Hunter Hayes Q&A
Hunter Hayes, an American country superstar. Hayes is known for his chart topping single titled Wanted, which has sold 3.5 million copies making Hunter Hayes the youngest male musician to ever top the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. He has been nominated for five Grammys as well as winning the CMA Award for New Artist of the Year in 2012. Hunter Hayes will be playing three shows within an hour from Boston. The first show is Friday June 16th 2017 at the Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis Massachusetts. The second show is Saturday June 17th 2017 at the South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset Massachusetts. The third and final show in Massachusetts is Saturday August 19th 2017 at the Indian Ranch Amphitheatre in Webster Massachusetts. Hayes and his stellar music, energetic stage presence and authentic feeling that he gives, makes him a must-see concert. Suffolk Voice had the opportunity to interview Hunter Hayes about his music, potential collaboration with Shawn Mendes and his tours.
Q: How has your music changed since “Wanted”?
A: The biggest difference is me as a human, kind of where I was at 18/19, or even when I was writing the first record at age 13/14 up until now, I’ve been through a lot. It’s not, compared to a lot of people, not drastic stuff. On the creative side of things, I’ve been through a lot, getting knocked down, getting back up a few times, more than I’d like to admit, and sort of having to carve away all of that and get rid of the stuff that gets in the way of making music. Going back to the answer though it really is just me, I’ve gone through a big shift going from twenty to twenty-five, I mean everybody does, and I’ve been able to write about that.
Q: You last full length album came out in 2015, are you working on a new full length album that is coming out soon?
A: Ya, it’s been a minute. Here’s the thing, records to me, like full length records, were the only way to get to know the artists, now we’re not limited to that, ya you could say that I’m working on a full-length album, but with all the music I’ve created for this project, I feel like there’s so much more to do than just twelve songs. There are so many more songs I want to do with this and we have to limit it to twelve or five, there’s a lot that gets left behind and I don’t want that, I think there’s a lot of space for this music, to live, to breathe, to find a new way out, it doesn’t all have come out as a single song, it could come out as maybe a cool collaboration in a video. I feel like there are so many ways for it to come out. So ya, you could say I am working on a full-length album, but from the way I see it, the big picture, the fans have made a statement to the industry, and the fans said we would be so stoked if there were more than just twelve songs that would come out on a record. I feel like they’re telling us it’s ok for us to release more than that and more often. I am stoked about that because I don’t have to wait for a release date for twelve songs to come out, when a song is done now we can just take it in and release it. So, what I think I’ll do now is just release songs as we finish each one and over time they’ll be enough to call it a full length record.
Q: What was it like to play the most concerts in different cities in 24 hours?
A: That was a huge yearlong planning process, and one I have to give credit, we have the most efficient, incredible team that helped me break the world record. I remember riding in the car, we were in Mississippi and we drove back to Nashville and I was looking at a map, and looking at numbers and I was checking what the rules were for that particular record, and started to look at the map and realized that it might actually be possible to beat that record. I texted my team and my manager telling them I think we can break this record. The first one was eight shows in twenty-four hours. We routed it and we started at Good Morning America, and from then on, we took a jet from New York to Boston and from Boston all the way back down to Philadelphia where we had ten busses, we had the Police officers from all areas to help us out and give us escorts. There was no part of this that wasn’t planned, there were plans ABC all the way through Z, I mean these guys were uber prepared and super ready. The first two shows were kind of nerve-wracking but from then on, we were actually two hours early for each show. For each show, we had to perform twenty minutes each show, the City all had to be a certain size, the venues had to be licensed venues, we had to sell tickets, and we had to sell a certain amount of tickets for every show, so there was a lot that went into this.
Q: Have you and Shawn Mendes talked about collaborating?
A: Actually yes, funny enough, it’s kind of one of those things that has never worked out, but our teams have been in touch in the past which means that it’s working its way to something happening in the future, I can’t tell you when, I don’t know. Obviously, Shawn is busy promoting some great music. We have talked though, that was actually the first time we talked directly was through social media which I love that was the first time we talked of all things, but my team and his team have been in touch for a while just throwing the idea out there. He’s been a big supporter of mine, which is something I’m grateful for.
Q: What has been your favorite tour?
A: The ones that my team and I create because we got to bring a group that I was really excited about, they are called “The Railers,” they actually helped us break the world record. They were a band that I heard about then and became a huge fan after watching them open one of the shows. After that I literally just leaned over to one of my managers and said hey what if they come on the Tattoo (Your Name) Tour. I also loved being able to design, I was a big stage design nerd in high school. Putting on the live show is kind of the tip of everything, to come out on top of any piece of music for me, that’s where everything makes sense, that’s where everything comes to life, that’s where I feel like I’m the most alive. Getting to design my own show, that’s pretty much the ultimate.
Make sure you catch Hunter Hayes when he performs in Massachusetts, there are three chances to see him live; June 16th, June 17th and August 19th.