Walker McGuire are the hottest duo in country music at the moment. The pair,Jordan Walker and Johnny McGuire recently released their debut self-titled EP to major critical and chart success and their popularity is continuing to soar each day.
Here we speak exclusively to the Nashville band about their first EP, touring plans, 2018 goals and more;
You recently released your new EP – how excited are by the response?
We’re really excited! You know it got up to number two on iTunes Country [chart]. We couldn’t get past [Chris] Stapleton, but not many people can these days…haha So it was a really exciting week for us and it’s cool because now we have people that at least know five songs and go to a live show and we like to say the five songs are there are ones we picked because of the response they usually get at the live show. Those five songs are old and new. We wrote some of those right when we started the band four years ago, and some of them like “Mysteries of the World” and “Lost” are a little bit more recent. We thought it gave a feel to the audience of who we are and it’s really cool now because when we are at shows we actually have hard CDs to sell and they’ve been selling really well. It seems like that’s one thing that’s gonna help our audience grow is getting hard copies out to where people can play them in their car and share them with their friends so it’s a pretty exciting time for us.
So talking about your music, how would you describe your sound in 3 words?
Jordan: Lyrical, harmony,
Johnny: And organic…
Jordan: So, it’s healthy?
Johnny: Yeah, you can get it at Whole Foods. hahaha
When you were growing up who inspired your love of country music?
Jordan: My number one is is Keith Whitley for sure. To me, he had the most incredible songs and his voice was my favourite country voice of all time. So, guys like him and anybody really from the 90’s.
Johnny: Yeah I grew up listening to more rock n’ roll. So, Tom Petty who does have that Heartland Country influence in there, but I guess the more country side would have been my folk side. Like John Prine, Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam. Funny enough, I actually ran into John Prine on Sunday at the grocery store, it was crazy! I moved here loving his music and six years after the move I finally ran into him at the grocery store. So, you just never know when you are going to meet your influences. But you know that’s kinda what I think makes our sound cool. We have two really different and distinct influences that have shaped our sound.
How do you feel your style fits into the current country scene?
The current country scene is really built on a good live show. A lot of the artists that are blowing up now really put on a great live show and it’s awesome to see that aspect of country music take off. I think for us, we just wanna write good songs. We want to be able to say at the end of the day that, that we love these songs for what they are lyrically and you know Mickey Jack Cones (our producer) does a great job producing them up to where they sound incredible live. We’ve kind of found a niche, we are doing our own thing, but a lot of people are turning their heads so it seems like everything is moving in the right direction.
Talking of playing live, Do you have any touring plans lined up?
We just finished a little run with Lee Brice and we are really excited to play with Granger Smith in my old college town in Lawrence Kansas and it’ll be a really fun show. And we’re gonna be hitting the road in the North East with Drew Baldridge, great guy, we’ve played some shows with him and his band. We’re really looking forward to the spring.
With the EP doing so well, do you have any plans to release an album soon?
Absolutely. We’ve recorded a number of songs that make a full record, we just don’t know if we’re done yet or not. We plan on putting out something later this year around late summer or early fall. Right now we are focused on the new single “Lost,” this EP, and just growing our audience so that when we do release that full record, we can beat Stapleton…hahaha
What’s your personal favourite track off the EP?
Jordan: I think I speak for both of us when I say “Mysteries of the World.” As far as lyrical content, that one is our favourite songs we’ve written together. As far as musically, I would say “18 Forever.” I just love the old school rock n’ roll feel it has live.
Johnny: Same. We’re also really excited about “Lost” right now. “Til Tomorrow” was our first top 40 hit, but “Lost” was always that second single that we were excited to release to Country Radio.
What do you hope listeners take from your music?
Man, we just hope to get an emotion out of em! To us, that’s what music does. It makes you smile, cry laugh, love us, or maybe hate us. Haha. As long as you react in some way, we did our job. We just want people to walk away with a smile on their faces and want to come back and see us again.
What has inspired the songs on the EP?
You know, real life experiences. Things we know, things we heard people say, and just stories from our past. It’s kind of a different style every time we go in and write. It really could be any influence. On the EP there’s “Best Kind of Bad” where we both sing a little bit of the lead on it and, like Jordan said earlier, it encompasses who we are. We felt these five songs are the best picture of who we are and to be our introduction to the fans.
So, what are your 2018 career goals?
Tour, tour, tour. We want to see the whole country and get a number one song. Go out there and put out something that we believe in, that radio believes in, and grabs a hold of it. We’re hopeful “Lost” will do that. It’s just getting out there and meeting every single person we can. We go out to the merch booth every night after our shows. We wanna meet everybody. We’re new guys here so showing face is everything.
Make sure you follow Walker McGuire on Twitter @walkermcguire to keep up to date with all their latest music and tour news!
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