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Ever wonder who the voice is behind some of those beautiful songs you might hear on your favorite TV shows and movies (Grey’s Anatomy, When In Rome, etc)? The voice belongs to none other than Matt Hires, a singer-songwriter and Florida native, whose self-penned songs have earned him considerable praise as well as exposure on popular TV shows and films. He recently released a brand-new EP entitled Forever on Atlantic Records.
I got a chance to talk to Matt about his new EP, tour, and what it was like to hear his songs on TV for the first time!
MT: Starting off generally, when did you first know that you wanted to be a musician?
MH: I started playing music when I was 11. Guitar was my first instrument, and at that age I knew it would be something incredible to do, you could play in front of the mirror and sing along with songs. I didn’t necessarily think that it was something I could do. It wasn’t until I was about 18 years old that I realized it was something that I wanted to do for sure.
MT: Were you influenced by anyone in particular?
MH: Yeah, when I first started writing songs at about 16 or 17, I was way into Dashboard Confessional. He would write songs about getting your heart broken or falling in love, stuff that as a 16-year-old kid, I was feeling too. It definitely inspired me to start writing songs. My first songs were heartbreak songs.
MT: You just released a new EP, Forever. Did you have a particular vision for these songs that might have differed from others you've written before?
MH: Not necessarily in the songwriting. I always try to approach songwriting as naturally as possible. As far as recording, I knew that I wanted the songs to sound different than my first record Take Us To The Start. I wanted to sound like I was maturing and progressing as a songwriter, so we approached the songs a little differently.
MT: Where do you pull most of your inspiration for your songs?
MH: There’s not really a particular thing that I pull inspiration from! I try to listen to a lot of music and I try to read a lot. I like reading poetry and I’ve been really into the short stories of Flannery O’Connor lately, so I try to get inspiration from things like that.
MT: Do you have a favorite song on the EP?
MH: That’s tough, but probably if I had to choose, if I absolutely had to choose, it’d be “The Sound of Falling In Love.”
MT: Restless Heart is your new single and I think it's a great song that a lot of people can relate to. What was your intention with writing the song?
MH: When I was writing it, I just wanted to tell a story. I figured that usually when you tell a story based off of personal experiences, usually a lot of people can relate to that too. I just tried to write an honest anti-love song about standing up to a heartbreaker!
MT: Are you touring anytime soon?
MH: I am actually! I’ve been on the road for the past three weeks. I’ve been going around to different radio stations to do some promo. I was actually in Boise, Idaho last night. In March, I’ll be on the road with Matchbox 20, opening up for them.
MT: You've had songs featured on TV shows and movies. Do you remember the first time you heard your song featured and what that felt like?
MH: Yeah! I was in Dallas, Texas on tour. It was my tour manager and I sitting in a hotel room, and my song was coming on Grey’s Anatomy. You never know where the song is going to be in an episode so you’re just watching a show and waiting for the song to come on. It came on at the end of the episode during the most emotional part. They played my whole song, so it was pretty awesome.
MT: If you could pick one artist to collaborate with, who would it be and why?
MH: Probably either Jeff Tweedy from Wilco, or Ryan Adams. I respect them so much and I just love their music.
MT: What's your favorite way of keeping up with your fan base? (Twitter, Facebook, etc) ?
MH: Twitter is definitely my favorite. I like to write short sentences and Twitter just works for that!
MT: Well, thanks for talking with us, Matt!
MH: No problem! Thank you!