Country star Anson Carter is all about the music
By BY MELISSA CROWE - MCROWE@VICAD.COM
Feb. 6, 2013 at 3:05 p.m.
Updated Feb. 5, 2013 at 8:06 p.m.
With a fresh single out, Anson Carter is taking his lyrics to heart and making everything he does "All About the Music."
From his Kingwood home, Carter talks about his favorite songs, the tough journey to success and how no matter what, he'll always be a simple guy.
IS 'ALL ABOUT THE MUSIC' A PERSONAL SONG FOR YOU?
It's really about a childhood dream. As a kid, everyone is larger than life: your parents, your teachers, your community leaders.
This kid's sitting around listening to his idols on record. He wants to see them in concert, and sees them and is so enthralled in that lifestyle that he wants to become a singer himself.
It's about guys who played music without having to make a political statement about it. They didn't care about all the TV stuff, about becoming celebrities. They just wanted to play their music, to sing their songs from the heart and have people appreciate it.
It's a total personal perspective when you think about it. I think everyone has put themselves in that situation at one time or another. The more in tune you get with the music, the more you want to perform the music.
I'm lucky to do this. This song represents my life from the beginning of listening to the music, wanting to hear those guys perform to becoming a singer myself.
Hopefully, someone out there is watching me and is wanting to become a performer, too.
HOW IS THE PINEY WOODS FOR A SONGWRITER'S BACKDROP?
I do a lot of songwriting at home. I get a lot of my ideas in day-to-day activities. I'm kind of a smart ass, and I'll pop off something kind of funny and it might turn into a song.
I'll tell you a drunk story. I was doing a show in Katy at Moe's Place. So the show's over, we're outside and my wife's trying to whisk me away. I wasn't trying to avoid anybody, but I thought we'd hung out enough. Some people were getting rowdy, like aggressive. I was like, "Come on, baby, let's go. Put this thing down in D ... put it in drunk, let's go."
The whole way home, I was thinking, "Put it in drunk." That started the concept of the song, and I finished writing it with a friend of mine.
It's about guys going out and searching for women, but the tongue-in-cheek is it's about guys and their trucks and guys chasing women. HOW DO YOU LET LISTENERS TAKE THAT RIDE WITH YOU ON A SONG?
Anything I write comes from mostly personal experiences, but I think it's relatable to everyone.
"Sweet Dreams" was actually inspired by a trip to Michigan I took.
Even though I spend a lot of time on the road, I'm home mostly every night.
I was going to Detroit for a few days, and my wife dropped me off at Intercontinental in Houston. I landed near midnight and get checked in to the hotel. She and I are having a good conversation. It sucked that we were 1,300 miles apart, and I told her "I love you, sweet dreams."
I'm almost emotionally upset that she's not laying in bed with me, my brain starts thinking: I've got to write a song about this moment. Why do we say sweet dreams to each other? It's just built into our psyche. It's almost like telling people goodbye on the phone. For me, it meant something totally different that night.
I was thinking what if I could have a dream about her and I being together in Dream World. What if she went to sleep, too, and we could still spend the night together in Dream World and that would basically put us as if we still spent the night together.
WHAT'S THE NEXT GOAL YOU WANT TO TACKLE?
My goal is to be as successful as possible, but I don't know what that is. My goal is to fill stadiums with my music and have 60 to 70,000 people at a time listening. Is that realistic? Yes. Will that ever happen? Probably not, but I'm shooting for that.
Besides the American Idol kind of kids and the Justin Biebers, every single person you hear on the radio or see on CMT started singing in clubs, at their church and karaoke contests. You have to work your butt off to get recognized by someone with the power or money to get you to that next level.
IF MOST COUNTRY MUSICIANS START IN CHURCH AND BARS, IS THAT TRUE FOR YOU?
I sang in church one time, and that was when my grandmother passed away. She would always say, "Well, you need to show the Good Lord you have a voice, and you need to show it off." And I was like, "Well, Grandma, I don't want to."
The day we had her funeral I sang, "Holes in the Floor of Heaven." I knew of the song. You listen to it one time, and you immediately connect yourself with someone in your life.
When my grandma passed away, I knew it was the song to dedicate to her.
It was tough. I'd have to say that was the most difficult song I've ever sang. I don't get nervous on stage. I've sang at hundreds of weddings, I've done thousands of shows at thousands of bars across Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
Well, now you're sitting here at your grandmother's funeral, who you adored. This is a lady who when I grow old, I want to be that kind of a person - who never got angry and was full of wisdom.
Now, you're at her funeral, and you're trying to sing a song that is probably the most heartfelt song you've ever sang in your life. You're fighting back every quiver from your mouth and blink from your eye to not cry uncontrollably. WHAT DOES BEING A SIMPLE GUY MEAN TO YOU?
I'm not pretending to be some superstar. I'm just a regular guy who enjoys writing music, singing and performing for people. I just want to be real.
As your success grows, more and more people say, 'Anson, don't forget about us little people.' Deep down inside - because so many celebrities have moved on and forgotten about the people who made them successful - some think that's what everyone does. I never want to be disconnected from anyone.
I might be a big, burly guy, but I have a kind heart. I love talking to people. I love meeting new people. Every dollar they spend at that show keeps me on the road.
I feel honored and blessed to be in a situation where I can perform for people, but it wasn't handed to me. It's a lot of hard work. There's so many people involved in this pot of success. There's no way I could do it alone.