Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Conversation With Scotty McCreery


A Conversation with Scotty McCreery

Mike Ragogna: Scotty!

Scotty McCreery: Hey, how are you doing, Michael?

MR: Pretty good, how are you?

SM: Doing good, thanks for calling.

MR: Wow, just from the tone of your voice, I can tell a lot's happened since we spoke last.

SM: [laughs] I guess, yeah, we've been staying busy.

MR: Scotty, what's been going on between the Christmas album and now?

SM: Well, we thumped out a new album in all that time and we've been on the road as well. Started with the Weekend Roadtrip Tour, and I guess we just extended those dates. We'll be doing that through the end of the year. But the main focus was on this album for sure.

MR: Looks like you already have a hit from the new album, the title track, "See You Tonight."

SM: Yeah, it's still ploughing it's way up the charts, but we're excited about it. "See You Tonight," it's been the best response we've gotten out of a single yet, so yeah, it's been a good thing going.

MR: Okay, what was the difference between making the last studio album and this album?

SM: I got to be an artist with this album. I had time with this record that I didn't really have with the other one. We took the better part of a year, if not more than a year, to work on this one whereas with the first one, we were pumping it out in a couple of months just so we could get it out there for the fans to hear. It was really fun making this record; I think it's a lot more "me."

MR: It also rocks harder than the debut, especially the first track.

SM: It does, it rocks harder. Even the songs that aren't rock, I think they have a deeper meaning or make you think a little bit more than the first record did. This album makes you think, which is a good thing. It's what you want your music to do.

MR: Yeah, the level of songwriting on this album is also pretty strong with "Carolina Moon" being a perfect example. It's one of the more gentle songs, too.

SM: Oh, I love that song. It's one of my favorites if not the favorite. So yeah, it's been cool. Speaking of songwriting, that's another thing that's different with this record, the fact that I got to write songs myself and co-write and get some of my own songs on it. I think I ended up with five total that were mine. That's really cool for me as a young songwriter to have five cuts on the record.

This is a great interview but a very long one also - please click on the link to read the entire article

Country kid Scotty McCreery welcomes new sounds

The "American Idol" winner plays in Salem on Friday.

by Tad Dickens | 777-6474
Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Rising country music star and “American Idol” winner Scotty McCreery is leading a bit of a double-life.
Four days a week, he is on the road with his band, singing songs from his million-selling debut album, “Clear As Day,” and his upcoming disc, “See You Tonight.” But on Mondays and Wednesdays, McCreery is a sophomore at North Carolina State University, in Raleigh.

The school, a short drive from his hometown of Garner, N.C., is surely loaded with young people who know who he is. But McCreery said it’s a pretty cool student body.  “The kids are really letting me be, and letting me be a student,” McCreery, a communications major, said. “I think if they weren’t and it was kind of getting crazy, I wouldn’t be able to do it — one, for me, but two, because it would be a distraction to all the other students.  “But I walk around there most of the time with no hat, no hoodie, no nothing. … And obviously there will be a couple of times a day I’ll get stopped for a picture or an autograph or somebody just wanting to say hey. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s been really tame, really great.”

McCreery is surely hoping for a more animated response on Friday night, when he hits Salem Civic Center

Musical inspiration
McCreery, who will turn 20 on Oct. 9, will certainly be animated at the show. He said that early period Elvis Presley was his biggest formative influence.

“I love early Elvis, and not to say that I didn’t like the old Elvis,” McCreery said in a Thursday phone call. “But early Elvis I think reminds me a little bit more of myself, getting hype onstage. I just get really excited when I get up there, and Elvis, you could tell when he was in his early stages, he was just getting all energetic and everything. So it was cool to see that [on film].”

Aside from Elvis, McCreery lists Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Conway Twitty as the musical inspirations of his youth. His mother, Judy McCreery, who grew up on a corn farm near Elizabeth City, N.C., turned him on to those acts, he said.

That doesn’t mean he gets annoyed about other genres finding a place on country music playlists. In the recent intertribal quarrels about the style and where it is headed, he keeps an open mind.
“Music changes,” he said. “When you listen to rap music in the ’90s and then listen to it today, there’s been changes there, too. Everything changes.  “I grew up obviously listening to the traditional country. … But I also grew up in Garner, a town of 30,000, at a high school that I like to call a melting pot.

“In my truck, I was listening to country music, but if I hopped in my friend’s truck, he would listen to pop or rock or rap or hip-hop.  “So I don’t think country music is going in particularly one direction. I don’t think it’s going pop. I don’t think it’s going rock. I don’t think it’s going hip-hop. I think it’s just going more mainstream. I think it gets more people listening to country music. And by listening to somebody’s country [music channel on] Pandora or Spotify, like Florida Georgia Line, they might hear George Jones, where they never heard George Jones before.  “So I just think we’re broadening our horizon in country music. And I dig it.”
Combining elements
For “See You Tonight,” McCreery and his team hoped to combine traditional and contemporary elements, and that is in evidence on the album’s title track, which has already been released as a single. A driving, pop-rock drum beat and overdriven guitars mix with mandolin and steel guitar underneath romantic lyrics delivered in McCreery’s distinctive baritone.

The song has bounced around the Billboard top 50 country singles chart for more than four months after peaking at No. 18. McCreery co-wrote the number, one of five co-writes on “See You Tonight.” He didn’t contribute any on his debut album, but said that he grew up writing songs.  “When I was younger, in high school and stuff, I remember writing songs like the Taylor Swift songs, and getting all kinds of girls mad at me for writing the breakup songs,” he said. “I was like, it’s one of those things where you’re putting your thoughts on paper and into a song.

“I enjoy doing it, and especially in Nashville, working with the guys that have been doing it forever now and have got it all figured out. I’m learning from them, and I think that’s good for me as a young artist to sit down and work with guys that have been writing hits for the big dogs for a long time now.”
He is excited for people to hear the album, which was about a year in the making.  “I am extremely pumped about this record,” he said. “I wish Oct. 15 [the release date] was today.”

No twerking
The Sept. 25 edition of Billboard magazine included a staff-gathered list headlined “21 Under 21: Music’s Hottest Minors 2013.” The strangely titled piece lists One Direction, Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus as the top three. McCreery lands at No. 8, and promises that he will do no twerking to jump ahead on the list.
“It’s cool to be on the list with them,” he said. “They’re obviously a lot more mainstream than me. They’re in the big time, Justin and One Direction and all them. No. 8, that was my baseball number growing up, so I’m cool with that number. It’s just awesome to be on that list.  “Billboard is kind of the biggest [industry publication] out there, with the charts and everything, so to be recognized by them is pretty cool.”

Ask Scotty McCreery Anything


Posted: Oct 02, 2013
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