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On this rocking edition of THE INTERVUE, I am sitting in a place I’ve never thought I’ll be sitting before… backstage at The Anthem in Washington DC. And we are talking to a young man who’s making his debut here. Fresh off the Mexican Summer label. He recently released his sixth album, The Happiness times I have ever Ignored to the masses with singles Elsewhere & his title track which has some great cinematic music videos. And now he’s on tour with Jenny Lewis and as I found out during his four-song set, it was his last day on the tour. Let’s give a DMV welcome to Hayden Pedigo!

Hayden, welcome to THE INTERVUE!

How’s it going? How are you doing?

I am doing great! How are you enjoying our fair city?

It is beautiful. I’ve been very blown away by it.

Well, I’m so glad to hear. I really enjoyed the album and some of the great music videos and it really helped tell the story of your sixth album. I want you to talk about the inspiration behind this great album that just launched this a few weeks ago.

Yeah, so basically the records called The Happiest Times I Ever Ignored. It was inspired by Doug Kenney, the co-founder of National Lampoon who had written that in a letter to a friend, but I wrote my attempt at the Best Instrumental acoustic guitar record of the past 20 years. And it’s an attempt, I’m not saying I accomplished that but that was the idea is I want to make a pristine instrumental acoustic guitar record inspired by Windham Hill. Will Ackerman, Alex De Grassi all the guys on the Windham Hill label. So that was my goal. I just wanted to make a really, really good acoustic guitar record.

I have to admit, this is one of the best acoustic guitar records I’ve ever heard. I think I’m on my fifth listening so far. What about the album has helped you evolved from your debut album of Letting Go to what we’re hearing right now?

Well, I think the biggest thing is I went, as far as I felt like I wanted to go as far as I could go in terms of the best recording quality possible, the best guitar playing possible, the best writing I can do. I really challenged myself to try to create the best thing I could. I spent a lot of time working on it and carving out and working on my guitar playing and writing. It was just a true labor of love on my end. So that’s where I think the biggest improvements were trying to just make the highest quality thing I can make.

It’s definitely high quality, especially since the sticker on your LP said that “this is the best guitar album of the past 100 years.” I want to know how far do you think you’re close to that goal?

No, that was meant as a joke on the record number of years. I said, you know, 100 years sounds like a joke. 2020 years sounds a bit more serious. But the 100 years I was just being a little joking about because it’s funny to say something’s the best of the past 100 years, because I don’t know how you can necessarily prove that.

You’re absolutely right. But then again, never know probably in 2123 they’ll say it is the Best Instrumental guitar album in the last 100 years, fingers crossed.

Maybe you never know.

Is this your first time performing in our nation’s capital?

Yes, very first time. I’ve never been here before really first time here.

What did you do since you been here? Did you actually get to see sights or tour the surrounding areas for a bit?

No, I really didn’t I just because timeline wise, it was kind of a time crunch yesterday getting to the venue. But luckily the drive to the venue yesterday, which was The Atlantis. We drove by so many of the monuments like it took us by everything. We were able to see quite a bit of the sights just on the car, right rushing to the venue. I at least got to see some of it from the car.

If you were to take a tour of Washington DC, for let’s say, five days, what would you visit?

I mean, probably like a Payless shoe store.

Hey, I don’t know if we have any more Payless Shoes…

Payless Shoes, a Quiznos, a DC staple? Of course. Maybe an amusement park and a mall and try to find a golf course to play a game of golf because I’ve never played, and this seems like a good place to play golf.

What in your humble opinion, you feel makes great music nowadays, since music has stood the test of time for several decades, and it has changed genres?

I mean, I think the thing that makes great music is I think you must be classic and bold at the same time. I think even a lot of forward-thinking music still has to have elements of I guess being classic. Because I think even if you’re some of those cutting-edge forward-thinking music, it can reference a lot of things from the past, I think, to make forward thinking modern music that also will stand the test of time.

To me making music is like building a house. There’s still certain things you have to do to build a house correctly, no matter how far architecture or things like that may come, you still have to adhere to original rules in some form, to make a truly forward thing. I think it’s like innovation is through being classic and being bold. And if you blend those things together, you can hopefully find some, some kind of timelessness.

Of all the music videos that are featured in this album, what were your personal favorites?

I think my favorite music video for this record was the video to Elsewhere, which is a lead single to the album, and I got to play a lot of characters in it where costumes and be kind of funny. So that was that was fun for me for sure to just do kind of something goofy.

I love the music video; it was fun to watch! How does it feel to have the support of Jenny Lewis who is performing later tonight, and to be part of her tour?

She’s incredible. The fact that she has supported my music and the way she has been mind blowing, and I’m just eternally grateful to be here. Her audiences have been fantastic. And this tour has been a dream, you know, no zero complaints.

And what can fans of you expect from this performance?

Hopefully something classic and bold. You know, getting close to timelessness. That’s the that’s the goal but who knows, it might be a disaster. But that’s kind of the that’s the fun of it all, is it? It can go really good or if you go really bad, you just never know with an acoustic guitar.

Who were some of your musical influences growing up?

My biggest ones were John Fahey. He’s the reason I play guitar the way I do. He changed my life completely. People like Van Morrison were very huge to me. I mean, John Fahey really have to go back to him is the biggest reason why I do what I do now because the music changed my life. And that’s the reason I’m sitting here right now playing the show is because of John Fahey.

Excellent, for those who have not seen any of your shows or your music. How do you describe your music to them?

I think my shows live are interesting because it’s solely guitar, but I tend to play it loud. And it’s loud, intermixed with very long, uncomfortable pauses because I like to almost punish the audience with silence. Because silence is almost more uncomfortable than 130 decibels of crushing volume. I think you can brutalize an audience with silence. I want to be like a heavy metal act with silence, like silence uses a form of brutality against the audience. It’s pretty acoustic guitar with long bits of silence in between. Excellent. After detour, what’s next for you? Hmm, I think I’m going to ride my bike for a little while and do some thinking and figure out what I’m doing because I, I need to get caught out. I feel like I’d be on this tour. started writing my record came out. I haven’t even had a second to process really anything. So I think it’s going to be riding my bike doing some thinking and then figure out what I’m going to do next because I rarely ever know what I’m going to do next. It just happens.

And where can people find you if they want to listen to your music? Check out if they’re coming to their city in the near future?

Yeah, the easiest way is through my Instagram that’s usually the fastest way which is @Amarillohighway. I post about my upcoming shows my music, my antics and pranks and usual like tomfoolery type things. And you find all my shows on there. That’s the quickest way.

Okay, so I gotta ask what time but what tomfoolery have you done recently?

The most recent one is, in my hometown of Amarillo. I took a photo in front of a billboard of these when these Realtors these women all wearing pink suits and I did it in corpse paint. And then it turned into this whole debacle where the realtors got mad, I made peace with them and then took a photo with the realtors in front of the Billboard once again in corpse paint. So, it was a whole deal in my hometown.

Check Hayden out online at…

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