INTERVIEW: Rob Mayes On Upcoming ‘CouchSongs’ Festival & More

LifeInASong_UK

Hey Rob – great to chat with you again. Thanks for taking the time out of your day to do this, and thanks for all you’re doing with us at Destination Country!

First of all, ‘CouchSongs’ is coming up thisSaturday and you’ve got a killer line-up, so tell everybody all about the event and how they can get
involved!

couchsongs.com at NOON PST on Saturday, May 30th!  We’ve got an amazing lineup with Tyler Rich, Lainey Wilson, Gretchen Peters, American Aquarium, Cory Marks, and more.  And the best part is, it’s absolutely free.

It’s the follow-up to your first festival – the ORIGINAL StageCouch! What was that experience like, from the logistics of getting everybody live at the correct times, to being at the mercy of the technology Gods? People don’t realize how much work goes into these things, so what was it like from a festival organizer’s perspective?

More work than you might realize!  And swapping out ice packs to cool down the ol’ macbook while livestreaming in 90 degree heat! Who knew.

What’s also really cool is that you’ve embraced our own homegrown talent from here in the UK. How impressed have you been from the artists overseas, and how important has that become for you when you’re planning these events?

Country music is an ethos, not a geography.  I love hearing country music from all over, and being introduced to new music.

I feel like you’ve really used this period of lockdown to your advantage, grabbing the opportunity to do some great online things and collaborate with a bunch of great artists. Although it’s been a strange period for all of us, how much have you enjoyed getting the opportunity to try something different?

This idea just popped into my head and I figured why not have some fun, and try and help artists and songwriters during this crazy quarantine time.

Speaking of doing things differently, have you had any experience with Zoom writing? It seems to be the way forward at the moment, but I can’t help feeling like it would be a little weird!

It’s different.  You can’t get a feel for the room, since there is, well, no “room.”  Energy is the biggest part of writing, at least for me, and you really need to be in the same room.  Not always, and I’ve written over Skype before, and FaceTime and Zoom, yeah..but songs are about connection, the human component, we crave to be near people, community, that’s what we as human beings want, what we crave, what we need.  So without that component, the writing process is just a bit more..digital.

Your profile over here in the UK really seems to be growing now, with Chris Country getting behind you as well as everything you’ve done with us at Destination Country. What’s your experience been like of the UK country music scene so far, and how much would you like to tap into that even more once this COVID-19 stuff is over?

Man – I’m so grateful to you guys for your tremendous support.  With my music.  With the virtual fests.  You guys got me my first UK radio play with Chris Country.  I can’t wait for this covid thing to get sorted so that we can go back to what we know:  connection, live shows, community.  Soon’s (if) that happens, I’m comin’ over and I’m gonna give y’all a BIG hug.

Since we last chatted with you, you’ve released some more new music with ‘Addicted To The Chase’ and ‘Didn’t Do This On My Own’. Both anthems with great production and a great honky-tonk feel. Do you feel like you’ve really settled on a sound that works for you now? I love the traditional
elements that run throughout your music.

With “Didn’t Do This On My Own” dropping just about a month ago, I’m so honored to be back on Spotify’s NEW MUSIC NASHVILLE and FRESH FINDS: COUNTRY editorial playlists.  Having the support of Spotify is just a hugely great feeling, especially for someone like me who is unsigned, learning the ropes myself as I go, while just trusting my gut along the way.
I think it’s safe to say I’ve honed and continue to hone and develop my songwriting, my sound.  To let it evolve.  Quarantine has certainly colored my songwriting, with a more somber hope, a slightly darker, more lonesome sound, for the time-being.  More stripped down.  More solitude, more reflection.  Stay tuned though!  I’ve got lots of new music coming out over the next year or so, and it’ll be a journey.  Hopefully it tells a story that folks will resonate with. 

Moving on to your acting, you’ve got a new movie called ‘A Soldier’s Revenge’ coming June 16th. Give us an overview of what that’s all about and where people can go to check it out!

It comes out on VOD and Amazon and at Walmart on June 16th!  Val Kilmer, Jake Busey, AnnaLynne McCord, just an insane cast.  A post-Civil War tale of vengeance and PTSD.  Got me reunited with my director Mike Feifer for the third time.  And Mike let me run with it.  What amazing fun to get to portray such a dynamic and intense character.  Some of the most fun I’ve ever had.  Truly.

Rob – thanks again for chatting with us. We look forward to seeing you on CouchSongs on Saturday!

Big thanks guys!

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