Interview: Mitchel Musso
Wed, 27 May 2009 14:51:21
Mitchel Musso is best known for playing Oliver Oken on the hit, Emmy-nominated Disney show, Hannah Montana. He's been busy in front of the cameras doing print work and commercials since age seven and has created a following of over a hundred thousand via Twitter .
Now, Mitchel has decided to take the musical route, following in the footsteps of his brother Mason Musso of Metro Station. To his fan's delight, Mitchel's self-titled debut album drops Tuesday, June 2nd.
ARTISTdirect had the chance to sit down with the singer and find out about his music style, new haircut, influences and the best thing about working in the business.
I read that you’ve been doing this for quite some time, How’s it been for you?
It’s been great. It’s been a roller coaster, and I’m very happy where everything has taken me for sure.
I checked out your new haircut on your blog and it looks great.
[laughs] Thanks so much. I appreciate that. I just got sick of having long hair, and I had it for so long. That hair was actually modeled for the character “Oliver" who is a beachy kid with long brown hair. I decided to chop it all off and dye it black. I like it. It’s definitely lighter, more easy to dry.
I know the feeling. Have you been singing your entire life?
I started the piano when I was about five or six, and I was doing piano recitals at age eight. We’ve had a piano and guitars and drum sets ever since I was born because my parents are in musical theater and they’re both musicians too. Mason, my older brother, became a musician. It’s been easy wanting to be a musician because it's been all around me my entire life.
Have you known your whole life that you wanted to sing and act?
It’s always been a calling of mine, but I’ve never really wanted to show it. I hate to say it, but I didn’t want to be another Disney kid who sang. I can’t wait to hear what people think, because truthfully my album sounds like nothing I’ve done in the past.
What genre would you describe your music as?
I would say my songs are like electro/dance/rock kind of vibe. It’s still got that dance Metro Station kind of feel on it, me and Mason’s head drawn in. I didn’t want to steal anything from Metro, so I took a lot of rock on it. I've got a bunch of 808sthe hard hitting sub in hip hop.
A lot of my music is dark and ominous but has really beautiful synths behind it that make it pretty music but still give me a mystery as an artist.
I don't have a copy of your record yet, but I went on MySpace and listened to a few of your songs. Is “Speed Dial” going to be on your record?
Oh yeah, there’s a little snippet of “Speed Dial” on there. A lot of the times you’ll have an artist and they’ll say “Oh this song is written about my ex who broke my heart…” This was actually the one song on my album that I could really say was truthful. A lot of my songs come from being an actor and making up a story. That’s where my head is in music.
I love the concept of the song, the thought of taking someone off your speed dial. Who would you say are your musical influences?
As far as who has been my musical influence and my role model, I’d say my older brother. It’s not just because he’s a phenomenal musician, it’s because he’s my older brother. Me and him actually have a duet on the album that I’m very excited about called “Shout It” and we figured since he had a hit called “Shake It,” there's a little mix there. Me and him are actually going to be on tour for a couple of dates this summer. That’s been a dream of mine.
Do you go to a lot of shows when you’re not working?
I do go to a lot of shows, especially his shows. I'm hoping to go on tour with them for a little bit, not just to perform with them. I’m going to go with them this summer on their London and Germany tour dates.
How was it performing for over 16,000 people at Wango Tango?
There were so many people! It was jam packed out at the Irvine Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. Huge and completely sold out and Flo Rida was there and Lady Gaga and Jamie Foxx. A bunch of cool people. Black Eyed Peas, Kelly Clarkson.
Was that the largest audience you’ve played for so far?
I think the two biggest shows I’ve ever played were when I went on tour with the Gymnastics Superstars. Those had about 10-15,000 people a night. The other was the Verizon Amphitheater with Miley [Cyrus] and it was a little bit more sold out.
One of ARTISTdirect's followers on twitter wanted to know if you were a Mickey Mouse Club or Kids Incorporated fan when you were a kid.
I used to watch the House of Mouse pretty much every day of my life when I was like 12 or 13. I loved the House of Mouse; I thought that was the coolest thing. That and pretty much any Disney movie as far as animationToy Story, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo. There are so many good Disney animated movies that Pixar does. I’ve always loved Disney, and Goofy, Mickey, and just as far as Disney goes, definitely.
What are your plans for after Hannah Montana is over? Do you want to do films, another sitcom, another album?
Who knows when that is gonna be over, but when it does end, hopefully lots and lots of music. A lot of people have been asking me “music or acting” and to be completely honest with you, I love acting and I’ve done it my whole life, but music has taken over. When I’m acting I’m not "Mitchel;" I’m Mitchel when I’m doing music. It’s cool being able to be myself. I haven’t really been able to do it.
So what have you been listening to lately on your iPod?
I like that Flo Rida song “Right Round.” It’s weird because I like everything from Lil Wayne to Elton John. If you had to see what I was listening to in my car, it’s probably a lot of rap. I love all genres but I got these two huge subs in my car, so I like to feel like I’m at a rock show when listening to rap. Rap seems to do that. I think my favorite song that I’ve been listening to lately is “I Caught Fire” by The Used.
What’s the toughest thing about growing up in this business?
I don’t know if it’s necessarily too too tough, and if there’s any kid in my position and saying it’s tough, I think it’s ridiculous because I’m having an excellent time and I love everything that I do. This isn’t work to me anymorethis is my life. This is how I’ve been living and where I want to be and what I want to do.
What’s the best thing?
Ooh, that’s a good one. Overall, I think coming to LA. I was born and raised in Texas, and I don’t think I ever would have figured that one out if I hadn’t come here when I was little. Who knows what would have happened if I had still been in Texas.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to your fans out there?
Thank you so so much for watching not just the show but the music and everything else out there. The only reason we’re doing this is for the fans. Thank you so much for always supporting. Go to my MySpace because I have a few dates set: myspace.com/mitchelmusso and mitchelmusso.com.