Q: What special gifts do you get from your fans personally?
JT: Here lately, it has been toothpicks. I have done one or two interviews and it has multiplied. The question was what I take with me all the time like toothpicks or whatever and the fans started bringing me toothpicks which I think is weird.
Q: Could you give advice for aspiring music professionals?
JT: Some of the best advice I got when I was growing up was move to Nashville, go where the music is. That was valuable advice for me because there was a part of me that thought I could stay in South Carolina and some big record producer would come down, sign me to a deal and I would go to Nashville. That is not exactly how it works all the time. That would be the first thing I would say and secondly, I would say prepare yourself for the business side of it. That is something I don’t feel I was prepared for in the beginning. For those young people coming to town that are going to college, take some business courses. That is something I probably should have done that I didn’t. Outside of that, stay true to yourself and don’t let anyone convince you to do something that is not right.
Q: When you are here in Nashville surround by your fans, what is do you take away from all of this?
JT: I am living my dream. I am extremely blessed and I just want to be able to give them a great show. I want to spend some extra time with the fans whether it is in an autograph line, a meet and greet or fan club party like I did this morning. I had fans come see me from all over the world this week, literally. I was sitting this morning on my bus watching my fans pile into the fan club party with their Josh Turner T-shirts and everything. It is very humbling and inspiring to be able to live my dream. I think that is what I take away-a huge sense of responsibility and gratitude.
Q: Weren’t you one of the last people to perform on the Opry stage before the flood? Can you talk about that weekend because you actually had a personal experience that weekend?
JT: Obviously there was no way I could have known what was going to happen so I don’t really remember a lot about that performance. I do remember that when the flood happened, we were actually out of town on the freight train tour with Alan. It was surreal because we were glued to the weather channel, watching the local coverage trying to stay abreast of what was going on. My band and crew were all parked out at Opry Mills and we all came home Monday morning and all their cars were under water. They weren’t allowed to go in that area for a whole week. They all ended up having to get new rides so that has been interesting to see what they have been getting.
Q: Can you talk about the Josh Turner scholarship fund? What inspired you to start that and how you are raising money for that?
JT: I was inspired to start the Josh Turner Scholarship fund from a conversation that I had with my producer Frank Rogers. We were in the studio one day comparing our experiences from high school musically. He went to a big 5A school in South Carolina and I went to a small 1A school where I only had 75 people in my graduating class. He was just rambling on and on about these great experiences and these trips they took and the groups they had and all the opportunities musically in high school and I didn’t have any of that. It made me realize that there really is a need for music programs and scholarship money for young people that aspiring to be musicians or artists or just get into the music world. There have been several ways I have been trying to raise money. One is I sell bracelets that say “Josh Turner Fund For The Arts” at my shows and we have raised a lot of money that way. Night after night, we do a lot of silent auctions and we have talked about doing some fund raisers in the future to raise more. We have had two recipients so far. It is a hard thing doing charity work but it is worth it.
Q: How has technology changed the music business?
JT: It has changed the way we can acquire music. “Why Don’t We Just Dance” was just certified digital gold which is 500,000 downloads of that song itself. Someone was asking me just this past Tuesday how different that was or how weird that was. It is different but I don’t think it is weird. Back when they were making vinyl records you had 45s and they were selling singles and you could have success off the singles. I liken it to that. It is just a different way of acquiring it and it is in digital form. You can do it from your home and I still get a plaque for it.
Q: With Father’s Day coming up, can you tell us the best part of being a father?
JT: Just being able to look into the eyes of your child and know that you are their hero and look up to you. Father’s Day takes on a special significance when you have your own children. Just being a father is very gratifying and brings me a lot of joy. It also helps me relate to my Daddy and what he went through trying to raise my stubborn self.
Additional photos of Josh Turner and the backstage press conference can be viewed at http://MomentsByMoser.zenfolio.com/frilppressconf