Few people experience life on the road like touring musicians do — and country music singer Hunter Hayes is no exception.
The artist, who grew up traveling with his family around the southern states performing on the weekends, now spends the majority of his time traveling around the country on the tour bus he designed himself.
Hayes first made waves on the country music scene when his single "Wanted” shot to the top of the charts in 2011. Since then, he’s been busy playing shows all around the world, and today we got a first look at the new music video for his hit single “Yesterday’s Song."
The talented singer and songwriter, who can play more than 30 instruments, is currently touring around Europe. And while he’s working or traveling most days, he and his band have found time for a little fun and exploring.
We caught up with Hayes — on his way to Sicily, nonetheless — to talk all things travel, the inspiration behind his newest single, and what life is really like on the road.
Hint: His tour bus is decorated like a rustic country house and usually has about six to 10 people living in it at any given time.
Tell us a little about the single “Yesterday’s Song.”
For me, it’s very much about moving on in general. We all go through some kind of version of something we want to move on from and get through and get over. That’s what the song is about. We all need that thing to bring us into a new chapter and that’s what this is for me.
What was the inspiration behind the video?
The whole thing was just carefully sang about not letting your past determine who you always will be. That’s why I wanted the mirror thing. Mirrors are such a great visual version of the movement that can happen. Mirrors can kind of block you in.
And looking back the wrong way can kind of be deceiving. You have to dream about your future, you’ve got to shape your future, you’ve got to look towards your future. Embrace your past, embrace everything that it made you and know that it made you stronger to carry on and move on.
What’s your relationship with travel?
I love it. I’ve always wanted to do this since I was a kid. I traveled a lot as a kid. Every weekend we were out. I went to a regular school and every once and a while I had to check out early on a Friday or come in late on a Monday. I traveled with my mom and dad, we were on the road every weekend and I think I got sort of a training early on of what it would be like to be on the road, and I love it.
The places you go, the things you see, the history, the stories, the people, and the perspective changes drastically on a daily basis, and that’s what I love about it. Everyday it’s different.
Where are some of your favorite spots in Europe?
We’ve been to the U.K. several times. And I feel like I know London almost as well as I know Nashville.
There’s this really cool bar called Beach Blanket Babylon. Super cool little spot. We’ve always kind of stumbled in and we go earlier in the evening and it’s perfect. They do uber awesome mixology stuff and the vibe...it’s really rad.
How do you beat jet lag?
The first thing we do is drop the suitcases and we take the backpacks and we go somewhere. We take a trip to where we can’t take a nap for the day. We make a day of traveling the first day we’re there.
What don’t you leave home without?
A guitar. There’s this one guitar; it’s a Martin. I just absolutely love and it sounds great in a room. I’ve started a bunch of songs on that guitar just in a hotel room. Just inspired by being outside, getting fresh air and seeing new places. It’s like my comfort zone.
Do you have a destination at the top of your bucket list?
I’ve heard so many awesome things about Edinburgh, Scotland.
What’s a typical travel day like for you?
A typical travel day actually starts at midnight. On our bus it’s the band, our manager, Dan and me.
Our bus is super vibey. I got to design it from scratch. I knew exactly what I wanted. I sent them the floor plan and the finishes. So we built this farmhouse bus, chesterfield-style leather couches, white shiplap walls, lighting is very specific.