According to a recent press release: “Hot off the heels of his recognition by The Grammy Awards Committee in 2016 in the “Best Traditional R&B Performance” and “Best R&B Song” categories for his single “For Realski’s,” New York based Singer/Songwriter Mick Hayes has released the Official Music Video for his newest single, “Hard 2 Explain,” originally premiered on Huffington Post.” We get Mick Hayes to answer our 10 Quick Ones…
1. Tell us a little about your latest release. What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through? Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?
There are many layers to the recording. Something like close to 30 tracks to really get the tones and production that I wanted. My favorite is the backup vocals being ran through a Leslie speaker cabinet.
2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?
Both my parents played guitar, so there were quite a few guitars in the house. I distinctly remember getting in trouble for playing the nicer “put away” ones because they felt better. I started earning money playing guitar and singing at 15 years old and then took a job with a local classic rock band at 19. At that time, I had a day job turning wrenches at a car dealership, but I got caught sleeping on boxes of windshield washer fluid on Saturday morning after playing in bars the night before. The owner called me into the office and asked me what I wanted to do for a living. I chose music from that day on. We are still friends to this day and he comes to my shows when I play in his town.
3. Who would be your main five musical influences?
I have singer, songwriter and guitar player influences that I will wrap all together for you. Chris Robinson, Chris Cornell and Freddie King were my vocal influences. Steve Lukather, Steve Vai and Stevie Ray Vaughan were my guitar influences. Sting, Steely Dan and Prince would be my biggest songwriter influences. I have a few producer influences too.
4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?
This question I’ve thought about a lot and it would have to be either Steve Vai and/or Steve Lukather. They both have a special place in my musical development and personally I think that I could benefit more from working with them one on one as opposed to studying their collection over and over again.
5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?
Musicians get asked that all the time by people we meet in passing. I’ve tried to lock myself into a genre a bunch of times, but then I think of artists like Prince, Sting and John Mayer who comfortable float around genres and wish that very same thing for myself. So, I’ve learned to just look people in the eyes and say that my stories are real, my music is pure intensity and it’s the way music ought to be delivered.
6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?
There’s nothing better than listening to dusty old records in you PJ’s, drinking coffee till 1:00 in the afternoon and calling it studying. I have a deep, DEEP passion for listening to music and clearing my mind.
7. When the band are, all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?
Truthfully when we are all together it’s more about connecting on a more personal level. Playing and making music is very much conversational, so when we are having BBQ and beers it’s more about the hang than what we do usually.
8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?
Boutique coffee shop owner. I love atmospheric coffee shops with good music, rare roasts and delicious deserts.
9. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”?
There’s one or two but, I don’t dwell there or wish to do them over. They did result in a positive outcome eventually and living with ‘no regrets’ is good practice for the next misstep.
10. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?
Tough question because I wouldn’t want to rewrite history, but I would have loved to have been a part of Toto IV. Nobody could replace Steve Lukather or Bobby Kimball, but I would have gladly sung some backups or played rhythm guitar.
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