Sunday, October 5, 2008

Record Label Hires Guitarist After Seeing His MySpace Page

If the Internet is the information superhighway, one of its roads led straight to a Tampa guitarist.

Almost a year ago, an Atlantic Records representative stumbled across Matt Hires' MySpace music page and sent him a message. He liked Hires' acoustic sound and wanted to hear more.

"I was completely skeptical, and I figured I'd call him back and see what's up," Hires says. "He came to Tampa and he heard me play some stuff. And soon after that, he flew me out to L.A. It's definitely surreal at some times."

The soft-spoken 23-year-old is set to release a four-track EP, "Live From the Hotel Cafe," on Tuesday. He will perform Wednesday at New World Brewery in Ybor City.

Hires was home-schooled and attended Hillsborough Community College before leaving to pursue music full time. Before becoming a solo artist, he played with Brer, a local alternative rock band composed of his childhood friends.

He started playing the bass at age 12, taking lessons at a local music store. His older brother played acoustic guitar, and at 16, Hires decided to teach himself to play.

"I've always liked writing a lot since I was young, and you only do so much with a bass," he says. "It's like an emotional release in a lot of ways, and it's a fun thing to do."

Following his Tampa performance, Hires will return to the studio to complete his debut album, slated for release in the spring. The album will feature a full band that recorded his original acoustic versions of songs.

"It's kind of hard sometimes. I have to manage my time and I have to keep my head in a creative state of mind," Hires says of juggling his newfound career with his personal life. "This is what I wanted, and I want to go as far as I can go."

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