Greg Bates on Performing at NAMM: 'It's Just Fun To Go Sit and Play Guitars'
This week promises to be an exciting one in Nashville with Summer NAMM, to be held July 17-19 at the Music City Center. Many of the most well-known companies in the business will be showcasing their wares for musicians, industry professionals, and the fans.
The fans are allowed at a NAMM show? Yes, but for one day only. The event will celebrate “Music Industry Day” on July 19, throwing open its’ doors to the general public to enjoy the displays, presentations, and some exciting live music from the likes of Jonathan Jackson ("Nashville") and Greg Bates (“Did It For The Girl”), who will perform at 1:15 and 2:15pm, respectively.
According to NAMM’S Lora Bodmer, the event offers something for true music aficionados from all walks of life. “Music Industry Day at Summer NAMM is the one day a year that every musician and person who loves music can go to a NAMM event,” she told Billboard. “Generally, it is only open to music dealers and brands that are exhibiting at the show. This day caters to musicians. There are two great sessions on songwriting, as well as other ones on setting up a pedal board, how to market your music, and the art of using social media.”
Bodmer says the workshops offer attendees a chance to get up close and personal with the instruments. “In addition to watching music, people can jump into a ukelele or a drum session that afternoon. They don’t even need to bring an instrument – they can just show up and play. There will be over 1,500 brands exhibiting the latest products in music – from guitars to recording gear. It’s also an opportunity to go and meet the leaders in the industry. A guitar fan can walk by the Martin Guitar booth and see Chris Martin himself and talk about his brands,” she says.
For Bates, the event is something he has wanted to be a part of for some time. “I am so excited to be a part of Summer NAMM. This is my first year to go,” he tells The 615. “I’m a Martin Guitar artist, so they let me try out a lot of their stuff. It’s just fun to go sit and play guitars and hang out with gear heads where all they do is talk about pedals and guitars, pickups, and all of that. So, it’s just going to be fun to get to be a part of it.”
At events such as Summer NAMM, what does Bates gravitate towards? He didn’t miss a beat. “It would have to be the guitars,” he stated. “Acoustic guitars are my bag. I grew up playing all kinds of ones. So, being a Martin artist and being able to try out a lot of their toys over the past few years has been a lot of fun. I love getting to sit down with the newest guitar, and play on it first. That’s what NAMM is about – finding out about that stuff.”
Bates is also excited about his performance Saturday afternoon, saying ‘We’re playing about forty-five minutes. We’re going to be doing some new songs, and just getting up there and having some fun. That’s really what it’s all about. I enjoy getting to play in front of people who know the business side of things, as well as the gear side of things.”
The singer, who hit No. 5 on the Country Airplay chart in 2012 with “Did It For The Girl,” is excited to share his new music, saying “I’ve been in the studio with Frank Rogers. I’m super-excited about that. I think it’s fun as an artist to take a step back sometimes and re-evaluate things - to start writing from a different place. Being on the road for two years and being engaged, you become a different person. It’s a totally different style of writing for me now. I call it Greg Bates 2.0. I’m just excited to get some new music out and play some shows. We’ve been doing a little bit here and there, but the studio is the priority for us right now, and I’m real excited about that.”