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Kevin Costner Talks Headlining Adrienne Arsht Center Gala With His Band, Modern West

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 04/27/2012 8:41 am Updated: 05/09/2012 4:36 pm

The Bodyguard is coming to Miami, but not before talking to HuffPost.

Actor-turned-singer Kevin Costner and his band, Kevin Costner & Modern West, will be performing at the Adrienne Arsht Center Gala this weekend, raising money to fund many of the center’s resident companies and productions throughout the year.

Organizers credit the six-member band for selling out the event in just one month -- it usually takes 6 -- before invitations even hit mailboxes, gala chairman Mike Eidson told HuffPost Miami. The center is even employing its first-tier seating for the first time at a gala to add an extra 120 seats for a total of 540.

“This one is going to be by far the most successful in terms of raising money,” Eidson said, expecting to double the Arsht's haul. “Everybody has a very unique relationship with him. Everybody has their favorite movie. People still love him -- he’s like Robert Redford.”

With what Costner describes as an “Americana rock ‘n roll” sound, Modern West formed almost 7 years ago and has since gained fame of its own. The band wrote the concept album “Famous For Killing Each Other” for the History Channel's miniseries “Hatfields & McCoys”, in which Costner stars, and are now the musical face of military families everywhere with “The Angels Came Down,” written by bandmate John Coinman.

Naturally, we just had to ask him a few questions.

Why did you agree to play the gala?
They were very graceful about how they asked us. They told us they were going to be changing things up and I thought, “Maybe you want to get someone more important than me?”

Tickets to this gala sold out in record-breaking time. Thoughts?
Maybe it had nothing to do with me. Maybe these people were just ready to party.

What do you think of our city?
I love it down there, I don’t know anyone that doesn’t.... I like the architecture, I like the weather, I love that warm water. I live on the beach in Santa Barbara and the water is cold. If I could change anything, it’d be our water.

Miami is a really cool place... It’s easy on the eyes, architecturally and every other way. The music down there has got a great pulse, a great feel.

Everyone knows you as an actor; how long have you been playing music?
I was trained classically on the piano, with the metronome, staring out at the window at all the other kids playing. I was trained that way and I also sang in traveling choirs, and done musicals and all that. I always enjoyed music.

And your wife, Christine, convinced you to try doing music professionally?
She really straightened me out and said, “What are you so afraid of?”

Was it a big change artistically to go from acting to music?
No. You get with your friends and the drums start, and then pretty soon the guitars start... you don’t really have a bad day playing music, you can have a bad day of acting for sure.

Music, it’s like, you’ve got a real team with you and you have a room of people who want to hear you.

You were good friends with Whitney Houston, did her life and death affect you artistically?
No, no it hasn’t. But always, the people we know as life moves on, there’s people that are in your life and then they’re gone, and I think you reflect on that a little it and you realize you’re not here forever. You need to get your priorities as straight as you can in this life and have as much fun as you can in this life. Time is going to take its toll on you.

Do you have a favorite song or a song you’re especially proud of writing?
I like playing “Hero” right now, I co-wrote it. Will we play it [at the gala], I don’t know.

Do you have a setlist ready for the gala?
We’ll do it after sound check. We’ll get kind of a feel for what the room’s supposed to be. I try to take people on a musical journey, a lot of it has to do with my life.

WATCH: Kevin Costner & Modern West perform at a memorial service for military families in Fort Knox:

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