Monday, January 30, 2012

Casey Hurt Interview

Recently caught up with Casey while he is currently on tour. Check out his latest music and tour dates on his Facebook page:

How would you say you arrived on "your current sound"? Specifically, your voice and tone (it’s so unique and beautiful).
Thank-you for your kind words. Honestly I think that I arrived at it by running from it. I’ve always had a major soul and blues influence in my voice but for the longest time I was trying to play indie-emo music. It wasn’t until I started embracing my roots (Jackson Brown, Van Morrison, Sly and The Family Stone) that I found my sound. I guess I really just settled into the only thing that felt authentically me.
What can people expect when they see you live? What would you like for them to take away?
The most important thing to me at a show is honesty. I want people to feel a real connection with me and the stories that I’m telling. That’s when the real magic happens, when the listeners will go with me wherever the music is leading.

Who are some people that you have looked up to in the past in terms of live performance and stage presence?
I think Joe Cocker is one of the most amazing live performers, he’s really amazing. As far as modern performers go, I think John Mayer is really brilliant, he puts his whole being into it. Also, Robert Randolph and the Family Band. Those guys kill it. One of my favorite live DVD’s is Lauren Hill Unplugged. That’s just raw honesty.
How did the writing process pan out for your latest release, Mended Souls? How would you say it differed from your previous release Letters From a Friend?
Letters From A Friend is an interesting record. It’s really a collection of songs from a huge span of my life. Mended Souls is a much different record because all of those songs were within the first year that I moved to LA. I’ve always written pretty consistently but once I moved to LA I really started investing a lot of time into it. “Letter’s” has songs on it that date back to when I was 19 and causing trouble in Portland. It’s also a pretty heavy record. You can definitely tell that Mended Souls has some more sunshine in it and I feel like it’s a more mature record.
Do you write continually, or are you more of a periodic writer?
I try and write continually. Some of the best advice I ever received was from Jon Forman of Switchfoot. He told me to “write every day, even if you don’t love what comes out” and that’s what I’ve tried to do.
Tell me how "Sunday Mornings " specifically came together...(beautiful, by the way…)
Honestly, Sunday Mornings just showed up. Any songwriter will tell you that there are some songs you have to labor over and some that are just given to you. I feel like Sunday Mornings was just given to me. I think I was sitting at my kitchen table, looking across at my wife and it just started coming out.
What would you like for listeners to take way from your album, Mended Souls?
My prayer for all of my music is that it can help define a moment for someone. I just want it to be a bookmark in the story of a person’s life, to help them remember the things that they’ve loved or lost or go through. I also hope that it reminds people that they deserve to be loved and should love right back.
Any advice for new D.I.Y. artists just starting out?
Work really hard. Your career will not come to you, you have to decide what you want it to be and work hard at it. If that’s being a songwriter, then write all the time. If that’s being a recording artist, then get in front of a mic as much as possible. Also, surround yourself with other great artist who will be honest with you about your work. Community is the key to survival in the changing industry. You’ll grow by surrounding yourself with people who are better then you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help but also don’t be afraid to offer it.
How important is social networking/media for you?
Very, very important, especially since I started getting my music on TV. It’s provided a major inlet for people to discover my music and get involved in my life/career.
What kind of positives have you seen from having your music featured on shows like One Tree Hill? Have you had a chance to see the scenes featuring your songs?
One Tree Hill is an awesome show because they really love and take care of the musicians that they feature. I’ve connected with a really great community of people through the shows and they’re always sure to let their fan’s know how to find you. We usually try and watch the episode when it airs.
Any shows coming up?
I’m actually writing this from the road. I’m touring the bay area through the end of January and then I’ll be off for a bit to start recording the next record. I’ll probably start touring the new record in late spring.
Perfect day, driving in your car with the windows down, what are you listening to?
“A Case Of You” by Joni Mitchell or “Wildflowers” by Tom Petty.

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