(CSC) 1. Congrats on all of the recent success with your latest album ďStronger.Ē How does it feel to have new material out after a six year gap since ďReal Fine Place?Ē
It feels like the biggest relief ever! I never thought it was going to get here, but it finally did and then to see it be so successful has just been even better. I could have spent all that time making the record and then released it and it could have flopped, so the fact that it did exactly what we hoped and prayed it would do is just awesome. We received two CMA nominations so weíre all celebrating that around here.
(CSC) 2. The albums debut single; ďA Little Bit StrongerĒ went platinum this year!! What were the initial thoughts that came to mind upon hearing the song and why did you choose to record it?
Hilary Scott wrote it and she had done a fabulous demo, so the demo that I got to hear already sounded great and it already sounded like album material. Just hearing the words, I knew that it was a smash hit because it moved me so much. I knew that it would be relatable to so many people because itís one of those songs like ďI Hope You Dance.Ē Everybody can relate to those kinds of songs. With A Little Bit Stronger, everybodyís gone through a hard time and not just a break up. You can take that chorus and put it in any life situation thatís been tough. You tell yourself that you can make it through this, and weíre much stronger than we think we are. Itís amazing what we look back on sometimes and say to ourselves, ďI canít believe I made it through that. I cannot believe that Iím standing here today and everythingís good again.Ē So it was all of those things that made me say, ďThis is my song.Ē
(CSC) 3. This time around, youíve contributed your writing talents to six of the 10 tracks. What do you value most about the songwriting process from a singers perspective?
Iíve written for years and Iíve written a good bit of my hits. I think that as a singer when you write your own songs it sometimes can sound more authentic. Like ďNo Place That Far,Ē itís a melody that I wrote myself and I really enjoyed writing it. Itís not to say that I wonít throw out a song that Iíve written for a better song that I did not write because there are many, many times that Iíve been pitched a song that I couldnít write or sounded more like me than something I wrote.
(CSC) 4. Looking back on your career, what was the most important lesson learned as an early achiever in the business?
Iíve learned many lessons. I think one of the main ones after having taken a break and coming back is to appreciate it, enjoy it and not ever take it for granted. I think sometimes you can get into a world where youíre having success and single after single after single, things are just going great and you can start taking it for granted. And just thinking, ďIím an automatic add at country radio, I canít fail. Thereís nothing I canít do.Ē You never want to get to that point where you donít appreciate it. So I try to really enjoy it and sometimes itís really, really taxing. You know the traveling is very, very hard especially if I have to leave my children. I just try to tell myself, ďEnjoy this, yes youíre gone for two days away from your kids, itís not that big of a deal, and you get to perform in front of thousands and thousands of people, it means a lot to them and this is your calling, this is what you were called to do so enjoy it.Ē Thatís really the biggest lesson that Iíve learned. A lot of times Iíll check my kids out of school on a Friday and weíll go do Friday, Saturday and Sunday weekend runs. Itís really great!
(CSC) 5. You grew up performing in a musical band with your family, what was that experience like being able to share the stage with all of them?
It was great. I mean I didnít necessarily think it was great all the time as a child (Laughs) but looking back on it; it was such a fun way to grow up. We were farmers so we were very poor, itís not like we had much. We were sort of like the Partridge Family but we were much poorer than the Partridge Family. Weíre a very, very close family, we always have been and my siblings are my best friends besides my husband. It was awesome and thereís nothing like traveling around together when youíre little and having those life experiences. Thatís one of the reasons why I love taking my kids with me.
What a beautiful rendition youíve done of Dolly Partonís ďJoleneĒ with your sisters in your show!
Thank you! I love being able to sing with my sisters and thereís nothing like sister harmony. They arenít with me on the road anymore. They both decided to come off the road because unlike me, they canít bring their kids and I think they just both thought it was getting to be too much for them to be away. My sister Lesley is expecting a child, so theyíre both at home.
(CSC) 6. When did you make the decision to move to Nashville to pursue a music career and what goals did you have in mind for yourself?
I think it was just a decision that was made at a very young age. Not knowing exactly how it would go but just knowing that thereís nothing else that I want to do with my life other than pursue a career in music. And as soon as I had the money, I would go. I moved down there with my brother at age nineteen and I got a job waiting tables. I just took it day by day trying to meet people and make connections.
(CSC) 7. Fan submitted question by April Schaffer- Have you ever considered putting together a cookbook?
I am considering that with a good friend of mine here in Birmingham. Sheís a fabulous cook, sheís Greek and she and I want to combine all of our recipes and the stories that go along with them. So the answer is YES! I will be doing that because I love to cook.
(CSC) 8. Faith and family serve as an important factor in your life, what does your Christian faith and motherhood mean to you?
