Mark Schultz Interview
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Here is an interview Nappy did with Mark Schultz.

Nappy:  Are you originally from the North Carolina area?

Kansas is where I grew up.  Then moved to Nashville right after college, Kansas State University.  Packed everything up in my Mazda RX-7 and moved to Nashville.  Then I got married three and half years ago. My wife is a doctor OB/GYN, so she went to undergrad at UNC/medical school and doing her medical residency at UNC so we are here at Chapel Hill.

Nappy:  That definitely makes you at Tar Heal over the Dukies!

Mark:  Oh big time, my wife likes to yell at the television when they’re playing Duke.

Nappy:  I was reading on your bio that for some reason you rode your bike over 3,500 miles.

Mark:  Right.

Nappy:  Was that coast-to-coast?

Mark:  I totally did.  I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if I went all that way and didn’t see one coast to the next.  We started at the coast in Los Angeles and then road all the way to New Hampshire.  I dipped my back tire in the Pacific Ocean and my front tire in the Atlantic Ocean.

Nappy:  How many miles per day is that?

Mark:  We did the whole thing in about 62 days.  We had about 14 shows in there and I didn’t really ride on those days.  We averaged about 100 miles today.  It was a pretty awesome and a long ride.

Some days it was nice, just put your headphones in and six hours later and you’ve gone 100 miles.  In a weird way it was relaxing.  There was a day when the bus broke down and I just kept pedaling across the state of New York.  I did 200 miles in one day, which is an all time record for me.

It was a great experience and we raised a quarter million dollars for widows and orphans for the James Fund.

Nappy:  That’s awesome.  You rode 3500 miles, what’s next?  An Ironman?

Mark:  Ha!  No, Ironman’s are out for me.  What I might do is the ‘from my house to Starbucks challenge’ and might do that later this afternoon.

It was a great experience for me; I pushed myself harder mentally I thought I could go.  At the end of the day it was neat to have people follow along on the website and raise attention to a cause that’s pretty dear to my heart since I was adopted at two weeks old.  I don’t know if I would have done it just to say I rode my bike across the country.  Riding for those kids was very special and gave me a lot of incentive.

Nappy:  You’ve written a number of number one songs, how do you usually start writing a song?

Mark:  I think in my mind, “let’s write a number one!”  Ha!  Nah, I’m just kidding. 

I sit at the piano and just noodle around and play different chords, I’ll think about what’s going on in my life and stories that I’ve heard.  I’ll tell you when the magic happens is when you play a certain chord a certain way you’ve probably played 100 times before but today it triggers something inside of you.  Whatever the first thing out of your mouth that really melts with that chord and flavor.  That chord brings out an emotion in you and the words just fly out your mouth.  Those things just, mmm, starts to make this stew where it just things start to happen that are special.

I never think to myself, ‘this is going to be a big song.’  You know when someone watches a movie and there is something special that comes on the screen and it just takes you, you get lost in the movie.  I think that’s similar to songwriting for me.  I just play around till something totally grabs me and pulls me into the song.   It’s like the song created it self and I just happen to be sitting there.

Nappy:  What advice would you have for someone wanting to write his or her own songs?

Mark:  First thing I would say is, and I tell everybody this.  There is a book called “The Craft of Lyric Writing.” By Sheila Davis.  I would say I was songwriter, but not a good songwriter until I read that book when I was in Nashville. 

A matter of fact, the first guy I played my songs for in the music industry said, “You don’t play the piano that well, you don’t sing very well, your songs aren’t that good.”  I thought I think I’m better than that, but he told me about the book “The Craft of Lyric Writing.”  I read it and it changed everything for me.  The songs got much better.  At the end of the day, what that book did for me is that it got lyrics that made sense to me but nobody else.  All of sudden I was crafting lyrics that were seemed to speak to everyone else and pull them into the song.   It’s just doing it over and over again and crafting a song with as few words as possible.

Mark’s Favorites

Color:  Blue 

Superhero:  It’s been for a long time Flash Gordon!

Movie (lately):  I really liked the movie, “Life is Beautiful.”

TV Show:  Lost

Ice Cream:  Vanilla Chocolate Chip

Breakfast Cereal:  Cheerios

Food while watching Favorite TV Show:  Pizza

Favorite chair while eating your favorite food while watching your favorite TV show: The couch in our living room.

Thanks again for Mark to take a few minutes to spend with us.  Be sure to check out Mark Schultz’s new album Come Alive, out in stores NOW.

Source: Nappy