Brad Paisley: LP Field Press Conference CMA Music Festival 2010

Brad Paisley LP Field Press Conference CMA Music Festival 2010

Q: Lets talk about your performance tonight. You say you have dedication to the CMA Festival. Last year, your performance got rained out but you actually stuck around until 1 AM or 2 AM to play. Tell us what the CMA Fest means to you.

BP: This is more important than ever, obviously, being what we all just went through as a city. Also, when you drive around and go downtown and see this stadium and the surrounding area it almost looks like nothing ever happened already. That is what we wanted to accomplish as a city. That is a big deal as well as the fact that this important in that it is “fan driven” and it is something that says thank you to all these people that are so loyal and such a different breed of fan from any other form of entertainment. This year is twice as important so going out there tonight, I really feel all that. I think everyone that has been here this weekend feels that and feels a responsibility to make this show go on. It is sort of the same metaphor for the Opry and downtown Broadway and all. It is an attempt to recover.

Q: You are going to perform in London. Do you have any expectations from the British Fans?

BP: We have translators. I don’t know what I am expecting. I am going on Sunday of next week. I haven’t been there in ten years. I adore the British culture. I am excited and I like that country’s sensibility when it comes to entertainment and art. I am fascinated by the heritage and being able to go over there and attempt to entertain is going to be interesting. It will be interesting because the gig we are playing is in a much smaller place than we usually play so I don’t have our toys. I don’t have our video screens and I don’t have semi-tractor trailers -it cost prohibitive to drive them across the ocean (laughter). I get to go up there and start over. I am also trying to figure out what songs are going to work. “Mud On The Tires”, do they do that? Do they have 4-wheel drive on any vehicles?

Q: My lead guitar player thinks you must have signed a pact with the devil because no human being can play the guitar like you do. How much time do you spend daily molesting your guitars?

BP: That’s personal…strangely, that is really one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me. Practicing now goes more hand in hand with writing and work for me. When we go out on the road, we have sound check at 2 pm in the afternoon, we play for an hour, the band and I. But what we really do is we play old Ricky Skaggs songs and my fiddle player sings one and my bass player sings one and I am out there goofing around. I walk around to the various areas I am going to be and check the monitors out. Practicing is more like second nature. It is more like walking, I already know how to walk, but I can get better at it. When I am writing a song, I will noodle and come up with something. When I am doing sound check I will do something. I am practicing when you see me in concert, make no mistake about it. I am practicing up there and you can tell that sometimes.

Q: You mentioned that your H2O production series is a little less because of the flood…

BP: They actually were exactly what they would have been, they were just all new. We were 100% technically, maybe 99%. What you saw, and you can look at pictures online, but our 40 foot tall video wall, out of 300 panels, 260 are brand new and were not in our possession as of that Saturday when it started raining. We had all the original ones, but most of them wound up under water. What is amazing, this brand new product that we are bringing out on the road is it is both transparent and high resolution. You can see through it. When the pictures go away, you can see the star drop behind it. Sometimes you will see me come up on it and it looks like it is suspended. The tempting thing was to use all the original panels because they still worked. The problem was that the cables that were attached to them, we found as we started plugging them in, were catching fire. You would be in the middle of one of our rehearsals and hear a noise and turn around and look and there would be a flame up here. It was “wait a minute, we aren’t doing pyros, that’s not suppose to be that way”. What is crazy about the tour is that we literally had to do things that we never had to do before. We usually take three weeks to rehearse something and the first week is getting everything in line, the second week you start running things and third week, you are working on getting this or that better. We had five days. We got to Virginia Beach, we sort of set up out there which is when we really got down to figuring it out. We had just five days after we got there to try and figure out what we are doing. Thursday night, there was a curfew at 11pm because of the venue and at 10 minutes to 11pm, I said this isn’t right; four songs aren’t right, we have to move this one down to the last, this isn’t going to work here, we will run it tomorrow. We changed the whole set list, ran it Friday and it was like “that’s it!” and it worked. We lucked out. Waterworld has been an amazing thing to watch. These people are just sinking their teeth into a whole day worth of stuff to do. In Cincinnati, the new acts had about 8,000 watching at four in the afternoon on a Sunday. People are desperate for entertainment right now and it feels good to be both back out there doing it and also to know what my crew accomplished with getting everything to work.

Q: Speaking of the new acts on your tour, I have had a chance to speak to a few of them and because of your notorious “pranksterness”, some of them find themselves being very paranoid or suspicious when you make even a simple request like “can I come play with you”. Do you find them being a bit paranoid or skiddish?

BP: They are! It is funny because I invite them out the first night and tell them this is how we are going to do this. We start “Alcohol” in the encore segment, we are going to wheel a bar out and then we are going to serve you drinks. You come out and take a drink and then I want you to go down and shake hands, sign autographs on the front of the stage, sing along, do whatever you want to do. So I am standing here and the first night Steel Magnolia and Easton Corbin; Josh and Justin and Darius had been out before; so these guys walk out and here they come and they walk as far behind me as they can as I am singing. I was like “give me five”, like they think I am going to prank them in the middle of my show. Then they finally came and kicked me out and sang a line of the song. It’s not fair that I have a bad name.

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Transcribed by Pam Stadel for Digital Rodeo

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