Unbreakable: 22 Questions with Walter McCarty

Dec 13, 2012 by


Sports and music are two common themes of Old 67 so it’s always good to see the stars align and give us both in one piece.  Walter McCarty, former basketball player for Harrison High School in Evansville, IN; former Kentucky Wildcat and former Boston Celtic, has released his third album, Unbreakable.  Always known for his voice (how many players can claim to have sung the National Anthem before high school, college and professional basketball games?) McCarty has successfully made the transition from court to club and was nice enough to sit down with us and answer a few questions.

Before jumping in, click here and play McCarty’s new single Lovaholic to get a feel for his sound while reading his thoughts on basketball and music.  Don’t blame me if you start dancing, just go with it…


1.       I’ve read that Boys to Men, New Edition and Stevie Wonder are big influences of yours, and I can really hear it on Emotionally and Moment of Love (love the funky little intro on Only for a Day, btw).  Should we expect the same from Unbreakable?  How would you describe the sound of the new album?

Those are all my favorites and you can most certainly hear bits and pieces of their influences throughout my music. Unbreakable is different only in the aspect that it’s a much more up-tempo album and more urban.  Unbreakable does still have touches of soul, but its more club/urban driven.

2.       Obviously love, fidelity (and infidelity) and relationships are a big source of material for what you write.  Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I love writing and singing about relationships because I believe we all go through ups and downs and the good and bad in relationships. I think people relate better when they hear music that could possibly connect with whatever they may be feeling or experiencing or possibly experienced in the past. I draw my ideas form TV, friends, conversations etc…Whatever sparks the imagination and gets the wheels turning. I never try and force something, whatever pops in the mind at that moment.

3.       Do you start with lyrics and craft a medley around it, or start with a medley and write the words?  If you do both, do you find one easier than the other?

It generally works both ways…Lately with me I like starting by playing chords on a piano and working from there.

4.       Have you ever listened to the Gorillaz?  I know you’ve said in the past that you haven’t been interested in performing Hip Hop, but I could see your voice and musical timing working really well on a Gorillaz style project –

Yes I love them. First time I heard them I was on my honeymoon in Europe and learned so much about them then and have been a fan ever since.

5.       What are you currently listening to these days?

I’m still old school. I listen to the legends like MJ and Stevie. I love ageless/timeless music. I generally listen to news or satellite radio so I don’t listen to much music. If I do I love listening to gospel music. I’m a big fan of Zacardi Cortez

6.       Will there be a tour or live performances in support of Unbreakable?

I would love too. I’m in talks now about doing some promotional touring and doings some gigs across the state of Kentucky, Indiana and Massachusetts to get the buzz going.



7.       If you could collaborate with one musician or artist out there today, who would that be?

I would love to work with Boyz II Men, Kenny Edmonds, Brian McKnight, Maroon 5 or Stevie Wonder.

8.       What other current or former NBA players have musical chops?

Well Wayman Tisdale was one of the best. There are lots of guys out there who are musicians that play instruments. The National Basketball Association of Retired Players has a really nice band as well.

9.       How long did it take you to record Unbreakable?

Unbreakable took somewhere between 4-6 months at most to record. A lot of that time was mixing and paperwork as well. It didn’t take long.

10.   What is the most difficult aspect of the recording process?

I think the most difficult aspect is determining whether or not the song is good or not lol….you wanna make sure that your song is perfect so you have to be careful not to over do it. Also realize sometimes simple is better.

11.   What are the biggest challenges you face today as a professional musician?

Biggest challenge is letting my fan base from Basketball aware of my music and this is what I’m doing now. While trying to get them to see me in a different light.

12.   What do you enjoy most – performing live or creating in the studio?

I love performing live. Nothing like expressing your self in from of your fans musically.

13.   What was the biggest difference with Rick Pitino as your college coach versus your NBA coach?

Biggest difference was in college he had complete control of the ship and made majority of the decisions for the program. That definitely changed in the pros.

14.   If you could make one change to college basketball what would it be?

I wouldn’t change a thing.

15.   What advice would you give rookies in the NBA about the transition from college to life in the NBA?

Only advice I would give would be to learn as much as possible and live with your means. Also remember that’s it’s a privilege to play in the NBA so protect and remain humble.

16.   Did you seriously consider attending another school or was it always Kentucky from the moment they began recruiting you?

It was always Kentucky. Purdue was a distant second.

17.   Who has the best shot to win the NCAA basketball championship this year?  Does Indiana have what it takes to cut down the nets in 2013?

I think Duke has the best chance. They are playing really good teams early so they are preparing themselves for March. Indiana does have the talent. They have a good shot. I believe Duke has the best chance.

18.   Will the Miami Heat repeat as NBA champions this season?  Why or why not?

I’m not sure. Are they the team to beat? Yes. I don’t see anyone in the East beating them though New York is playing well right now and could be a spoiler.

19.   During the year do you watch more NBA or NCAA hoops?

I watch Kentucky, Louisville and Indiana. Pro teams I watch pretty much every team especially the Celtics.

20.   What was the hardest transition for you from college to the NBA in terms of the game itself?

The biggest transition was slowing down. Playing at Kentucky we always played fast and chaotic as far as pressing and getting and on the break. The pro game is more “lull your opponent asleep and then explode”. In the pro game you have to know when to turn it on.

21.   Does Notre Dame (football) have a chance to win the National Championship?

They do. Not sure if they can deal with the size of Alabama though.

22.   Cliché deserted island question: (if you could possess the following on the island what would it be?) (Editors note – Matt wanted Walter to tell him which he would have of each of the following, but because he didn’t ask it that way, he didn’t get the answer he was looking for – not that it’s a bad answer)

1.       Album

2.       DVD of one college game you played and one NBA game you played?

3.       Book

4.       Female celebrity

Female celebrity, that’s easy lol….

We’d like to thank Walter for taking the time to answer our questions; we’d like you to thank him by buying his album and following him on twitter.  Click on the links below, you’ll be happier if you do!

Unbreakable available for purchase

Follow Walter on twitter




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