Everything; thatís the simplest answer I guess. My relationship with the Lord is the most important thing in my life. Spending time with him, training my children to love the Lord and have a relationship with him; to also be kind, loving, gracious, and forgiving. Itís the most important thing to me. My family is the most important thing to me; serving them, loving them, making them comfortable and being a mom and a wife is definitely my first calling. Sometimes I think Iím like Hannah Montana, I have the best of both worlds. (Laughs) Because I get to be a homemaker, be with my children, and have that dream come true that I had as a little girl but also be able to be a country music singer. I feel very, very blessed but Iím constantly asking the Lord to help me make it mean something. You tend to get caught up in all the business of it and ask yourself, ďWhy am I doing this again?Ē I try to think about that before every concert, before every performance, before every meet and greet. Be nice to the people, really look them in the eye, and let them know that you care about them even if youíre only getting to meet them for twenty seconds. I also pray before each show that I will touch somebody out there in the audience. Maybe theyíll go away from the concert and decide to make the decision to give their life to the Lord or to stop cheating on their spouse; whatever that may be. I just always ask that someway and somehow I can touch somebody during the show.
(CSC) 9. Would you ever like to record a Southern Gospel record?
Yeah I definitely want to do that someday and I want to do it with my siblings.
(CSC) 10. How did you get into the business of writing books and what type of message do you wish to convey to the reader?
Well books are just great stories. These that Iíve done are secular books that are written from a Christian perspective but theyíre not ďpreachyĒ at all. Itís a story about a girl who goes on a journey. Sheís just starting from the day that sheís getting ready to mail her wedding invitations and so many things happen to her. She accepts Christ as her savior during the first book and she has to really, really learn a lot and struggle with the Lord a lot through the books, but itís great. Itís basically a book about forgiveness, redemption and waiting on the Lord and trusting him. I was just approached by Thomas Nelson about doing it and I donít know why they thought about me or why they approached me. It was very random but Iím so glad I decided to do it with my co-writer Rachel Hauck, because sheís incredible. It was a really, really fun experience.
(CSC) 11. Was it challenging for you to be a part of Dancing With The Stars and have that mindset of learning to dance on a television show?
I am not a dancer but you know you start rehearsing, so by the time the first show airs, youíve already been doing it for four or five weeks. You are prepared to do the dance, you are prepared to do the routine and go through the steps. Nothing prepares you for the criticism that the judges give you (Laughs) and it definitely made me much more famous being on Dancing With The Stars. I think on a couple of our shows there were like twenty million viewers. So it definitely changed my career.
(CSC) 12. What do you enjoy doing as a pastime when you arenít on the road touring or working in the studio? (Food, TV, Music, Shopping, Travel)
Not traveling for sure. (Laughs) I donít want to go anywhere except maybe to the lake. I love to cook. Cooking is my outlet, definitely itís a stress relief and I love to feed people, I love to serve my family and I love to just see Jay and the kids satisfied when Iím handing them their plate. I love movies, I love television, and Iím a little bid of a TV addict. Spending time with friends and I strongly recommend socializing with your girlfriends on a regular basis; I think for women that is so important because it releases endorphins, its like exercise. I always know that when I go away from doing that Iím happier, Iím less stressed and Iíve been able to get things out. Itís nice to be able to laugh things out and then the other thing is tennis. I absolutely love tennis; I play it probably three times a week. Itís such a great exercise.
What are your favorite TV shows?
I love the Real Housewives of all the different cities (Laughs), New Jersey, New York, all of them! I love a lot of the reality shows because itís just kind of mind numbing to sit there and watch other peopleís lives. (Laughs) We do love Entourage, because itís about the entertainment industry although itís sometimes bad, much more than it needs to be and sometimes we feel a little guilty for watching it. Itís just the fact that itís all about the entertainment industry and itís so real. We love Boardwalk Empire, itís a great show. My girlfriends and I joke all the time about being part of The Real Housewives of Birmingham! (Laughs) But I could never fight with my friends like they fight. Itís crazy!!
(CSC) 13. What would you like to accomplish next in the forthcoming chapter of your career?
Iíd LOVE to do a movie, if I ever had time. (Laughs) Movies are hard; you know to do one you have to go on location for them. I would definitely have to film my role in the summertime when the kids are out of school so they could be with me. I would love to do a movie. That would be so much fun to experience that. Basically, I want to keep writing songs and making records. I really enjoy what I am doing now and itís a great and healthy balance between career and family.
(Country Stars Central)
What type of a movie role would you consider?
Anything really, it would just depend on what it was. I think a comedy would be the easiest for me. So you just never know!
Presenting Sara Evans with her Country Stars Central cover story in Twin Lakes, WI. -Many thanks to Mark Jones and Kaelin Evans:
For more on Sara Evans, check out her official website: http://www.SaraEvans.com
Follow Sara Evans on Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/SaraEvansMusic