Actor Kevin Costner Talks to Rocking God’s House…
His Band Modern West!
An amazing event on a Saturday in Nashville led me to an opportunity I will never forget: I met and interviewed the motion picture mega-star Kevin Costner. He was in Nashville with his band Modern West to perform at the War Memorial Auditorium on April 26th. His daughter Lily Costner, a phenomenal songstress and new transplant to Music City, served as the opening act, and she had a voice and performance so moving that it literally brought me to tears. And I had the privilege — thanks to Alex Kursave, Marketing Director of War Memorial Auditorium — to spend some one-on-one time with the iconic actor. My best friend and photographer for the evening Shawn Mayberry also accompanied me.
I am proud to report that Mr. Costner was a wonderful, welcoming man, and he gladly accommodated our delight in his larger-than-life persona. I asked him only a few questions, as there was a crowd of contest winners behind us (mostly women), waiting eagerly to get a photo opportunity with their beloved actor. The show opened with Lily singing a few songs in an intimate atmosphere, accompanied by a guitarist and fiddle player and, for one song, a mandolin. Then her father came out, owned the crowd on the first song, and then took the time to thank every one there in an earnest, sincere way that you would hope to see in a person of his stature:
“Thank you for being so nice to my daughter. When you are nice to a person’s kids, it makes that person want to do anything in the world for you. The music has been a passion of mine for many years now and as an artist I feel privileged to share it with all of you; and thank you all for going to the movies and for making all of this possible.”
He also bantered about the time he told his parents about wanting to become an actor, then a musician. He talked about his daughter moving to Nashville and how he wanted to end the tour in Nashville to make sure she got home safe. He also mentioned that he is getting geared up for a reunion with the original cast of Field of Dreams at a festival in Iowa. Also during the performance he invited John Oates of recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Hall and Oates on stage for the performance. Johnny Depp was also in attendance, but I did not get the opportunity to say hello to him.
Costner is an Academy Award-winning actor and father of seven who has been providing memorable on-screen performances for decades: The Bodyguard, Field of Dreams, Wyatt Earp, Man of Steel, and Shawn Mayberry’s personal favorite Waterworld. He stars in Draft Day, which is in theaters now. He has also directed films, including Dances with Wolves and Open Range, in which he also starred.
Josh: What made you decide to pursue music as another artistic outlet?
Costner: I’m a performer, and I started with music before the acting ever happened, beginning in church choirs and all that stuff. Coming back to music was a natural thing to me, to explore my own life. If you have a desire to perform, the best test in the world is to play live.
Costner: We started this band about nine years ago. We started out just wanting to play live wherever I happened to be making a movie at the time. The band started to evolve more when someone offered to pay us to play. The whole band looked at each other and went yeah that is a great idea, which meant we had to come up with a name for the check. Out of that there was never a plan to make a record. I just really wanted to play live, and I think some of the best things in my life happen when I just go the direction I want to go, and it seems like somehow that can turn into a quote-unquote business opportunity.
Josh: And what about your daughter Lily Costner serving as your opening act on this tour?
Costner: I couldn’t be prouder. I kind of make the music between the raindrops of my life, and vice versa; I make the movies between the raindrops of my life besides dealing with the kids.