Here at The Daily Musician, we are all fans of music, and love meeting new people and getting the chance to sit down with these incredible artists to talk about music! Getting to interview Aaron Pritchett was such a great experience because we of course talked about his music, his newest single, and latest album dropping this week. But, this interview gave us a really great insight. It flipped the spectrum of things, so to speak and gave us a glimpse of the artist being the fan, and the artist getting to make their dream come true of meeting their own inspiration.
I don’t want to give much more away so I hope you enjoy this interview! We’ve given you the option to either listen, or read – or both! Enjoy!
SM – My first obvious question – I watched the video that was posted recently where Garth Brooks asked you to open his shows for him. Take me through that moment. How did you feel?
AP – It was totally crazy, and not expected either. It was not planned, or staged. I was doing a radio tour across the country, and stopping in Regina, visiting my friends at Big Dog Radio. I was planning on doing a co-hosting thing from 6am – 9am, and I got call from Mike McGuire a couple of days prior saying that we’re going to be interviewing a couple of people. He jokingly said, “Father Seamus O ‘Flannigan who is getting a head start on his bake sale – doing a promo, and some other guy named Garth Brooks.
So we interviewed Garth – we had 10 minutes with him talking about and promoting ticket sales going on the next day for the shows in June, and this is in April. So, I was pretty excited. I had never met Garth – he’s my idol. So, we got to ask him one question each. Mine was going to be one question, a joke, and other one a more serious question – “What was it like hearing your song sung back to you For the first time with Friends in Low places?” I had that moment with “Hold My Beer” where it was sung to me for the first time. Then, I was just going to ask him if I could give him my agent’s contact information, and I’ll give you $50. So when I got to talk I asked him that question first, and he then replied with, “Let me ask you a question – “How would you like to open the shows for me in Saskatoon?” As you saw in the video, my face just went white, and then it went completely beat red because my blood pressure went up to about 300 BPM. So it was pretty crazy. Then, I was in shock for literally two weeks. I couldn’t really snap out of it, I was just a little off. Everything just started rolling from there. Mike McGuire then put the video up and shared it, then I shared it and it went viral, and I ended up getting phone calls from all over the place- from the US and Europe with people saying, “Saw you on the news!!” It was pretty nuts.
SM – So when the night finally came where you got to open, did it still feel kind of surreal and weird for you, or did it feel like another gig?
AP – It was very surreal, and the cool thing was, was that there was a lot of lead up. It wasn’t like I was asked to “open the shows tomorrow night”. So it wasn’t, like, super quick. It took a month and a half to get there. When it did happen, the first Thursday, the day started off really early. I flew in from Vancouver to Saskatoon, and we had a lot to do when we got there. Finally, we went to the sound check, and we walked in and Garth was on stage doing the sound check. Usually those days go by super-fast, because you’re just so excited, and I was really excited but I was also calm. So, it was sort of strange. So, anyways, I thought we weren’t going to meet Garth until after the show, probably later that night. If at all; I might meet him on Sunday for the next show. Usually that is the way it works with the big artists, especially at Garth’s level. I was surprised he was even doing his own sound check. Usually they don’t. They usually have somebody do it for them. So we were in our change room getting ready for our sound check, and he walks into the room and starts this conversation with us. It was just mind boggling how laid back and easy going he was. He said, “Ya know if you need anything let me know. “ It made the day really long because there was such a calm air about the day now. There wasn’t this rushed feeling. We did our sound check, eventually and he came back a couple of times after that saying, “If you need anything, just let me know.” It turned what normally should be a super short day into a really long day – an enjoyable day. It was great – just an unbelievable experience.
SM – He seemed like he would be very down to earth to talk to.
AP – Yeah, like I said, he came into the room by himself, knocked on the door, and waited, Haha! He came in and was very kind and courteous with a southern hospitality. My girlfriend was there, her name is Jessie, and said things like, “Glad to meet you, Miss Jessie!” and my tour manager, Karen, saying ” I met you earlier, Miss Karen!” Just extremely nice. It wasn’t pushed; it didn’t feel like he was being fake at all. He was being very genuine. He said at one point, “If you feel the crowd, and the crowd is feeling you, go ahead and you do an hour. You can play as long as you want, I don’t care.” I was like, “I’m not going to overstep that boundary. I know you just told me that, but I’m going to play the set they told
Me to play because I don’t want to get in trouble from anyone. Even though you are Garth telling me this! Haha!” So, anyways he kept coming in like, two or three more times that evening, and just asked how we were doing and making sure that we were okay. It was really amazing.
