March 2, 2007
Volume 35
Issue 09
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Tuesday, Jan 26, 2021



the Music Lounge by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A & E Writer
Country hottie Jason Aldean is opening arena concerts for Rascal Flatts, winning music awards, and watching lots of scary DVDs
Opening a show for platinum-selling trio Rascal Flatts is no small task. But Jason Aldean seems to be just the man for the job. The native Georgian is booked as the lone supporting act for the threesome's monstrous three-month tour that blazes its way to the Tacoma Dome on Sunday night, March 4. Last year, Aldean was honored as the Top New Male Vocalist at the Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards, an indication that his artistic peers are well aware of his potential. So is the Seattle Gay News, who named him one of eight rising artists to watch for in 2007. When he isn't on the road or in a recording studio, Aldean is spending time at his current Nashville residence with his wife and three year-old daughter. The sexy cowboy's self-titled debut, featuring the single "Amarillo Sky", is gold-certified and sits at #21 on Billboard's country albums chart this week. A sophomore release is scheduled for May.

On a freezing cold afternoon in West Virginia, on the exact day his tour with Rascal Flatts kicked off, here's what Jason Aldean had to say when I roped him into "The Music Lounge".

Albert Rodriguez: This is a big tour you're on.

Jason Aldean: It is. We went out with these guys (Rascal Flatts) last year for about twenty shows. So they asked us to come back this year and be part of their tour. We're going to be with them through February, March, and a little bit of April. Then we're going to finish up an album and do some other things for a couple of months.

Rodriguez: If you're going to make it in country music, do you have to move to Nashville?

Aldean: I think so, at least for a while. It's somewhat impossible to do the networking and meet the people you need to meet without living in Nashville. I'm sure it's happened before and there are people that have done it. But I think for most people, it's the only way to go.

Rodriguez: Who were your early musical influences?

Aldean: Alabama was probably my biggest one. Tracy Lawrence was a big one, and George Strait. I grew up listening to a lot of stuff, Guns n' Roses, The Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Keith Whitley, and John Anderson.

Rodriguez: Some of our readers wonder why I cover country artists because the country music industry, as a whole, hasn't really embraced gay fans. But times have changed. Country music isn't just for Southerners or straight conservatives.

Aldean: It's been like that for a long time, but I don't think people have really noticed. It's always had this stereotype that it's about getting divorced, losing your wife, losing your job, and all that stupid stuff I've heard for years. People are brought up thinking that's what country music really is, but if they sit down and listen and check it out for themselves, they'll find out country music is on the cutting edge. It's not in the backwoods.

Rodriguez: When you do meet n' greets or promotional events, do any fans ever introduce themselves as gay?

Aldean: Not really, not that I can remember. If you're a fan, you're a fan. I don't care if you're black, white, gay, straight, whatever. If you're a fan, that's what matters. But to answer your question, I don't think I've had anybody come up and identify themselves (as gay). I meet people every day and treat them all the same, whatever they are.

Rodriguez: When you're on the tour bus, do you listen to music or watch DVDs more?

Aldean: I like watching DVDs more.

Rodriguez: What have you watched recently?

Aldean: I'm a horror movie kind of guy. I just finished watching one called The Vault, and I watched An American Haunting.

Rodriguez: Have you seen Hostile?

Aldean: Yes, I have. That was a freaky movie. Pretty graphic stuff, but I liked it.

Rodriguez: I'm not into gore. I'm a fan of spooky films, like The Exorcist and there's one called The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

Aldean: That was freaky. The chick in that movie played that role pretty well.

Rodriguez: She did. It scared the shit out of me. I was home alone and turned on every single light in the house.

Aldean: (laughs) I don't watch that shit when I'm at home by myself. I watch it when I'm on the bus with ten other guys around.

Rodriguez: When you look at your tour itinerary and see Seattle or anywhere close to Seattle on it, what goes through your mind?

Aldean: The first thing that comes to mind is that it rains a lot. I actually love going up to the Northwest, one of my favorite places I've been to is Portland. I'm not sure if I've played in Seattle, so this may be our first trip up that way. But the Oregon area and a couple places I've been to in Washington, especially in the springtime, are beautiful.

Rodriguez: Do you walk around the cities you play in?

Aldean: Sometimes we'll check out stuff during the day, whatever is close by. At night, we'll go and check out all the bars in town. That's what I like to do.

Rodriguez: Throw back a few?

Aldean: Exactly!

Rodriguez: I hope you're old enough to throw back.

Aldean: I'm plenty old. I'm 29.

Rodriguez: That works in every state. Hey, congratulations on winning a big award last year!

Aldean: We won an ACM (Academy of Country Music) Award for Top New Male Vocalist. That was a big deal, the highlight of my career. I appreciate it.

Rodriguez: Is it a nerve-racking experience the day of an award show? Are you thinking, "I hope I win" or "let's just get dressed up and have a good time"?

Aldean: For me, I didn't think much about it until I was sitting in my seat and the actual award was up, and they were about to announce the winner. That's when I got nervous. As much as people say it's an honor to be nominated, which it is, you still want to win. Rodriguez: Did you celebrate that night?

Aldean: Absolutely! We were in Vegas.

Rodriguez: We're looking forward to your upcoming show here. Our photographer and I are making the 30-minute trek from Seattle to the Tacoma Dome, so look your best for the camera.

Aldean: (laughs) Alright. It's pretty simple for me.

Rodriguez: You're a jeans and T-shirt kind of guy?

Aldean: Pretty much.

Rodriguez: The weather should be warmer here than on the East Coast, so you might even be able to wear shorts and a pair of flip-flops.

Aldean: Awesome! That's my style right there.

Rodriguez: Okay Jason, it's been great talking to you. Let's have a beer when you come to town, and in the meantime have a safe trip into the Northwest.

Aldean: Thanks Albert! We'll see you soon.

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