Scotty Hasting: The Stories That He Tells

by | Jun 2024

SCOTTY HASTING was an Army infantryman who was eventually deployed to Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province, where he was severely wounded and saw his best friend killed. The mental wounds, though, took much longer to heal. He has had to cope with PTSD and the psychological issues facing so many military men and women. Hasting has emerged as a formidable singer-songwriter. Through songs such as “How Do You Choose” and “The Stories That They Tell,” he has tried to convey a sense of this complicated burden. 

Like most country music artists, he grew up singing in church. Singing was always a hobby. According to Hasting’s mother, she knew he was in a good place when he was singing. It wasn’t until the pandemic that music assumed a central role in his life. 

“For me, when COVID-19 pandemic hit [was] when I needed an escape,” he related. “And music was that escape — learning how to play the guitar and learning how to write songs.” 

Music provided the escape, the sense of peace, and the purpose — a powerful therapy. Hasting embarked on a steady performance schedule, playing three or four hours a night, five or six nights a week. 

“I would live for those moments when I could have that peace and that little bit of an escape. I needed to get out of my head for a little bit of time.”

Hasting’s music is imbued with a mission to reach out to other veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety. 

“I know how much music has helped me — it’s saved my life as a form of therapy. I want to be able to help someone decide to put the gun down and try for tomorrow.” 

And he is open and honest about his own personal struggles — the best method for breaking down the various stigmas still attached to mental health difficulties. 

“If I’m going to try to help people, I think it’s important for them to understand that I still struggle.” And he struggles every day. “Being vulnerable is scary, and it’s hard. But it’s more important than me. What I’m doing is more important than me.”

To say that Hasting’s music has been well-received is an understatement. His musical career has blossomed with numerous tour dates, including an appearance with the legendary Dave Grohl (of Nirvana and the Foo Fighters) and a forthcoming extended play. 

Scotty Hasting’s music occupies a very distinctive perch. Songs that deal with the plight of the veteran are few and far between, yet that distinctive perch comes with some complications. 

“I don’t want my music to be the token veterans’ song,” Hasting said. 

There is the danger of being pigeonholed, and Hasting does not want to do the predictable — his songs are not rousing, feel-good anthems. 

“That’s not what I want to do. If I’m going to sing a song about heroes, it’s going to be about my best friends who didn’t come home. It’s going to be about the things that I saw. If I’m going to put a song out there, I want people to understand. These are songs that matter.”

He also wants to be a bridge to the civilian world and try to convey the “veteran mindset.” “The Stories That They Tell” is a song about why veterans tell their stories. The searing “How Do You Choose” is anguished and emotional and asks some very fundamental questions. Hasting hopes that the veteran who finds it impossible to put his or her experiences into words can play these songs, and then the people around them can understand. 

Scotty Hasting’s story is emphatically triumphant, which is a crucial part of his narrative. He wants veterans to see that success and personal fulfillment are absolutely attainable. 

“You can do things that you never thought possible, which is what I’m doing right now. And you can still struggle.” 

He is a living testament that people can and do overcome monumental struggles — astonished that he gets to make music for a living. 

“I never in a million years thought that would happen!” 

Hasting wants to talk about living every day to the fullest and about the struggles he and other veterans deal with daily. In a relatively short period of time, he has created an important, honest body of work, and there’s much more to come. GN 

More Good News

Pop’s Coffee: Follow Your Dreams

Pop’s Coffee: Follow Your Dreams

THE GREATEST legacy a parent leaves behind is sometimes the dreams they help their children achieve long after they’ve taken their last breath. Since she was a little girl, Beth Price dreamed of...

read more