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In Conversation With Mason Lively

Photo courtesy of Missing Piece Group

Mason Lively:  Hello?

Denise Zylow:  Hi Mason!  It is Denise from Think Country.  How are you doing?

Mason Lively:  Hi there. I’m doing well.  How about yourself?

Denise: I’m good. I’m sorry that we couldn’t get this together last week, but things were a little crazy for you. I bet. 

Mason Lively:  Yeah, it was last week (laughs) hell froze over in Texas. I’m sure you’ve seen. It’s been pretty crazy, spotty with power and all that stuff. We were pretty fortunate as far as we only lost power here for a little bit.  There were some people without power for days. Yeah, we’re good. Everything’s pretty much back to normal now, the high is 75 today.   It’s my usual Texas. So, I am good now.

Denise: Everything is melting now?

Mason Lively:  It melted days ago, but it was crazy.  I myself have not seen this much snow in the last 20 years.  We’ve had snow on the ground for four days. It’s crazy!

Denise: That is crazy.  I have an aunt and uncle in New Braunfels.  So, I was watching what was going on there in Texas. 

Mason Lively:  Yeah? Wow, that is crazy, small world. Yep, that is where I live.

Denise: Crazy 

Mason Lively:  Yes, and we are about to move to Austin.  Austin got hit hard.

Denise: Wow!

Mason Lively:  Yeah, it got hit hard.

Denise: Austin seemed nice.  We were actually visiting my Aunt and Uncle last year when COVID hit. 

Mason Lively: Oh, yes? 

Denise: Everything was closing down.  We spent like 36 hours in Texas and we had to turn around and come home.  I was sad.

Mason Lively: Dang!

Denise: Yes, (laughs) we barely saw anything.  Drove through Austin (laughs). Hopefully in the next year we should be able to come back and visit. 

Mason Lively: Yeah, I think so.   I don’t think it should be going on for too long.  They are saying that the fact that we were all in our houses for a week, “froze in” actually helped lower cases and stuff.  You never know.

Denise: That is awesome!  We did get to see Greune Hall.  That was a spot on the brief sightseeing tour.

Mason Lively: That’s awesome. Yeah, I dropped by Greune all the time. It’s a cool spot for sure. A great place to see live shows.

Denise: My aunt and uncle were telling me that too.  Hopefully, next time we will see the inside.

Mason Lively: That whole little part of town right there. There are all the shops and everything is cool.

Denise: I thought it was gorgeous. I’m like wow, I love this part of Texas. This is great.

Mason Lively: Yes, it’s definitely the best part, you know, from Austin to New Braunfels, in the hill country of Fredericksburg and all that it’s beautiful. 

Denise: It is. Besides all the weather, I hear there’s some things going on with you?  What would you like to let our followers know?

Mason Lively: I got a new song coming out in two days called Happy Home. We got a full album coming out March 19. It’s our second album, sophomore album, and it’s just self-titled. My name, Mason Lively and produced by Texas country legend Wade Bowen, also a New Braunfels resident.  I have opened up for Wade at Greune Hall a couple times. But yeah, it’s a project that we wrapped up actually the beginning of 2020.  All the COVID stuff hit and kind of pushed back the release. We’ve been sitting on this record for a long time.  It’s good to finally be close to getting it out there and seeing what happens.

Photo courtesy of Missing Piece Group

Denise: That has to be exciting.

Mason Lively: For sure, especially after sitting on this for so long.

Denise: Right, because you’ve had two singles out from it already correct? 

Mason Lively: Yes ma’am.  In October, we put out the first single. A song that I wrote with Wade Bowen, called Something ‘Bout a Southern Girl.  We put out Love Ain’t Done a Damn Thing a couple weeks ago. This week we’re putting out Happy Home, which is the third single.  I’m super excited about Happy Home.  We are ready for the whole thing to be out for sure. 

Denise: That’s wonderful. Something ‘Bout a Southern Girl, I did not realize it has been in my playlists since October.  I love that song.

Mason Lively: (laughs) Thank you I appreciate that!

Denise: I put it on repeat going to work all the time.  

Mason Lively: That is great.

Denise: The single that is out currently Love Ain’t Done a Damn Thing, I love the story in the song.  

Mason Lively:  Oh, thank you.  It’s just a simple heartbreak song.  We all really kind of fell in love with it while we were making it in the studio. It’s one of those sleeper songs.  I’d written it and thought it was something. I might record the song.  During the process of recording we were like we love this tune.

Denise: I love it. It is really cool. 

Mason Lively: Well, thank you.

Denise: Now your new your new song Happy Home. Any special stories behind it?

Mason Lively: Yeah, so I wrote Happy Home a long time ago.  I wrote it in late 2018.  It was right after we put out our first record, Stronger Ties, my debut record.  I’ve been playing Happy Home for a good while now. It has become a crowd favorite.  People are requesting it.  If we were smart it would have been our first single, but we wanted to show off some of the other new stuff.  We were thinking, people have been asking for this song, so let’s just put it out now.  I’m really excited to see what it does.

