BT: Hayes, thanks for your time today. What has this year been like for you?
HC: It's been a busy one - our record came out in April. We spent the month before the record came out in Canada and we've been touring pretty much ever since. We did a month in Europe and toured with the Old 97s and we just got back from the West Coast. We've been hitting it pretty hard.
BT: Your new CD, Trouble In Mind, has been received very well. If you will, talk about writing and recording for the album.
HC: It's my third record and I think we're heading in the right direction. When I signed on with Lost Highway, I really didn't have any of it written. I had a record contract and no songs to record a record with. Some [songs] were from ideas and lines that had been floating around for a while that I ended up working into songs. Three of the songs were written while we were recording the record. I had a bunch of great musicians coming in every day and it was a fun way to make music.
BT: You seem to be in some impressive - and diverse - company as a member of the Lost Highway Records roster.
HC: I've been really happy with it. I did my last record independently and I was scared to sign with a label. But Lost Highway was the one at the top of my list and they had three or four of my musical heroes in there - Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Lucinda Williams and Elvis Costello. It was a place that got what I was trying to do and wasn't going to try to change it in any way.
BT: How do you feel about the role of technology in music? Some artists tell me it's great that you can be found so easily and others tell me it has created over-saturation.
HC: It's probably some of both. On one hand, I look at it from the record label side and it's a hard time and they can't follow the model they used to - it's not just put a record out, put it in the store and sell it. There are 100 ways to do it now - from that perspective, it's tougher. But from the independent viewpoint, it's exciting that there are a lot of new ways. Before it was CMT, MTV and a record store and now people can find you on Facebook, Myspace, iTunes and satellite radio. You can find the kind of music you like wherever you are. Even if you live in the sticks, you can find out about it and you couldn't in the past.
BT: You're following in some impressive footsteps as a Texas singer-songwriter. Have you been able to meet some of the legends from your home state?
HC: I grew up - and was heavily influenced - by a lot of these guys. I've gotten to meet and occasionally tour with a lot of the guys I looked up to when I started. To write with Guy Clark and Ray Wiley Hubbard and tour with Billy Joe Shaver is quite a perk. You don't get used to Guy Clark asking, "What do you think about this line?"
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