Tell us about yourself. Where are you from originally? How did you get to where you are today?
I come form a small town in northern Florida on the Georgia boarder, Havana, a town that looks like it’s been thrown back to the 20′s or 30′s with tumbleweed blowin’ through the streets. I moved around a bit as a teenager and ended up in New York. I got a job washing the dishes and would play back-up guitar in bands at night, so I kind of put myself in places where I could work on what I really wanted to do.
Was music your first love, or did you dabble in other arts first?
Yes, definitely my first love. As a kid I would actually pretend I was sick all of the time, and stay home from school and listen to music in my room over and over again, and look at the credits, like who produced what, where was it recorded, just kind of funny looking back, since I was only 8 and I should’ve been in school, but I guess I had something else to learn.
Just as authors are influenced by other writers, musicians are often influenced by other musicians. Who are your musical influences?
Well from the beginning, I was really influenced by the Beatles and also 80′s rock and roll music, like Billy Joel, The Clash, Steve Miller, and a lot o 90′s artists too like, Nirvana. I play piano too, so I love Beethoven and a lot of classical composers too.
Even the greatest songwriters begin by playing other people’s music. Is there a song you’ve covered that you’re especially fond of? Is there a song you’d love to cover, but haven’t?
Hmm… that’s interesting. You know, I very rarely play covers, only because I feel nobody sings it better than the songwriter who sang it originally. But if there is one that I’d like to redo, it would be Piano Man on guitar.
Especially for newer artists, touring is an important part of building a career. Do you enjoy life on the road? What aspect of it most appeals to you?
When you’re on the road, you get to pick up the different flavors of the towns you’re in, the local happenings of the people who live there and it’s very inspirational. I can get a lot of songs written out of traveling. It’s something about driving into a new city or town from a long way, kind of like in the Wizard of Oz when you see the town or city from a distance, and you don’t know what to expect when you get there.
At some point in their careers almost every musician finds themselves collaborating with another. Who would you like to collaborate with, and why?
There are so many people I’d like to collaborate with. I’ve always admired Lionel Richie’s work because it’s so smooth and heartfelt. I think Jason Mraz would be fun to work because the music could take on a lot of different shapes.
Confession time: when you’re NOT working on your own stuff, what tunes are cranking out of your iPod? Give us your top five?
Well this always changes, but at the moment now that I’m looking at it, the theme song from Cats is here, (Just kidding)
- Just what I Needed by The Cars?
- Rock the Casbah by the Clash
- Piano Man by Billy Joel
- Devil Went Down to Georgia by Charlie Daniels Band
- Hello by Lionel Richie
Please tell us your latest album.
My new album, Honest Love is available on iTunes, and many more music retailers worldwide. I just shot the Honest Love video in Chicago which will be coming out at the end of this month, and I’m playing a Live radio show in Times Square NYC on November 29th with The Real Radio Show. I’ll be doing my Honest Love tour next year, so check my websites for updates: www.myspace.com/brimackey, www.brianmackeymusic.com and if you are on Facebook, www.facebook.com/brianmackeymusic.