Brad Paisley has sold more than 12 million albums, won three Grammys and scored countless ACM and CMA Awards. So he’s gotta have an attitude, right? A crazy list of demands while on tour?
Think again. We caught up with Paisley, who’s in the middle of his Country Nation world tour, sponsored by Kraft, and asked him all about life on the road. It turns out, he really is as cool and fun as he seems – and not at all demanding. (Okay, maybe a little demanding. We kid!) Read on to hear about his life on the road:
My tour ritual is [Drinking] coffee! Good coffee, like Kona from Hawaii, several times a day. It’s the only thing that keeps me on the schedule I need to be on, which is something strange like waking up at noon and going to bed at 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning.
The last thing I do before I get on stage is Brush my teeth. There’s been a time or two where I went to the stage and didn’t and I’m thinking about it the whole time. I’m up there worrying about a piece of broccoli!
First thing I do when I get off the stage is I usually go straight to the bus and my guitar tech comes on with my sound guy and I go, “So what did you think?” You would think it would be the same answer every night, but it’s not. Even with the same monitor system every night, it’s crazy how different it can be. I’m on this quest for the perfect guitar tone, which I’ve never found.
Favorite tour food Oh man! Definitely pizza in a place that’s known for it such as Chicago or New York. Boston has good pizza, too, but you can’t find it many other places. Chicago pizza – something like Giordano’s deep dish – let’s just say I know exactly when Chicago is every year!
The least glamorous thing about touring is The fact that you aren’t with the three or four people in your life you most want to be with. You’re with 50 people that you like, and some of them are some of your best friends in the world, but you miss your family a little bit. I’m lucky in country music we don’t do these six-month runs I’m gone for three or four days, but it’s still three or four days where your children change. You get back and you’re like, “When did he start doing that?”
The coolest thing about my tour bus is It is a 1960 Corvette theme. The inside of it is done like a high-end garage with a checkerboard theme. We have red utility cabinets, the Corvette logo and a 1960 Pennzoil gas pump mounted behind the slide-out. When the bus opens up it feels like you’re in Jay Leno’s garage. I got to design it myself a few years ago.
My favorite thing about touring (besides performing) is The very thing that I was saying is hard is also my favorite thing – that you are with a band of brothers. I’ve got the same crew, by and large, that I’ve had for 10 or 15 years. I’ve had the same band for 15 years. We’ve been through thick and thin. It’s a fun and valuable experience knowing these people that well.
The little piece of home I have to have on tour with me is My father! My dad comes out all the time. I don’t know that I have to have him out there there’s times when I’m like, “What are you doing? Why are you doing that?” But having him out there keeps me pretty grounded.
By end of a tour the thing I’m most sick of is Bad pizza.
My favorite way to pass time on the bus is We’re really lucky, it used to be you’d get on a bus and people would bring stacks of VHS tapes and that’s all you could do. Now we have satellite and Internet and everything else, so going down the road, you’re not away from any of that. I never get to watch TV that much at home, so I catch up on the road. There’s nothing else to do once that bus rolls out, so me and the guys will sit and binge-watch House of Cards or Battlestar Galactica.
The most interesting thing on my tour rider is Mine is really simple and boring. We usually ask for 2 percent milk and cereal.
Check here for Paisley’s upcoming tour dates.