Mr. Matthew Pablecas
As a child, Matthew, had two passions: music and building things with his hands. It was music, however, that lit his soul on fire. Music gave him confidence, character, and purpose. Later in life, Matt would discover the connection between his passion for music and his love for building.
Born into a musical family, Matt grew up watching his dad, Gus, and Uncle Gary work their magic at weekend gigs. Gus worked the stage and strummed guitar, while Uncle Gary set the tempo on the drums. These were the moments that caused an undeniable stirring in Matt and he begged to tag along rather than stay home with a babysitter. Although he’d often fall asleep on two chairs pushed together during those late nights, these were the moments that inspired Matt to pick up his first pair of drumsticks.
Self-taught, Matt spent his early teenage years drumming for many local bands. He’d take the unpopular 12pm time slots at rooms like Thirsty Whale and Double Door. Playing in parking lots with his best friends and winning battle of the bands are some of his most-cherished memories.
All the while, Gus’s passion for music and singing made it impossible for Matt not to learn guitar. Gus helped Matt learn the basics and begin to find his voice. Soon, Matt was putting together his own chord progressions and adding lyrics. Singing and playing the guitar brought an entirely new dynamic to Matt’s life.
Matt’s childhood best friend, Mario Salgado, was a talented guitarist. Matt often drummed in bands while Mario played guitar. In the summer of 1994, Matt and Mario wrote their first album. It included the original songs, “Diamond Ring,” “Summer Nights,” and “Lucky #” among others, which they recorded in 1995.
In addition to his musical talent, Matt’s dad, Gus, is also responsible for teaching Matt the family real estate business and the value of hard work. During college, Matt would drive home on weekends to help his dad with the family business. Gus would give Matt “handy man” jobs around the buildings – laying tile and framing walls. It didn’t take long for Matt to learn that he also had a love for building. He found the same emotion in construction as he did in playing music. “Like a great song, everything I built was unique – different melodies, rhythms, textures, and dynamics. One small construction feature or one simple lyric can give me goose bumps. I realized that my artistic side really flourished as a builder.” As Matt grew older, his passion for building evolved, but his love for music never died.
In addition to managing the family real estate business, in 2001, Matt founded Hale Street Group, Inc. (HSG) with his brother-in-law Ted G. Arvanitis. HSG builds single-family homes, commercial buildings, multi-family apartments, townhome developments, as well as office and retail spaces. Together, they manage more than 21 condominium associations and 3,000 apartment units. They have sold over 200 condominiums from developments they have reconstructed. HSG currently specializes in custom single-family homes where they blend classic, timeless architecture with the warm, modern finishes of country living.
In 2005, Matt began searching for an architect to design a 15-unit townhome development in his hometown of Arlington Heights, IL. The same name and firm continued to surface – Jim Tinaglia. Matt and Jim became instant friends, and as fate would have it, halfway through their first meeting, Jim mentioned that his band needed a drummer. The rest, as they say, is history.
Matt credits Jim with giving him the push to try center stage with an acoustic guitar and a microphone as a lead singer. Jim switched to guitar and Matt called his high school buddy TJ Wilkes to sit on the drums. It was 2007 and Exit 147 was born. Matt never packed his drum kit again.
Exit 147 continued develop through the years with Joe Ferrazza, Brian Sheridan, and Robert Watson joining the band to complete the lineup. Matt says, “When I'm on the stage for two hours, everything else just goes away. I get to share the stage and this common bond with five of my best friends. I get goose bumps just talking about it. Not only are these lifelong friends, they are amazing musicians that know their craft and love their trade. They each bring something unique to the table besides just music. We each have our own story and our own character, and over the years, we have become family. They have made me a better musician, a better artist, and most of all, a better person. The music balances me, and when I find myself in the moment I feel at my best.”
When Brian Sheridan joined Exit 147 in 2015, there was an instant chemistry between Matt and Brian’s vocals. Their harmonies blended effortlessly to become one voice. Matt and Brian built on that bond, and in 2017 started the dynamic acoustic duo Hart & Pine.
Today, Matt continues to share his passions. He says, “The only difference now is that building is my business and music is my “golf.” I am lucky to enough to work hard with my family and make a living in the construction industry. I am grateful to share my life with my very supportive wife and our 4 kids, and I still get to share my passion for music and entertainment with some of the best people I know.” Matt is still known to occasionally bring his dad up on stage to sing during shows. Matt says, “Music brings my entire family together. My dad is my best friend and being able to share a stage or mic with him is a gift from God. My dad is “a natural” and I’m still learning from him on and off the stage. I cherish these moments now more than ever.”