We had the opportunity to catch up with Matt Stillwell who just released his re-packaged & re-mastered album entitled Shine Deluxe. Matt took some time to answer questions from us as well as his fans. He is not only a very talented artist, but has a fantastic personality!!
CMR: Congratulations on the release of your album Shine Deluxe which includes your new songs Drunk Enough, Dirt Road Dancing Remix featuring Colt Ford, and If I Can’t Have You. What did you do to celebrate your album release?
MS: Lol! I sent text messages to all of my friends forcing them to download the album! No celebration yet!
CMR: What was your favorite part of making the Dirt Road Dancing video?
MS: I liked dressing up and dancing, but mainly I loved watching Meatball (guitar player) squeeze out from behind that tree. It was actually a large redwood and he made it look like a twig!
CMR: You are performing at the signature event Aquapalooza this year, how excited are you for this event?
MS: Absolutely! I’ll be part of the Brad Paisley H2O Tour and that is awesome! Not many independent artists get that opportunity. Sea Ray has been great to me and this event is a blast every year!
CMR: You have an annual festival during the summer called Stillwell Shinefest , tell us a little bit about this festival.
MS: This will be the 3rd Annual Stillwell Shinefest (Aug 13 and 14 at Fontana Village Resort). We created the festival around the filming on my Shine video and decided to do it every year. Last year we over tripled the attendance and we are expecting a lot more than that this year. I like it because its completely secluded, you can use cell phones, you can have a great time and then sleep right there, you get to hang with the fans and artists just like you were at a backyard bbq, and its an absolute blast!
CMR: Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
MS: I grew up around Southern Gospel, Bluegrass and Older Country, but what really got me going was Clint Black’s Killing Time album. It was around my freshman year in high school and we wore that album out in the football locker room. Diamond Rio’s “Meet In The Middle” was another song that really got me into singing. From there I started to study a lot of the older artist and Merle Haggard and Keith Whitley have really influenced me. Even if it’s just me striving to be as good as they are. Of course that will never happen but its something to shoot for. Ryan Adams is a songwriter that just floors me with some of his stuff and Vince Gill to me is basically musical perfection. I also learn a lot from the guys I write with and work with creatively. Lynn Hutton and Mickey Jack Cones. They are both incredible and have helped me shape my sound and my career.
CMR: What is one of your favorite songs that has been a big inspiration in who you are today?MS: Wow! There are a lot. “Oh My Sweet Carolina” (Ryan Adams and on my Shine Deluxe Album) I think is my theme song. If I were walking around that would be playing in the jam box I was carrying on my shoulder. “These Boots” and “Sinner’s Like Me” by Eric Church are pretty close to that for me as well. I hope that there are songs of mine that speak as clearly to other people as those songs have spoken to me. “On My Own”, “Take It All In”, “Heroes And Men” and “Trying To Get To Heaven” are songs that I’ve written that basically say who I am. They are on my “Take It All In” album.
CMR: You are a talented writer and wrote 5 of the songs on your album Shine. If you could pen a song and record it with an artist of your choice, who would you choose and why?
MS: Eric Church. I think that we see things the same way or at least similar. We come from the same area. He is a writer first so I know we would get a great song out of it.
CMR: Now for some fun!! Here are 5 quick questions for you to give quick answers to using the first thing you think of:
1)You can’t go a day without….?A great bowel movement.
2) Favorite thing to do when hanging out with friends….? Laugh, eat and drink cold beer.
3) Before A Show You Always….? Sleep, stretch, do crazy breathing exercises, scream, and take a shot of moonshine. true
4) Your idea of relaxing is….? Sleeping on my couch in cold AC
5) By next year at this time you hope to be….? Still alive, finishing my next album, playing in front of a lot more people, and loving what I do as much as I do now!
CMR: Here are some questions that your fans submitted to us:
CMR: Janice from Nashville asked: If you won the lottery or had a wish granted, what would you buy or wish for first?
MS: I would use the money to pay off all my stuff, my family’s stuff, and then fund my career so that my music gets exposed to as many people as possible. I would also build a ridiculous house just because I could!
CMR: Melissa from Chicago wants to know if you play any other instruments besides the guitar? MS: I’ve had some piano lessons but all I can play is the beginning to “Lean On Me”. So no
CMR: Stephanie from Kentucky wants to know if you are single and what qualities you look for in a girl?
MS: I am single. Someone who is independent and shares the same level of passion for what they do as do for what I do. Plus she will have to make me really really really….ya know :)
CMR: Cassidy from San Antonio wants to know if you like to read and if so what are you currently reading?
MS: I do like to read. Sadly the last thing I fully read was Angels & Demons. It was way better than the movie. Oh wait, I’m currently reading a book that was written about my college baseball coach Keith LeClaire. Its called “Coaching Third”. He was a great great man!
CMR: Here is a very popular question from fans based off your song Dirt Road Dancing: Kelly from Hawaii, Shannon from Huntington Beach, Janice from Nashville, and Denna from Pennsylvania All want to know: Are you a good dancer???
MS: Oh I can shake it with the best of them. Now I’m not formally trained so I can’t do all that BS that you see on the dancing reality shows but I can dance. Yes.
CMR: Thank you so much for taking the time to interview with us Matt, we certainly appreciate it.
MS: Thank you for supporting me and getting the fans involved. That is truly the reason I love what I do. Being able to meet everyone and help them have a great time at a show, or use my songs to help them smile, cry, whatever. CMR Rocks! Shine On!
Matt’s album is available now on iTunes, click HERE to download. Plus stay tuned, we will have a Matt Stillwell prize pack coming soon!!!