Denise: Wow. If it is anything like the first two it is going to be a hit. 

Mason Lively: Thank you so much.

Video (audio) courtesy of Mason Lively and YouTube

Denise: You’re welcome. I can’t wait to hear the whole album.

Mason Lively:  Well, thank you.  The whole record, is eleven songs. That is coming out March 19. We’re excited for it.

Denise: Any songwriters on the new self-titled Album that you would want to acknowledge?

Mason Lively: For the album I wrote with Wade Bowen, Drew Kennedy, Carlton Anderson, Drew Womack, just tons of great guys

Denise: Wow.  Was the new album mostly written in Texas or Nashville?

Mason Lively:  It was about 50/50, between Texas and Nashville. I was going back and forth to Nashville a lot late 2019 just writing with a bunch of guys up there. A lot of them were written in Nashville

Denise: Well especially if you were saying that it was coming out in 2020 until the big pandemic hit. That makes a lot of sense.  How would you describe your new album, Mason Lively to someone you met at a bar that’s never heard of you?

Mason Lively: I want to describe it; I’d say it is country music with a real earthy warm tone.  It has a vibe and it is country music for people who love Folk and Americana music.

Denise: Perfect.  

Mason Lively (laughs) We have been blessed. We’re always told by our biggest fans they introduce their friends to our music.  They say they just saw this show and they were referred to us by a friend. Which is really the best way to get our music out. 

Denise: Have you been doing any live stream shows?

Mason Lively: At first, we did a lot of live stream shows.  Mostly just myself, my acoustic guitar, and my phone really seeing what we can do.   We are set to do a live stream the night before the record comes out. We haven’t really said much about that yet.  Y’all are kind of the first to know.  Just do the whole album front to back, everybody in the band. In one studio playing all the songs.  I’ll tell a little story before and I don’t know, if we are wanting to do like ticketed livestream, or just encourage donations.  Regardless, it’ll be cool. We’re excited.

Denise: Well, you’ll have to keep us posted on that.  That would be awesome to hear the stories. 

Mason Lively: Yes, for sure we will keep you posted.

Denise: Perfect. That works. I’ll even put a star on my calendar.

Mason Lively:  There you go.  Keep us on your radar on social media page. We will keep y’all posted.

Denise: Definitely. I’ll make a big star on that one on my calendar so I won’t forget. Get some people to listen.   Spread the word. 

Mason Lively:  You have to.  Please do. 

Denise: I love these songs already.

Mason Lively:  (Laughs)

Denise: Are you planning on going on a tour this summer?

Mason Lively: Well, we are playing a lot of shows in Texas right now. We got a lot of them booked up because there are some venues that are safely having live shows again in Texas.  Thankfully, we’ve got a pretty full spring calendar booked up starting in March until May.  We are pretty dang busy.

Denise: Okay!

Mason Lively: We are still looking at booking for the summer.  The best way to keep up with all that is just follow me on all the socials, the main socials follow along at MasonLively.com.

Denise: Just what I was going to ask.  Perfect.  I hope my relatives will get the chance when it is safe to take in a show.

Mason Lively:  Tell them I say hey and to stop and say hello at the merchandise table.

Denise: I will do that I will tell my aunt.  We went to a show at our State Fair when they still lived here, she taught me how to get a better view.  They let the rope down to the vacant VIP seats and she was gone. I was like “should I follow you?” 

Mason Lively: (Laughs) That is awesome. What State Fair was it?

Denise: Wisconsin State Fair.

Mason Lively:  That is awesome.

Denise: They moved to Texas, wanted to stay away from all the snow. This year I did not even need to package any up for them. 

Mason Lively:  You sent it over? 

Denise:  I did, that special.  

Mason Lively:  That was all you. Thanks.

Denise: You’re welcome!

Mason Lively: (Laughs)

Denise: (Laughs) I see that you have been on tour with some pretty big names. Any specific place that you like to play?

Mason Lively:  We have been fortunate to get on shows with some pretty big guys. All the big Texas names: Randy Rogers, Parker McCollum, Pat Green, and Wade Bowen. We have been blessed to play some shows with some mainstream guys as well like Josh Turner and Jon Pardi. It’s been a cool ride, we’re excited to see who we get to open for this year.

Denise: Any favorite venues that you hope to get back to?

Mason Lively: Hope to get back to. I’d love to get back to as soon as things get safe enough to the Austin City Limits Moody Theater.  We opened for Pat Green across Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas.  We started the tour at ACL live there at the Moody Theater in downtown Austin. It was one of the coolest shows we’ve done.  I’d love to be back in that theater again. That would be really cool.

Denise: I’ve heard it’s a great venue. 

Mason Lively: It is awesome.

Denise: Yes, I would go there. 

Mason Lively: There you go. Fly on down.  Let’s do it.

Denise:  Okay.  Let’s go.  I’m in!

Both: (laugh)

Denise: Mason, who inspires you?

