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  • Writer's pictureCountry Stars Central

Mark Chesnutt Interview

(CSC) 1. Thank you for the visit. First things first, tell us about your new record “Outlaw” and the tour that you’ve embarked on this year!

(Mark Chesnutt)

I did this record with Pete Anderson out in Burbank back in December; they asked me if I would be interested in doing this thing which was a one-time project.  I had met Pete before and had known of Him since the 80’s and thought this project would be something cool to do.


(CSC) 2. Being an established artist in the business, what are your recollections on the current direction that the industry is headed?


(Mark Chesnutt)

Not sure where it’s heading, it’s a question that’s been asked by everyone who has been in this business more than a few years, country music changes so much, goes in a cycle all the time.  Country music is country for a while then it progresses to pop to rock and roll and back to country, it is what it is.


(CSC) 3. You grew up in Beaumont, Texas but built your music career in Nashville from Texas for the most part, how did you manage that challenging task?


(Mark Chesnutt)

No, it actually helped me that I wasn’t living in Nashville, so I didn’t really have to play the game; it helped me stay who I am instead of trying to be involved in the machine in Nashville.  I know a lot of people who live there and have to constantly stay in the click and stay involved in everything, I couldn’t do that, I spent a lot of time there, but always couldn’t wait to get back to Texas.  That’s where my family and friends were and I thought if I stayed in Texas, I would stay grounded, in some ways it may have hinder me as that’s were a lot of the songwriters are.  But I think it turned out ok, I still have the same friends and the same life.


(CSC) 4. Can you tell us a little bit about your father and his friendship with George Jones back in the early days of George’s career?


(Mark Chesnutt)

My father and George were buddies; they were running around together in the early 60’s when George was just taking off.


(CSC) 5. If playing the Honky-Tonk circuit in Texas is where your original musical roots are from, then what artists do you attribute your personal tastes to?


(Mark Chesnutt)

My biggest influence is George Jones, I like all the great country singers and I like 70’s rock and roll, I still go and see Aerosmith and Kiss every time they come close.  I like hard country, real country, it’s getting a little scarce these days to go to concerts, running around playing in south-east Texas, singing every George Jones, George Strait and Hank Williams Jr is how I made a living for 10 years before I made a record.


(CSC) 6. What are some of your fondest memories from being able to work with Tammy Wynette and Conway Twitty?


(Mark Chesnutt)

The best thing about working those shows was that you get to talked to them, they were really laid back and country, these people were very down to earth, southern people.  You could tell they had hard lives and were so nice and gave me advice.


(CSC) 7. Why is it important to you to continue to play Country Music rather than change your sound to fit the current trends on the radio?


(Mark Chesnutt)

I can’t sound any different (Laughs)


(CSC) 8. What are some of your favorite memories/successes from your career that come to mind right now?


(Mark Chesnutt)

Winning the Horizon award in 1993.  The biggest thing is hanging out and singing with all my hero’s – George Jones, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings….


(CSC) 9. What do you want your fans to know about you at this point in your life, and where do you want to head professionally with your career next?


(Mark Chesnutt)

I’m going to work on another record very soon, I am always going to be here till I am gone, I am not quitting, this is what I do, I am not doing this for a living, it happens to be my job.


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