Updated: Sep 11, 2019
Like Clark Kent, Hunter Mounce has an alter ego. He’s a firefighter by day and a country singer-songwriter by night. “It’s almost like I live two different lives, but they’re constantly balancing each other out. I’m really lucky that I’m in a position to do them both for a living.” Hunter says both professions happened “completely by accident.” (Photo credit: Patrick Montag Photography)
Back in his senior year of high school in Missouri, Hunter was unsure about what he wanted to do with his life after graduation. On Career Day, he was intrigued when his friend mentioned he was going to the fire academy in Independence, Missouri. Hunter enrolled with him, and they commuted together for the six month firefighting program. “I fell in love with it. It’s one of those things that’s meant to be.”
Shortly after graduating from the fire academy, another passion was ignited, but in a roundabout way. After being dumped by his girlfriend, Hunter was determined to make her jealous. He admits it seems shallow, but thought, “I’m gonna be that guy at all the parties she goes to who plays the guitar.” Although the ex-girlfriend was not impressed, other people were. A cover video Hunter posted on social media quickly got 1,000 views. The response to his version of Dirt Road Diary by Luke Bryan encouraged him to keep honing his craft and start writing music of his own. After playing lots of local parties, Hunter got his first real gig – a parking lot concert at the snow cone stand in his hometown. Two-and-a-half years after graduating from the fire academy, he also got his first job as a firefighter with the Prairie Township Fire Protection District in Missouri.
After getting some experience under his belt with the Prairie Township position, Hunter moved to Nashville and accepted a job with the Hendersonville Fire Department, where he has worked for the past two years serving at their six stations. Hunter says “every day is different; some days we may run 15 calls.” Other times, they take classes or practice cutting up cars at junkyards or train at buildings that are going to be demolished.
One of the ways Hunter combines his passions for firefighting and music is with a non-profit organization he founded called FIRE Boot (First Initial Response Eminent). He came up with the idea one day when he saw a spare pair of boots in a corner at the fire station. “I can start putting this boot out at my shows and take donations and give the money to families who just had their homes burn down.” Thanks to contributions from fans at his live shows, Hunter was recently able to donate $200 to both the Pleasant Hill Fire Department (in Missouri) and the Hendersonville Fire Department. Gift cards will be given to help fire victims. “Even though it’s not a lot of money, hopefully they will know they’re not alone and there are people who care.”
And whatever became of the ex-girlfriend who dumped him? She got married last year, and became the inspiration for Hunter’s latest single. Hunter had the song half-written, and it was “more of a serious song.” When he met with songwriters Will Rambeaux and Sherrie Austin the next week to finish the song, he played what he had written so far. They asked him how he really felt about the situation with the ex-girlfriend. He replied, “Honestly, I’m over it, but it’s funny because she’s marrying a guy who’s just like me except he’s got a lot of money.” And they said, “Dude, that’s the song: Me With Money.”
Together, they used lyrics Hunter had already written, but went a totally different direction and wrote a tongue-in-cheek uptempo song that sounds like something Chris Janson or Toby Keith would sing. “The reason I like it so much is that it’s completely true, other than the part about the yacht.” Watch the official music video below.
Hunter is a fan of traditional country, but likes to put his own spin on it. He adds, “I try to make authentic music, and I’m grateful for people who happen to like it. In addition to Me With Money, Hunter has another single, True American, and a 3-song EP available on iTunes, Spotify, and all the usual digital outlets.
“I’m just trying to enjoy the moment that I’m in right now. I want to get to the next level and do all these great things, but at the same time I realize how lucky I am to be doing this right here.”
Hunter will be performing at Music City Center in Nashville on November 1. For more information, go to www.HunterMounce.com
FUN FACTS AND TRIVIA
Management: Laminate Entertainment
Favorite artist and best concert: Eric Church
Musical influences: Erin Enderlin, Turnpike Troubadours, Randall King, Josh Abbott Band, Cody Johnson
Favorite Restaurant/Dish: Hattie B’s Pimento mac & cheese
(Beware of the ghost pepper in “Damn Hot” chicken)
Hobbies: Running, Fishing, Hunting
(Hunter ran 10 miles on the morning of our interview!)
Favorite Movie: Dumb and Dumber
Written by Laurel Moore for Live Laugh Love Nashville 10/22/2018
#HunterMounce #Nashvillesingersongwriter #countryartist #firefighter #FIREboot #MeWithMoney #emergingartist #musicblog #WillRambeaux #SherrieAustin #LaminateEntertainment #musicvideo #PatrickMontagPhotography