(CSC) 1. Thank you for the visit. Please tell us about your latest release “Turn It On.”
We released it in
(CSC) 2. When can music fans expect a US release from “Turn It On?”
I don’t know because I don’t push that. I would like my fellow Americans to hear my brand of music along with my band, but I’m not into hawking it in the sense of going on the television shows and saying here’s my new career or something like that. I’ve been more about just playing live. So it may not be released because I’m not going to go through the traditional channels of releasing a record where I’m going to go do those outlets. That’s not why I started music again.
(CSC) 3. Tell us about the creative process behind both your first and second albums.
The band wants to make a record so they’ve got to look at me with real kind of faces that are real low. “Can’t we please make a record?” No I don’t want to make a record, “Can we please?” (Laughs) Finally I looked at them and they are my contemporaries, they are my friends and I said “Okay if you really want to make a record let’s go make it but I feel like if I make a record I’m going to have my head right out in the middle waiting for somebody to cut it off.” I said I understand that will be me whose head will be rolling in the street not yours and they look at me like can we please make a record? (Laughs) So I don’t think they even gave a shit what I said! (Laughs) They just wanted to make the record so I said you know what let’s do it! So we did. It wasn’t a schizophrenic record but there were four songs on it that we wrote for the movie I was doing during the exact same time called Swing Vote. So we had songs that we’d been playing and we added these songs that had a certain theme that was wrapped around a movie so that was Untold Truths. That’s what that was about.
(CSC) 4. Growing up as a young man, when did you first realize your calling as an artist?
Well I grew up in a church which was a really big part of our life. My mother and her sister and my grandmother were kind of the heart and soul of the church choir. My grandmother played the piano and so every Sunday it was a part of our life. So right around Christmas I used to be a wise man in the play. I was six or seven years old. So music was always a part of our home and I was trained classically on piano.
(CSC) 5. When did you initially form your band Modern West five years ago and how does each band member contribute to the musical drive of your live shows?
We play original compositions. Once in a while we’ll play a cover, not often. Tonight if we play fifteen songs or fourteen, we’ll play one cover. Who that is will either be somebody famous or probably somebody who should be famous. You know just a song of a friend that I like or something. We’re a writing band; we love to write songs and songs are always trying to fight their way into the set. Like we’ll play two original songs tonight, it won’t be original for this crowd because this crowd hasn’t really heard our music. So when I say something like this is a new song, they’ll be going “Tough shit, everything you play is new!” (Laughs) But for us we like to throw in new music for us because it challenges us. So we’ll do that.
(CSC) 6. What do you enjoy most about performing in concert and how do you personally connect with your fans from the stage?
I like the drama of it. I like knowing that stuff could go badly out there and yet we’re prepared to do the very best we can. I mean if you boil me down, I’m a performer, I like to tell stories. I’ve directed them, I’ve written them, and I’ve acted in them. So I guess my parents thought I fibbed a lot because I told a lot of stories to get in trouble, to get out of trouble. Music is just an extension to performing. I actually performed in a lot of traveling choirs before I was ever an actor so I like the moment. I like the exchange between the audience and myself. I like that it’s until you play, no one knows what to expect!
As for connecting with my fans I don’t try to do twitter. We have a Facebook and a Myspace now. I try to make my life as accessible as I can but I don’t become a pen-pal with anybody. I have a lot of things I do in my life including raising children. So I don’t find that to be another member of my family but I have encouraged the band to do it because I think that they need to try to cultivate their own situation. It’s unfortunate that it says Kevin Costner and Modern West. It really should just say Modern West but the band again insisted that it say Kevin Costner. It didn’t matter how long I fought that, didn’t matter what; they said no this is better for us if we say that, so we did!
(CSC) 7. With all of the major success that you’ve achieved as an actor, how does your acting compare to singing and do you have plans to return to the big screen?
I write; I’ve been writing movies. In Hollywood I need to make sure that the movies I want to make are the movies that their willing to make. Right now the movies that I have a desire to make are not necessarily considered really commercial. I think they’re very commercial but they’re not sequels and they’re not based on a comic book. Those kinds of movies are en vogue, that’s what we’re being subjected to. So I think my time will come again when people will want to take a chance on the kind of movies I want to make but until then I just won’t do it.
(CSC) 8. What can you recall from the Big Valley Jamboree tragedy that took place last year and your generous involvement in aiding the victims?
It was a pretty traumatic moment for anybody who was there. For anybody that was there, they have their own version of what happened. My guys were all under the stage as it fell down on me. It fell on my friends. We thought two of our friends had been killed. I found one who I thought was dying in my arms but we survived as did a lot of people. Donna Moore lost her life that day and we thought about her and we think about her. We are looking forward to coming back and closing that circle. It was not a hard one for us to say yes to when we were invited back.
(CSC) 9. What’s next for you and what would you like to share with the fans reading this interview?!?
I would like for people who are actually interested in music and feel like it would be interesting to track down what I do; I would encourage them to find our music in the way that they do. We don’t think that what we do is serious but we treat what we do seriously. We work really hard at our song writing and we produce ourselves. So I hope that people when they, if they find the music, they’ll find a little bit of me in it; you know something different than what they may read about in a magazine or have seen on the television. My wife always tells me that if people really want to know who you are, they’ll watch you play live. They’ll understand who you are better than at any other moment that they possibly could not really knowing you!