Kevin Costner is a Renaissance man in the truest sense. He's an award-winning actor, director and producer; he has written music for film and television; and he is the frontman of his own band, Kevin Costner & Modern West. In an exclusive interview with GRAMMY.com, Costner discussed his latest project with Modern West, Famous For Killing Each Other: Music From And Inspired By Hatfields & McCoys, creative influences and musical mentors, among other topics.
"The thing about music is I can be with my friends and we can make music and there's some kind of bond that comes with just being in the room together," said Costner. "I get a lot just from the camaraderie. Sometimes when the guitars are set down, the discussions that come out of it are very satisfying."
Born and raised in Southern California, Costner earned his renown as an actor in films such as Silverado (1985), The Untouchables (1987), Bull Durham (1988), and Field Of Dreams (1989). Costner made his directorial debut in 1990 with Dances With Wolves, a film he also starred in and co-produced. The film earned Costner Academy Awards for Directing and Best Picture, as well as a nomination for his acting performance in the film. Costner landed additional starring roles in Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves (1991) and The Bodyguard (1992), among others, the latter of which also starred the late Whitney Houston.
In 2008 Swing Vote was released, which marked the first film under Costner's production company, Treehouse Films. That same year, Costner released Untold Truths, the debut album from Kevin Costner & Modern West, and kicked off a summer tour, which included a performance at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C., as part of the 20th anniversary celebration of Bull Durham. Modern West subsequently released 2010's Turn It On and 2011's From Where I Stand.
Released in May, Famous For Killing Each Other… is the soundtrack to the TV miniseries "Hatfields & McCoys," for which Costner earned an Emmy in 2012 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie. The soundtrack features 19 tracks, eight of which were co-written by Costner, including "I Know These Hills" and "Oh, Malley-Mae," the latter of which is written and performed by Costner's daughter, Lily Costner. The album peaked at No. 6 on Billboard's Top Soundtracks list.
Costner currently has several films in production, including Man Of Steel, The Explorers Guild and McFarland. He is scheduled to perform select tour dates with Modern West in November and February 2013.