Alumnus Matt Hines speaks on ACL, success and St. Ed’s

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The Eastern Sea, who played at this year’s Hillfest is not only a local favorite.  The band, led by St. Edward’s graduate Matthew Hines, has become a national indie music phenomenon and will be performing  at the Austin City Limits festival for the first time this year. Here is what Hines had to say about the band’s success:

Hilltop Views: You are a St. Edward’s graduate correct?

Matthew Hines: Yeah, I went here from 2005-2009.  Majored in English Writing and Religious Studies… I had a great time here.  I had probably the best possible time I could have had… I did so much I would’ve never gotten to do…  I was valedictorian.

HV: I didn’t want to put you on the spot, but…  So this band of yours, how did it start?

MH: It started the summer before I moved to St. Ed’s. I was still living with my parents in the Woodlands, but it really didn’t take any form until I came here… The first couple records I made on my laptop, I did in BMH. 

HV: So St. Edward’s does not have a music major.  Do you think that hurt your career in any way?

MH: That’s a tough question… I don’t think I would have even joined the music major if I was one.  I did all sorts of music stuff here: four years in Madrigals, three years in the choir…  If there was a music major, the program would be different from the one I participated in.

HV: So you’re playing ACL this year.  How’s that feel?

MH: Equal parts surreal and interesting…  I’ve been a fan of the festival for a long time.  In a way, this embodies some of my goals for the band… When you’re in a band, you want to be up there with the bands you respect and love…  I believe that we deserve it and this is only the beginning of things to come…  It’s all about getting ears, and putting ACL next to your name perks a lot of people’s ears up.

HV: So what’s next for the Eastern Sea?

MH: I can’t wait to do international stuff.  Got to get to Europe.  Got to get to Asia.  That’s what’s on my mind.  

HV: Anything you want the Hilltop Views readers to know?

MH: Tell them to come see our ACL aftershow.  We’ll be playing at Stubbs after the Shins… It’s gonna be a cool show.