Kiefer Sutherland will admit, he's not crazy about actors trying their hand at music, either: "I hear about an actor wanting to make music, and my eyes roll back, too," he says. But he's not going to let that keep him from making a country album of his own.

"I’m completely aware of the stigma," the actor and singer-songwriter recently told The Boot and other reporters, "and I think that’s why I never did it" -- until now. Sutherland is preparing to release his debut record, Down in a Hole, and he says that now that he's really put his mind to it, he sees the similarities between acting and singing.

"I think the one thing I’ve come to understand is that, as a musician or as a player or as a songwriter, my interest is really to try and tell a story, very much like I do as an actor," he explains. "It’s an extension of that."

Sutherland confesses that he "had no intention of making an album;" however, his good friend and Down in a Hole co-producer, Jude Cole, convinced him to give it a try after hearing a few songs that Sutherland had written (and intended for other artists).

"It was his enthusiasm about the way the songs were sounding and how personal he knew they were to me that made him tell me that he wanted to keep them and wanted me to do a record with them," Sutherland recalls. "I laughed at him and said no, I would never do that. He got a hold of my weakness: took me out and got me a little drunk, and all of a sudden, it sounded like a better idea.

"And so we recorded a couple more songs, and it kind of went like that," Sutherland continues. "The one way I could justify it is that I love to tell a story. And the stories are actually mine, and they’re very personal."

Although it took Sutherland a long time to be convinced to release his own record, he's had a long love affair with songwriting.

"I started writing when I was about 15 years old," the now-49-year-old remembers. "I can still play the first song I wrote. It’s awful; it’s called "Mother Won’t You Leave Me Alone," and it makes my mom and me laugh a lot when I play it.

"But, for me, it was more of a cathartic -- it was a way of, if something was bothering me, I would write to deal with something," Sutherland adds. "It wasn’t until the last 10 years that I started writing out of the pleasure of writing, and finding the story that I wanted to tell."

Sutherland wrote all of the songs that will appear on Down in a Hole, choosing to make each of them a reflection of his own life, even though it meant sharing some of his most vulnerable moments with his fans.

"I think the great epiphany I’ve had is, you can’t [give too much of yourself away]," he shares. "Certainly in the context of [my concerts], the nicest thing that I’ve experienced is that by the time we’ve finished the show, the audience, whatever perception they’ve had of me, I think they realize that they and I are not very different. And that’s been something that’s been really special, for me at least, and I think has been special for an audience. And that’s something that has mattered to me and will matter to me going forward."

Down in a Hole does not yet have a release date.

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