10 Questions with ... Thomas Rhett
July 1, 2012
1. Thomas! Man, thanks for taking the time to talk with me. I'm sure you're running non-stop getting ready for this tour. Tell me what's been going on!
Man I have just been trying to soak it all in. I feel like so much has happened in the last year; it's kinda hard to take in! Everything has been going great, and it's really just an exciting time to be in country music. There is so much good music out there, and I'm so glad for country fans to be a part of whats happenening right now. I just feel very blessed to be doing what I do.
2. You've obviously been around music your whole life- especially with your Dad (Rhett Akins) being who he is; did you ever have any other aspirations? Or was being an artist always at the top of your list?
Yeah. It's been pretty awesome to have a dad who is a singer and songwriter. I have watched him go through the highs and lows of it all. I feel like I got pretty lucky and got to learn from one of the best. I have always loved music, but I never saw it as a real possibility. I would have always loved to do music but since my dad did it, I felt like I needed to go in a different direction. I went to college for 3 years until all this stuff came about. I majored in kinesiology to become a physical therapist, but I quickly figured out that that was not what I was supposed to do. Then I picked up a communication major to do, I don't know what with haha. It's been a crazy ride, but I couldn't see myself doing anything else but writing songs and playing them live for people.
3. Let's talk about your first single, "Something To Do With My Hands." First off, the video is awesome! Second, the song is even better! How did the idea come about?
Yeah, the single is really rocking right now. It's doing about as good as any new artist would hope for. I wrote this tune with Chris Stapleton and Lee Miller, two writers who I truly admire in the industry. We were just writing on a Wednesday, and we were going through our phones to find a title when Lee said, "I need something to do with my hands." We all looked at each other with a smile and said, "That's what we are writing!" So Chris came up with the melody, and about an hour later we finished it. It was just one of those days where everybody was "on" we just clicked and it was done. I lived with it for a few weeks and still loved it after time, which is rare for me. I usually hate a lot of the songs that I write, but I knew this one was a hit.
4. What's it like doing the radio tours?
Radio tour = no sleep haha. It's been a blast, but it does get pretty tiresome. You are usually up by 7 and can hit up to as many as 3 stations a day. At each station you usually play 3 or 4 tunes for all the staff there. There are so many good people in radio, and I consider a lot of them my friends. One radio program director and I love golf, and he sent me a new driver and 3 wood. I thought that was so cool of him to do that. They just love music, and I thank every one of them for believing in me and spinning my record!
5. How is your Dad with all of this? Did he ever try to shy you away from "the biz?"
Dad has always supported everything I wanted to do. From skate boarding, to football to soccer and being in bands. I was in a punk band in middle school called The High Heel Flip Flops and we cut our "record" in dad's living room. He has always wanted me to do what makes me happy. Same goes for my mom and entire family. Dad and I have gotten to write together a lot and it's very cool to share the same profession with not only a friend but a dad as well.
6. What's the craziest thing you've seen/done out on the road?
I could go on for days, but one memory really sticks out to me. It's not crazy as much as it is just plain funny. I got the chance to open for ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd last year in front of 12,000 people. Talk about nervous -Good grief. I had a pedal tuner out on stage, and my only instruction from the sound guy was to "hit the tuner, or else." I get out there nervous as can be, and what do I do? I forget to hit my tuner. Therefore no sound came out for the first 20 seconds that I was strumming my guitar. I hear my dad yell from the side of the stage "Hit the tuner! Hit the tuner!" I finally did and I think I played for 12 more minutes haha. It was crazy.
7. Where are some of your favorite places in Nashville to go out?
I went to Lipscomb University in Nashville and my buddies and I used to go everywhere together. I loved eating at Copper Kettle because it was right across the street from school, and it was so good. I still go there sometimes. When we would go out we always went to Demonbreun Street and would go to Dan McGuinness. I love to taste all kinds of beer, and they had lots of beer from other countries. I am also a huge fan of Guinness on draft. Another place we would go is the Flying Saucer. It's just a chill place to go and hang out
8. What's a song that you wish you had written?
I swear I'm not just saying this cause he is my dad. At dad's number one party for "Honey Bee" someone asked him what song he wished he had written and dad said, "Beer with Jesus" which is a song I wrote that will be on my debut record. I have been asked the same question, and I said "Honey Bee." It's just such a freaking hit, and Blake absolutely nailed it. It just feels so good, and it's so simple. I wish I had those pay checks coming to my mailbox every quarter like dad does haha.
9. Who have been some of your influences?
Obviously I am a huge country fan, so some of my old school country idols would have been Merle, Waylon, and Hank Sr. I'm also a huge Hank Jr fan and many more. Since I grew up in the 90's, my music was a little different than many artists in country these days. I loved Third Eye Blind, The Smashing Pumpkins, Matchbox 20, and others. I also loved rap; dad would blare DMX out his speakers when I was younger. I love all that gangster rap. I don't know why, so don't ask haha. Eric Church is another huge influence in my music. He was all we had in our trucks on spring break in high school. "Carolina" and "Smoke a Little Smoke" were my anthems! Dang those tunes were so freaking good. Honestly there are too many to name. I liked everything from country to bluegrass to rap to rock.
10. What can we expect from this record? If it's anything like the few songs I've heard it's going to be great.
Most artists are very impatient people, and I am no exception to that. I have never been more excited about anything in my life. This record really tells a story of who I am. I'm fun. I'm laid back. I'm in your face. I think they call that bipolar! All my influences really come out in this record. I rap a little on the record; I scream a little bit, and I just have fun. I try to put myself in the fan's shoes and figure out what they wanna hear. You can find just about everything on the record, but the cool part is my label pretty much let me be me. I can't ask for any more. It's just a series of good tunes. At least I think so. It's pretty rocking from start to finish with a few ballads that I wrote and love. It's gonna be great.