In 2015, lead singer Scott McLaughlin posted an ad looking to form a band on the West Coast. A year later, The Scotty Mac Band released their first EP, Messin’ Around, and last year, a second EP, Starts With A Girl. They have opened for national touring acts including Brett Young, Tyler Farr, Phil Vassar, Lee Brice, and Chase Rice. The band has played at Night in the Country, Country Fan Fest, Oregon Jamboree, Country Thunder, and Coastal Country Jam.
Scott, what Southern California town did you grow up in and how did it inspire your career?
I grew up in a small town located between Temecula and Palm Springs called Hemet. It’s changed a bit, but when I was a kid it was. a dairy town. It was very much a small town vibe where everyone knew each other. It was a great place to grow up.
Those were the bands that my Dad really played a lot when I was growing. I can remember their records being in constant rotation. Their music had depth to it, the songs were well written and dynamic. The bands (especially Skynyrd) seemed to have this attitude that came through their music. It wasn’t until I was an adult and did my research that I found out that the attitude was very much a genuine part of who those guys were. That is such an important element in music to me, you have to have some attitude behind what you’re performing to put on a good show for people.
Forming the band — John, Brad, Bryan — how did you all come together?
The Band started through a Craigslist ad that I put out. John was the first person to respond. It took about a year or so to get things really going and then we headed to Nashville and tracked our first EP “Messin Around”. It was around that time we started getting some opportunities to open for national acts and that’s when BK (Bryan) joined the band. The three of us have been the core of the band for about 4 years. Brad has stepped as a sub player a few times over the years to help us out and has just recently joined as a full time member.
How has your music evolved from “Messin’ Around” to “Starts With A Girl”?
The main evolution would be the ability to reproduce the music in a live setting. The band has really strived to be able to sound just like the record when we perform live. It’s always been an important aspect of a band to me. I always hated seeing bands live when they didn’t sound like they did on the record.
What are the backstories to the songs on your latest EP?
All my songs are rooted in elements of real life stories. Love In A Truck is a great example of what coming of age and experiencing teenage love in a small town was about. A lot of kids where I grew up experienced and learned about these adult emotions in the bench seat of their first car.
Favorite SoCal venue to play?
We have a lot of favorites but one that stands out is one of residency spots in Huntington Beach called Old Crow Smokehouse. It’s always a very high energy crowd and we usually walk out of there exhausted.
What was the favorite moment of your career up to this point?
There’s been many. I love what I do and I’m constant reassessing my goals and reaching higher. Hearing my song “Love in a Truck” being played on the radio was a good one. Playing Nashville for the first time was another big one.
Dream SoCal venue?
Best advice you’ve been given to date?
Be nice to everyone. It’s so important to be a genuine person and be easy to work with. It’s gets you through a lot more doors.
Tell us what your fans mean to you and how you include them in your journey.
They’re the best. I try to make a conscious effort to remember names of people and use names when I’m meeting people for the first time because it’s so important to me to have that bond with the people that are making this possible. I want them to feel the way that I feel, that this is friendship because without them, I wouldn’t be doing this.
If you could put together a tour which artists would you take with you?
That’s a tough question. It would be amazing to be on the road with one of my idols like Brooks & Dunn. I would love to have the opportunity to hear their stories and learn from their experiences.
What would surprise your fans to learn about you?
I love to eat and have a spot in every town I visit.
Who’s currently on your playlist?
Name 3 things you always have with you.
Hair product, Advil, and a necklace with my fiancée and daughters names on it.
How do you all balance your music with other obligations?
I don’t sleep as often as I’d like and I’m usually stretched pretty thin. Coffee helps.
How your families supported your careers?
They’re all in. If it wasn’t for the amazing partner I have in my fiancée and the support of our families (including the family that is this band) NONE of this would be possible. It takes a village and I’ve got a good one.
Your perfect day off would include?
That’s a two answer question …Perfect adult day would include brunch and some day drinking. Perfect family day would include Disneyland. I’m a huge Disneyland guy and I love taking my little girl.
What’s ahead for the band?
The goal at the moment is to establish our selves as a presence in Nashville. We’ve had some great luck and have been able to open the doors that we want both in the showcase. venues and on Broadway (it’s very important to me to play down there as well). Now it’s about building a reputation and making sure people hear about us.