Rascal Flatts LP Field Press Conference CMA Music Festival 2010
Q: You had fans camping out for 20 hours or more to get tickets to celebrate your ten years. How do you feel about that and the support you have received from your fans?
Gary Levox: I don’t think there are words to describe 20 or 30 hours of sleeping on a sidewalk just to get in and see us at the CMT signing. The reason we have had ten years in this business is because of the fans. They have supported us in everything we have done. We actually call them our “fam club” because we spend as much time with them as we do with our own families. We are humbled and grateful and can’t wait for the next ten years. We are thrilled to death to be here and to shake their hands and take some photos.
Q: Is there anything you would wait in line 25 hours for?
GL: Krispy Kreme! And only if they’re hot.
Q: With ten years in, can you reflect on what it is like to be the headliner for the show tonight?
Joe Don Rooney: It is a little bit of an undertaking. There are a lot of people out there and we want to go out and do a really good job. We want to represent country music the best you can. We have put in a lot of hard work and a lot of time in the last two years. We have learned where our strengths are; we know what our weaknesses are and we try to stay clear of those. It is a big responsibility when you get to headline something this prestigious for country music; a blessing.
Q: You are going to be kicking off your ten year celebratory tour and the last time I talked to you, you mentioned it might take on a Reba-esque feel in terms of set change and costume change. Can you tell us what is in store?
Jay DeMarcus: We always try to out do what we have done before and it gets harder with every year. We have had everything, including fireworks. It is very difficult figure out how to take it to the next level so this year we decided to make it really simple and do as much music as we can. We are going to take the fans on a journey through the past ten years. We will start with “Praying For Daylight” and work our way through as many hits as we possibly can. It will be four hours and forty minutes probably; Gary won’t be able to breathe by the time we get to the last song. We are really looking forward to this; it will be a lot of music, very little talking and get to as many of their favorites as we possibly can.
Q: The people at the record label are really chomping at the bit to get this new single out. Can you preview that? Will we hear it tonight?
JD: We don’t have a record label anymore. We are not going to do any new music tonight but we have so options that we haven’t really picked a new single yet. All I can tell you is we are real excited about the new music and it is a different path for us this time. We cut some things that we wouldn’t have cut in the past and we are excited about doing something a little different. We have been with Dan Huff for four records now and he really pulls something new out of us every time we get in the studio. This time, we went to Santa Barbara for about a week and tracked and did some recording just to mix it up a bit. The three of us stayed in one house, which was very cool. We just focused on the task at hand, got to collaborate and talk about the direction of this record and really focus on it a lot more than other projects in the past years.
Q: A couple of you use to be in Chely Wright’s band. Have you talked to her since the book came out and give your support to her?
JD: No, I haven’t been able to talk to her but I got an advance copy of the book. I was pretty disappointed I wasn’t in there more because I feel I was instrumental in her life and her career and playing keyboards for her. Just kidding.
GL: The only picture of me in there, I am turned sideways.
JD: Just like an album cover.
JDR: We wish her the best. She was instrumental in us meeting each other.
Q: Is there any advice your Dad gave you?
JD: Yes, and I didn’t follow it. He told me to be the lead singer because I would get all the attention, get all the women. Again, I wish I would have listened to my Father now.
GL: “Don’t eat yellow snow” I think was what he said, being from Ohio. Other than that I don’t know, you get so much great advice.
JD: “Liquor before beer, never fear; beer before liquor, never sicker”. That is what my Dad told me and I follow that to the “T”.
GL: All of our Dads always played Honky Tonks, so we have always had that type of guidance in our lives. That’s where wisdom comes from.
Q: One of the things that is so interesting about this festival is so many artists come together and everyone is playing for free. Can you explain why they do that?
JDR: I think that is why this week is so special. We are giving back to the fans that have given so much to country music for lots of years. It is great to see the younger generation loving country music and coming here with their parents. Some are actually old enough to drive themselves here now. I feel it is our responsibility to give back to them. It is probably the only genre of music that still does that for and with the fans. I think that’s what makes being in country music more special.
Q: You guys are pretty fashionable and it has become popular for a lot of country artists to come out with their own goods and wares. Reba and Taylor Swift have their own lines. Are you thinking of anything along that line? Maybe accessories or something/?
GL: We have actually talked about that.
Q: A lot of bands don’t last ten years; they end up wanting to kill each other. How do you manage to stay friends?
JD: It has been interesting. As you grow and change you develop three different opinions about everything. I think the common thread we’ve had is when we first started out we genuinely cared about each other and that has not changed from day one. We have, over the years, always put the other guy first. It doesn’t always work that way because we are human beings. At the end of the day, we are always able to work out our differences with love and respect for each other and it has been a really wonderful ride. I dare say I couldn’t do it with any other guys. It takes a unique chemistry to exist in that kind of an environment
Q: Can you tell us how you are recovering personally from the flood and how the city is recovering?
JD: I love the fact that everyone has pulled together and helped each other so much. It is wonderful to see the community here and see how they have come to each other’s rescue. It is really tough to talk about guitars and amps when some people have lost everything. While we did lose a bunch of stuff in the flood, Joe Don lost some guitars and I lost some basses and amps, my heart bleeds for the people that lost everything they ever owned, their cars and homes. We can replace guitars and amps but what we can’t replace is the love…I don’t even have words to describe it. I have watched it on the news so many times, people coming to each other’s rescue and neighbors walking down the street helping neighbors tear out drywall and wet and rotting wood. You can’t find that everywhere in this country and Nashville is a very special and unique place because of that.
Q: With ten years in the business, you have met a lot of fans. What is the most whacky or craziest thing a fan has done?
GL: There has been a bunch really. One lady scheduled a C-Section around our tour. She actually was going to have a natural birth and when she saw she wasn’t going to make it, she scheduled a C-Section so she could make sure she could make the show. Signing? Things like infants! Signing children is pretty weird; but we didn’t do it; we were asked though.
For additional photos of CMA Music Festival LP Field Backstage visit http://MomentsByMoser.zenfolio.com/lpbackstage
Transcribed by Pam Stadel for Digital Rodeo