Interview & Concert Tipp: Hunter Hayes
First interview this year – and this might be one of my highlights already. Not only because I’m a huge fan of Hunter Hayes myself, but because with this opportunity, I do hope to help get country music more popular in Switzerland. Also, I’m still super excited about the fact that Hunter Hayes is coming to Switzerland to play a show!
Yes, you heard right. We’re lucky enough to get a Hunter Hayes show in Switzerland. There are only a few European dates this time around (apart from C2C), so you should make sure to get tickets to this concert! Here are all the details about the Swiss concert!
Hunter Hayes in Zurich
Date: 03. March 2019
Venue: Plaza, Zürich
Tickets: via Ticketcorner
Plaza is a pretty small and intimate venue. So you better not wait too long to get your tickets. This will probably be the only time you’ll see Hunter on such a small stage! I for one am soooo excited for this to finally happen!
Not only is he playing a show in Switzerland, nope… We also had the chance to chat with Hunter Hayes – one of my favorite country music artists!
Interview with Hunter Hayes
Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us! Let’s dig right in… You’re finally coming to Switzerland! We were so surprised, but also super excited, to have you here. How did that happen and most importantly, have you ever been here?
I’ve never been! And I was also super surprised because it came in so casual in a text, like – oh and this never happens like this, never! So yeah, it just said: Hey would you like to play in Switzerland? Of course, my answer was all caps lock, YES! I was stoked! This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I wanted my music to reach this area and play shows there. I’m excited! And of all the tours, this one – in conjunction what we’re doing with C2C and a couple other dates – is such a great list of shows. We have a whole new band, a whole new show. I’m just very excited to put this one out on this run of shows because it means a lot to me. We’ve done C2C before and we’ve done a couple shows in Europe before. Just in general, this tour is a big thrill for me, especially with new music.
So these dates in Europa, especially C2C in the UK and Ireland – are they like a trial run for the US “Closer To You” tour?
No, it’s actually a completely different show. We’re doing a separate kind of rehearsal just for this run. Just because we plan on coming back to a few of these locations – or hopefully all of them, a little later this year or early next year. So we don’t want to give away the new show. But we are going to plug in a few new songs. I would call it a fresh start, with a new band, new music. This will be the first time we get to play some of this stuff, so you can imagine how electric that’s gonna be for me.
After you’ve announced the tour, you mentioned in your IG Live that there will be some new things happening… Anything you can tell us yet?
Well in the theme of “closer to you” I think the biggest part is that we’re making sure to really connect with the fans. We love sold out shows of course, but making sure that fans kinda “get in” or that we get to meet fans. We’ll find ways to include people that might have missed out on the ticket sales… or… yeah… uhhm…
– Hunter starts to mumble a bit and starts a new sentence – did he maybe just reveal something he shouldn’t haven? 😉 –
We’re just always looking for ways for me to stay close to the fans and not just sell tickets and do shows. For me to have as many interactions with the fans is a really big deal for me. That’s where I recharge, that’s where the music makes the connection. I hope that answers your question?
Yeah, well, not entirely, but close enough, I’ll take what I can get. There is one more big question floating around. Is there a release date for the new album?
I can’t say when exactly, but it will be this year. But honestly, I’m just grateful you asked and care. No really, it will be this year, that’s all I can say.
That does give us a bit of time frame… Kind of… So is there anything else you can tell us about the new album? Will there be any exciting collabs or other surprises that we can expect?
Uuuhm, there’s some cool guest appearances. But I can say that you’ve already heard 3 songs from it so far: Dear God, One Shot and Heartbreak. That’s all I can say.
Man, this is tough, you’re keeping all your secrets!
It’s really hard for me! You can imagine, as much work as we’ve put into this, I would love to just shout it from the rooftop. And the day that I can, you know that I will!
But can you at least tell us where you’re at, is the album almost done?
We’re wrapping it up one song at a time. That’s the beauty of the process, every song gets a chance to have its moment and live. We’re not 100% done with it, but I think we’re about halfway done with it. Or now, actually, it’s way more than halfway done.
You’re not even 30 but have already achieved so much (Grammy nominations, different awards, being in the Guinness Book). What else do you want to achieve?
Soooo many things! So so so so many things. It never ends. The moment you see what dream become a reality, you realize the power of the dream. You just keep building and you open your door to dream even bigger. For me, it’s a lot of personal achievements. Just to see the music grow. For that music to connect with people is the dream. The harder you work and the more heart and soul you put into it, the bigger the dream you have.
