INTERVIEW: Q & A With Darius Rucker Backstage at CMA Fest

Q & A with Darius Rucker Backstage at CMA Fest

Q: This is basically your first real experience with Music Fest, last year you came and saw and now you have experienced. What is it like for you?
A: It’s just crazy. This is wild. You know when you are driving around and you see the line around the convention center...It is amazing that this entity that is Country Music says to its fans come to Nashville this week and you get to meet everybody. I really don’t know of any other music genre that could do something like that.
Q. With two number ones and it looks like the next one will go number one as well, what is your secret? Others have tried coming to the Country format and failed miserably. You seem to be doing so well, is there any trick to this?
A: I don’t know what the trick is, I have to be honest with you. We didn’t expect what is happening. I don’t think Capitol ever really sat down and said this record is going to do what my record has done. I wanted to make record that people will listen to. When I write songs, I write songs that I want people to want to listen to. It feels really good to know that this thing I talked about in 1986, I finally got to do it. That is a cool feeling.
Q: You talk about coming into country music and now here at Country Music’s biggest event, what would you say is the most unique thing about our genre?
A: The relationship between the artist and the fan is just so unique in Country Music, it is scary. I told this story so many times about when you couldn’t turn on a radio and not hear Hootie and the Blowfish, I didn’t know the DJs in New York, I didn’t know the DJs in my town. In Country, the Country DJ in my town text me this morning and said can you call me, it is T.J.’s birthday. And all over the country, think about it, these guys in Seattle and down in Tampa and all these DJs that are friends. We text each other and we talk and have a great time. I have a great theory about that. I truly believe the reason the artists and radio can be so close is that in Country Music radio really believes in an artist. They’ll say to you “as long as you keep giving the good songs, we’ll give you air, if you give me crap, we’re not going to play it”. And in Pop music, “I don’t want to be your friend and we might be playing your record right now but chances are I am not going to play your next record. I want to be your friend but I don’t want you to call me when I am not playing your record”. Country is not that way and that is why I am blessed to be where I am standing.
Q: You just got started on the Rascal Flatts tour, comment on that and that I have heard there is going to be a lot of golf. Has it started yet?
A: Oh yes, we have already played. We played two shows and one round of golf. It was so funny, I was at the ACMs and it was late night and somebody said I am going over to the Rascal Flatts party. I said yeah, I have to go to that. I am sitting down and I am there for about an hour and a half and I think between the three of them, it was said about 80 times, “hey, we are going to play so much golf” and it is true. They have such a machine out there and it runs so smoothly. Those guys are great to hang out with and I bet at the end of this tour, we will be good buddies.
Q: Can you talk about charities and the first time you played by yourself this year and your special guest.
A: A lot of years ago, with Hootie and the Blowfish, we were really into charities, education charities in South Carolina. We asked a bunch of these educators that we didn’t know, what was the biggest problem they had. It was amazing that all the rural schools said school supplies, they didn’t have enough supplies and the teachers were trying to go with their small salaries and buy school supplies for these kids who aren’t bringing them to school. So we started this thing called “Home Grown” where we would go and do a show and we would advertise as much as we could and make sure the word got out that we asked everybody to go to Target or Walmart and buy school supplies. And when we played Charleston, we played to a lot of people and we filled up four school buses full of stuff that we would take around to the schools that were needy in the area. We did it for years. One year, Dean, our bass player had some hip surgery and we have taken a few years off. I decided I was going to do it myself. One thing that is great is hanging out with Dierks and I explained it to Dierks. I said “man I would love for you to do this” and without hesitation, he said “Yeah, absolutely”. I called him up last week because we had to change the date to two days later, thinking he’s going to be out. He said “wherever I need to be, I’ll be there” and that’s Country Music. So it will be me and Dierks.
Q: What is the strangest thing you have been asked to autograph?
A: It is always strange to me when you get the random bra and it is not like the bra that is on but like someone just brings their bra and says will you sign this. Is this a new fashion I don’t know anything about? That is always weird to me.
Q: If you had a chance to ride a steel horse or a real horse, what would you pick?
A: Definitely a real horse because my wife doesn’t want me riding a motorcycle. Actually, I have made a vow to myself that if I ever get invited back to the rodeos in Texas, I am going to ride a horse onto the stage. I am going to practice all year.
Q: If you were a Country Music fan and you were to come here to meet someone, who would be you sitting out in the heat to see?
A: Definitely the Flatts , those guys, again, I am really learning a lot. In just two days of watching their show, I just went “wow” this is rock and roll. And for me, the guy that is just blowing me out is Toby Keith’s new record. I would be sitting waiting for him and Jamie Johnson.
Q: Can you tell us a little about the video you just shot.
A: We shot it in Venice, a bunch of crazy people there. I am not going to lie to you guys, Wayne does great work and I love it and I also love the fact that he does one day shoots. It is a lot of fun. It is a fun summer video and I was really happy with it. It just looks great.
Q: I wanted to know about your Hootie fans, are they receptive to the Country Music?
A: I think so, I think it is a really good mix of people that come up to me.

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