Amanda McCarthy is a talented American Country singer songwriter, who music I dug when I first heard it, so naturally an interview was a must so read on.
1. How did did you get into music?
1. I have been singing for as long as I can remember. I grew up on
vintage country music records, from Waylon Jennings to Dolly Parton, and
I knew I wanted to be a country artist at some point in my life.
2. What has been the highlight so far?
2. So far, I have met some really great people, and one of those great
individuals is Billy Davis, who works a lot in the music industry with
his brother Chip. They are pretty well known, and have some great cuts
of their own. A few of us were sitting around the studio talking, and I
remember Billy saying, "You’ve got this. If you want it, and you are
willing to put it before anything else in your life, you could have that
chance." It flicked a switch in my brain, and I thought to myself, "Did
he just say that? To me? These guys are friends with Dolly Parton, and
they think I’m cool? No way." But it was true, and Billy’s words haven’t
left my mind. There are a lot of things to achieve in the music
industry, and there are even more things to give up. It all comes down
to this: how bad do you want it?
3. How did the recording process for the album go?
3. The recording process was unlike anything I’ve ever done before.
Sure, I had recorded in a small studio near home, but it was
incomparable to the experience in Music City. I recorded my debut album,
Cleanest Dirty Look, at the Rukkus Room in Nashville, TN. On my very
first day in the studio, the band gathered around to introduce
themselves, and at that moment, I realized this band was one to be
reckoned with. I was about to record with a keyboard player who played
for Dolly Parton; a drummer, who set the beat for Big & Rich; a
guitarist, who has played on countless records, along with the fiddle
player, bass player, dobro player, and violinist. It was a surreal
moment to say the least. We all had so much fun making this record. The
studio was a happy place, filled with jokes and laughter.
4. What inspires you when writing music?
4. When I write, I go to another place in my mind. It’s as if everything
in my head comes together to make a song. I listen to all kinds of
music to kick start my inspiration. I like the attitude of rock ‘n roll;
the soul of blues; and the heart of country music. Combining them is
the art that I like to create. It’s no longer just a thought in my head,
it is a story, with music. It is a song.
5. What was the inspiration for the album?
5. This album is my first "big" accomplishment in the music industry,
and it is everything I could want my first album to be. I wanted it to
display an image of traditional country music, and songs that
appropriately "kick ass". There are songs about heartache and cheating,
and there are songs about pick up trucks and causing trouble. The way I
see it, we all like to live out a fantasy when we listen to music. Maybe
we didn’t actually sneak out of the house. Maybe we didn’t actually run
away to California and get a tattoo. But it sounds cool, right? That’s
the kind of thought I had when writing my first single, There With You.
It takes you to another place, even if you’ve never been there. Then
again, maybe you have.
6. Who have you enjoyed playing with recently?
6. I recently played a show with a great artist from Massachusetts, C.J.
Field. Him and his band are great guys, who play great country music. I
also opened for the band Flynnville Train, who just got back from a
tour in Poland. They are incredible. If you love southern rock, and
classic rock, give them a listen.
7. What it is the scene like where you are from?
7. I’m from a small town in New Hampshire, on the border of Vermont,
USA. If you take a ride through my hometown, you will see farms and
tractors. Around here, we pay attention to "who has the biggest truck",
or "who got the most deer". It’s not about fashion, or becoming a
pop-star. It’s about working hard to build a life for yourself, and your
family. The way of life around here has been a huge, yet sub-conscious,
inspiration for my music.
8. How has social networking helped your music?
8. Technology is our gateway to the future. It definitely helps artists,
and entertainers in general, because it allows us to show the world who
we are without paying a huge price for it. We can post videos and
songs, and pictures. It’s incredible if you really think about it.
Johnny Cash never had this kind of technology.
9. What advice could you give to some one wanting to give a career in a music a shot?
9. If you want to become a musician, full time, do it. I am a huge
believer in following your dreams, and making sure you do all that you
want to do before the clock runs out. However, before you make this big
decision, ask yourself these three questions. 1) How much are you
willing to sacrifice? 2) How much are you willing to spend? and 3) How
much do you love it?
10. Who would you most like to work with or play with?
10. I love writing and performing with other artists, it really doesn’t
matter how "famous" they are, there is a lot of talent out there! If I
had the chance though, I would love to perform with Brantley Gilbert. I
think his music is one of a kind. He is a fan of Steve Earle, as am I,
so it would be cool to sing an old Steve Earle song with him. He is
close to a friend of mine, and fellow artist, Rachel Farley, who says
nothing but good things about his music and personality.
11. How has radio and the media received the album?
11. So far, everyone has given me positive feedback. Right now, it’s just a matter of getting the word out!
12. What is next for yourself?
12. The next step. I’m not sure what it will bring, but I know that I
will always be singing, performing, and writing. Whether the next step
is writing a number one hit, or simply playing in a bar, I will be