This week I am pleased to introduce you to a great group out of South Texas. I don't know what it is about that region but my love for the talent goes all the way back to the early 1980s with James and Michael Younger before I even knew about South Texas.
This week, Matt and the Herdsmen join us. Guys, thanks for stopping by Kelly's Country.
Let's open the chute...
Let's open the chute...
I did a little research and saw that you all have (as of 2016) jobs outside of the group. Are any of you still doing the ‘day job’ and how do you balance the day job with making the strides you have in the past couple of years?
We sure do. I always tell my guys – “Don’t quit your day job just yet.” Beto (lead guitar) is a Physical Therapy Tech, Ruben (drummer) is a farmer, Marco (bass) plays random gigs during the week, and I still substitute for the Edinburg School District.
I believe the reason why we can balance it is because we communicate so well with each other. Google Calendar works wonders and helps plan ahead on upcoming shows and what not.
Matt, you seem to be the driving force behind everything. You are the business manager for the group, which covers a multitude of tasks. If you could share one secret for doing what you do (from the business end) what would you tell other bands to really pay attention to?
In any business, I believe it starts with great time management, then goes further in to having goals and where you see your band in three months, a year, etc. Social Media is key and it’s important that you keep up with what’s going on.
In an interview with The Rider (2016) Matt, you were quoted as saying ‘You gravitate to who you look up to…’ So let’s hear from the other guys. Who have you looked up to what brought you here?
Ruben: George Strait. Randy Travis. Chicago. Eagles. Alabama. Selena.
There's just too many to list. lol
Beto: Bread, Alan Jackson, SRV, John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Creed, 3 Doors Down, Van Halen, Scorpions
I’ve always been attracted to music from Edinburg artists, clean back to the days of The Playboys of Edinburg. There seems to be something about The Valley, musically. A place where amazing music begins and grows before spreading out across the rest of the country. Do you think there is something special about The Valley that acts as an incubator for great music?
The music coming out of south Texas is something special. So many influences in music that shape your up bringing. We are inspired to write great songs and shine some light on our hometowns everywhere we perform.
With people like Dillon Steen and Ami Blackwell behind you, you’ve had a powerful start and come a long way very quickly in this business. What do you feel has been the one thing that has set you apart from others not moving as fast?
That a good question… I can’t really say what was the one thing we did. Part of it was hard work, trust in the process, the trust he band had in me, and playing anywhere they wanted us to.
At some point have you ever thought you needed to catch your breath? Or is your mind constantly spinning thinking ‘what do we do next to keep this momentum going’?
My mind is always trying to think of ideas, songs, social media content, everyday. I was hard on myself in the very beginning stages of my band and I guess now it’s something that’s become normal to me. Every now and then I’ll peek my head up for a quick breath and then back to grinding away.
What are some things you learned between Small Town Stories and Still Sane that you want to build on going into your next album?
Looking back on both albums, being so green to the business and songwriting, I now know what I’m looking for when I write and co-write. And lastly, where and who I want to produce my next album. I’m still TBA on the release date.
If any of you have children, feel free to speak up but this question is for Ruben. You have a 13-year old daughter. That has to be the toughest age for a girl. What is the one thing you hope she learns from you in regards to your life as a musician?
Life is gift and a privilege From God (Christianity belief). Learn from your mistakes, and seek God’s wisdom in your decisions because us, as humans, we will really never know what is best for us. So, trust the path that has been set out in front of you and fulfill it with your utmost passion. Drive the cars you want, eat the foods you want, do the things that you want to do in life and take responsibility for your actions.
But in all these things do so with Christ in your body, mind and soul. Because a life without God is meaningless. (Ecclesiastes). This is how I’m able to set up and tear down my drum set before and after each show...what makes me drive one more mile in our band van to our next show...and just try to be an overall helpful individual to family, friends and the community. So to my daughter, keep God in the middle of everything you do.
Tomorrow I'll do a 'throwback' post for their current album - STILL SANE. In the mean time, here's a video:
You can follow the guys on Social Media. They are especially active on Instagram. Come join us!