Featured Artist: The Hawkeyes

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Mike Wright

, Spotlight

It’s time for another Featured Artist! At Songcast, we’re always looking for new ways to help promote YOUR music. Check out this week’s Spotlight interview with The Hawkeyes:

What’s your first musical memory?
MY DAD, WATCHING HIS BAND PRACTICE IN THE BASEMENT, REMEMBER JUST WANTING TO ALWAYS BE AROUND WHEN THE BAND CAME TO THE HOUSE TO PRACTICE.

What artist inspires you?
WAY TOO MANY TO NAME, BUT A FEW ARE PATTERSON HOOD & MIKE COOLEY OF DRIVE BY TRUCKERS, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, RYAN ADAMS, MELLENCAMP.

What’s your latest track or album?
THE SINGLE “DOUBLE E” IS OFF OUR FIRST E.P. WHICH CAME OUT LAST YEAR BUT IS JUST NOW STARTING TO TAKE OFF. AFTER THE ROCKLAHOMA PERFORMANCE SEVERAL RADIO STATIONS PICKED IT UP AND THE VIDEO FOR IT RECEIVED OVER 14,000 VIEWS THE FIRST 2 MONTHS THAT IT HAS BEEN OUT.

OUR NEW RECORD IS DUE OUT IN EARLY MARCH 2013 – IT’S OUR FIRST FULL LENGTH RELEASE AND WE ARE VERY EXCITED ABOUT THE WAY IT SOUNDS. “ENTITLED GOODBYE AMERICANA”, IT REPRESENTS THE DECAY OF MID WEST AMERICA AND ITS IDEALS AS WELL AS A DEPARTURE FOR US AS A BAND….WHILE STILL VERY MUCH INFLUENCED BY AMERICANA, ROOTS BASED MUSIC, THIS ALBUM HAS A MORE ROCK SOUND AND SIGNIFIES A GROWTH FOR US AS MUSICIANS AND AS WRITERS.

What song or album do you HATE?
OH MAN, HATE IS SUCH A STRONG WORD BUT I’D HAVE TO SAY I JUST CANNOT GET INTO TAYLOR SWIFT, MUMFORD AND SONS, AND REALLY ANY OF THE DISCO COUNTRY / DISCO FOLK STUFF THAT YOU HEAR ON MAINSTREAM RADIO, THERE’S PLENTY MORE OUT THERE TO LOVE THAN TO HATE, JUST GOTTA DIG FOR IT, AND I DON’T HATE METAL-CORE / DEATH METAL BECAUSE THOSE GUYS THAT PLAY IT WELL, ARE DAMN GOOD MUSICIANS – BETTER MUSICALLY THAN I’LL EVER BE BUT I JUST THINK DAMN IF YOU’RE SO FUCKING ANGRY BUY A GUN AND SHOOT UP SOME PASSION FRUIT OR JOIN THE MARINES, I’M SURE PEOPLE SAY SOME LOVELY STUFF ABOUT AMERICANA ROCK N ROLL BANDS IN CERTAIN CIRCLES WHERE THEY BURN NON-DESCRIPT T-SHIRTS AND BLUE JEANS IN EFFIGY – YOU WILL NEVER PLEASE EVERYBODY, THE STEELERS CAN’T WIN THE SUPER BOWL EVERY YEAR, THOUGH THEY SHOULD, DAMNIT!

What’s a song or album everyone should be listening to right now?
“I CAN LICK ANY SONUVA BITCH IN THE HOUSE” – YES THAT’S AN ACTUAL REAL BAND FROM PORTLAND OREGON, AND THEY ARE FUCKING AWESOME!
BANDS: “THE LONG RYDERS”, “JASON AND THE SCORCHERS”, “HERO JR”, “DRIVE BY TRUCKERS”, “TWO COW GARAGE”.

What profession would you choose if you couldn’t choose music?
IF NOT A MUSICIAN – I’D WORK IN THE INDUSTRY SOMEHOW, MANAGER, BOOKING REP, ETC.
NO MUSIC INDUSTRY WHATSOEVER I’D PROBABLY BE A BIG RIG TRUCK DRIVER, I LOVE THE ROAD OR A RADIO DISC JOCKEY (ALMOST WAS ACTUALLY).

