Blake Shelton: CMT Hot 20 Countdown Interview

Oklahoma Native Finds Balancing Act Between Recording, Touring and The Voice

Editor’s note: Watch the interview with Shelton when the new edition of CMT Hot 20 Countdown airs Saturday (Aug. 10) at 11:30 a.m. ET/PT.

Blake Shelton hit the ground running in multiple directions early this year, and the momentum continues to build as he makes his way around the country during his Ten Times Crazier tour with Jana Kramer and Easton Corbin.

During a recent tour stop in Chicago, Shelton took time from his packed schedule to catch up with CMT Hot 20 Countdown’s Katie Cook.

CMT: I’m thinking this must have been the busiest year of your life. You made time to release an album, Based on a True Story, shoot The Voice and launch a huge tour. How exactly did you find time to do all this?

Shelton: Man, you really have to look at it at the beginning. We learned two years ago that if I’m going to keep doing this television thing and the touring thing, we really have to look at it at the beginning of the year and go, “OK, block this for The Voice, block this for the tour and block this for The Voice. And as soon as you make a plan, it all falls apart, and you just end up in chaos anyway. Last year I thought would have been the busiest year of my life. I mean, we did all kinds of things last year with The Voice and touring and a Christmas album and a Christmas special. And this year is turning into pretty much the same thing. … I don’t know. That’s why I drink so much, Katie.

Why blame it on that? Come on. You just like it. Let’s just be honest.

That’s true. That’s true.

Your Ten Times Crazier tour is getting rave reviews from critics and fans alike. How do you think you’re doing? Does it feel 10 times crazier to you?

It does. I have a ball. I mean, all I can give you is my perspective of this tour, and I’m shocked every night. I come out onstage and I see a crowd this large — and there’s nobody coming on after me. You know what I mean? I’m so used to that — for the last 12 years, opening for people and wishing that could be my show one day. … And to be honest with you, every night I walk offstage and I wonder, “Was that enough? Are we living up to the hype and everything that surrounds you getting to this level?” And I’ve read some nice things that reviewers have said, but if you don’t beat yourself up a little bit every night, then it probably doesn’t matter to you.

And this does matter to me. I try to have as much fun with it as I can, and every night I’m laying in bed. I’m like, “Did I get that line wrong when I sang it? I think I sang the wrong line! Stupid! Stupid!” So that’s kind of how my mind works.

And that’s when the drinking starts. No, I’m kidding.

Yes. And I start drinking again.

You didn’t tour as much last year. What did you miss the most about it?

I missed summer. I’m not a summertime guy. The only time I really enjoy the summer is touring and performing because there is nothing else for me to do at home. It’s too hot, and you can’t farm. You can’t hunt. It’s too hot to fish, like that old song. So I’d just would rather be out here doing this. And it’s really cool to do it like this, but even playing fairs and festivals and things like that, that’s summer to me. I’ve been doing it for so long, I can’t imagine summertime without that part of it. And last year, I didn’t have as much of it — and I missed it.