Keith Urban LP Field Press Conference CMA Music Festival 2010
Q: Can you talk about what this week means to you? Everybody is coming together for the CMA Fest and part of the money is benefiting the city and flood relief. Can you talk about what it means to you this year?
KU: It feels a little bit like the Jazz Festival we played down in New Orleans after Katrina. It gives it a different type of celebratory essence to the festival this year. For me, it is all about community. Country music is hard to define musically because it ebbs and flows in and around like it always has done but I think the one constant is the community feeling in country music. It has never been more apparent than here recently.
Q: You talked about the oil spill during the CMT awards. Can you elaborate how you feel about that and how friends of yours feel?
KU: I have not spoken to others in the community about that, but I think it is a shared consensus of frustration more than anything I think. I just feel for everyone down there. Families that have been in these businesses for a long time, generations of them being affected and maybe for ever. And then there are the new ones. I was watching this guy that had just bought this massive new boat and is mortgaged up to his “hiney” and was anticipating so many years to pay it off like you would do and now he is sitting there looking at his boat thinking what is he going to do. That sort of stuff, separate from all the environmental aspects, that is just really heartbreaking for me to see. Those people weren’t at fault.
Q: You have such a beautiful family. Is your daughter more like you or your wife?
KU: She is a good mix I think, she has my wife’s legs, that is for sure. She is going to be tall.
Q: Can you talk about the connection you have with your fans when you perform live? When you are up on the stage and playing to thousands of screaming fans, it is almost like they are part of the stage show as well.
KU: Definitely. That is it, it is 50-50 I think. It is sort of like we are an oversized “ghetto blaster” to a degree. We provide the PA and you guys show up and we will make it happen. It’s like any party, they have to be into it or it is not going to happen. For me, it is making sure that every single person feels connected. The best concerts I ever went to from Mellencamp to Springstein all made me feel so connected. They made me feel like they cared about being there.
Q: What is the most important part about the CMA Festival for you?
KU: I think the random set of happenings with the fans being able to run up to your car at a traffic light, throw CDs in the window and things like that. I just like the energy that happens in town during this week. There is a place in Australia called Tamworth. It has a small version of this, but it is the center of country music in Australia. They had a festival for a week in January. This is much bigger but theirs, but has the same feeling. It is like a huge family gathering. I love it.
Q: You and John Mayor are going to have your CMT Crossroads show on this Friday. What is it about playing with him that you enjoy? Have you guys ever thought about writing together or doing a duet together?
KU: Doing Crossroads was great. I find a great common ground with John as we play. We come at it differently, as we have very different musical styles that we are influenced by, but I think there is a middle ground and it could all connect somehow. I like the language of guitar players, I like them to speak through playing. I think that is why I like collaborating with different people because it is different “conversations”.
Q: Do you have any career advice for aspiring music professionals?
KU: Go on American Idol? I think the most important thing is there are no rules. There is no “you must this” and “you must that”. Everyone will find their own path and everyone is different and I don’t think there is any wrong way. You learn so much from the wrong roads. I remember some of the people, when I was growing up, that said things that just infuriated me but now when I look back, they just fueled my fire. The ones that annoyed me, I remembered more and am grateful to them, more so than the people that were “rah rah”.
Q: Your live show is often cited by your peers as one of the best live shows out there and you have a new concert coming up. I know there are always going to be some elements that are going to be the same but can you tell us how you are approaching this new tour to continue to make it exciting and grow for your fans?
KU: This is a festival so it is a different kind of thing. You don’t really have production like when we do our own headlining shows, it is more about getting a set list together and make that connection. Outdoor places are tricky because you don’t have the ability to harness everyone under one roof. It flows out in a different way. Hopefully it is just about a great time and singing along, feeling good and feeling connected.
Q: Can you tell us the best part of being a Father?
KU: The best part of being a father? All of it for me, there is always something new. That is what I love about it. It keeps coming on—I think “Oh my God, that is my daughter”. It’s beautiful!
Q: Are you going to have any more?
KU: I am not not trying…
For additional photos of CMA Music Festival LP Field Backstage visit http://MomentsByMoser.zenfolio.com/lpbackstage
Transcribed by Pam Stadel for Digital Rodeo