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Interview: Kameron Marlowe talks ‘We Were Cowboys’ & middle fingers to the music industry

With his ‘We Were Cowboys’ album, which was released last year, Kameron Marlowe made a powerful, rich sounding and authentic piece of modern Country music. Not bad for a boy that was selling car parts for General Motors just a few short years ago. An appearance on ‘The Voice’ ignited Marlowe’s music career and a debut album packed with a mix of hits and earthy, organic tracks has put Marlowe in good stead to go forward and create the name for himself in the industry that his voice and talents demand. We were thrilled to talk to him all about it at C2C in London recently.

Having interviewed Kameron twice before we didn’t want to delve too deep into his past but if you’d like to catch up with that, click the link to read our previous interviews.

Thrilled to finally catch up with you face to face Kameron after a couple of zoom calls before. How was the trip over to the UK?

We had a hell of a time trying to get over here! We had flight delays, flight cancellations and all that stuff. We missed getting to Glasgow which I was really sad about as I really wanted to play there. There was some sort of storm that came through Nashville that really ruined a few flights and we were one of them.

You finished our last interview by saying that one of your goals was to play live in the UK – so congratulations because you’ve achieved that now!

Thank you so much. It has not disappointed in any way! (laughing) The set at the Indigo I just played was breathtaking, I’m not gonna lie.

Were you nervous walking out on the Indigo stage for your first performance in the UK or is that sort of thing just water off a ducks back now?

I was a little nervous. I don’t play many shows just acoustic anymore, so I hadn’t done that in a long time. I’m usually running around on stage these days with the full band so I had to really dig back in and remember how to play my songs acoustically! (laughing)

It was really cool to be able to slow some of the more fast paced songs down a little and really create something of a more intimate atmosphere. You can really find the emotion and meaning in your songs when you play in that type of environment.

The album has been out a while now. Are there any songs resonating with people that you didn’t expect to see?

There’s a song called ‘Does it Have to Be Over’ that’s on the album that we’ve never really pushed or promoted too much that gets a really big reaction when we play it live.

Are there any hidden gems on the album that people like me aren’t asking you about? Songs that you really love that aren’t getting the attention that they deserve? I really love ‘Over Now’.

I think that one will get much more press going forward because that song is going to be our new focus track! We’re really going to stack some weight behind that one and give it a push in the next few weeks.

I love all my songs. My personal favourite from the album is ‘Running Out on You’. That’s just me, an acoustic guitar and a steel. It’s such an intimate song and the writing on it is incredible. When I first heard it I knew that I had to record it, it spoke to me about feelings that I had had before.

Were you surprised that you got a shout out request for ‘Granny’s Garden’ during your Indigo set earlier?

I was surprised! (laughing) And it was cool because we don’t hear that one shouted out too often to be honest. We play that one sometimes back at home, particularly when we are back home and my grandma is at the show! (laughing) It also depends on which state we are in, right?

You released ‘Take Me Home’ quite recently which seemed like a big middle finger up at the industry at a time when you shouldn’t be putting your finger up at the industry. What were the motivations behind that one?

(laughing) I was mad at that time, if I’m being completely honest. I was not happy with some things that were happening to me and decisions that were being made around me. I needed to get some things off my chest and I feel like the best person I can be is one who always tells the truth about the things I’m going through.

I wasn’t going after anybody in particular on that song but I needed to say some things. I’m a lot better now and not really worried anymore! (laughing)

When you took that to the label and said you wanted to put it out, what did they say?

We turned all the songs in that we had so they must have been OK with putting it out! (laughing)

What defines success for you at this stage of your career? Do you feel a pressure to provide more hits or are you happy making quality albums? Sometimes you can do both, some artists seem to do one or the other.

I don’t feel a pressure on the hits at all. I’ve never been that kind of person or artist. I’m happier chasing the art and digging into the lyrics and the music rather than the hits. I’m a songwriter at heart and that is what I care the most about. It’s more important to me to tell the truth, even on songs that I didn’t write, than it is to chase the hits.

I was out in Nashville for CMAFest last June. If you got chosen to play Nissan Stadium for one song this year, what song would you choose to play?

If it didn’t have to be a focus track or anything like that I think it would be kind of fun to play ‘Take Me Home’ in there! (laughing)

You’ve opened for the likes of Morgan Wallen and Luke Combs. Which artist that you’ve toured with has taught you the most about stage craft but also the most about how to treat the backstage crew as well?

Oh, the best artist I’ve toured with as far as personality and teaching me how to be a good human being on the road is easily Thomas Rhett. He’s absolutely one of the most stand up people I’ve ever met. He puts on an incredible show too and is such a good dude.

It was great being on tour with Morgan Wallen and HARDY too. HARDY is a stout live performer, man. So good. He really is incredible. The industry needs people like HARDY in it doing what they are doing.

When we spoke last you said your favourite song to play live was ‘Fool Me Again’. Is that still the case?

I know and I skipped it at the Indigo thinking I was over time and did not realise that I had five minutes more and could have played it! I think ‘Over Now’ with the full band has slowly become my favourite song to play live now. I need to come back to the UK and show you folks what a Kameron Marlowe full band show looks like.

You’ve played some great cover versions up on the live stages too. Johnny Cash, Big and Rich, Bon Jovi have all featured in your setlists. If you had to pick your favourite ever cover version what would it be?

I really loved going into the studio and doing the cover of Johnny Cash’s ‘Folsom Prison Blues’. I had been playing that acoustically for so long so to be able to go into the studio and record it was so cool. Johnny Cash was one of my heroes and I loved being able to hone in on the blues side of that track, that was a big thrill for me.

You can sit down and write the lead single from album number two with any person in Nashville – who would you choose?

Oh wow. Any writer? I’m going to throw in a curveball now and say a name that most of y’all won’t have heard of but it would have to be Wyatt McCubbin. He’s incredible, he opened up for me on my tour last year and he helped me write a ton of my record. I could not be more proud of that guy and the two of us just really gel so well together.

A first appearance at C2C is often a stepping stone to UK shows and a bigger appearance at the festival the year after. Is that something you’d be interested in achieving?

Without a doubt. I’ve always wanted to see this side of the world and I have not been disappointed so I will definitely be coming back!

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