(CSC) 1. Thanks for your time! Please tell us about your latest album “Days of Gold.”
Definitely! I’m really excited about this record because it’s what’s helping support my first ever major headline tour for arenas and amphitheatre’s. It’s an album full of songs that I truly love. It’s the first album that I did write everything on and I chose these songs myself. It’s really a great feeling because the album itself, the title “Days of Gold” I think is pretty self explanatory of kind of where I am in my life right now. My life is pretty golden and the songs that go along with this record really parallel that feeling.
(CSC) 2. How does this record showcase your growth as a singer/songwriter since your debut onto the music scene? You’ve obviously grown a lot as a writer and a performer.
Yeah…. I think just the touring aspect of it all; the traveling, just growing, learning from people, learning a lot about myself has really helped change my music and who I am, and what I do.
(CSC) 3. Congrats on the headlining tour. Tell us all about being able to hit the road!
I’m excited about it being my show you know, having the ability to do whatever I want to do and make the calls and be responsible for the audience’s good time. A lot of people come out and spend a lot of money to come watch our shows. They get babysitters, pay for parking, beers and it costs a lot to come out to a show to support what we do. I’m very thankful for that and I enjoy the opportunity to show my appreciation by giving them a great show!
(CSC) 4. How have you ensured that your personal style is incorporated into the show?
That’s a good question. I made sure that my personal style and my vibe is very reflective in my touring, my set, and the way that we handle our business out there on the road. You know, it also goes along with budgeting and money because it is a business. It’s pretty awesome to have that creative feeling and be able to facilitate it.
(CSC) 5. Having hit songs like “Yee Haw,” “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” and “Alone With You” among many others, where do you find that common thread as a songwriter to choose songs that will relate to your listening audience?
Honestly, I just do what I do and I do what I enjoy and I’m thankful that the folks out there support me. I love my fans. I give them all I have when I get out there onstage, like I said they buy tickets to the show and it’s my responsibility to make sure they have a great time. When I’m making music, I think it’s important to make music that I enjoy, that I’ll enjoy singing for the rest of my life. I think if I spend a lot of time going, “okay if I did the opposite and said I’m going to record this for the people out there because I think they’ll like it or I think so and so would like this song…” When you start trying to manipulate it as opposed to just doing what feels natural, that’s when I think things aren’t real. It’s really helped me a lot just gettin’ back to my roots and doing what feels comfortable.
(CSC) 6. Tell me about the first time you picked up the guitar to play, and the twist of fate that you encountered upon your arrival in Nashville as a new artist…
Well, it’s pretty wild to think about how much has happened from the first time that I picked up a guitar and started playing to think that I went from being on barstools to playing arenas full of people. A lot of it has come with a lot of hard work and dedication towards bettering myself, and I have a lot of great people around me, including my band and people that help really lift me up.
And then watching your fans grow and grow and grow, knowing you have a support system there to support the music that you make, everything really starts coming together and it’s a pretty awesome feeling!
Everyone has their moment in life and everyone has their time period, it just happens. There have been great artists in the history of music, but you know they have their moment and then someone new comes along. So right now, it’s my time to really make the most of it and I’m going to do the best that I can.
(CSC) 7. Out of all the career achievements you’ve accomplished so far, what would you like to conquer next?
I would just like to be on this current headline tour and really show everyone that has seen me as an opening act for a long time what I can do as far as a headliner, and the kind of things that I can do differently than other artists. There are a lot of people out there that are headline artists that are going out and selling tickets and people have the opportunity to choose who and what they want to go see. If I can go out there and give them a show that’s very memorable and worthwhile for them to take the time out of their life to come watch, then it will help my career blossom because they’ll continue to come back. I think it’s really important to show the fans and the people that have come out to see you that you’re just excited to be there as much as they are.
(CSC) 8. What do you appreciate the most about your 2009 ACM “Top New Male Vocalist” and 2012 ACA “Breakthrough Artist of the Year” awards?
I’m fortunate just to be recognized, all I ever wanted to do was just play my guitar and sing songs for people. I didn’t move to Nashville telling myself that I wanted to make money. I just wanted to be accepted; I wanted people to tell me that they enjoyed what I was doing. I think those accolades that you just mentioned is pretty much validation for that feeling that I wanted to accomplish.
(CSC) 9. What fun hobbies and activities do you enjoy to help maintain your sanity from your hectic schedule?!?
Well, I love to play golf, I love photography, I love being able to hang out with my family and those kinds of things keep me sane.
(CSC) 10. Tell me about the Jake Owen Foundation and your inspiration to support the various charities connected to it.
Well, we support St. Jude Children’s Hospital which has been a big importance in my life since I started. I’ve been able to visit St. Jude and just seeing those children and their families dealing with childhood diseases like that I feel so fortunate to be healthy and have a healthy family. I have a daughter now that’s healthy, so with the platform that I have its important to give back and so that’s why I do that.
We also included Boys & Girls Club and Autism Speaks because my nephew is autistic. There is not a lot of research and development these days for autism and so folks like me standing up and raising awareness for that I think is important. All throughout the year we go out there and we sing songs that make people forget about sometimes real life and it’s a fantasy sometimes for them to come out and do that. I really enjoy taking time to bring people back to reality and think about what’s important and helping other people. Like I said, when you have the ability to do that, it’s a responsibility for all of us to give back and do it.
(CSC) 11. Being a first-time father, have you found yourself taking any cues from your buddies in the business that have kids? Does she travel with you all the time on the road or sometimes?
Yeah, she goes on the road with me all the time but I’m sure as she gets older, she’ll find her friends and she’ll want to stay home more with my wife. Right now, I’m spending as much time as I can with her because these are her formative years. I want to be there for her and I want her to know that her dad is there for her; that’s important to me.
(CSC) 12. From an artist’s perspective, what is the most important quality that you strive to share with your fans when performing each night onstage?
I think what’s important for me is just showing them that I’m as excited to be there as they are and that I’m appreciative of them taking the time out of their life and day and the money they spend to come out and see me. I want to make them feel worthwhile.
(CSC) 13. When you think back on all the years of performing in smaller venues and clubs, did you ever imagine it getting to this point today?
Well, this is almost my ninth year of having a record deal and touring with everyone under the sun. I’m glad that it’s taken this long to happen because a lot of people, they come out of the box and soar to the top and once you hit the ceiling, where do you go from there? I’d rather have a slow and steady build than a career that will skyrocket to the top and then not have anywhere to go from there.
I’m taking my time, I’ve been able to really evaluate who I am as a person and an artist, just evaluate my shows and what works, what doesn’t work. I’ve been able to build a support system around me from my band, to my tour manager and the crew guys and we all are a family and we all know the common goal.
When you come out racing and you have all these people that start joining your crew, no one really has invested interest and everyone around me does. We all know how hard and long we’ve worked to get to where we are and so therefore when you have people on your team that really dedicated their lives and their time for what our common goal is, then we all work that much harder to accomplish it together.
(CSC) 14. Moving forward, other than the new album and headlining tour, any surprises or anything fun that your fans can expect from the tour?!?
Yeah, we’ve got some tricks up our sleeve and things that we’re gonna do out there that I’m going to save for the show but like you said, and I appreciate you saying that, if you’ve been to our show before and seen the kind of energy that we bring and the excitement and the fun that we have, we’re now able to amplify that tenfold. We have a bigger venue to do it with; we have more bells and whistles that I now can afford to have onstage with me and do. I’m able to do whatever I want, no one’s telling me no, it’s my show and I really appreciate that. I’m excited to get out there and really do that to the best of my ability.