Exclusive Interview with Grant Maloy Smith
Why country music ?
~ Country music is at its best when it tells real stories about real people and in an original and compelling way.
If everything would be possible (waking the dead included), which two people should sing the ultimate country duet?
~ I would love to hear Hank Williams and Alison Kraus sing together… that would require waking the departed, of course. But it would be epic.
What song you ever recorded means the most to you and why?
~ “Your Fire” is a song about all of the highs and lows of life – the heartaches, successes, set-backs, triumphs, and simple agonies of normal life. It means a lot to me because when I sing it I often see grown men wiping back tears. Men, women – people from 15 to 75 can be brought to tears by the song, because there’s something in the lyrics that they have gone through. That means a lot to me to see that reaction.
Who would you like to write a song for you?
~ Woody Guthrie
What is the one thing that readers/fans would be surprised to know about you?
~ I have a 3rd degree black belt in Karate, and I can speak German, Spanish, and a tiny bit of Japanese.
Give us one country song you never want to hear on radio anymore and tell us why.
~ There are some songs that use the same cliches over and over again. A few examples include mud on the tires, whiskey bottles, girls in cut-off jeans. Come on, people… one of these might be ok, but when you put 10 of them in a song there’s no point in listening to it. You need to paint pictures with words, but be original – otherwise you’re not an artist, you’re just painting by numbers.
What is the question interviewers never seem to ask you and…you wish they would? (Please provide your answer as well.)
~ People rarely ask where the ideas for songs come from. And I am glad because I don’t really know. It’s something I work very hard at, but ultimately in spite of my effort or perhaps despite my effort, they just pop out. Then I spend a lot of time and energy developing and refining them.
Describe the ultimate recording studio (not the technique but the facilities)
~ PIE Studios in Glen Cove, New York. I recorded Dust Bowl here and it’s amazing. Huge NEVE console, dual 2 inch 24-track tape decks, every classic outboard gear in the world, and a collection of rare amps and guitars to play… it’s like the ultimate playground for the musician who likes real warm analog recording.
Johnny or June ?
~ I can’t decide because I love them both. Johnny and June are two sides of the same coin. You can’t have one without the other.
Are you still nervous before going on stage and if so, do you use any “rituals” to calm you nerves.
~ Very rarely do I get nervous any more. It’s more like excitement, because I can’t wait to perform and get the love from the audience.
What was the most memorable day in your musical career and tell us why.
~ Probably the first time I walked onto the stage at The Bitter End in New York. I was really aware of all the legends who had been on that stage: Bob Dylan just to name one.
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