Matt Hires is the same on stage at Caf’eacute; 939 as he was earlier in the evening’ when The MUSE sat down to talk with him – a quiet, regular guy. His acoustic set lasts about 20 minutes, playing songs from his album Take Us to the Start, opening with ‘Your Are My Sunshine,’ as he does every show.
‘I kind of like opening with it and because most of the time I’m opening up for other people and the majority of the crowd doesn’t know who I am, it’s just kind of a good song that everybody knows to start out with and it gets people’s attention, and I like the song,’ he said.
Before Hires scored a record deal with F-Stop Records, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records, he lived in Tampa, playing with his band, Brer and working at a cabinet shop.
‘I worked there for eight years. And I guess it was last year that I stopped,’ he said. ‘I was able to play music full time, which is awesome, that was a good change.’
Hires left Brer after a representative from Atlantic Records contacted him via MySpace.
‘It was kind of at a weird time in the band’s life; we had just let our bass player go, and we were kind of unsure about our future when an A&R person from Atlantic [contacted me] and he wanted to come down and hear some songs.’
During his show, Hires is seemingly shy talking to the audience, but asks them to whistle along during, ‘Out of the Dark.’?Hires’ sound is very genuine and fresh; the show sounds as clean as the studio album
‘Most of the touring I’ve been doing lately I’ve been playing by myself,’ he said.
At the intimate 939 show, Hires plays a combination of songs from when he was writing for Brer, like ‘Honey Let Me Sing You a Song,’ and some from his new record.
‘A lot of my songs are, even though sometimes they seem like they’re about one thing, they’re about kind of different things, so most of them aren’t really streamlined,’ he said. ‘Lots of them I’m still trying to figure out what they’re about; they just kind of became what they wanted to be and you kind of just figure out what they’re about as you go along.’