Brad Paisley doesn’t take anything for granted and feels no threat when a younger artist manages to take the world by storm. By now, of course, he has made a major mark in country music and is continuing to underscore that with his latest album (American Saturday Night) and single (“Welcome to the Future”).
In a recent interview with CMT Insider’s Katie Cook, Paisley talked to him about his American Saturday Night tour and the success one of his former opening acts is now enjoying.
Noting that the entertainment business is changing and becoming more competitive than ever, he noted, “If you aren’t thankful in this day and age to be No. 1 on any legitimate chart, then you need to get out of this. Because it really is a staggeringly small percentage of people who play music that ever top the chart.
“I don’t know if I’m the most-played person in France or something,” he said before laughing and adding, “Maybe I am. I doubt it.”
Paisley has a great appreciation for Taylor Swift, who toured with him in 2008.
“Really, the job of country music is to appeal to people on a level that’s personal,” he said. “Any time you can make personal, appealing music for a whole new demographic that traditionally wasn’t listening to what we’re doing … I know I have new fans, thanks to Taylor Swift.”
He suggested that country artists should welcome Swift’s contributions in expanding the audience.
“It’s a very healthy thing to see someone like Taylor knock any of us out of any position,” he said. “She is operating at a level I will never reach — already — in the groundbreaking way that she has taken a new audience and said, ’I’m a country music singer.’ And they love it.”
“The last tour, you couldn’t find a women’s restroom that was vacant,” he joked. “This tour, there’s no one in the women’s restrooms.
“[There’s] lots of testosterone on the tour. Which I’ve found, in some ways, is a lot like camp. We’re sneaking into Jimmy’s bus at night and sticking his hand in warm water and seeing if he’ll pee the bunk. And he doesn’t.”
Known for playing pranks on his tourmates, Paisley said, “I’ve got to do something to Dierks. He’s been out since January, but we have the rest of the year. Here’s the thing: I have people saying, ’Don’t you have a life?’ It’s hilarious.”