This Monday we have a special treat for you, as we have got the chance to talk to an up coming country music star. Meet Mendon Hale, a name that is a combination of two towns in Missouri Mendon and Hale which are to the east and west of his hometown of Sumner. You may recognise Mendon as he was the lead singer of Zebrahead for many years however now a new chapter has begun with some fantastic songs already under his belt such as Gravel Roads, Cheap and the brand new single All The Way To The Bank. I was very excited to be able to talk to Mendon as the new EP is just around the corner and is set to be released in July.
Hello Mendon Hale great to meet you! How are you doing today?
Hello! I’m doing super, although it’s a rainy day here in Missouri USA.
How did you originally get into music?
I always loved music from the time I can remember, and my mom would always play the piano around Christmas time and my dad taught me some basic chords on the guitar. I guess it just took off from there.
Tell us all about your style of music?
I think it’s a hybrid style of traditional American country music, mixed with the energy of classic rock.
Who do you find inspirations?
I just love listening to a lot of classic country music from the 70’s-90’s. Then when I need a boost of energy, I listen to some old rock and roll.
You have just released a brand new single as well! Tell us about All The Way To The Bank?
“All the Way to the Bank” is a fun song about a breakup, but instead of being sad and lonely, you use that as inspiration to turn your life around and make a boatload of money!
How long did it take to write?
This song was written by my buddy and producer, Marshall Altman, along with the incredibly talented Lance Carpenter and Adam Sanders. The song was brought to me by Marshall and I had to record it because of my own breakup with my ex-wife.
Tell us about the music video as well! It looks like it was fun to film!
The music video was a blast to make and it was right near the town where I’m currently living. The video was filmed and directed by Simon Clark, who is extremely talented behind the camera. There was a lake house, pontoon boat, a dog, beer, whiskey, an ATV and a river…who wouldn’t have fun filming it??
You also have an EP coming out soon as well tell us about that?
Yeah! The EP is entitled “Hand on the Heartland”, and it comes out in July. It includes 6 songs and I’m really excited to release it and start touring for it!
What is your favourite track off of it?
It’s hard to pick a favorite track, but if I had to, it would be this song called “Raising Humans”, which is a song about a dog!
Have you managed to do any live shows yet, if not what are you looking forward to most about them?
The first show is on July 25th out in Nashville, and that’s when the shows start. I’m excited to get the first one out of the way so I can continue to tour the rest of the year.
You have been in quite big bands before becoming a country music musician , do you think it will be more nerve-racking being on stage on your own?
Actually, I will have a full band behind me and we will have plenty of rehearsals before the shows start. Any show that I do where it’s just me acoustically, are a little more nerve-racking because there’s no one else to look at!
Now, we have to talk about your adorable dog Sophie Jo – i bet she is your number one fan when it comes to your music?
She is an adorable, sweet girl!!! Definitely my number one fan, but she’s sick of hearing me play and sing all day long!
How have you been keeping creative during lockdown / a global pandemic?
Yeah the pandemic has been tough staying creative, but I actually have been working on writing 25 songs the NEXT album!
Will you be doing any shows in the UK in the near future?
That’s something that I haven’t considered, as I’m not sure how popular American country music is over there, BUT, I will never rule anything out and I personally would love to be back over there at some point!
Our site also is also about improv – in a music sense, what have been some of your favorite improvised melodies that you have created for this EP and why?
It’s never a question of why…because the way I see it, if something just happens, it just happens ‘magically’ without reason. You know…those little spur of the moment changes or bends that you do subconsciously…I think a lot of those occurred early in the writing process.
And finally, why should people check out your music?
If you are a fan of American country music and are looking for something a little different, then check me out and see if it’s right for you! It’s fun, energetic and goes well with a beer!