SILVER LAKE – MTV's Amazingness talent/variety show noticed a local self-taught guitarist on YouTube and invited him to compete on the show.
Michael Weber, 20, a 2016 Cuyahoga Falls High School graduate, Silver Lake resident and Kent State University advertising student, won the Jan. 5 competition — and $10,000 — by wowing the judges with his high-energy guitar playing.
Weber flew to Los Angeles to do the MTV show, hosted by Rob Dyrdek, host of the long-running “Ridiculousness.” Six talented young people competed head-to-head to earn the top spot and the $10,000. Weber's show aired Jan. 5 and had him competing against an “extreme juggling bartender” to win. The show airs Fridays at 9 p.m.
“I was honored to be on the show,” Weber said. “The other acts were the best at their talent.”
Dyrdek dubbed Weber “Shred Head” on the show and his friends have teased him about the nickname ever since.
“I present myself as a pretty energetic dude, and they [MTV Amazingness] liked me being me,” Weber said. “I wore my vintage funky clothes and played my guitar in my style. It's a sample of who I am.”
The clothes are the badge of a rock ‘n’ roll band, Weber said. Clothes help, much like a stage name, in developing the persona.
“Every time I get dressed up in show clothes — the funky vintage shirt, vest or jacket — it gets me ready, and I zero in on the performance,” he said.
Weber is lead guitarist, singer and song writer in The Michael Weber Show rock group and performs locally. He also is the owner and operator of the Silver Swamp Recording Studio. He created the track used on the MTV Amazingness show in which he plays the drums, keyboard and bass guitar in the background while he performs live on the guitar.
He's currently working on a new album with his band and on Feb 16 will be opening for Marc Lee Shannon at the Akron Civic Theater. He will perform at the Lorain Palace Theatre Feb. 17.
Weber said the band’s sound is influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Band, Big Star and more.
“From day one I've always been influence by ‘60s rock bands,” Weber said. “As we are a modern band in 2018, there is a certain aspect to pay homage to great rock bands of the past who paved the way.”
The success — and subsequent money — has allowed Weber to further himself in other ways.
“It's a great cushion to explore other opportunities,” he said.
Weber isn't seeking fame and fortune, he says, though he tries to be successful.
“My goal is to be happy,” Weber said. “It's a pleasure to make music, but something has to drive you from within.”
Weber advises those who have aspirations to play guitar to first have a passion for it.
“Find other people to play with, and listening to music is the number one key to success,” Weber said. “It's like a foreign language. If you never go to foreign country and hear it, it's more difficult [to speak].”
In addition, Weber encourages young players to learn about the history of music and how musicians developed their sound.
“I've been playing rock ‘n’ roll all my life,” Weber said. “I listened to my idols on vinyl and was self taught.”
Weber combined music he liked — and created a “melting pot” of sound.
“I created my sound learning on the fly,” he said. “Experiencing learning is definitely underrated.”
Weber adds he doesn't want to be typecast into a single genre of music.
“There is a beauty in evolving,” he said. “The greatest artists evolve.”
Weber said he leads a double life as a student and a musician but gives all he has in each respect.
A 4.0 GPA student, Weber says school is important, placing his studies in advertising as the next best thing to his passion for music.
“Writing a headline is like writing a song,” he said.
Weber said he is thankful for all the support of fans, friends and family and the extended group of people in the music industry who have been supportive and happy for him along his journey.
“It takes time to hone your skills and then it takes people along the way to say 'this is the guy.'”
To learn more about Weber's career, music and concerts, go to https://www.themichaelwebershow.com
To watch the video of the show, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQ9XoP_b1H0 or his promotional video at https://youtube.com/watch?v=ZP5Lx_Ra-MA