motivation running underneath the surface has created a truly unique individual who will surely be missed by the community upon his upcoming graduation.

This however, may be the one area where Siblo’s constant need to have numerous projects working at once acts as a minor problem.

“I’ve got a few job offers lined up after school,” Siblo said during the end of our conversation, “but I like to keep my parents on their toes and tell them I’m planning on living in the basement and working at Blockbuster.”

Go ahead, Matt, I’m sure you’ll do fine.