Mark Chesnutt Interview
Mark Chesnutt is one of country's fastest rising stars. Just consider, that
going into 1991, Mark had one hit single under his belt, but by the end of
1991, he had 3 sin-ties reach the number one position. His album, "Too Cold
At Home" was certified Gold (for sales of 500,000), and he was nominated for
the Country Music Association's prestigious Horizon Award. Mark also won the
AMOA Award for Rising Star of the Year — over Chris Isaak, Vanilla Ice
and Gerardo. That's not bad for an eleventh grade drop-out from Beaumont, Texas.
Mark's second album, "Longnecks and Short Stories" (M.C.A. Records), produced
another hit — "Bubba Shot The Jukebox."
Q. How did you know that you wanted to be a singer?
A. Well, all I ever wanted to do was be a star. I wanted to sing all my life.
At the time I got into high school, I was so serious about it, that it was
hard to focus on anything. I was going back and forth to Nashville even then.
I was singin' everywhere they'd let me sing. I didn't see anything else I
wanted to do. I lost all interest in everything, even girls. I didn't even
want to date. I was so wrapped up in music, and tryin' to learn all I could.
I wouldn't advise anybody to quit school. If I could go back, I'd probably
finish out that last year. (Laughs)
Q. How has success changed your life?
A. The only adjustment I've had to make, is in my time when I'm off. I love
to fish, hunt, and do things outdoors. So, everything I do has to be scheduled
now. I don't wake up in the morning and say, "What can I do today?" I know
exactly what I'm gonna do when I go to bed at night. Everything has to be
planned now. I love it. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Q. Your father was in the music business. Did that give you
an advantage that most people don't have?
A. Yeah, I had an advantage, 'cause I had a daddy that cared, that really loved
the music business. He loved singing and songwriting. He didn't try to discourage
me. Hetold me how tough it would be. He was always there to help me. He had
the same love, that I did. He wanted to do what I'm doing now. He spent a lot
of his money to help me make my little independent label records. I was real
lucky. My mom and daddy were both real supportive.
Q. Why is there this tremendous boom in country music?
A. Well, the only thing I can see is that the other forms of music are just
no good to tell you the truth. (Laughs) I've talked to a lot of young people
at our shows, when I sign autographs, and a lot of 'em say they never liked
country music before because they were always listening to heavy metal or
other stuff and they just got burned out on it. Country music was real. They
found out what these hillbillys' been knowing all along, that country music
is real and we're not trying to fool anybody. It's about real life, everyday
people, and everyday problems. We're not singing about inner city crime and
gangs and all that bull. They get enough of that on the news. And, it's fun.
The people are wearing really good lookin' clothes. You know, western wear
is really popular. We're moral people. We're not a bunch of phonies. It's
real life situations. Also, what's made them discover that, is all the new
people, all the young stars that are coming out now, that are singing traditional
country and using fiddles, and steel guitars, and putting on good shows.
The shows are not corny. A lot of young people they can identify with on
stage. Plus, it's everywhere now. A lot more people are paying attention
Q. Is Branson, Missouri a threat to Nashville?
A. Well, as far as the tourist industry goes, probably so, because people that
come from all over the world go to Nashville. The only thing there, is Opryland.
That's about it. They don't get to see any stars. A lot of people are walking
up and down Music Row looking for stars. There's really not that many stars
that hang out in Nashville, except just to record. As far as the recording
industry, it's gonna stay in Nashville.
Official Website: Mark Chesnutt
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