Here’s to the good ole’ boys.  The boys that aren’t too busy to stop by Mama’s kitchen for some good fried chicken, and then off to create some porch pickin memories.  Yet, something gives me the feeling that it would be a bad day if you were to bump Mama’s car in a local parking lot.  Check out what Hick’s had to say during our interview.

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT WHERE YOU ARE FROM.
Born and raised in Helsingborg, a small town in the southern part of Sweden. I packed my stuff and moved to StockholmSweden, fifteen years ago. Right now I live in the outskirts of Stockholm. It’s near the woods and by the sea.

“I’m a nature guy. I Love being outdoors.”

WHEN DID YOU START PERFORMING MUSIC?
Mom told me that when I was two years old, I stood there in my diapers and used my grandpa’s big shoehorn as a guitar and played air guitar to Hank, Johnny Cash,

Jim Reeves… Mom, dadgrandpa, and grandma all said he’s going to be a musician. And they were right.
I did my first professional gig when I was twelve, playing bass in a rock band. It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever done. I was able to play music in front of lots of fans, and somebody paid me to do it. I mean what can be better than that…

“Somebody paid me to do it.” “I mean what can be better than that.”

WHICH INSTRUMENTS ARE YOU MOST PROFICIENT WITH?
My voice… I usually don’t use any instruments when I start out writing a song. I write it in my head first. Then, when I think I have something that sounds like a song I pick up my guitar and put chords to it. So it would be my voice first and after that it’s my guitar…DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC INTERESTS AND ABILITIES.

I’m passionate about my music. It is who I am. I’m also a sucker for great songs. I don’t care so much about the genre as long as it’s a great song. Of course country music is closest to my heart. However, I can get goosebumps from a rock or pop song that is well written. I think my strength comes from writing. Then it would be performing.

“I love to throw a big party on stage and invite everybody in the crowd.”  “A Hicks show is full of energy and power.”

WHAT FAMOUS MUSICIANS INSPIRE YOU?

There are so many…

I’m a huge Brooks and Dunn fan. I love that they are back together doing shows with Reba in Las Vegas. I know they say it’s not a reunion, but we can always hope. Eric Church, to me he’s a true outlaw.  He does it on his own terms. Going against the grain… And he always has something to say. I Love that!

The songwriting was phenomenal with Sammy Hagar, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi. & Johnny CashNAME YOUR BEST MUSICAL MEMORY GROWING UP OR PROFESSIONALLY.

Like I said before, my first professional gig when I was twelve was amazing. But I must say the first gig we did with my band in France was really mind blowing. 18 000 fans screaming, singing and partying along with us, that was just off the hook. I didn’t know that we had that kind of following in France. It really caught me by surprise. And what a great start for me as an artist, as well as us as a band. We played so many encores that we ran out of songs. Thankfully, the crowd didn’t mind that we had to play some of our songs twice;

“Everybody just wanted to party on and have a good time.”

Being invited by CMA to play at CMA Fest representing Sweden was really special. It was a huge honor…

Getting a standing ovation playing at the British CMA in London last year was awesome!!! We even had the chance to share the stage with Steve Wariner, Katy Armiger and many more…

I’d say that the one thing that stands out the most is winning;

“Best European Country Act Of The Year”

At The British CMA of 2013.

DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING NEW IN THE WORKS?
I’m going back to Nashville on the 21st of February to attend the CRS week. I’m planning on doing some songwriting and interviews while I’m there. Then, later this spring I’m going on a UK Tour from the south of England to the north of Scotland. Then I’m off to my hometown for two or three shows I’m not sure yet how many it’s going to be. We are coming back to the US in the fall for some shows in Nashville, Kentucky and Alabama.

Right now I’m in the studio working on my upcoming album. I thought it was done, but when my producer and I sat down we had the chance to really listened to it, and found out that a couple of songs were missing.

“I’m going to write some new ones in Nashville every chance I get.”

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO PLUG?

Country radio in general for playing my songs all over the world.  I’d also like to shout out CMA Fest in Nashville, and The British CMA.

HOW DO YOU BALANCE YOUR MUSIC WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS?

That’s tough. But I’ve learned to be effective. If I have five minutes left over I don’t sit down and watch TV. I try to answer a mail or make a phone call. Maybe take a quick look at a lyric or try a new melody…

When I am with my family I try to be with my family and when I work I work. So I don’t have my mind on work when we are playing soccer and vice versa…

DO YOU GET NERVOUS BEFORE A PERFORMANCE?
Usually not… I love to perform so much that I usually don’t get nervous. I always want to perform at the top of my ability (who doesn’t). So I’m usually focused and psyched.DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR ARTISTS WHO ARE JUST STARTING OUT?

Stay true to who you are. Don’t listen to haters and naysayers. Be inspired by others but find your own sound. So that when somebody hears your song they know immediately that it is you. Never give up, and follow that dream no matter what.

HOW MIGHT YOU HANDLE MISTAKES ON THE BIG STAGE?
Laugh at it.

And sometimes it can be really funny to comment on it. Make a thing out of it. Don’t let it become something dramatic. Try to get the crowd to laugh at it as well. And maybe pick up on it again a few songs later…WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST SUPPORTER?

Mom!!!  And my childhood buddy Bengt Streuli

WHAT IS YOUR MOST FAVORITE SONG TO PERFORM AND WHY?

It’s a toss-up between Hayride and Mamas Kitchen. Both are really huge crowd pleasers. They’re easy to sing along to. It’s just a bonus that they are my biggest hits so far. It’s great to see the reaction when the riff starts in both songs, and their hands fly up in the air as they all sing along.

“It’s a radical feeling.”

WHERE MIGHT WE FOLLOW YOUR CAREER?

That’s simple, at my brand new website – www.hickscountry.com

TELL US ABOUT YOUR VIDEO YOU’RE SHARING WITH US.

“Mama’s Kitchen”
It’s a tribute song to Mom. Me and my brother, we travel the world in our different lines of work and we don’t get to see each other that often.  It’s a blessing we always meet up in Mama’s Kitchen to tell our stories, tease each other, eat, hang out, and just be family.

“We always come back to Mamas Kitchen”
_Swopping lines laughing bitchin’_
_Catchin’ up what goes on in our lives_
_Plenty of love in Mams Kitchen_
_Ice cold beer and deep fried chicken_
_Southern food for body heart soul and mind_
_In Mamas Kitchen_

“Hayride”
We shot this video in -16 C (-3 F). It was so freakin’ cold that if you look real carefully you can see that we all have that pig pink color on our skin because we froze so much. But we had a lot of fun… And I think that comes across when you watch the video.


About Johnny Naylor:
author-naylor-smJohnny Naylor is the founder and owner of 1st Shot Music and a feature writer for Jammerzine. His work can also be found on 1st Shot Music and Naylor’s Notes. You can also get his latest updates on his facebook page.
 

 

 

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