Live Day 2019: Matt Makela performs “The Columbus Manifesto,” joined by Gavin Jaquot for “Friend of the Devil,” by The Grateful Dead


Jocelyn Lear

Senior Gavin Jaquot joined Matt for a cover of “Friend of the Devil,” by The Grateful Dead.

With enough original music written to put out three full albums if he wanted to, senior Matt Makela decided to share one of his original songs titled “The Columbus Manifesto,” co-written with Boyertown graduate Jarrod Karwacki.

“It’s a joke song about flat earth,” Matt said.

Joined by senior Gavin Jaquot, the duo performed “Friend of the Devil,” by The Grateful Dead. While the song holds no special meaning for Matt, it did for Gavin.

“It means something to me, but I’m not going to tell anybody that,” Gavin said. “We’re both friends of the devil, we met him,” he joked.

The duo originally wanted to play “Fire on the Mountain.”

“It’s a little bit more of a daunting song,” Gavin said. “More slow, mellow,” Matt chimed in.

“It was tougher to play, and we didn’t do that because it was too lengthy, as we were told,” Gavin said.

Matt is inspired in a humorous way.

“BASH inspired me to be the person I am today, I learned everything that I have ever gained from the outside world inside Boyertown Area School District,” he joked. “And from Mr. Didyoung.”

Gavin, however, is driven by a more serious commentary on society.

“What inspires me is the lack of ambition in others to achieve great things in their life and to make a difference in this world,” he said.

While Matt has been playing guitar for six years and constantly improving his music, Gavin is planning to get better at guitar.

Blaze Myers
Matt Makela, a senior, performed an original song titled “The Columbus Manifesto,” co-written with BASH alumnus Jarrod Karwacki.

“I’ve never really played guitar, because I don’t put in enough effort,” he said. “Like, I’m restoring my Jeep, I’m more of a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none. I do everything, but I’m not really great at one particular thing. Guitar is one thing I do want to get great at, like as good as [Matt] is.”

Matt has performed every year, doing a cover of “Ripped Pants,” from Spongebob last year and Neil Young’s “Last Trip to Tulsa,” the year before. Performing with Matt in his annual tradition meant a lot to Gavin.

“I [performed] last year, messed up, had to redeem myself,” Gavin said. “I wasn’t playing guitar this year, so it made it easier.”

Both wish to pursue music later in life, which is slightly changing Gavin’s future plans.

“I wanted to be in the military, but for some reason now I’m starting to realize, I need to write stuff,” Gavin said.

Gavin and Matt have discussed working together in the future.

“He could totally do it without me, but once I learn the guitar, there’ll just be like a connection,” Gavin said, “like when you combine two voices, if those voices sound good together, it makes the song way better.”

For those wishing to learn guitar, Matt says to keep doing it, saying, “You don’t have to be good.”

“Even if you doubt yourself, do it and just see what other people say,” Gavin said. “Don’t doubt your self worth ever, even if you feel like you’re not worth anything.”

Gavin explained how mindset can make a big difference, a lesson he learned in his personal struggles.

“In life, there’s no winning or losing, there’s either winning or learning,” he said. “Mindset is a little thing that makes a big difference, so if your mindset is set on ‘alright, there’s only winning or losing,’ then you’re going to be a loser, I hate to say it.”

He stressed the importance of changing one’s mindset.

“If you’re set on that, then you’re just never going to understand that losing is actually a learning experience,” he said. “If you learn from your mistakes, you can grow upon them, you can use those mistakes as a strong point.”

Matt’s advice to younger students is to live, eat vegetables, and to not do drugs.

“Drugs did not do anything to get me to where I am, okay,” he said.

Gavin agreed on that last point, and explained further.

“There’s this quote, it’s like, ‘the wolf at the bottom is always hungrier than the wolf at the top,'” he said. “So, even when you get to the top, still set another goal, never stop. If you achieve a goal, set another one. Don’t ever just give up. Never think that what you have is enough. There’s always a hustle to be had and there’s more to be done.”