Mason Lively: Inspires me? My family inspires me. My fiancée inspires me as far as like, people close to me. As far as music, I grew up with a real appreciation for real country music as well as the blues, classic rock and soul music.  That led to me really dive into even modern stuff as well and on the Americana side.  Those are the kind of genres that I think influenced me. I always say you can tell the difference. It doesn’t matter what genre it is; you can tell the difference if it is honest music, real music.  I think just honest music, good music from any genre has blended together to make my sound.

Denise: Yeah, I think that you can almost tell that you’re influenced by a bunch of different types of music. I like everything that I’ve heard, on the streaming services.  The songs do not all sound the same. You can totally pick out a song to suit whatever your mood is at the time.

Mason Lively:  That is cool to hear. Because we enjoy being able to appeal to so many different types of music fans. 

Denise:  I love listening to new music. You are on my playlist in heavy playlist.  When you see all the people streaming you in Wisconsin, it is me.

Mason Lively: Well, thank you for that.  I appreciate that.  I will have to keep an eye on the Wisconsin streams.

Denise:  I make all my coworkers listen at work, so they get to hear you too.

Mason Lively:  There you go. Thank you. That matters.

Denise: You are welcome. I always say listen to this. What do you think?

Mason Lively: Honestly, that means the world, I really appreciate you doing that.

Denise: You have a bunch of people up here putting you on their playlists whether you know it or not.

Mason Lively: That is great to know.

Denise:  Up here in the Great White north where we have nothing else to do but stay inside because of the below zero temperatures. I listen to tons music.

Mason Lively: Man, more power to you all for that. We had it for four days. And that shit sucked.

Both: (Laugh)

Denise: Well, I guess we will keep it up here for a little while longer. 

Mason Lively:  Y’all are used to it up there.

Denise: Unfortunately.  Hopefully things get moving again. You could maybe play our Summerfest.  We have a 12-day music festival on Lake Michigan.  Well not this year, but hopefully in 2022 it’ll be back again.  All genres of music all different stages.

Mason Lively:  Yeah, I would love too.

Denise: I think that’s how most people get recognized here in Wisconsin or our State Fair. I know Brothers Osborne are coming this year. Hopefully if it still happens.

Mason Lively: That is the hardest part. You never know what is going to be open or what you are going to get to check out.

Denise:  Exactly. I’m hoping fingers crossed that 2022 brings something much better or Fall 2021.

Mason Lively: Yeah, I think hopefully. I’m hoping by like this Fall things are kind of back to normal but you never know.  I am just an optimist, I guess.

Denise: Same. I believe that. I’m praying that things go well.  What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Mason Lively: I always go back to what Ray Wiley Hubbard said, keep your gratitude high and your expectations low.  That is just something. It is a simple way of saying a lot of what the Bible says, if you keep your gratitude high and just remind yourself even on days when it is tough to be thankful for what you’ve got.  It really makes a difference in the short term, and in the long run.  This business can be slow. You can even go through months or years when nothing is going on.  You can also go through months where you just go 100 miles an hour.  So, regardless of where you are at be thankful.  Just try to be thankful and it’ll be okay.

Denise: That’s beautiful. What a lovely thought. Be grateful for what you’re getting and don’t ever expect anything. A simple and so beautiful thought.

Mason Lively: Thanks.  I even have trouble following it. So that’s why it’s better for me to say it out loud.  I remember to do it when I am having trouble. 

Denise: I think that is great. I should follow that more as well. Is there anything that you would like to end with saying to the Think Country followers?

Mason Lively:  Just to follow myself, Mason Lively on any social media.   Go to MasonLively.com.   Add me to your playlists on Spotify, etc.  Tell your friends, because that matters.

 Denise: Pass it on.

Mason Lively: Pass it on. Word of mouth that is the way.   Even in social media age there is still nothing that beats hearing when your friends tell you to listen to this versus reading it on a feed.

Denise: Right.  Hopefully, you’ll be able to hear a cheering crowd soon.

Mason Lively: There you go.

Denise: Well, I don’t want to keep you forever. But it was a wonderful talking to you. I appreciate your time.

Mason Lively: Of course, it was good talking to you too. Thanks for doing this.

Denise: You’re welcome. Anytime. It was actually so much fun. I can’t believe how long we’ve actually been chatting.

Mason Lively:  No big deal. Thank you so much again.

Denise: You’re welcome. You have a wonderful night. Good luck with your move to Austin.

Mason Lively: Oh, thank you. We’re going to start moving Sunday.  We’re slowly moving. Moving a little bit at a time. Yeah. Thank you. I appreciate it.

Denise:  We will be listening when that album comes out on the livestream.  

Mason Lively:  For sure.  Anything y’all post be sure to tag me in and then I’ll see it.

Denise: Sure thing.

Mason Lively: All right. Well, thank you so much again.

Denise:  Yes, thank you Mason. Have a good night.

Mason Lively: Yeah, You too. 

Denise: Bye

Mason Lively: Bye

Photo courtesy of Missing Piece Group

*Featured photo courtesy of Missing Piece Group


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