Next up in our “Get to Know a Blaster” Blog series, we are peeling back the layers of our Senior Vice President, Matt Caldecutt. Matt heads our New York office and is one of the most multifaceted humans we’ve ever had the pleasure to interact with. He works tirelessly to nurture countless press relationships and is always up for grabbing coffee and weird fast food!
Please enjoy getting to know a bit more about Mr. Caldecutt…
Were you named after anyone?
According to my father, he had a dream while he was on active duty in the army that he would have a son named “Matthew.” As far as my family knows and we have done a lot of family history research, I’m the first Matthew in the family for at least the last three centuries.
What accomplishment are you most proud of and why?
I couldn’t pick just one. I’m proud that I got my Master’s Degree in Medieval History, of becoming a father, and for all of the work that I do at Blast.
If you had to describe yourself in five words, what would they be?
Caffeinated. New Yorker. Open. Honest. Trustworthy.
If you weren’t working in the job you have now, what would you do?
Up until around 2000, I had been planning to be a professor since I was 11 years old. After receiving my Master’s Degree in Medieval History, however, I decided that I’d take what I learned about research and additional party trivia back to New York City.
What is one thing on your bucket list?
Someday, I would like to visit the grave of my great-grandfather, who died during World War I and was buried in Swakopmund, a city on the coast of western Namibia. His unexpected death set in motion a chain of events that brought my family from Liverpool, England, to New York City.
What makes you wildly happy?
Spending time with my wife, Kristen, and our daughter, Lexa, or with them and my family in Queens, New York. So, Thanksgiving was particularly great for me this year. I also like traveling internationally and I have done quite a bit since I got to Blast — Ireland, UK, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, St. Lucia, and — my favorite trip to date — Japan.
What music has most influenced you?
It may surprise you to know that I’m a fan of EDM — electronic dance music — and my hearing has never really recovered from the time I spent at Limelight and Sound Factory, but I still listen to it — at a much lower volume — when I want to motivate myself.
What big life changes have you recently experienced and how have they affected you?
In September, my wife, Kristen, and I welcomed our first child — our daughter Alexandra (Lexa) — into our family. I’m up so regularly now at random times of the night that I consume even more media for work.
If you could travel back in time, what timeframe would you visit and why?
For many years after I first read Ken Follett’s “The Pillars of the Earth,” I wanted to see England in the Middle Ages. Then, I read Michael Crichton’s “Timeline” and went to graduate school, where I learned how life really was then and changed my mind.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Portland, Maine. Kristen’s family lives in Bridgton so we’re not usually there for long — just passing through — but, the restaurants there are spectacular and so much of the city has been preserved from the days when shipping and fishing were the dominant industries. It’s just amazing to walk through a soak up all that history.
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
For two weeks, I ate the same order from White Castle for dinner — two bacon cheeseburgers, two jalapeño cheese burgers, and an order of chicken rings. It’s still my favorite fast food meal, but I don’t know if I could eat it every day for the rest of my life.
What is your biggest fear?
Zombies, especially since Rick from “The Walking Dead” appeared in a dream I was having and told me that my zombie-killing technique is poor.
What is your favorite family vacation?
In January 2014, Kristen and I went to England and I proposed to her with the last remaining part of the baths at Viroconium Cornovorium (English Heritage’s Wroxeter Roman City) behind us. Then, I got to introduce her as a future Mrs. Caldecutt to my English family in Manchester that none of my part of the family had seen for about two hundred years. That was quite the family reunion.
What motivates you to work hard?
When I was a child, my grandfather, Edward Robert McHugh, told me that he had worked continuously since he was a teenager to support himself and, eventually, his family. If he could work sixty-something years at a variety of jobs and serve in the U.S. Merchant Marine during wartime, I can certainly give my best every day.
What is your favorite game or sport to watch and play?
When I was in high school, I was on the fencing team. I have wanted to take that up again since I got back from graduate school, but I don’t know if I’m in the shape I need to be to play that again, but I’m getting close.
What would you sing at Karaoke night?
I used to enjoy trying to keep pace with a few Jay-Z songs that were popular in the late 90s, but if I had to choose today, I would probably grab Kristen and we’d sing “Everything is AWESOME!!!” — that we have been fans of since before we became parents.
Who is your favorite author?
The author of The Dune Chronicles — Frank Herbert. I’m sure you have guessed by this point that I’m a big sci-fi fan.
Do you like or dislike surprises? Why or why not?
It depends on the surprise. I still can’t get over how all of my friends — male and female — came to by “bachelor party” wearing blue blazers — part of my “uniform.”
What is the best gift you have been given?
Kristen had what I believe to be the last poster made to promote Bruce Davidson’s “Subway” show (He signed it for me as a thank you for my work on the opening) at The Gallery at Hermes framed. For years, it had merely been fastened to the wall. Now, it may last long enough for Lexa to appreciate it.
Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?
Seeing Lexa smile.
If you could share a meal with any 4 individuals, living or dead, who would they be?
I have done a lot of genealogical research and not surprisingly, I’d be very interested in dining with:
– Bartholomew McTiernan: my first ancestor to arrive in New York City
– Robert McHugh and Katherine Solomons McHugh: my great-grandparents, who eloped.
– Any of my living Swedish relatives that could take me on a tour of where our family lived there — Karlskrona
What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
I walked on a frozen lake in Queens, New York, and won’t say where because it’s not something I would ever want anyone to be inspired by. I wisely didn’t go far.
Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?
What’s your favorite family recipe?
Krup kakar (http://www.familycookbookproject.com/recipe/2287438/krup-kakar—swedish-potato-dumplings.html). They are pork fat dumplings, but the Swedish translates into English as “body cakes.”
What’s your favorite movie?
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. I met Kristen while it was in heavy rotation on HBO and our first dance was to “Garbage Truck” — one of the songs played by the fictional band in the film that the titular character played in.
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten?
Yak cheese, which has to dissolve in your mouth.
Do you collect anything?
Old photos of where I have lived. I have one of the intersection of West 121 Street and St. Nicholas before the Eighth Avenue Line of the New York City Subway was built.
Is there anything you wished would come back into fashion?
Pocket Watches! I’ve got mine on today.
Who was your first celeb crush?
When I was in elementary school, I was tasked with writing to a celebrity that I had a crush on and rather than resurface that memory, I’ll give you a hint — her name appears on the side of a spaceship in a popular Marvel Studios movie.
If you could join any past or current music group which would you want to join?
I would work with Danger Mouse on the creation of The Grey Album: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Grey_Album