When we reached out to Sean Patrick McGraw for an interview, we knew that he was ridiculously talented, but after chatting with him, we learned that he’s both ridiculously talented AND ridiculously hilarious. Read on to hear what Sean has to say about his stint on reality TV, Montgomery Gentry recording his song, “My So Called Life,” and sharing the stage with some of country’s biggest names. If that’s not enough, he also shares his candid opinions on Taylor Swift, karaoke and a little Dustin Lynch song called “Cowboys and Angels.”
Read on to meet the sarcastic, hilarious and uber-talented, Sean Patrick McGraw.
KIC: For those readers who may be ‘meeting’ you for the first time in this blog, can you give us a little bit of a back story as to how you became a singer/songwriter?
SPM: I’m a failed athlete…not really. Well yeah, kinda. I was told I couldn’t play football anymore when I was a freshman in high school so I bought I guitar and learned “Stairway to Heaven.” The rest is history.
KIC: Montgomery Gentry recorded & released your song, “My So Called Life.” How did that come about & how did it feel?
SPM: I felt like the prettiest girl in the world…about to be rich. Moral: don’t go with yer gut. Truthfully it was nice. I’d like that to happen about a dozen more times in the next six months and then I’d know what it feels like to be Rhett Akins.
KIC: You released your last album in 2011 – do you have plans to release a new one?
SPM: I quit. Didn’t anyone tell you??? Haha. I have a new record written and mostly recorded. We’re just waiting til I can drop (or gain) 20lbs for the photo shoot, start dating a former American Idol contestant, and maybe get arrested. You know, marketing.
SPM: I ended up on reality TV when my back was against the wall.
Would I do it again? Dead serious. Not a flippin’ chance.
KIC: You’ve played at the Stagecoach Music Festival, opened for huge acts and headlined your own shows. What’s been the highlight of your career thus far?
SPM: After I got the boot from “Nashville Star” I had Emmy Lou Harris walk across a crowded room to give me a hug and tell me that SHE thought I was great. True Story.
KIC: You’ve opened for everyone from Toby Keith, Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, Jason Aldean & Miranda Lambert – Which would you say you learned the most from? And who would you still love to tour with?
SPM: It’s really more what have they learned from me. I mean, Toby had NO charisma when I started the tour with him and I’m like “DUDE, yer good, get out there and own it.”….I’d like to think it worked. Oh you were talking about Toby Keith? I thought you meant Toby MaGuire! Toby Keith, now that guy puts on a show…
I’d love to tour with Eric Church again. That dude is the SHIT.
KIC: Have you held any odd jobs while also pursuing your music career?
SPM: I was the guy who painted the numbers in a numbered parking lot and I’ve been the guy who put the sticks in popsicles. God’s honest truth. But the oddest job I’ve ever had IS pursuing a music career.
KIC: Which artist would you describe as your biggest musical influences?
SPM: Paul McCartney, maybe Bob Seger, definitely Jack Daniels…but please print that I said Hank Sr, Johnny Cash and all the usual influences that hat-guys reference.
KIC: What inspires you when you’re writing a song?
SPM: Getting drunk and/or getting my heart broken…getting my heart broken because of something I did when I was drunk??…truthfully: the thought of creating something that someone else would record and release and that my intellectual property might be worth something that could pay my bills as opposed to me serving drinks ever again at someplace like the Blackstone Brewery is very inspiring. Doesn’t mean that inspiration translates into something artful or soulful. My best songs come from awful places. Really. Someone you love dying, a divorce, a dream not coming true: it all goes somewhere. Sadly it ain’t the radio.
KIC: You can only pick one of your songs to define you and your career -what song do you choose?
SPM: The song “Cowboys and Angels” (NOT the Dustin Lynch song) from my “Long Way From Slowing Down” CD (released years before the Dustin Lynch song) is a piece of work I’m very proud of. The characters are scarred and tragic and heroic and the story gets told in under three minutes. The song is the best compromise I’ve made yet between art and commerce and is a waaaay better song than the Dustin Lynch version of my hook.
KIC: What’s one thing you’d like our readers to take away about you after reading this interview?
SPM: That I’m funny, of course…..not serious sometimes and serious as a goddamned heartbeat at others.
All time favorite country song?: “Good Year For The Roses”
Songwriting: Alone or with others?: With the voices in my head…does that count as alone?
Favorite junk food?: I eat very healthy and I don’t think chocolate or fried chicken count and I LOVE both but I eat fried chicken about once every decade….um, let’s see what’s the most disgusting thing you can get at a gas station at 3am? Oh wait I know. French Fries. Totally nutritionally a waste of calories. I’m Irish. I love taters. I love beer. I love fried anything.
Go-to-karaoke song: Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” if I’m trying to be funny. Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” if I’m trying to hook up.
New Year’s Resolution: Drink more, smoke more, have more fun.
How many cowboy hats do you own?: I have absolutely NO idea, At least twenty.
Last song listened to: “Love Letter” Bonnie Raitt.
Dream duet partner: I want to sing high Harmony to Neil Finn performing Crowded House’s “Woodface” record in sequence.
Taylor Swift, Country or pop? I’d like to go on record as saying I think she is stellar at both. Seriously. “We are Never Getting Back Together” is a GREAT pop song. I could sing it after hearing it ONCE. And her last single “Begin Again” tears at my heart strings. It’s a great piece of commercial country songwriting and a great vocal performance. I am in awe of her talent. To think that I was making a CD with Nathan Chapman in the basement of his house and that she was making her debut CD in that same basement on days when he and I weren’t working….kind of blows my mind. Really, I’m an admirer and defender of her genius. Go figure.