|Photo: Danny Clinch
Tim McGraw has a new interview in American Songwriter Magazine. I really like Tim’s music, the way he handles himself, and of course the way he looks 🙂
Here’s an excerpt of the interview and you can read the whole interview here.
What did you hope to achieve when you got to Nashville? What was your ultimate goal?
I was playing clubs at home and I wanted to come and be a country
star. That’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to play country music.
Songwriting wasn’t the main focus. I mean, I was writing songs. Those
first two or three years, I had written a couple hundred songs with
writers all over town. They’re floating around out there somewhere. A
couple may be good but most of them were awful. I really wanted to be an
artist and get an artist deal.
Who were your heroes back in those days?
If I had to pick two, I would pick Merle Haggard and Bruce Springsteen. Those were my songwriting heroes.
“Live Like You Were Dying” is such an interesting song because it’s about cancer, but it’s also very empowering and catchy.
It’s one of the best-crafted songs I’ve ever heard. Craig Wiseman and
Tim Nichols are fantastic. Of course it was at a time in my life when
some things were going on, so that song struck a chord. My dad was sick
and dying of cancer.
What do you remember about recording the song?
I wanted it to feel inspiring. I didn’t want it to feel like, “Oh my
gosh, this guy is dying of cancer.” I wanted it to be the opposite of
that. I wanted to take everything positive and we all had positive
thoughts going into it.
I recorded that album with my band in upstate New York at Allaire
Studios. We’ve done a couple of albums up there. My dad had just died a
couple of weeks prior to this. We were in the studio around midnight. My
uncle was there – my dad’s older brother. The studio was all decked
out. We sent an interior designer up to the studio, which was at the top
of a mountain with three feet of snow around it. There was a big
fireplace and candles. I had a glass vocal booth built in the middle of
the center of the room where I could conduct everybody in the band.
Anyway it was midnight or 1 o’clock in the morning when we decided to
cut this song. No lights were on. All the candles were going. My uncle
was sitting there on the couch. That was an inspired track.
Do aspiring songwriters have a level playing field with you?
I think so. Look, it’s not easy. I’m not going to lie and say anybody
can get a song to me any time they want. But if you look back on my
career, I’ve had a lot of songs that were the songwriter’s first cut. I
think on just about every album, there’s a songwriter or two that had
their first cut.
What’s the reward in that for you?
It’s when you run across a guy, or somebody’s son or daughter or
wife, and they tell you that getting that cut changed their life. That’s
a reward for me because there are a lot of guys who have the talent
that end up coming here for a couple of years, then leave and never show