Tell us more about your local scene.
IT’S A GOOD MID-SIZE MUSIC MARKET, NOT GREAT, BUT GOOD IF YOU’RE WILLING TO WORK IT RIGHT.
PITTSBURGH, PA IS BY NO MEANS COMPARABLE TO SOME BIGGER MARKETS LIKE CHICAGO OR PHILLY BUT IT HAS ITS PLACE, I HAVE A TON OF RESPECT FOR SO MANY BANDS IN OUR CITY AND THERE ARE SOME REALLY SOLID VENUES THAT DO SUPPORT LOCAL AND NATIONAL ORIGINAL BANDS. ARE THERE BETTER CITIES OUT THERE OF SIMILAR SIZE? OF COURSE, BUT THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE; PITTSBURGH CAN BE A TOUGH TOWN FOR NEW BANDS, PEOPLE ARE STILL VERY BLUE COLLAR IN THEIR MINDSETS DESPITE THE DECLINE OF INDUSTRY IN THE AREA AND THAT BLUE COLLAR MINDSET IS A “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY?” MENTALITY-“WHO THE HELL ARE YOU? AND WHY ARE YOU PLAYING MY FAVORITE BAR?” – I LOVE IT IN A STRANGE WAY AND IT’S VERY ENDEARING WHEN YOU START TO TURN THE CORNER AND BRING PEOPLE INTO YOUR CORNER OF MUSICAL INFLUENCE.

As a performer, what would be your ‘perfect’ live experience?
I THINK WHAT WE’RE STRIVING FOR SOMEDAY IS THAT “LIVE EXPERIENCE” WHERE THE PEOPLE SIMPLY JUST GO BONKERS THE MOMENT YOU HIT THE STAGE BEFORE YOU EVEN PLAY A NOTE, I STILL GET CHILLS EVERY TIME I SEE THAT HAPPEN AT A CONCERT I GO TO – I CAN’T WAIT FOR THAT DAY TO COME FOR US, I MEAN DON’T GET ME WRONG IT IS A TRULY AWESOME FEELING AS WELL TO TURN A SKEPTICAL CROWD TOWARD YOUR FAVOR WITH YOUR FIRST COUPLE SONGS OF THE SET – WHICH WE’VE DONE MORE THAN ONCE, IT WILL HOWEVER BE SO FULFILLING WHEN WE REACH A STATUS OF THOSE BANDS THAT YOU SEE THAT SIMPLY HAVE THE CROWD FROM THE MOMENT THEY SET FOOT ON STAGE – AND YOU BETTER HAVE YOUR SHIT TOGETHER SOUNDWISE AT EITHER POINT BECAUSE THE LAST THING WE EVER WANT TO DO IS DISAPPOINT FOLKS WITH A LACKLUSTER PERFORMANCE – THAT’S WHY EVERY SHOW YOU SEE OF OURS IS ALWAYS INTENSE AND WILL ALWAYS DRAW SOME TYPE OF POSITIVE FEELING INSIDE OF YOU.

What aspect drew you to the particular genre of music that you now perform/write?
THE SENSE OF WORTH AND HONESTY THAT IT FILLS ME UP WITH AND I THINK I SPEAK FOR ALL OF THE HAWKEYES ON THAT PARTICULAR NOTE. I REALLY ENJOY BEING FROM WESTERN PA, THE OLD STEEL TOWNS; RUSTBELT FOR LACK OF BETTER TERM, BLUE COLLAR UPBRINGING. MY GRANDPA WORKED IN THE MILL, MY DAD DID, HELL EVEN I DID FOR 3 SUMMERS DURING MY COLLEGE YEARS – AS SHITTY AS THE JOB WAS YOU FELT THAT YOU WERE PART OF SOMETHING AND A REAL SENSE OF HUMBLED PRIDE SETS IN YOURSELF. I LOVE WRITING AND PERFORMING MUSIC WITH THAT WORKINGMAN’S WILL, DESIRE, AND HUMILITY – GET THE JOB DONE RIGHT, TAKE PRIDE IN YOUR WORK, GET YOUR FAMILY FED, ALWAYS HAVE YOUR FRIEND’S BACK, ADMIT WHEN YOU’RE WRONG, AND KEEP MOVING FORWARD WITHOUT TRAMPLING ON DECENT FOLKS – I CAN GO ON AND ON ABOUT HOW I LOVE STRAIGHT UP ROCK N ROLL FROM “WHISKEYTOWN” TO “UNCLE TUPELO” TO “SPRINGSTEEN” TO “CCR” TO “MELLENCAMP” – I GUESS I COULD SAY THAT I HAVE A SOUL THEREFORE I GET A MAJOR RUSH WHEN I FEEL SOMEONE IS GIVING PART OF THEIRS FOR YOU TO FEEL WITHIN THEIR MUSIC – I GUESS THAT’S ONE THING THAT DREW ME IN TO THE “GENRE” AMONG OTHER THINGS, I ALWAYS TELL FOLKS – IT FEELS SO RIGHT TO LOVE, WHEN PEOPLE ASK ME WHY DO I DO IT – I SIMPLY SAY YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE, SO FAR AS I KNOW, SO WHY THE HELL NOT AND BECAUSE I LOVE IT

