The What the Hell Tour will kick off Jan. 19 in Dayton, Ohio.
Bentley, 40, who hand-picked his tourmates, says in order to tour with him you have to have more than just talent – you have to be able to make him laugh.
“I’m out there away from my family – it’s a great sacrifice for them and for the guys in my band, they have family, too. We’re out here, life’s short, I want to be around good people, good energy, good vibes,” says Bentley. “And these two are definitely two younger guys that both crack me up and have such great energy.
“They’re both a little crazy, to be honest,” continues Bentley. “They’re just in that time in their lives when they’re young and they’re single and they’re going after it. That’s why they’re calling the tour the What the Hell Tour because I have no idea what the hell’s going to happen out there!”
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We asked Bentley to share what life is like on the road, here’s what he said:
A typical day on tour for me is…
“Long. A typical day for me on tour is a marathon – it’s like five days rolled into one.”
The little piece of home I have to have with me on the road is…
“Pictures, printed out and duct taped to the wall. I have pictures in my bunk, which is kind of nice. You get in the bunk and you close the curtain and I’ve got pictures of [wife] Cass and the kids. It’s little reminders of everyone back home that’s missing you. A little reminder of how important the show is, too. The sacrifices. That time away from them is really important, because if you’re not going out there and giving your all on stage, you’re just wasting everybody’s time. I guess pictures are important to me.”
My favorite way to pass time on the bus is…
“I try to make sure to get off the bus as much as I can, try to do something during the day that’s local to where I am, whether it’s hiking or fishing. But on the bus, I finally just started watching Friday Night Lights. I’m super addicted to that show now. I’m either watching that or playing a little NHL Xbox hockey or watching some documentaries with the guys in the band.”
My favorite tour ritual is…
“The pre-show chant. It could be something totally ridiculous, unless you know what’s going on inside the band, it’s the silliest chant of all time, but it makes sense to us. We toured over in London and I loved ordering a ‘flat white’ coffee and using my British accent. ‘Ah, I’d fancy a flat white.’ So, flat white became our word for before we went on stage. Our drummer, every show, he’d say it even more and more ridiculous. He’d say, ‘One, two, three, flaaaaat whiiiiiiiiite!’ Nobody could even understand any of it. It was ridiculous and it would get worse and worse every show.”