Talking about dreams… You play over 30 instruments, what instrument have you not yet mastered but want to?
There are so many! I was lucky enough to have a label that let me do that process*. It was just me, so I had to figure out, not how to play everything, but how to get through it. It was honestly just a born out of necessity kinda thing. I’m not proficient on all those instruments. I just love making music. Also, I grew up in a time where technology allows you to have a safe creative space. There’s the beauty of you having to nail it in one time during a live performance, but also the beauty in the digital age where you can fail. I fail as many times as it takes to get to the point where you finally play it right. I would love to play the violin or the cello and be good at that. I’m just not, I’ve tried a few times. But we just don’t get along – but I love the instruments, I love arranging string parts, but I’m just shit at playing them.
*Hunter wrote or co-wrote every track on the album and plays every instrument and sings every vocal track with the exception of the Encore tracks 😮
You’ve been in this business for a while. What had changed for you as a musician?
The platforms on which we can release music. The options are endless now. It used to be a very strict routine on how you could put out music and where it goes. As a result, you end up reaching people the same way. Now you can reach people a million different ways and also reach a million more people because of it. You can find a lot of music you haven’t heard of because of the many platforms. A lot of new artists are getting discovered. That’s the greatest part. From an artist standpoint, it’s like the keys to a whole new world. There are so many options to put out music now, different platforms, different collections of music vs. we have to put out an album first. We can put out an acoustic version of it and that fun for me, I enjoy that. You can do anything you want really, you can try anything. It’s an awesome place to be creative.
But is there anything you’d want to change about the industry if you could?
Uuuhm, I wish we could get out of our own way with some of the older traditions we have. I think the thinking needs to shift and it’s hard to do that in the new way of things. The priority is getting music to people who have not heard it yet. I’d love to see in the near future – and what I’m about to say, we’ve already been lucky enough to do that – put out music we love, when we want, not having to tie it to anything, no red tape to follow, we did that with “Rescue”, “This Girl” and “You Should be Loved” for example. I loved the songs and I knew they weren’t necessarily part of the album coming up, but I wanted them out. We’ve been able to do that before and I would love to be able to do that more in the future. Just release songs when we feel like it’s right.
Gen: If you had to choose one song from each album that isn’t a single to put into your setlist for this tour which songs would you choose?
Love that! Great question, hmmmm.. From the first album, I would pick “In A Song”, off the second album I’d bring back “Storyline” because it’s just such a fun song to play. From 21 – no question: “Saint or a Sinner”. I’d bring those 3 songs back.
Marie: What are you most looking forward to for the Closer To You Tour?
A lot of things. A tour means so much now than before because the music means so much to me. That itself that’s the fuel for the fire for me, and the band too. We’re all feeling the same energy. So yeah, even though I’ve been on the road a million times, in a lot of ways, this feels like a first for me.
Kailey: What is your most emotional song to sing live and why?
Oooh, the most emotional one is… Let me pull up the setlist and I’ll be able to tell you straight away! Probably still “Dear God”. There’s a lot there to process for me, we group a couple of songs together in that part of the show that all kind of are along the same line of conversation. But yeah, seeing the fans hold that song so close, they know all the words and sing along, that makes it special too.
Quick Fire Round
The first thing I do when I get off stage is… Eat! I never get to eat after lunch so I am starving when I get off stage.
Dolphins or sharks? Dolphins
Last thing you googled… (laughing) I googled if Billy McFarland and Seth MacFarlane are related, I don’t know, they just look alike.
I write my best songs when… I’m sitting at a piano.
If I wasn’t a singer, I’d be… still doing music, either produce or.. Yeah, if I wasn’t singing, I’d still somehow be doing music in one way or another.
If you could be like any other celebrity, I’d be… Richard Hammond – he’s my hero!
So that was it from my side. Thanks so much for doing this!
Awesome, I appreciate the time, thanks for talking to me. I’ll see you at the show!
It’s a wrap! After almost 30mins the interview was over. It was great to talk to this guy and hear what he has to say. If you don’t know Hunter Hayes yet (well, if you’ve read this far, you actually do know him now), it’s time to go digging a bit more. He has some really great songs out there…
Go follow Hunter on his socials:
Here’s his newest song Heartbreak: