Uncle Kracker Answers 11 Questions
Uncle Kracker has spent some significant time on the country side of the street this past year, thanks in large part to his mega-hit ‘Smile,’ which crossed over and became an instant smash on both pop and country radio. He released a countrified version of his album ‘Happy Hour: The South River Road Sessions,’ performed his new single, ‘Good to Be Me,’ with buddy/former employer Kid Rock on the recent ‘CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock’ ABC-TV special, and even played several dates with Jason Aldean. We caught up with him during his whirlwind summer of touring just long enough to ask him 11 off-the-wall questions on everything from antique cars to circus acts.
What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you in the music business?
I got a record deal! The fact that they gave me one, that’s pretty funny!
If you could own any classic car, which one would you choose?
I already own it! My favorite one is actually a car that Kenny Chesney gave me. As a tour present, he gave me a 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner with 30,000 original miles — it’s awesome! It was my dad’s first car. When I was younger, he was redoing that car. And Kenny knew that. So during one of our tours, he had us come by his house and we were all just hanging out and he said, “I wanna show you something.” And when we came out to the front, it was sitting there with a ribbon on it. And not only is it the fact that it’s my favorite car, but the fact that Chesney gave it to me makes it even more special.
Name one profession you never pursued but probably would be really good at.
I always wanted to be a veterinarian. I loved animals growing up. I have two American bulldogs, but I wanted a turtle, I wanted a chimpanzee, I wanted this, I wanted that. I also wanted to be an artist. I loved drawing. The kids are always wanting me to draw something, and not to toot my own horn but I’m pretty good at drawing.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would you live?
I would live in a place where the seasons never changed and it stayed 72 and sunny all year round. I think I’m describing San Diego. But I’d like to live in Mexico … That would be fun just for the food!
If you could change one thing about the music industry what would it be?
Without sounding like I’m crying about it, I would like to eliminate the internet from the music industry … just to see what would happen. Would it bounce back to what it used to be before the internet? If you could flick the switch on off for a little while, it would be fun to see.
If you could bring one thing to Detroit to help rejuvenate the city, what would it be?
I have a lot of ideas. But Michigan is just dropping the ball on a lot of things. We have a governor up there … it’s not that she’s done anything wrong, it’s just that she hasn’t done anything at all. So we haven’t been doing nothing for years up there and there are a ton of things we should be capitalizing on as a state that we’re not.
Lake or ocean?
I love the ocean. I’ve been to Kenny’s in the Caribbean a couple of times. It’s nice down there … that’s a lot of water! It’s fun, but I could put myself on any coast, as long as I can look out on the ocean, and I’d be happy. There’s something calming about the water.
What’s the greatest song you didn’t write?
‘Swingin‘ by John Anderson. I was ecstatic to see John Anderson at the CMT Awards, and I got to meet him. I’m a huge John Anderson fan, and I got a picture of he and I together. It was great to meet him. That song was just a huge song, a crossover to the top of the charts. When it comes to pop, if the song is good, people inside a country market like it. People can smell a fart in a car, no doubt about it, but if a song is sincere enough then it will speak for itself, and Swingin’ is just a great song. He’s written plenty of great songs, but that’s just one of those songs you pop on and you just instantly smile.
What’s your favorite saying or expression?
Mark Twain has this quote about his dad. He said, “When I was 16, I thought my dad was the dumbest person on the planet. And by the time I turned 21, I was so surprised to see how much my dad had learned.”
What was your favorite onstage moment ever?
I was probably 23 years old or so, and I was deejaying for Kid Rock. We did this thing for the MTV Awards — us, Run-D.M.C. and Aerosmith — it was like a medley together. So I was standing onstage next to JamMaster Jay, and I listened to a lot of rap records growing up, so to be standing next to Run-D.M.C. and be on the same stage was really, really cool.
If you had to be a circus act, what would you be?
The bearded lady probably. I don’t know, she’s creepy, you know, and people love to look and stare at her. I’d like that for a minute, you know. Just for a minute.
Read more of The Boot’s exclusive Uncle Kracker interview here.