Mat Kearney grew up in Oregon and made his way down to Chico for college before deciding to move to Nashville and pursue a songwriting career. Kearney is celebrated for his unique style and ability to cross genre lines. Catch Kearney live as he takes over the State Theater on April 12. Do yourself a favor and focus on Kearney’s lyrics. He is somehow able to tell stories about topics that many of us have lived through but cannot manage to put into words.
MF: Did you have a dream of becoming a musician as a child? What type of music did you grow up listening to? Are there artists that really inspire you?
MK: I grew up in a small town and there wasn’t a whole to to. I would have my mom drop me off at the local record store where I would buy records by artists such as by A Tribe Called Quest, The Pharcyde and De La Soul. Hip-Hop really interested me and influenced my love for beat-driven music. As far as lyrics go, Bruce Springsteen has been more of an inspiration to than any other artist. He is able to build a narrative into a song unlike anyone else. I also appreciate Bono of U2 for his ability to create high-quality pop music.
MF: What made you finally decide to pursue music?
MK: I was studying English and playing soccer in Chico and decided to take a summer road trip to Nashville. I guess you could say that I was just blown by the wind and chasing a dream. I was not in it for the money. I really just wanted to pour my heart into writing songs. I had no idea that Nashville would become home. It has been ten years now!
MF: How has the Nashville experience been?
MK: It is hard not to get inspired in a place like Nashville. The voices of icons like Johnny Cash are everywhere. I did have some trouble in 2010 when Nashville flooded. I woke up one day to five feet of water in my house and my washing machine floating around. There is one main warehouse in Nashville where many touring artists keep their gear and it suffered heavy damage. I lost many of my prized guitars and other equipment but I learned from the experience. The ordeal gave me a chance to reevaluate my life and learn to just roll with things a bit better.
MF: Has there been one particular moment that has really stood out during your career?
MK: I had the chance to open up for John Mayer at Madison Square Garden and that was an amazing experience. It was incredible to stand on that stage in front of 25,000 people but it all worked out well. We got a standing ovation that night and that is a big deal because New York is famous for having tough crowds that are hard to impress.
MF: Tell me about your pre-show rituals. Do you have any particular food or beverage that must be present and do you do anything special to get ready to take the stage?
MK: I like to have a bottle of Pinot from Oregon in my dressing room at every show. It reminds me where I came from and far that I have come. As far rituals go, I will do the running man dance, get a little rowdy and do my best to put everyone in a bombastic mood. I do do this for the fun and I love to have a great time! I really look forward to playing in Modesto. I am familiar with the area.
Video, tickets and more-
Popularity: 1% [?]
Filed Under: news
About the Author: Ruben Porras is also known as ModestoFamous in some circles. He has been in and out of Modesto for about the last eight years. He is a bit of a survivor that suffers from wanderlust more than anything. He pays his bills by writing words, spreading the word and making people laugh. Follow Him. Friend him. Nice guy. Twitter: @ModestoFamous