St. Charles musician Gregory Hyde has opened for “American Idol” winner Lee DeWyze and others.
The spotlight will solely be on the 34-year-old Friday, May 3, when he performs at The Office Batavia, 236 Webster St., Batavia.
Hyde, who is originally from Tulsa, Okla., will perform an acoustic set from 7 p.m. to 7:50 p.m., and then will perform with his band from 8 to 9 p.m.
Admission is $10, and doors will open at 6:30 p.m.
Kane County Chronicle reporter Eric Schelkopf had the chance to talk to Hyde about his latest activities.
Eric Schelkopf: You’ve opened for Guster, Tesla and “American Idol” winner Lee DeWyze. What have you learned from those experiences?
Gregory Hyde: A lot of what I’ve learned is how to fulfill that role of being an opening act.
A lot of times the crowd is either still getting settled in, so they’re not really paying attention, or they’re kind of tuning out the opening artist and having a conversation with their friends.
It’s really helped me to learn how to, in a good way, get people’s attention, and attract them to what I do. You definitely want people to perk their ears up and be interested in what you’re doing, but you also don’t want them to think, “Gosh, when is this guy going to leave?”
It’s a fine line to walk, but I feel I’m getting better at it.
ES: You also sang the national anthem last year at a Chicago White Sox game. How was that experience?
GH: It was very surreal. I was not at all prepared for the way sound slaps back at you when it’s bouncing off the two sides of the stands. It took me a couple of minutes before I got my bearings.
But other than that, it was great. There’s so much energy when you get to the end of the national anthem, and everybody is cheering and clapping. It’s such an adrenaline rush. It’s a blast.
ES: Your latest album, “Southern Highway Love Songs,” I understand you made at your home studio.
GH: I’ve always taken on some of the engineering responsibilities for my past projects, but this was the first album that I completely recorded and mixed. And I was pretty happy with the results.
And I learned a lot. I’m already anxious to get to work on the next one to improve on some of the things.
ES: What were your goals in making the album?
GH: I had some of these songs that had been sitting around for a while that had some southern influence to them that I think kind of seeps into you growing up where I grew up.
Being from Oklahoma, I was never a huge country music fan, but for some reason, I kept writing these songs that had this southern sound to them. I never knew what to do with them, until the point where I wrote seven or eight of them.
I thought maybe it was about time to put them altogether on one album.
ES: You’re working on a new album. What should people expect from the new album?
GH: I’ve started laying the groundwork for it. It’s going to be very different from anything I’ve ever done before. I’m not very content to just sit and do the same thing.
I guess the guiding principle that I’ve been thinking of is if you combined Radiohead’s “OK Computer” era with a doo-wop band from the ’50s, maybe somewhere in there.
It will be a lot more studio experimentation, trying to get some more interesting sounds. In the past, I’ve focused just on getting the song out and letting the song be heard in its most basic form.
ES: Kind of like what Beck has done in the past?
GH: Yeah. I don’t think it’s too far off from that. I respect a lot of the things that he has done. He’s certainly a pioneer in that way.