• Interview: TORRES

    Tennessee-based band TORRES is playing at our new Knoxville store's opening party. We spoke with frontwoman Mackenzie Scott about finding her voice, her favorite thing about living in Tennessee, and her love for the "Man in Black."
    Interview by Ally Mullen

    Introduce yourself!

    My name is Mackenzie Scott. I sometimes write and sing and play the guitar, and sometimes I do these things at the same time in front of people (the singing and the playing the guitar, that is). I also drink ungodly amounts of coffee and run a Facebook account for my cat, Little Bat.

    Are you a born and raised Tennessean? 
    I’m actually not a born and raised Tennessean at all. I was born in Orlando, Florida and grew up in Macon, Georgia from the age of three. I’ve only been in Tennessee since 2009.

    What's your favorite part about Tennessee?
    I’d have to say it’s probably the whiskey.

    Your voice is amazingly dreamy yet raw at the same time. Have you always been a singer? When did you realize you could sing well?
    Thank you. I’ve always tried to sing, but I kept it a secret when I was young. I’d lock my door and sing Britney Spears songs into the mirror, but when I was around people I’d always make it a joke. I’d sing in cartoonish voices and play characters because I was too insecure to sing seriously and be myself. That’s why I got into musical theatre when I was in middle school and continued through high school. That’s also when I learned that I could actually carry a tune without having to be afraid of someone listening. Ironically, playing characters on the stage gave me the confidence I needed to be myself, unabashedly.

    When did you first decide you wanted to make music? 
    I’m not sure. I think I’ve always made music in some form, since I was six or seven. My parents gave me the opportunity to learn to play a lot of instruments at a young age. 

    How old were you when you began to play guitar? 
    I started playing the guitar when I was an actual fetus.

    What musicians did you look up to when you began? As a female, did you specifically look up to women at all?
    Male and female alike, I had a lot of influences: Johnny Cash, Joan Jett, Ryan Adams, Brandi Carlile and Tori Amos were some of my early heroes around the time I started writing songs.

    Can you tell us five things that you sing about/that have influenced your writing?
    1. Heartache in the morning
    2. Heartache in the afternoon
    3. Heartache in the evening
    4. Jesus
    5. Lucifer 

    How much does living in TN influence your music? 
    It doesn’t really affect the music at all. 

    How about your style?
    It does affect my style. The Man in Black lived here; I pretty much wear whatever I think Johnny would wear. That usually means I’m wearing black, even on a scorching summer day.

    What's your go-to live performance outfit?
    Black pants, black boots, collared button-down shirt, black blazer, and sometimes a wide-brimmed hat.

    When you're not singing your own songs, what's your #1 karaoke song to sing to?
    "Crimson & Clover" by Joan Jett