Q&A: Chart-topping artist to perform in College Station
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The College Station dance hall Hurricane Harry’s is playing host to a chart-topping Texas country music band Friday night. Having originated in Fort Worth, the Casey Donahew Band has always remained close to home. Battalion life and arts reporter Mayson Shelton spoke to Casey Donahew, the lead vocalist, to discuss his rise to success.
THE BATTALION: How has your career evolved since you started off at the Thirsty Armadillo in Fort Worth?
DONAHEW: Oh wow. It is definitely busier and busier. Back then you didn’t think you could play music for a living. When you do play for a living with a family that depend on you, it’s a lot more work and it’s a lot more stress than it was then.
BATTALION: What has been the highlight of your career?
DONAHEW: We’ve had a lot of fantastic moments. I never thought we’d make it this far. We have played in three different countries and we’ve sold out Billy Bob’s. Selling out Billy Bob’s and playing Red Rock are probably the best things.
BATTALION: What has been the most surprising part of becoming a chart-topping musician?
DONAHEW: The most surprising thing is watching how Texas music has gone all over. People show up and sing along.
BATTALION: How would you describe the feelings you have while on stage performing?
DONAHEW: People glamorize what we do. They think it’s just a big party and the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, but actually we are probably some of the most boring guys out here. It’s a lot of bad food, bad hotel rooms. It’s all about getting on stage, that’s why we do this. That’s why I do it. As people sing along with our songs, all the bad stuff goes away. If you don’t want to play music on stage, it’s not going to work out.
BATTALION: Did going to school at Texas A&M influence your dream of becoming a musician and how did it affect your career?
DONAHEW: There’s definitely some Texas country history. It was really the first place I started to play guitar and started to song-write. It’s a huge part of who I am and where I come from.
BATTALION: What do you love about playing for students?
DONAHEW: That’s definitely our wheelhouse and the demographic we are trying to appeal to. I wrote a couple of songs we still play that I wrote while I was in college and that was a big part of my life. I love coming to college towns. It brings back the memories.
BATTALION: What do you hope to bring to your show at Harry’s on Friday night?
DONAHEW: We just recorded a new record and we are going to play some of those songs, test them out. We are going to do what we’ve always done — get on the stage, have a good time, and get the crowd involved.
BATTALION: I heard you are about to release a new album. What personal motivations would you say has influenced your new music
DONAHEW: I would say that I’m always evolving, trying to become a better musician, a better songwriter. I always try to do a little bit of everything on every record. One thing that I think is different on this record is that I’m cheerful. Not that I’m in a bad mood at other times, but I feel like I’m in a good spot in my life and I think that shines out in this record a little bit.