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Alex Hayes|Saturday, Feb. 11

Orlando-Based Country Artist, Alex Hayes, has played with many popular acts and has performed at various local venues throughout the area. Alex has also won the Battle of the Bands, twice with 2 different bands. I had the opportunity to interview this up and coming country artist, Alex Hayes.

Alex had first started out as a drummer at the age of 5 years old. When he started playing guitar he stated, “I’ve only been playing guitar for maybe 5 or 6 years.” So being a musician has come naturally to him. Considering he had been a drummer most of his life, it’s hard to believe that he has only been playing guitar for such a short time. Back in the late 1980’s, he started watching a lot of MTV. One of the guys that inspired Hayes to sing was Rick Springfield and he thought, “he was the coolest cat, cause he had some cool music; and he got all the chicks. I was like man that dude must have it going on!” And the other guy was Sammy Hagar. When he saw him playing guitar and being out-front singing, He thought, “I love playing the drums, but I want to get a little bit more glory and get to express myself a little bit more.” But like everything else, learning to play the guitar was difficult in the very beginning. “Playing guitar was frustration for me, you start bending your fingers in 50 million different directions and your fingers hurt. And you’re like the heck with this, I’m never gonna get this.” But when you listen to Alex play, you will be able to tell his will to learn overcame his frustration.

When asked who and what inspires him to write, he replied, “I think you know even from the very beginning. When I started writing, it was a lot of live situations and mainly believe it or not, was a lot of things in the past. About relationships and stuff, you know. Mostly bad relationships and failed relationships. I started writing a lot, but now I think more so in general. I think about life and a lot of positive things in my life. I like to write about things that are meaningful and fun to people, that is what inspires me to write now more than anything, not so much negative. If I write about relationships, it’s about great things that happen in peoples relationships.” One of his most personal songs, is a song written for his best friend and grandfather, who has since passed away last year at the age of 94 years old. The song is titled, “I wish he was still here with me to sing a song.”

Alex states, he has not yet released it and will probably release it on the next CD. They have just started pre-production on the next album. His grandfather was his best friend his whole life. And Alex spent a lot of years since he was a little boy hanging out with him. To this day, he misses him.” So he is the one that is very special to me.” I asked him if it would be hard to sing that song without getting emotional. His response was, “You know for a lot of people it’s kind of hard to sing certain songs like that, but for me, I don’t know maybe it will sink in one day if I have to play it in front of a lot of people. If a lot of people get into it, it may be a very emotional moment, but for me it’s kind of a good feeling you know. It’s almost like I’m bringing him to life when I sing that song. And I don’t have any regrets, and like I said, I spent a long life time with him, even in his last days of life. He lived a full life and got his fair share.”

Alex’s biggest accomplishment to date musically was back from 1999-2003 or 2004, when he was able to be part of a band (named NSB) the Not So Boy Band. And being able to be involved in production and writing of a lot of material, which some of these songs were played on the radio. One of the tours they did was The Pop Odyssey Tour with N’SYNC. They were playing every single night in front of 54,000-60,000 people on average, and for him to reach that point and time, he was able to sit with some of these big producers and these studios. And to be part of the production and putting it together. “It was an incredible feeling!”

When N’SYNC separated and Justin Timberlake went solo, Alex had to reinvent himself and a friend of his suggested country. And since some of Alex's favorite bands were the Kentucky Headhunters and Little Texas, because they had a little bit of rock too. What also inspired him to go more country was while watching a concert on the Sunset Strip in California and it was Rascal Flatts at the House of Blues, and it hit him. “These guys kick butt, they are a rock/pop band and had great vocals with that country flare, so he recorded it and watched it over and over, and began writing and recording. Alex began to watch CMT which at that time. Keith Urban started to get popular and many other artists, like Shania Twain. which opened the doors for country music mixed with pop rock. That’s when he decided this is where he fits in.

This is where he began and where he is right now. His goals are to make sure his fans are happy and to leave his shows saying that was a great performance, and they want to come back to see him play. He also would like to write more music for himself and other artists. If you are ever in the Florida area and want to listen to some great country music with a hint of rock, then be sure to look up the Alex Hayes Band. Alex calls it, “Country, Hayes Style.”

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