Interview: Walker Hayes talks C2C Festival, Craig, Songs about his kids and more

Walker Hayes is an artist who has really caused quite a divide of opinions amongst country music fans but one thing you can be sure of is that Walker is a very gifted songwriter who writes from the heart, from truth and mixes it up with some exciting, fresh and daring sounds in the country music verse and we at BOON adore his album boom.

We were so excited when Walker was named as one of the acts at C2C Festival, in fact he was one that we were most eager to see and he absolutely blew us away with his live music skills. Walker gained a huge amount of fans across the weekend, changing the opinion of people who were at first a little bit unsure. It is safe to say that Walker had an incredibly successful weekend at C2C.

During C2C we caught up with Walker for a quick chat about UK fans, writing songs about his children, his friend Craig and much more.  To read a more in depth conversation prior to the release of boom. Click here

Enjoy!

Hi Walker, how are you? Welcome to the UK – is this your first time here?

I am great; other than getting used to the time change I am amazing. We have had fun; this is a unique experience for me – I am not a well travelled person. I went to Italy once for a mini semester in college, but that’s about it.

How has life been since the release of boom.?

It has been pretty surreal and continues to be. My single peaked Top Ten and I don’t think anybody in Nashville expected that. My album streams baffle me with how many people are streaming it, how many people are buying it, how many people are coming to shows. We have had some headline shows and selling out to thousand seaters, which sort of blows my mind. I still get to shows thinking, “I hope there’s people here” – and then you walk into a packed room and they know every single word to every single song. It’s surreal; my life is just a fairy tale – every single musical dream has come true and things are happening that I never even set out to do, so we are thrilled. We are already working on album two.

Wow!

How was the Kelsea tour?

It was great. We finished with Thomas Rhett in the fall, so changing opening scenarios is always unique. You play different venues to different audiences and Kelsea has great fans. I am so impressed with her show – she plays her whole new album and then the hits, which is bold. I am proud of her for doing that and she has been so kind and has given a chance for my fans to see her and to gain more fans. I loved the opportunity. When artists of her stature allow me to go out and perform, it’s so nice.

What song has had the best reaction, both live and on record?

There has been a lot for Craig and the good reaction is why he have chosen it to be the next single. It’s the deepest song on the album and the story is a great message and relevant for today. What we notice at shows, is that people know every word and I thought “Why wait, life’s too short”. I’ve waited a long time to have this project, so we decided to release it next. We probably could have gone with something easier, but I am excited to release Craig, as from the get-go on every headline and support show, when I say to the crowd that I am going to play a song called Craig, I can tell people are excited to hear it.

Tell us about the song Craig.

Craig is a real person. My wife dragged me to church one night at one of the lower points in my life. I am a recovering alcoholic and I had not quit at this point, which was about two and a half years ago. I met Craig that night and he just sort of shattered all my pre-conceived assumptions, or notions if you will, of church people. I wanted to shed a little light on him and the fact that some of us, me in particular, are bad at judging the messenger and not the message. Craig was someone who was able to penetrate my soul and be loving; it was shocking. He was so loving towards my family – he provided us with his own mini van when we only had one car, as we are a big family of seven kids, so it was a grand gesture of kindness.

He and I are very opposite, he is a Christian, nice looking, clean cut – and at the time I looked a little disheveled and was a drinker and playing music in bars. He made an impact on me and I wanted to share that impact with the song Craig.

What do your kids think of boom.?

They love it. Their favourite songs are Prescriptions and Shut Up Kenny. I think they love the ones with the bad words, haha – and the fact they can listen to them, as dad wrote them, ha. They are so proud of it and so sweet about it and kind to remind me that they like it and that their friends like it too, so it’s fun.

Tell us about Lelas Stars.

About two or three years ago I was working at Costco and I was driving a Honda Accord, which was dying – and the roof fell off of it one day. I needed to figure out how to fix it for free and I Googled how to do it and somebody said that thumb tacks would work. I didn’t have any, but my daughter had a box of pink, purple, green and blue thumb tacks and so we stuck them in the roof of the car and she called them stars, so I had to wrote a song about it.

You also have a song called Beckett for your son, but have you written a song for every one of your kids?

Baylor has one that hasn’t been released yet and I just wrote one about Loxley, so it might go on the next 8-track.

Tell us about working with Kylie Morgan on the song Cuss A Little.

I love Kylie and I love writing with her because she will write songs of a deeper nature. That song was her idea; I am so proud of it and that it’s on her project – and I am proud of her. She and I have known each other for quite a while and she has worked hard for this.

Thanks so much for chatting today.

Thank you – I appreciate you coming.

Listen to boom. Here

Purchase boom. Here

 

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