Kellie Pickler LP Field Press Conference CMA Music Festival 2010
Q: This is the first year that they have sold out the single night tickets three nights in a row. Do you think people came out in response to rebuild this city after the flood?
KP: Absolutely! I think what is so great about the CMA Music Festival is it is really the one time that we have all the artists in town; everyone, songwriters, musicians, singers. It is the one night where we have all of us together and it is all about the fans and all about embracing country music. It is really special; everyone has really come together in this town since the flood. It was so devastating, people losing their homes and lives. I think it speaks highly of Nashville that there wasn’t a lot of looters or crime during all that. Slowly but surely we will come back together. We are not going to let a little or a lot of rain stop us from enjoying what we are all here for and that is each other and music.
Q: For your new single “Makin’ Me Fall In Love Again”, I am interested to know about the video. I know you have done several U.S.O. tours. Tell me about that idea and incorporating it in such a fun way into the video.
KP: I love the 40s. We did like a 1940s type of theme which was my favorite era. My sister tells me I was born in the wrong era. I love the women from back then, the class, the clothes and the grace. I love the U.S.O. and work closely with them. I have been overseas a few times, Iraq, Germany, Kosovo, England, Afghanistan, Kuwait and everywhere else that has a lot of sand and camels. It was really special and important to me to tie that in to the video. Any opportunity that I have to plug the U.S.O. and our military, I always take advantage of because if it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be here right now having a good time. I am very passionate about that. I have several family members that were in service. My Grandfather was in service and a lot of my friends are in Afghanistan and Iraq right now so it is wild to go over there and do a show and meet and greets and run into people that I went to high school with or worked with at Sonic. I had a lot of fun shooting the video
Q: You are getting ready to go on the road with Rascal Flatts. Tell us what excites you the most about this tour. You spent the last year and a half out on the road with Taylor Swift on her Fearless tour. This is a huge change.
KP: I had the privilege of touring with Rascal Flatts a couple of years ago. I had so much fun; those guys took me under their wing and adopted me as their little sister. I look at Joe Don, Gary and Jay as three big brothers I never had. I am very excited about going back on the road with them. It is all about having a good time, embracing the music and fans. I had a great time with Taylor; she is like a little sister to me. We had so much fun on the road together, sold out shows everywhere. It was a little bit younger demographic than Rascal Flatts but we still had an amazing summer.
Q: With a couple of years into the Country Music scene, are you more mature as an artist? Have you changed much?
KP: I think the number one question I get asked is “Have you changed”. Yes, I have changed so much. That is what life is really all about; it’s about changing, growing and learning more. I’ve changed so much since I left my small town back home, because I have seen the world, I’ve seen other cultures and been in places I never could have dreamed I would have been. I never thought I would wake up one day and be in Afghanistan. I have changed and grown so much as a person, as an artist and I am finding my place in country music slowly but surely. I grew up listening to more traditional country. I use to go on jobs with my Grandpa when I was five and six years old, he was an electrician, and help him run wires under trailers. The first song I ever learned was on the road with him, Hank Sr., “My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It”. I think history repeats itself. I think those traditional sounds will come back. For the third record, we are going the more traditional route and I am going back to those old “redneck” roots.
Q: You have a massive fan base with American Idol and all these tours you have been on. Can you talk about your signing at the CMA Fest and in years past and how your fans bring you so many gifts like Ketchup chips.
KP: My fans do bring me Ketchup chips. I did a show a few years ago up in Canada where I told them the three things I love about Canada is beer, hockey and Old Dutch Ketchup Chips. Old Dutch sent me boxes of Ketchup Chips. The last show we played in Canada, we got so many boxes. All my busses and my truck were full of boxes. We were giving them away. I would go to meet and greets and I’d give them away and then they would give me more, but yes, I love Ketchup Chips. It is fascinating what American Idol has done for me, it has changed my life. I have said this before but they were the rocket that launched my career. The fans that supported me on American Idol have stuck with me through everything, coming to the shows and buying the music--everything. I love meeting people because I love to talk; I always have something to say.
I love the CMA Fest booth signing. We signed there and at the CMT and GAC booths as well as the Opry. It is great to meet the people that buy the music, the tickets to see you, and buy your t-shirts. It is a lot different than singing on television through a lens to 40 million people, you actually get to see them and thank them.
Q: You have said you discovered you have Scottish heritage and are interested in going to Scotland. Will you talk about planning that trip and why it is important for you to go and explore that?
KP: We are actually in the very early stages of going to Scotland. I am a huge fan of Sean Connery and when I got the invite two years ago to be a part of this, they asked me if I had any Scottish roots. I really didn’t know. It is public knowledge that I really don’t know anyone on my Mom’s side of the family, so I wasn’t really sure about the history there. I am very close to my Grandpa Ken, her father, and my Grandpa Pickler that raised me. We were talking and apparently I have a lot of Scottish roots. We are planning, it is not finalized, but we are trying to go to Scotland next year for my birthday. We want to go for a week or two and see new parts of the world and see if I have relatives there. I have never sat down and done the family tree thing so this should be interesting.
Q: What has surprised you the most about fame coming from a small town and small town roots?
KP: People say that any time people in the public eye complain or say anything about their job they don’t like, you know what? You signed up for this. I agree to a certain extent, but there is so much you don’t know you are signing up for. It is just like going to college, my sister is twenty and going to college and thought she wanted to be a nurse. That is what she signed up for, but you really don’t know what you signed up for until you jump out there and give it a try. You don’t know what it is like to be in the military, you don’t know what it is like to go serve ten years in Iraq or Afghanistan until you go there and you do it. Then is when you know what you signed up for.
After “signing up” for this, I have learned a lot and let me tell you the good completely out rules the bad, I really can’t complain about anything. I have been so blessed, my world has done a 180 and I am happy.
For additional photos of CMA Music Festival LP Field Backstage visit http://MomentsByMoser.zenfolio.com/lpbackstage
Transcribed by Pam Stadel for Digital Rodeo