As we profiled last week in our Artist of the Week feature, Mayer Hawthorne is an artist on the rise. He’s in the midst of a month and half tour with some headlining dates with his band The Country and will opening for Foster The People on others. Crowds seem to like what they hear, check the photo below as an example of what greeted the singer after his Wiltern gig this past Friday. However, before he hit the road, we caught up with Los Angeles-based, Ann Arbor-bred singer/multi-instrumentalist and he gave us some great insight to who he is, and shared perhaps the greatest answer that this writer has ever seen. Keep reading to find out more.
DK: Before you started your solo career, were you in any other bands?
MH: I was in a bunch of bands. Most notably, an experimental hip-hop, soul group called Now On. We did an album called "Tomorrow Already" that I'm really proud of. It has beats by JakeOne, 14KT and myself, and even features Aloe Blacc rapping.
DK: Why did you start making music? Did your family force you to play or was it something you picked up on your own? Or was it something completely unrelated to either of those events?
MH: My parents are both very musical. They always bought me records and taught me about music, but they never pressured me. My dad knew how hard it is to "make it" in the music business because he tried it. He always made sure I had a "backup plan."
DK: What's the best thing about touring? Is it going from town-to-town, girls, partying or simply traveling?
MH: It's all about the food for me. I'm a big foodie dude. I get to travel around the world and eat miso soup in Japan, and cheesesteaks in Philly. That's the shit.
DK: What's are the biggest similarities and differences between the Detroit and L.A. music scenes? How have you blended each of these two distinct sounds into your music?
MH: Detroit and L.A. are hella similar. Both are motor cities and both are really laid back. I definitely have a lot of both cities in my music. Even when I was living in Detroit I had a lot of West Coast influence in my sound.
DK: How come you decided to move to Los Angeles instead of New York?
MH: I really love New York. I tried living there before LA, but I realized like visiting there a lot better. NY weather is similar to Detroit, and I needed a change.
DK: Have you started writing any new material?
MH: I'm always writing and recording new material. I have so much music I want to make. So many songs. The next couple years are gonna be crazy!
DK: What can fans expect from your live show?
MH: They can expect a show. I don't just stand up there and play the songs. I want to make sure that nobody ever wants their money back when they come to see me live. And the number 1 rule is always: fun.
DK: What team has a better chance of winning a title this year: Tigers or Lions?
MH: I can't wait for football season! I'm really pulling for the Lions. I think this is the year!
DK: After this tour is over, what's the rest of your year looking like?
MH: It's looking good. I'm gonna keep recording new material, doing shows and eating hella good food.
DK: What's the most random thing that's ever happened at one of your shows?
MH: Kid Rock knocked on my dressing room door in Detroit. He introduced himself, then asked if he could drop a deuce in my bathroom. Before I could say no, he was already in there handling business. It doesn't get much more random than that.