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Wednesday, 1 June, 2011 2:48 AM
New country duo The Carter Twins to perform at 98 KCQ Country Music Fest
SAGINAW, Mich. -- Joshua Scott Carter and Zachary Edward Carter both grew up in Hudson, Ohio. Their mother worked in country radio and encouraged them to get into music. Zach learned the piano at an early age while Josh learned the song "Stairway to Heaven" on the guitar. In 2008, they landed a meeting with a music executive in Los Angeles, which led them to CMT. They became the first act on the new record label CMT Music. The 20-year-olds are now known in the country music world as The Carter Twins. Look for them to perform in Saginaw on June 18.
"We grew up going to all the big country shows like the Dixie Chicks and Faith Hill," said Zach Carter in an exclusive phone interview. "That kind of sparked our interest. We've always been really avid country listeners. We've been fans of Garth Brooks, Brooks & Dunn and George Strait of some of our favorites. We got started in the music industry out in California. We were just playing out on the street. It was definitely one of those odd stories. One of three people in the audience happened to be working at MTV. The rest was history. It was very exciting and cool."
What's the story behind your first single "Heart Like Memphis," which was released on March 16, 2009?
"Well, 'Heart Like Memphis' was one of the only songs we didn't write on the CD," Zach explained. "It was kind of a cool story. The reason we fell in love with it was because it was about this girl who had everything going on. She was beautiful and everybody thought she was perfect. But on the inside, she was hurting. It was one of those songs that spoke to us. We really wanted to record this. I think that's kind of the story behind 'Heart Like Memphis.'"
Can you give me some highlights of your 4-song self-titled debut EP, which was released in 2009?
"I think some of the cool places we've got to play like the Opry twice and being on tour with people like Jason Aldean, Lady A and Toby Keith," Zach added. "It's been cool to have the EP out and direct people to go to iTunes and buy songs that they get to hear on tours with cool artists."
Are you guys working on a full-length album right now?
"We actually made a full album for CMT, but it was never released," Zach Carter said. "It was one of those things that we did when we were 18 so we've grown so much as songwriters and musicians. We never released it because it just wasn't us anymore. We're actually in the studio right now recording stuff. We're working on a project that we're excited about. We can't wait for fans to hear that."
The Carter Twins have played in Saginaw before. How does it feel to be coming back?
"It feels great to be coming back to Saginaw," said Josh Carter of The Carter Twins. "We've had so much fun every time we've played Saginaw. It's just a great crowd and great energy so we're excited. Everybody should come out to the Saginaw show. It's going to be fun and have a blast."
Can you give me a preview of your upcoming performance at the 98 KCQ Country Music Fest on June 18?
"I think it's going to be a real high-energy show," Zach explained. "It's going to be fun. We have a funny cover that we're doing that we can't share. It's going to be a blast. It's not a country cover. I mean, we are doing a country cover. This is not a country cover. It's one of those songs that Josh and I love. It's funny. I think it just fits the set well. It's going to be a real energetic set up, maybe some songs that people know, maybe some songs that they don't. We're just excited to play Saginaw again."
It must be pretty exciting to play the CMA Music Festival on June 9.
"We've been fortunate enough to play that every year," Josh Carter added. "It's just so fun to see all of your fans. It's the one time that most of your fans around the country and sometimes around the world come and be in one place. You get to hang out and interact with them. It's fun. It's great."
Where do you guys hope to be in the next five years musically?
"We both just hope to continue making music, meeting new fans and gaining new fans," Josh said. "Hopefully, just continuing to play out and play in our favorite cities too."
What would be your advice to students studying music who are looking to have their big break?
"Josh and I always say just play out wherever you can and just be yourself," Zach Carter explained. "Because we're living proof of just play out wherever you can. We played in front of just three people. You never know who's in the audience. Just be yourself, don't try to be like anybody else. Just do what you love and someone's going to like it. That's what we always tell people."
Related Story: Complete Coverage of the 98 KCQ Country Music Fest
PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com
The Carter Twins performed at The Westown in Bay City, Mich. on Feb. 5, 2010.
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