Matt Hires: Pastor’s Son Finding God on His Own Terms

Matt Hires American Wilderness
Matt Hires American Wilderness

Last updated on January 22nd, 2019 at 04:53 am

Matt Hires American Wilderness

American Singer/Singwriter, Matt Hires has had some changes in his life. Hires went from becoming the first artist to sign with F-Stop Music, a sub-label of Atlantic Records, to having no label at all.

In our interview, Hires talks of growing up in the church as a pastor’s son, his stint signed by a major label and his current quest to find God on his own terms. Matt’s 2016 album, American Wilderness is an open diary to these subjects and more.

Bo: Matt, You’ve got a new album coming out called American Wilderness, right?

Matt: I do, yeah.

Bo: I’s available October 14th and your show happens to be October 14th coming into Minneapolis at 7th Street Entry. So it’s kind of like your CD release show, right?

Matt: It is, yeah. It just sorta worked out that way and I’m glad it did cause, I mean, Minneapolis is one of my favorite cities to play so I’m glad it worked out where I can be there on the day that my album releases.

Bo: Are you prepared for the cold weather?

Matt: (Laughs) I hope so, what’s it like up there now? Is it already getting pretty cold?

Bo: It’s, you know, jacket and pants weather. Are you going to be coming up from Florida or Nashville?

Matt: From Nashville, I’m back in Nashville right now. We did the first half of the tour which is like two weeks long and we just started in Florida so it’s super hot and kinda made our way out West, and then back around through Denver and we have a few days off in Nashville now. Then we’re heading back out in two days.

Bo: Has living in Nashville helped you as an artist to broaden your circle of musical friends?

Matt: Yeah, I mean, sorta one of the reasons we decided to move up here was because a lot of my other musician friends and some of our coolest friends had moved up here also. So when I did move up here I had a good community of other songwriter friends that I sorta got plugged into and we started this thing, pretty much right away called “Scotch and Songs” where about five or six of us would get together every other weekend and share a bottle of scotch or bourbon and play songs that we’d been working on. We sorta used it to try new stuff out and encourage each other in our writing and it was really good and definitely played a big part in the collection of songs that came together for my new record.

Bo: I read something on your Facebook that touches a little bit on the struggle of faith or seeking answers. Is that kinda what you’re going after with this record, or at least a couple of the songs?

Matt: Yeah, it ended up playing a big part in the record. I didn’t really intend it to be that way but as the songs came together, a big part of it ended up being kind of a wrestling with faith and my ideas about it. My dad was a pastor so I was raised in a conservative evangelical Southern church and as I’ve grown older I’ve parted ways with a lot of that thinking while not parting with certain thoughts I have about God and spirituality. So, when we moved up to Nashville, it was the first time in my life where my wife and I didn’t go to church for like a whole year and I felt like it ended up being a really good thing to look at the organization of the church from the outside and develop our own thoughts on things. A lot of that just made its way into the album and a lot of it is about wrestling with faith and culture and identity in America. It was scary for me to do but the more the record is starting to get out there and people are hearing it, it’s kind of cool to see how much it is resonating with people. Being independent and moving to a new place, just a combination of things, made me want to write songs in way that was more honest. Although it seems like you are writing something that seems specific to you, those always end up being the things that resonate a lot with other people which is very interesting.

Bo: Can I ask you where you are at on your journey of enlightenment?

Matt: Oh man, that’s a tough question. I would still identify as a Christian. It’s hard for me to say that because there’s so many people in this country that would align themselves with that word and I don’t really align with that way of thinking, but there’s something about Jesus that I find really compelling. Right now, I guess I’m something of a Christ-centered humanist, if that makes sense?

Bo: Yeah, I think so. Those who are looking to listen to Matt Hires, he will be here in Minneapolis on October 14th. His new album, American Wilderness, will be available at the show. You can buy tickets and RSVP here.

Matt: Thanks so much, Bo.

Written by Bo Weber

Supporting artists since 2014


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