Share one personal event in your life that greatly influenced a song/album that you have created during your musical career.
OUR FIRST SINGLE, “DOUBLE E”, IS BASED OFF OF SOME TRUTH, ABOUT 90% I’D SAY. THE SONG ISN’T PARTICULAR BASED OFF OF ONE PARTICULAR EVENT RATHER AN ONGOING SERIES OF EVENTS THAT TOOK PLACE, BECAME ALMOST ROUTINE WHICH IS A BIT CRAZY CONSIDERING WHAT WAS BEING DONE WAS VERY MUCH IN THE GREY AREA OF WHAT SOME COMMON FOLK CALL “THE LAW” – I THINK IT’S WHY I TOOK TO “BREAKING BAD” SO MUCH, BUT “DOUBLE E” IS SIMPLY ABOUT A YOUNG GUY (ACTUALLY THERE WAS A GROUP OF US, WE’LL JUST KEEP AT ONE FOR THE STORY’S SAKE) JUST TRYING TO MAKE A DECENT DOLLAR RATHER THAN WORK A MUNDANE PART TIME JOB, NOT HARMING ANYONE DIRECTLY, NOT CRACKING HEADS OR FLASHIN’ PIECES YO, JUST A DRIVER MAN WITH A SIMPLE JOB – GET THIS PACKAGE THAT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS TO KNOW WHAT IT IS JUST THAT YOU CANNOT GET CAUGHT WITH IT FROM POINT A TO POINT B, A TRANSPORTER OF SORTS IF YOU WILL TAKING GREAT RISK, DEALING WITH VERY SHADY CHARACTERS WITH WHOM HE HAS NO KNOWLEDGE OF WHERE THEY CAME FROM, WHAT THEY’VE DONE TO OTHERS, WHAT HEINOUS THINGS THEY COULD DO TO HIM AND THOSE HE CARES ABOUT BEFORE THE DAMN HAT EVEN DROPS, ONE THEME THE SONGS CONTAINS IS ONE OF A DUALITY OF SORTS WHERE THE DRIVER MAN HAS THIS CALM CONFIDENCE ABOUT HIM “I’M ALRIGHT, RIGHT BY ME” BUT AT THE SAME TIME EVERY STEP OF THE WAY WHILE CONDUCTING HIS “WORK” HE’S ON THE PRECIPICE OF DISASTER , SORRY LADIES, I USE “HE” THROUGHOUT THE STORY BECAUSE THERE WERE NO WOMEN INVOLVED – IT AIN’T HOLLYWOOD – BUT IT MAKES FOR A GREAT ROCK N ROLL SONG THAT TELLS, WHAT WE FEEL, A DIFFERENT TYPE OF STORY, RATHER THAN HEY BABY YOU LOOK GREAT, I’M SO DAMN COOL SO YOU SHOULD LET ME BORE YOU TO DEATH WITH SOME HALF-ASS PICK UP LINE, DINNER, A MOVIE, AND A DIAMOND RING – I STRUGGLE WITH LOVE SONGS :-), MY WIFE GETS ME….SOMETIMES

A big thanks to The Hawkeyes for speaking with us this week! Be sure to check them out on Facebook and here.  If you’d like to be featured in an upcoming interview, shoot us an email to social@songcastmusic.com with your name and SongCast user ID and we’ll get in touch.

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