"We maybe party smarter instead of party harder," he told PEOPLE at Live Nation's National Concert Day show in New York

By Jeff Nelson
Updated May 04, 2016 04:50 PM
Credit: Brad Barket/Getty

He’s all about getting “Drunk on a Plane” – but Dierks Bentley is the first to admit the aftermath is uglier than it used to be.

“I don’t think I was ever too crazy on the whole aspect of the party. We always have parties, we always have a lot of fun, but we maybe party smarter instead of party harder,” Bentley told PEOPLE Tuesday at Live Nation’s National Concert Day show at Irving Plaza in New York. “You pick your battles. Hangovers last longer than they used to.”

Despite the consequences that come with a night of light-hearted debauchery, the 41-year-old country star – who will tour his upcoming Black album with openers Randy Houser and Cam – says his tour will still include some backstage fun.

“We have a bar set up called Whiskey Row in every backstage area with a big tent and music: It’s open to everyone who comes backstage, and it’s just a fun hang, and that usually spills off into the bus, and we’ll listen to vinyl records on the bus until 2 in the morning,” he adds.

On-the-road fêtes aside, Bentley is as focused on his family as he is his music: His wife Cassidy, 40, and their kids – daughters Evalyn, 7, and Jordan, 5, and son Knox, 2½ – will join him on tour this summer in July.

“We’ll grab a second bus and come out, and I’ll load that bus with kiddie pools and remote control cars and chalk and water balloons and rockets to shoot up in the air – everything,” he says. “I live off Red Bull, and it’s the craziest month, but it’s really fun.”

Click here for a full list of Bentley’s Somewhere on a Beach Tour dates.