SM – It’s definitely something that you can take with you for the rest of your life!
AP – Oh yea, for sure. I mean, I tell this story all of the time, but I am super excited to tell it because it’s such a great story. I’ll probably never have the opportunity to play for him again. If I never do, at least I know I’ve got those two days, those two shows that’ve got such great memories from.
SM – June is a big month for you with the new album dropping, and the new single doing really well. “Dirt Road in ‘EM” is a really great single. It’s featured right now on our website, the video is hilarious. Did you write this song?
AP – No, I didn’t write this song. I always get sent demos from different writers, and publishers. Actually, I found two of the songs from the album on the same demo. When I first heard it, I thought that “This is just another bro-country song. I like the song, but I don’t want to sing a bro-country song.” I always have to have a second and third listen to these songs to make sure that I didn’t miss something – and I did miss something in that. I missed the fact that it wasn’t a “bro-country” song at all, it was a song that encompasses the fact that everybody, and anyone no matter who you are or where you’re from, you’ve got a little country side to you – a little dirt road in you. That was the point, and spreading that message,
to me, was instantly important that the song meant that. I sent it to my producer and asked him what he thought of the track and he said and he got it right away, and he said, “This is a hit!” I was a little skeptical because over the last ten years, or so I ‘ve had fairly moderate hits – Top 30s, Top 40s, Top 20s maybe so I thought, “Let’s try it and see how this goes.”
SM – So, that leads me to my next question, with the direction country music has taken recently, you’re obviously leaning more towards a traditional country sound as opposed to the pop, or “Bro-Country” sound?
AP – Yeah, and I think a lot of artists are. You can’t get away from the digital age of music. You can have little things here and there that sound a little more modern and contemporary. A little instrumentation that my producer, Scott Cook does, and it’s very interesting, but he is bringing back a lot of traditional country element as well, which I am really happy to see. It’s not like I am saying, “Country’s not country anymore, and’s it’s got to be traditional.” Country has evolved, just like pop has evolved and rock has evolved. Even jazz has evolved, and it goes into a different direction, but not everybody has to sound the same. For a while there everybody was sounding quite similar, and it was getting annoying. But now there are a lot of different sounding recordings, and you don’t have to stretch too far away from the traditional sounding country, which is great. With my music, when you finally get to hear the album on the 24th, you’ll realize that my flavour is “West Coast Flavour.” So, I have some really laid back songs that I am extremely proud of, and it shows that my side of country is country. It’s got some fiddle, and mandolin and steel guitar, and lots of banjos. Those are country instruments that will never go away in keeping with the tradition of country music.
SM – The Daily Musician will be heading up to music week in London this year for Music Week, are you heading there, yourself?
AP – Oh yea, I’ll be there!
SM – Do you know of any performances you’ll be doing?
AP – No, I haven’t gotten any word on the awards show. That should be decided by August. I’m probably hosting a few different parties – usually, I do. Gibson Guitars has a party sometimes, so I’ll host their party. There’s another one for Ole, which is a publishing company. I hosted their party last year. It was so much fun. I had a blast, actually. We put a band together and we all played. We played, like, classic rock. We did an hour set with songs like, “Give it Away, ” by Red Hot Chili Peppers, and “I’m Moving Out” by Billy Joel. We didn’t do any country at all, it was kind of funny, and they loved it! It was just something different. I’ll be around. I’m not necessarily performing anywhere. If they have Fan Fest, then I’ll be at, that I’m sure. Other than that, I have nothing else scheduled.
SM – Any plans to return to the East Coast any time soon?
AP – Actually, I am going to be on PEI in July up in Summerside. I have friends that love up there. Do you know David Horne? *I knew of him!* I’m going to be coming in for a little benefit. There is a gentleman doing a benefit concert up there and I am going to hang out for two days, and who knows, maybe I’ll get up and sing a few songs too! It’s at Route 145 Bar and Grille July 14th/15th or sometime.
Aaron’s new album, “The Score” will be available on June 24th! Be sure to check out his latest single “Dirt Road in Em’!” Aaron will also be performing at many of the summer music festivals. Head over to his website to check out his show dates. http://www.aaron-pritchett.com