Matt Hires was an unfamiliar name to me, but you may recognize his music from his vast array of songs featured in shows and movies such as Private Practice, Cougar Town, Life Unexpected, and When in Rome. Only 25 years old, he already has been in the music business for years, starting with the band Brer and now as a solo artist. “In a band there is more creative input, but I find being a solo artist to be easier,” says Hires.
Raised in Tampa, Hires was homeschooled in his young life. “It was good for me, I did a lot of field trips and even though I sometimes wanted to be with my friends, I was able to learn well,” he said.
Hires has many inspirations, ranging from artists like Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Ryan Adams and Wilco, to books by F. Scott Fitzgerald and other literature. His favorite book is Lord of the Flies, which he says is a “cool look on human nature.” He also was a big fan of punk and emo music as a teenager. It is these various influences that give him an eclectic sound, a mix of Jason Mraz and Mumford and Sons.
Although he has now been playing shows for years, each performance means something to him, particularly his first major concert.
“I opened for Brooke Frasier at the L-Ray in L.A. and it was a sold out show, with about a thousand people. It was my first big, real show.” Whenever he performs, Hires has a mentality he always tries to stick with: “I always worry about remembering all the songs and not screwing up, and I always try to play like it’s my first time with the songs, because the audience can tell. I want to stay fresh.”
Hires certainly stayed fresh at his recent show at The Social on Sept. 3. He played some new tracks from his new EP A to B, along with some old favorites like “Honey Let me Sing you a Song.”
The show was a combination of chill acoustic numbers and more upbeat rock songs, like his new song “Rock ‘n’ Roll Heart.” He also covered The Beatles’ tune, “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away.” Hires had a great vibe with the audience and I left impressed and a new fan.
Not only would I go back to see him again, I would go back to see other artists at The Social as well. It was a very small concert hall that that puts the audience in close proximity to the artist playing.
As for Matt Hires, he has no plans of taking a break from the music business anytime soon. His recent show at The Social was just the first of his tour, Statesline Part Two. On his next album he would like to have more rock-influence, but only time will tell. As with many musicians, his goal is to eventually play bigger venues and create many more records. Check out www.matthiresmusic.com for more tour dates and all things Matt Hires.