BWW Interview: The Texas Tenors Talk Their 10th Tour & Top Times
As part of their TENTH ANNIVERSARY TOUR, the multi-lauded The Texas Tenors will perform a one-nighter at Feinstein's at Vitello's June 28, 2019. From their illustrious debut on America's Got Talent in 2009; JC Fisher, Marcus Collins and John Hagen have won three Emmys for their first PBS special, released chart-topping albums, and sang in over 1,300 concerts worldwide.
I seized the opportunity to quiz these talented songsters during the week of their Feinstein's at Vitello's gig.
Thank you All for taking the time for this interview!
Your TENTH ANNIVERSARY TOUR will be landing at Feinstein's at Vitello's this Friday. What songs can the Feinstein's at Vitello's audiences expect to hear?
Marcus Collins: We will be performing some brand new music no one's ever heard before. We can't wait for everyone to hear these new songs. We will also be singing with a surprise Tony Award-winning guest. It's going to be a special evening.
The Texas Tenors have had quite a ride in the ten years since you appeared on America's Got Talent. What originally brought you three together?
JC Fisher: Marcus and I met working on cruise ships 20 years ago. John and I met working construction. We all trained classically in college, and love all genres of music. My wife and I watched America's Got Talent with our kids. I thought, "I've got a couple buddies. We should put a trio together and audition." We did, and we've never looked back.
You cover all genres of music. What criteria do you look for in a song to be included in your repertoire?
JC: We always say great music is great no matter the genre.
Your first PBS special in 2013 You Should Dream won three Emmy Awards. What were your reactions to your nominations?
MC: We were ecstatic! The Emmy Award represents excellence in television, and this has been a dream of mine since I was a kid. Having produced the show ourselves, it was a huge honor to be recognized in that way. Five nominations - entertainment special, lighting, sound, arrangements and direction. WOW!
And then your reactions to winning?
MC: It was such an honor to be nominated, we thought. Heck! To even be there was HUGE! Then they called our name, not once but three times! Such a surreal experience, and something we will never forget!
You have performed concerts in countries all over the world. Can you describe the differences in audience responses between country to country? (more boisterous? more reserved? more standing O's?)
John Hagen: Our experience has been that most people respond to good music in the same manner. Audiences in China, Wales, Scotland, England, etc. pretty much respond just like they do here, with much enthusiasm.
You've played in venues seating thousands. Is Upstairs at Vitello's 120-seat capacity one of the more intimate places you played recently?
JH: Most definitely, and we can hardly wait to do it! We've had a few situations where we've played in a room seating 200-250 - almost like being is someone's living room! It's very satisfying to connect with people in a venue where you can see their faces!
You've been together successfully for ten years now. What is the secret to your working relationship all these years? (good negotiating? allowing one to take the lead? each one picks songs from their own genre?)
JH: I'm the Boss!!! Just kidding! Actually we get along remarkably well for three strong personalities that are used to leading. We respect each others' opinions and expertise in specific areas. It just kind of works! When we have a disagreement, we try to get everyone on the same page. If push comes to shove, majority rules! In the end, we all have the same goal. We enjoy singing music from all genre's.
You wear very sharp outfits on stage. Who do you credit your style to? One stylist? Or a combo?
MC: We all decide together what we are going to wear. It's definitely a group decision. We don't all agree on every jacket or pair of pants, but as long as everyone is comfortable and we can put on a great show; that's what matters. We started our wearing Wranglers and a lot of western wear ten years ago. Now a days, you'll see quite a bit of John Varvatos, INC, Armani. But we've kept the jeans, boots and belt buckles to still bring our country roots into the style.
How many musicians travel with you?
MC: we travel with a great group of guys - "The Three Bottle Band," four players who've been with us for quite some time. It's so important that you have talented musicians. But beyond that, you want to work with people you get along with and trust. We are a family now. We love these guys. Larry Hanson, Ryan Hurn, Mitch Keirsey and Josh Hanlon. They're the best of the best in the business!! We are in the process of adding a page for them on our website thetexastenors.com
What kind of pre-show rituals do you religiously exercise?
JC: We always spin around three times, clap four times and ring a bell before each show. Sometimes we can't find the bell and get a bit dizzy. Hahahah! No, we each have a routine. I always say a little prayer, and think of my family. That always puts me in the best frame of mind.
What road bumps that you've overcome would you advise young budding singers to avoid in starting their careers?
JH: There is no short cut to success. You've got to put in the time! When you're starting out, you should take advantage of as many opportunities as you can. You never know where things will lead. Stay true to yourself and your gut intuition. We have been fortunate to have not misstepped many times. But the times we did, our gut feeling always told us something wasn't right.
So, what's next on The Texas Tenors schedule
JH: After we leave California, we head to Boston and join the legendary Boston Pops for America's biggest Independence Day celebration on July 3rd and 4th. We are honored to be part of the event along with Queen Latifah, Arlo Guthrie and more.
What is your vision of The Texas Tenors in 2029?
MC: I think a techno record is in our future with whale sounds maybe? LOL! The Texas Tenors will still be touring and trying to uplift and inspire people. We love what we do, and hope it lasts forever. As long as people keep coming to show and buying records, we will continue. We love it!
Thank you again, Gentlemen! I look forward to experiencing your vocal artistry June 28.
For ticket availability June 28, 2019; log onto feinsteinsatvitellos.ticketfly.com/e/the-texas-tenors-60729385226/