The duo Striking Matches ignited immediate interest in Nashville – the real city and the one on TV – through smart songwriting, youthful energy and outstanding guitar playing. Country fans may recognize them from tours with Vince Gill and Hunter Hayes, while dedicated Nashville viewers already know that eight Striking Matches songs have been placed on the show.
Now the rest of the world is catching a glimpse of the fiery duo. Just a few days after returning from the C2C (Country2Country) music festival in London, Justin Davis and Sarah Zimmermann are unveiling their first-ever video on CMT.
Check out the premiere of “Hanging on a Lie,” then read a Q&A with Davis and Zimmermann below the player.
CMT: What was it about this video concept that got your attention?
Davis: I think mainly it hit all the right marks. We were looking for something that had us both playing a lot. We were constantly shown playing guitar or Sarah playing mandolin. It made it very clear that we were the players in our band. So, that was the main thing. After that, it just sort of sounded cool — playing at each other, like a battle. And the set was neat because it was very moody. It just sounded interesting as a look.
Zimmermann: It also used special effects so I was very excited. (laughs)
I noticed the floating guitar and the guitar picks, too. What did that represent?
Davis: I think it was a take on us being guitar players and us having a shouting match back and forth with our instruments. It was poignant that we would use a guitar pick to … “hit,” I guess. (laughs)
I noticed the attitude you took on for the video. Did you have to get into character for that role?
Zimmermann: I felt like, for me at least, it was really easy. I sang along in doing the video, actually sang out loud, and I feel like that really helped me. When you’re singing it and when you’re in the zone, just like you would be performing, it’s a lot easier to get there, I think.
Davis: And I think once they rolled the playback and you hear the song, we almost launch into show mode. We could get that intensity pretty easily.
I like watching you make devil eyes at each other.
Davis: (laughs) It was so funny because every time they’d yell “Cut,” we’d revert back to normal. Like, “Hey, you want some coffee?”
This will be the first time that many country fans have seen you. What do you hope they learn about your music and your personality when they see the video?
Davis: That’s the beauty of the video, I guess. We definitely hope they hear the music and like that. Equally, I hope they’ll see that we are musicians. We’re guitar players — and we both are. Not just one of us over the other. It’s a very important aspect that we wanted to drive home with the video.
Have you found a lot of fans because of the show Nashville?
Zimmermann: Yeah, definitely. The first couple of songs we had on the show, we had previously released on our own EP. So when people went to find songs from the show, they’d find our EP as well. That definitely helped and especially internationally. We just played in London and we would do the song “When the Right One Comes Along.” We had an audience of about a thousand people, and every one of them sang it with us. So it’s been a dream come true. It’s reached across the ocean, which is pretty cool. They are huge fans of the show, and it’s definitely been a great launch pad for us, having had a bunch of songs on there.
What are you looking forward to the most between now and the album release on March 24?
Davis: We’ve got a lot of cool things coming up in between then and there. We’ve got a radio tour and a lot of exciting shows to do. I mean, this is going to be one of the big highlights – the video launching. It’s incredibly special.
Zimmermann: I’m ready to get [the album] out! I wish it was coming out tomorrow. (laughs) I’m mostly ready for people to hear the songs they haven’t heard before. A lot of the songs we’ve released have been heard in different ways, but there are a couple of tracks of the record that we’ve never played in our show yet. So I’m just excited for people to be pumped about the record.