The country trio confess their junk-food addictions

By Eileen Finan
August 04, 2014 10:00 AM
Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

After 14 years of touring together, the guys of Rascal Flatts have become experts about life on the road – including its unhealthful temptations.

“On the road, we eat late and we don’t eat as healthy as we should,” says lead singer Gary LeVox. “When you get on the bus after the gig, every bus has got 10 pizzas on it. I don’t know whoever came up with that brilliant idea, but now it’s the standard.”

Not that they’re complaining. “We all freaking love pizza!” says guitarist Joe Don Rooney.

Now in the midst of their current cross-country Rewind tour, the three confess they all indulge in favorite foods whenever they’re on the road.

“I’d rather have a burger than anything on the planet,” says bassist Jay DeMarcus. “I like Five Guys, and Wendy’s makes about the best fast-food burger you can get. My burger is simple – I’ll get Five Guys with just cheese on it. And then a vat of ketchup and swoop it down into the ketchup!”

Ohio native LeVox says he favors hometown offerings: “For me, it’s Donatos pizza – pepperoni, thin crust – and then Graeter’s ice cream, toffee flavor.”

But they also admit that all that indulgence does have a downside. “We’ve all suffered from frequent heartburn for a long time,” says LeVox, who, along with his bandmates, are the new faces for heartburn medication Nexium 24HR.

“I can eat like crap whenever I want and I’m okay,” jokes DeMarcus.

In truth, the bandmates say they try to balance their road food habits with lots of exercise.

“We try to find time to get off the bus and clear your mind and do something active,” Rooney says. “Golf is a big deal, and in the fall months when we’re playing indoors and it’s colder, we try to play basketball. We get pretty competitive.”

And they aren’t afraid to talk smack, either. “Gary says watching Jay play basketball gives him heartburn,” Rooney says with a laugh.

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