Exclusive Interview: Hayden Lee Talks Music, Rockwood Music Festival & More!

Hayden Lee – Courtesy of Liz Larson, Staff Photographer

Hayden Lee is a wonderful musician. He’s performed at Rockwood Music Festival in Germany alongside Louden Swain, Jason Manns, and more of our favorites. He’s also had cameo appearances at Supernatural conventions in North Carolina. Recently, we were fortunate to talk with Hayden about how he got involved with our passionate little family, his musical career, and more.

Nerds and Beyond: For those unaware, how did you get introduced into the world of music surrounding the Supernatural family?

Hayden Lee: One word – Jason Manns.. crap, that was two. Jason and I have been good friends since we sang in an all male a cappella group (The Stairwells) at the College of William and Mary (graduated about 3-4 years ago).

When I was close to quitting music after not a lot of traction on my debut album, “House of the Lonely Souls” (and having kid numero dos), Jason called me and asked me to tour with him in Germany with our other a cappella college buddy Emad Alaeddin. Jason’s music had been used in Supernatural, and he had started doing a lot of the convention circuit at that time. My wife graciously let me go (despite our 3-month old awesome girl. THANKS to mom for the help!), and the rest is history.

Nerds and Beyond: Who are your musical influences?

Hayden Lee: While I love and respect all types of music, I LOVE the grunge era. I mean, REALLY love it! Such an influential time in music and shaped all of my weird thoughts/poems into songs eventually. Favorite bands of all time: Nirvana, Chevelle, Muse, Smashing Pumpkins, Alice In Chains, Foo Fighters, Tool, Pink Floyd, Jimmy Hendrix, The Doors, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Audioslave, Soundgarden, Seether, and Nothing But Thieves climbing is climbing my charts (oh, and did I mention Boyz 2 Men as well?? Yeah, that’s right. I did it).

Rob Benedict and Hayden Lee – Courtesy of Kayla Renee Photography, VP of Nerds and Beyond

Nerds and Beyond: What is your favorite part of performing at events like Rockwood and the Supernatural conventions?

Hayden Lee: The vibe and the people. It’s something special being able to connect with all of these special people and them being curious/interested in you and trusting your talent just because of our common love of the show and the people on it. And the actors/performers are amazing and SUPER cool peeps! I mean, I’ve only been to two conventions to hang out with Jason and see what the buzz was about, and Jason and Rob Benedict both had me come out on stage and perform with them at the Saturday Night Special, which was rad and unexpected! Both were broadcasted on Stageit, so I essentially got to perform for thousands of people (which Jason subtly reminded me of in Jacksonville..RIGHT BEFORE I WENT ON!! He’s such a rascal!). Even though I was just a friend, the actors whom I didn’t already know treated me like family. I also learned quickly to never leave your cell phone unattended.

The Rockwood family is really special since I’ve been doing that since the inception of the festival. Those fans/participants are so warm and accepting of all of our music, and we just have the BEST time with all of them every year. It has grown every year, which is a testament to what Jason and Sabine (and all of the Rockwood team) have built. It’s a little tiring for the performers, because we don’t really sleep. At all. For THREE DAYS!!! In addition to the wonderfully awesome fans, the shenanigans that go on in the green room, from faux, almost full length and not-at-all fully sober talk shows to pizza box chariot races and, not to mention, some of the best last minute compilations between the musicians and actors, make the lack of sleep so worth it. It really is an awesome time that I look forward to every year!

Nerds and Beyond: If Jason Manns puts together another Covers with Friends and you are asked to be on it, what song would you want to cover?

Hayden Lee: Really great question! Hmmmmmmm… I would love to do either “Billie Jean” or Bastille’s “Pompeii”. I do ‘em a tad different, which is fun (Billie Jean inspired by the super awesome Chris Cornell version).

Hayden Lee – Courtesy of Kayla Renee Photography, VP of Nerds and Beyond

Nerds and Beyond: Over the last couple months, you debuted two new songs, “Daybreak” and “Round the Bend”. When can we expect a new album?

Hayden Lee: STOP LOOKING UNDER THE TABLE TO SEE WHOSE FOOT IS TOUCHING YOURS, AND JUST LET IT BE A SURPRISE!! Just kidding. Such a great question that I’ve been pondering about how great it is. It’s just, like, super great, and that’s why I’m happy that it was asked. Did I answer, or, wait, what was the question again?

Nerds and Beyond: What’s your favorite band and your favorite song by them?

Hayden Lee: Very tough question, but… Nirvana “In Bloom” – There!! I did it, and, man, I feel good about it!

Nerds and Beyond: At Nerds and Beyond, we sure do love our Dad humor, and you are one of the kings of it. So, what’s your favorite dad joke?

Hayden Lee: Oh my gosh, there are so many good ones that it’s hard to pick just one! Like, you have the one about the kids being annoying on the car trip, and then the one about the lawn work mounting up, OR there’s the one about paying bills on time.. man, so many classics, it’s hard to pick just one! Wait a minute, was that whole answer a Dad joke, too?

You can follow Hayden on Twitter @haydenleemusic and find his music on cdbaby.com.

You can read about my experience seeing Hayden live here.


Finn

A person running on Louden Swain and caffeine. My personal favorite people include Michael Borja, Rob Benedict, Richard Speight Jr., Billy Moran, Stephen Norton, Jason Manns, Hayden Lee, Briana Buckmaster, and many more. I use they/them pronouns.

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