25 Things You May Not Know About Frankie Ballard
Newcomer Frankie Ballard has been one of the most talked about stars on the rise since releasing his debut single, 'Tell Me You Get Lonely.' And rightly so, with his rugged voice, mad guitar skills and movie star looks, the Michigan native is turning heads everywhere he goes. Last year, Uncle Kracker took the 28-year-old out on the road with him, which got Frankie fired up to play in front of large crowds night after night.
Last month, Frankie wrapped up work in the studio on his forthcoming debut album on Reprise Records, but those who don't want to wait for the whole album are in luck. Fans can log onto Frankie's website and order a special 'Tour Six Pak' EP which contains 'Tell Me You Get Lonely,' and gives a teaser of what's to come down the road.
The Boot recently caught up with Frankie over lunch for a somewhat unconventional interview. From turn-ons and turn-offs, to his odd collections, to the hardest moment he's lived through ... we find out 25 things even his most loyal fans might not know.
1. If you could change places with anyone for 24 hrs who would it be?
2. If you were throwing a dinner party and you could invite three famous faces, who would they be?
3. What is your favorite smell?
A woman's hair that's clean. Womens hair is more fragrant than a lot of things, and if you're smelling a woman's hair that means you're close to her, so all good things!
4. What are your biggest turn-ons and turn-offs when it comes to girls?
My biggest turn-on is a fine pair of athletic legs. A girl with a fine pair of athletic legs who is not afraid to show them off. Turn-offs? A girl who doesn't like country music is a huge turn-off, and girls who don't take care of themselves. It's not that they don't dress up, and I understand that girls go out sometimes in their pajamas or whatever and that's fine, but I like a girl who takes pride in herself and taking care of herself physically.
5. Describe your ideal first date.
Probably a summer day in Chicago and go to an afternoon Cubs game first. Drink beer and get a hot dog, sit in the bleachers, something just casual. Then go back and get cleaned up and have a driver -- because it would just be cool to just have a driver in Chicago so we can just sit in the back in the car -- and go to dinner, probably somewhere in Little Italy. Then after dinner, go to Halsted and go to Kingston Mines -- little blues clubs down there -- and have some drinks, maybe do a little dancing, listen to some blues.
6. What's your favorite time of day?
I like sunset. I've never been a morning person, ever. I hate the morning. I have more energy at night. When the sun is setting, it's always an exciting time. Maybe that's just for me being a performer, but it's always like when you're about to go onstage. It's typically when things are starting to liven up and happen. Makes me sound like a vampire! [laughs] I'm not a vampire, but yeah ... definitely sunset.
7. What do you collect?
I collect hotel keys. I hope to make something out of them someday. It would be cool to make a bar at my house and like the bar is all the hotel keys: lay them down and put glass over them. Or maybe even a coffee table.
8. What's your go-to meal after a long run on the road when you get home?
I've always been partial to my mother's corned beef and cabbage, which is a traditional Irish meal that she cooks second to none. There's a little Irish place up around the corner from where I live [in Nashville], and they do a reasonable version of it. It's a good home-cooked kind of meal.
9. What is an instrument that you'd like to learn to play?
The piano. I can play a little bit, but it still sounds like a baby mashing the keys. I'd like to be able to shred the piano, too, not just play classical. Something like Jerry Lee Lewis style.
10. What makes you the happiest?
Being onstage and being in front of screaming women. [laughs]
11. What makes you cry?
That television show, 'Overhaulin',' where they steal your car. They steal a guys car, and then they fix it up really nice. It's always a classic muscle car and they fix it up the way he always wanted it. The whole week the car owner thinks it's either been stolen or towed or impounded or something. This guy, Chip Foose, who is a bad-ass designer, totally pimps it out for him, and then they give it back to him at the end. The car owner that gets it back is usually emotional, and there is some insider who set it up like his wife or something. I usually get pretty emotional seeing a guy get his car pimped out.
12. What is your favorite way to unwind?
I like going to the movies by myself. I love going late at night when there's barely anyone in the theater. It's very relaxing. I also like actual entertainment -- to go out to a bar and see a band and stuff like that, but it's still so hectic. Movies are just calm, and you get some popcorn!
13. What is your biggest weakness?
I have a hard time with two things, really. Food wise, cheap frozen pizza. I also have a hard time saying no to people who are going out and call me saying they are going out to see live music.
14. What is a habit you have that you would like to break?
I don't tend to get into habits. I'm a little bit phobic about being in a habit. I'm habit-phobic! [laughs] I don't like doing anything that I feel like I have to continue to do. That's why I don't really drink coffee. I drink it sometimes because I don't really want to feel like I have to have it everyday. I'm kind of afraid of habits. I have a habit of not getting into habits.
15. What is your hidden talent?
I'm trying to think of things that aren't music related. I'm a fast runner -- speedy, quick, fast. There's a difference between quick and fast. I hate to jog. I can maybe run down a Giselle in the African plains if I had to, to survive. Probably not. Maybe if I had a good angle. [laughs]
16. What's the last book you read?
'The Barbarian Way.' It's a Christian-based book about the difference between the way God designed man and woman, and men fulfilling more of their intended role. It's more of being a barbarian, but not in a conventional sense, but being more manly.
17. What is something you do every night before taking the stage?
A Jaeger-bomb, and I always like to play guitar to get my fingers warmed up. So I'll get the guitar and play. I typically like to watch something if I'm on the bus ... put on an Elvis or AC/DC DVD or something rockin'. A live performance that gets you jacked up.
18. Who is someone you'd like to go out on the road with this year?
19. What country music icon would you love to record a song with one of these days?
Dolly Parton would be cool.
20. What's the toughest thing you've ever experienced in life?
Probably when my Grandma died. I was really close to her and my Grandpa. He died after my grandma died. My Grandpa just kind of died of a broken heart. They died really close together. Growing up, they were like my second parents. They lived close. It was tough when they died.
21. When you're having a bad day, how do you turn it into a good day?
Slam some coffee. My favorite president is Theodor Roosevelt, and he used to drink like eight to ten pots of coffee every day. Sometimes having a bad day is because you're a little down, and there's nothing like some caffeine to get you jacked up! So you slam some coffee and you just want to get up and get some stuff done. If you get stuff done that can turn your day around.
22. If you weren't singing what would you be doing?
I've always wanted to be a fighter pilot, still do. But sometimes just flying is like being a glorified bus driver. I'd want to fly something exciting with missiles and machine guns. Do flips and turns!
23. What's been your proudest moment so far as a country music star?
Probably the first time I went back to my home area and played a show after 'Tell Me You Get Lonely' had been playing on the radio and was on heavy rotation up there. I'd been out on the road, and some people knew the song. I played it at the Intersection in Grand Rapids, and that was the first time I had been back since the song had hit, really. When I sang 'Tell Me You Get Lonely,' the whole crowd was like screaming the words. I got a little emotional afterward. They cheered for like five minutes after the song was over, with a standing ovation.
24. Do you listen to yourself on the radio?
I definitely listen to it. It sounds a little different on every station. Some people have different processors or whatever, so I always like to hear sonically what it sounds like and if the DJ is going to say anything like, "Here's another one from this jerk Frankie Ballard!" [laughs] I definitely love to hear it. I know that if I'm hearing it then other people are hearing it.
25. What is something you hope to accomplish this year?
I want to have a No. 1 hit song and continue to play more shows.